So today we talk about one of Will’s best friends in the world - Rupert.
Rupert was Will’s pet rabbit. A rabbit that made the trip from Maine to Florida with Will multiple times. A rabbit that survived being stuck with Will, and only Will, for most of his life.
So we will start with the day I met Rupert. My friend Phil was visiting for the week shortly after I got my first taste of vacation time while working in Winter Haven Florida. It was a little over a year after graduating college, and it was a fun time.
So Will calls us and informs us he will be passing through the Orlando area on his way back to Maine for the summer. He asks if we want to meet up. We jump on that chance, it had literally been three years since I had seen Will and probably a year at least since I had spoken to him.
So we plan to meet up at Downtown Disney (now Disney Springs because fuck you Disney for changing EVERYTHING) around lunchtime. Phil and I get there early and get some food. After about an hour, we see Will walk by and we jump up and immediately bear hug him.
He has some important words for us.
“Guys, I gotta get some water before we do anything. I have a little friend in the car.”
We nearly shit our pants in excitement. We are DEARLY hoping he means he has a child. We want this to be a child sooooooo badly.
So he walks over to a water fountain, and pulls a little pet water bowl out of his pocket. We now really hope this is for a human kid. After filling the bowl he starts walking toward us again. It took all of our combined effort not to flip the water back onto Will’s chest. He thanks us for not doing that.
We get to his car, and on the passenger seat is a cage with a white rabbit in it. Just sitting in the car alone. No food or water. Did I mention Will is a terrible pet owner?
So he introduces us to Rupert, named after the actor who played Ron Weasley, and we pet the adorable bunny. He then says he wants to hit Universal Orlando because he has never been. We tell him we can’t afford it right now. He says he’ll meet us at my apartment later that night then.
So we head our separate ways. Will goes to Universal and pays full price for what we figured out was literally three hours of amusement park time. The entire time he was in the park, Rupert was sitting in Will’s car.
“What? I put a blanket over his cage to keep him from getting too much sun.”
But alas, Florida summer heat was not enough to disparage our good Rupert. He was lively as ever as Will made his way down I-4 to get to my apartment for the evening.
Phil and I ended up driving out to somewhere in town to show him the way back. He wanted to get dinner though, so we had him go through a Wendy’s drivethru on the way back. We get to my apartment and he says he needs help with Rupert real quick.
So we go to his car and he takes Rupert out of the cage and sets him on the seat. He then asks where he can dump the cage because it smells and needs new bedding. I tell him at the front of the complex is a dumpster. He decides it is too far away and heads to the grassy area near his car and dumps it out.
While this is going on, we watch Rupert eat like half of a Wendy’s chicken sandwich that was left on the seat next to him. We immediately love Rupert more than Will.
Will returns and asks what happened to his sandwich. We tell him Rupert ate it. He looks at Rupert and just shrugs.
So long, boring end of this story short. Will brought Rupert in to the place, we played some games, and then at like 3 a.m. while the rest of us were sleeping Will got up and loudly grabbed Rupert and left the house to continue driving up to Maine. He ended up spending the rest of the night sleeping in his car in a hotel parking lot in Jacksonville.
Miraculously Rupert lived for a good few years after this event.
Next week the story will be a little sadder, as we will find out what happened to Rupert once they got back to Maine.
And here is my helpful PSA to be kind to all bunnies. They are cute and need our love and attention. Never feed them chicken sandwiches!
So the next time you see our resident rabbit (Z the fluffy bunny) make sure you treat her well. Don’t leave her in a hot car while you go to Universal!
If you missed a week, I’ve got you covered.