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Sober Rabbit | February 10, 2023 "Artie's Bargain"

Pausing on Rabbit's grocery story to pick up on a new story, this time a two pager, also on the North Side but closer to the lake... Start with page one here and then scroll down for page two.

A snowy residential scene, drawn in pencil with light blue watercolor shading. There's a few rows of brownstones behind a wrought iron fence. Snow swirls - big ol flakes. Caption: Lakeview, Chicago. Out of the snow, a word bubble of music notes appears, as if someone is whistling... After a moment, a skunk in a big puffy coat comes into view, holding a pizza box and whistling through a face mask. He pauses outside of the closest house and types on his cell phone (the sound effect is "tiktiktik". His text message word bubble: "Hello. This is Abe. Your FoodFast delivery driver. I'm here with your"--- he's interrupted by a small chihuahua-looking dog, who has appeared out of nowhere. The chihuahua is wearing a baseball cap that has a white triangle on it, has piercings in his ears and one ear has a bite out of it; he has a dollar sign tattoo on his right cheek. Close-up on the skunk's alarmed face, with Artie's word bubble over it: "Yo! CiaoChow? I just got your text." The skunk delivery person shouts, "AH! Oh uh. - I'm FoodFast. Are you sure this is --" Artie interrupts him, "Oh yeah," and hands him floppy ten dollar bills. "Yuuuuup. Thanks." We see the skunk walking along the very snowy sidewalk, back to his car in the snow, whistling again.
Page 1

Same scene as before - the snowy houses. This time a cat stands on the porch, looking out into the snow, on the phone. "Hello, FoodFast -- I'm outside now." New scene: Shelby the Squirrel, a tall, gray squirrel, who is wearing a face mask, speaks: "Thanks for having me over -- it's been a while..." Behind him is a poster of a dog kneeling in the corner of what looks like a barn with the title "BREED" above it - a band's poster. Artie, the chihuahua mix, now with his cap turned backwards, holds a slice of pizza and says "Ain't no thang. With Lala out of town, I needed company, yo." There's a pizza box with good smells wafting in the air, indicated with wavy lines. Shelby sits across from him and says, "Where's home for her." Artie, with a displeased expression, says "Lake Forest. Richy Rich family... She said I can meet 'em later -- I bet they wouldn't approve of ya boy." Shelby, pulling his mask down to take a bite of pizza, says, "Because of your record? Sobriety?" Close-up on Artie, pulling down his turtleneck to reveal a not yet healed tattoo in Old English script that says "From Dope 2 Hope." The 2 is a Roman numeral. Shelby, looking alarmed, speaks through a mouth full of pizza, "Mmph -- it's... very... prominent, Artie." Artie, pleased, says "Lala's mad but I don't see why. I'll just keep adding I's..." Shelby pulls up his turtleneck again, over the tattoo. "Plus, like, La is handling her shit but... I just wish everyone was in some kinda program." Shelby, mask back on, says, "Oh yeah... Me too.... D'you think she has a real problem?" Artie, looking down at his feet, says, "Aww jeez... Her job sitch makes it complicated."
Page 2

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