|Semantics & Ripov|
Issue #18 (February 1983)
When Ripov was a little boy he cherished the idea that one day he would be a day-plough-matt in order to help the poor of this world. His parents, who owned a tiny farm in the Middle West and couldn't afford outside help, were overjoyed at their son's prospect. With tears in her eyes and grit under her nails, Ma Ripov said, "He's so per-conscious that kid of ours. We were right to send him to school. Our son, a day-plough-matt! Do you hear, Pa?" Not a talkative man, Pa Ripov nodded as he gulped down his bowl of lentil soup.
[quoteright]"He's gonna be ploughin' big," Ma Ripov went on, "and pull us out of this sad plot. I can just feel it, Pa. It's my feline inhibition. Only mothers have it, you know."
Pa Ripov gave a grunt, for he resented his wife's insistant felinism. He deemed it natural that women cackle endlessly, but not when they started threatening the stable'n radish order. Television was the major cul-de-pritt, with all those city dames parading in the streets and calling their own husbands male-shooting-pigs and other such bleating names. Yet he too had a lot of faith in little Ripov and didn't mind making so many strata-vices. He knew they would pay off and that later he would be re-corded. Not-sit-or-standing his wife's claims, Pa Ripov believed Man-nerism was a much older and truss-worthy tr-addition than all the arrow-guns of the felinists. Pa Ripov was a God-furring, lore-bidding human being.
The day Ma Ripov told him that God may very well be a God-Ass after all, Pa Ripov got so angry he knocked out the poor nanny-goat which was peacefully grazing between the two of them.
"Take back what you've just said," Pa Ripov growled. "There's no God-Ass. The Lord has never been a trans-vestal. Trans-vestals are creations of Satana. This is udder blah-sphony."
Though Ma Ripov repented, in her heart of artichokes she remained convinced God-Ass was indeed the ruleress of the You-Me-Verse. In spite of their differences Ma and Pa Ripov were a happy-toiling couple, mainly thanks to their son, who promised to be America's most distinking day-plough-matt.
Having graduated from university with straight A's, young Ripov announced, "Ma, Pa, the State Department is sending me to Moscow in the Soviet Union. Isn't it great for a first assignment?"
His parents stood dumb and founded. After the initial shock, mustarding her courage, Ma Ripov said, "Why must you go and plough so far away? Isn't there plenty of place in this here country of ours? You could have tried your luck in Oklahoma or even Texas. I'm sure J.R. in Dallas would've been happy to hire you with all your quality factions. You really shouldn't work for the Russians. They don't believe in either God or ... God-Ass." The word had escaped her. But Pa Ripov was too dumb and lost to speak.Eventually the young diplomat brought his parents to reason. The misunderstanding had lasted almost two decades.
Nations of the world, let this be a lesson: whatever your motives, there is always a glitter of hope. It is often only a question of seem-antics.
A bilingual author and amateur photographer - English and French are his two "mother tongues", raised in Central and Southern Africa, Albert Russo is the recipient of many awards, such as The American Society of Writers Fiction Award, The British Diversity Short Story Award, several New York Poetry Forum Awards, and the Prix Colette, among others. Praised by James Baldwin, Pierre Emmanuel, Paul Willems and Edmund White, among others, his work has been translated in a dozen languages. His award-winning African novels and his hilarious Zapinette series have appeared on both sides of the Atlantic. He is a member of the jury for the Prix Européen (with Ionesco until his death) and sat on the panel of the prestigious Neustadt Prize for Literature, which often leads to the Nobel Prize. He has published more than 20 photo books with Xlibris and many of his photos have been shown at the prestigious Musée de la Photographie de l'Elysée, in Lausanne, Switzerland.