Lion: I'm here
with Babbit, one of the best-known rabbit puppets in America. Welcome, Babbit.
Babbit: Good to be here, Lion.
Lion: What've you been up to lately?
Babbit: I've been pretty busy managing my investments and attending some conferences. In fact I just got back from a nice trip to the Poconos.
Lion: I've heard this one before, mister, and I'm not falling for it.
Lion: Stay away from my nose or this interview is over!
Babbit: Ha ha!
Lion: You mentioned investments; where do you see the markets heading?
Babbit: Well I see more and more organic vegetables, which I'm fully in favor of.
about the new biotech foods, where they cross a peach and a mongoose or whatever?
Babbit: No thanks. I prefer my celery and carrots natural. I'm just a natural rabbit puppet kind of guy all around I guess.
Lion: I can see that.
Babbit: I watch what I eat. I watch it go right in my mouth!
Lion: Ha ha ha!
Babbit: Seriously, do you have any snacks?
Lion: Umm, let's read some questions submitted by the public. Senor Mike asks: "I was wondering, Babbit, what your parents do for a living? Regards, Mike; p.s. love the fur."
Babbit: Thanks, Mike, I try to keep the fur looking good. I use special shampoo.
Lion: And what about your parents? I've never heard you talk about them much.
Babbit: Well, like many rabbits these days, I didn't come from a traditional nuclear warren.
do you mean, "nuclear?"
Babbit: You know, where you live with your immediate family and have your relatives all around, like particles spinning around an atom. Modern rabbits, especially rabbit puppets, don't necessarily follow that traditional model.
Lion: So do you keep in touch?
Babbit: Oh, sure. We get together a few times a year. A few months ago I flew to California and we all had a picnic in the Redwoods.
Lion: And what do your folks do for a living?
Babbit: They used to own a little florist shop, but now they're retired.
Lion: Were they successful?
Babbit: Not really, they kept eating the stock. I remember they'd often have these half-off sales where the half off was always the tasty part.
Lion: Al asks: "Does it bother you that your ears look like giant Sugar Smacks?"
Babbit: Does it bother you?
Lion: It makes
me kind of hungry, now that I stop and think about it.
Babbit: Well keep away from my ears, buddy.
Lion: Have you ever tried Sugar Smacks?
Babbit: No, I like to eat a healthy breakfast, not that television consumer junk. Give me lettuce any day.
Lion: Lettuce for breakfast? Ugh.
Babbit: Well what would you suggest?
Lion: How about a nice cutlet?
Babbit: Is that like a small scratch?
Lion: No, its a cut of meat, you doofus.
Babbit: I don't know much about that stuff. I'm a happy vegetarian.
Let's look at some more questions. Whoa! Look at these, Babbit!
Babbit: Umm. Can you say that on the internet?
Lion: Not on my watch. How about I read just a few and leave the racier stuff for one of those joker puppets like Kermit?
Babbit: Good idea.
Lion: Well, Betty asks: "Was Thumper male or female?" and "What lineage did Thumper come from?"
Babbit: Who's Thumper? Just kidding. Doesn't everyone know he was male? I don't know anything about his lineage though. I think he grew up in California.
Lion: "Are you made out of cotton, as in Cottontail, or actually a blend of cotton & wool--thus weakening the lineage?"
Babbit: I'm modacrylic polyester with polyester fill; you wanna make something of it?
Lion: Hey, I just read the questions.
Babbit: What are YOU made out of?
Yarn, I guess.
Babbit: Well, there you go.
Lion: Okay, last question. Pat says, "I'd like to be comped to your casino. Will you do that?"
Babbit: Only if you're a puppet or something. No humans; they can pay! Ha ha ha!
Lion: So Babbit, tell us a little bit about what it means to be a successful rabbit puppet today.
Babbit: Well, I really had to struggle at first, wriggling my way into the business world. I had lots of friends in puppet and rabbit circles, but not many were very well educated, and few owned their own business, like my parents did. So I worked hard, hopped my way through some pretty awkward business meetings, and just didn't quit. I just kept reminding myself about the story of Peter Rabbit, and how he never gave up until he'd taken over Mr. McGregor's garden and reopened it as a carrot-themed amusement park.
Lion: Um, that's not how I remember the story.
Babbit: You probably heard the diluted version popularized by Mr. McGregor's people. Trust me, that's what happened.
Lion: I believe you.
Babbit: So now I'm pretty successful, I guess, with lots of properties and things going on.
But still nobody ever takes you seriously.
Babbit: It's a constant problem for all of us puppet animals.
Lion: Besides real estate and stuff like that, what do you do for fun?
Babbit: I like lecturing at universities and stuff. I gave a talk a few months ago at Stanford about the semiotics of plush.
Lion: That must have been interesting.
Babbit: The group that came out was really good, quite a few puppets were there, which is really encouraging. We got into all kinds of stuff and ended up by debating the validity of essentialism.
Lion: Mm-hmm. You're quite the smarty-pants, aren't you?
Babbit: I just know what I know.
Lion: Have you ever had your I.Q. measured?
Babbit: Why would I want to do that?
Lion: Well, to see how you compare to the average lion, for instance.
Babbit: Wow, there's a bunch of carrots.
Lion: You and your carrots.
Babbit: You know who likes carrots?
Babbit: Carrot Bunny.
Lion: He does, doesn't he?
Babbit: He loves 'em. He always has one in his paw. You never see him without one.
Lion: I never really thought about it, but you're right.
Babbit: He's crazy for them.
Lion: Well, thanks for joining us, Babbit.
Babbit: You bet.
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