– the artist formerly known as Erik Von Rippy

READ: about a play



by Rip Smops

Once upon a time, we lived in a city named Del Lasso. Del Lasso sat on The Big River With The Little Water, across from the neighboring city of Rarrez. The two neighboring cities on The Big River With The Little Water were friendly and got along with each other, for the most part. But in character, they were very different from each other, like night and day.

Del Lasso was a peaceful, law abiding city with plenty of law and order. Wherever you turned, you would find the Lorder Quatrols and their friends at the Bustoms Office, making sure everything was in order. People were very pleasant and nice.

Rarrez, on the other hand, was a wild and woolly city where anything goes. There were thousands of gregarious vendors on the city's streets hawking questionable merchandise at rock-bottom prices, or lower. It was such a wild and woolly city that one day, without warning, the citizens of Rarrez started killing each other! The place went crazy!

Our house in Del Lasso was up on the hill. We would look out our window, over The Big River With The Little Water, and see the bullets flying and the bombs exploding and the people getting killed, over in Rarrez. And we asked ourselves, what's going on over there? Those people are nuts! Why are they doing that?!

Well, here's what we found out. Rarrez had a big problem, and it was called "Bugs". There weren't really that many Bugs, but there were enough. The Bugs wanted the Bug Bugglers to Buggle them across the Big River With the Little Water, and bring them to the many Bug Users on this side of the river. Where Bugs weren't allowed.

Their other problem was "Buns". Buns weren't allowed in Rarrez, but enough of them slipped over from Del Lasso in the Bun trucks. All of the Buns in Rarrez ended up in the hands of the Bugs, who organized themselves into Bug Cartels. The Bug Cartels would get too bugged about not being allowed into Del Lasso, and they would get hot-headed and go on Bun-smothering sprees, and go around smothering other Rarrezians.

And biting them. Getting bitten by a Cartel Bug turns one into a venomous killer. It was murder and mayhem all over Rarrez, mainly because the Bugs weren't allowed to get Buggled to the Bug Users.

This is because long, long ago, in a dark, primitive, superstitious era, the Lovermint decided that Bugs were Evil, and not to be tolerated on this side of The Big River With The Little Water. So they made an ordinance forbidding all Bugs. In their primitive outlook, the Lovermint overlooked the plain fact that, while they may be an evil nuisance, Bugs are Bugs, and they'll go wherever they want and do whatever they want, and no silly human law forbidding them is going to stop them.

So, for years and years, many many Bugs zipped or buzzed or Buggled into Del Lasso and many other places where they weren't allowed, despite the fact that they weren't allowed to be there, or anywhere. Which would have happened anyway.

But the Lovermint got mad that their rule wasn't being obeyed, and they ordered the Bustoms Office and the Lorder Quatrols to work harder to keep the Bugs out. So the Bustoms Officers built their wall and the Lorder Quatrols used their nets to capture all the Bugs trying to Buggle in. And they caught a few big ones, but a lot of the smaller, hard to see Bugs were still creeping in.

The ferocious Rarrez Cartel Bugs were getting bigger and meaner and more Bun-smothering and venomous. And the Bustoms Officers made taller walls and the Lorder Quatrols got bigger nets. And there were still Bugs! Nobody was happy.

At that time in history, all of the Lovermints of the world had followed our example, and not allowed Bugs. And they all had Bugs anyway.

But legend has it, about this time, in a small kingdom across the world in the far-off continent of Byurpup, the king said to the Lovermint, "What would happen if, instead of forbidding the evil Bugs from entering our lovely little kingdom, we welcomed them with open arms, despite their nasty nature? As an experiment."

They counted all the Bugs that were already there but weren't supposed to be, and the king proclaimed an edict welcoming all Bugs to the kingdom of Buglovia. They sat and watched what would happen. Nothing much did. After a year, the king's counters went and counted all the Bugs again. To their dismay, the number of Bugs had actually gotten smaller, even though they were welcome to be there. And they were biting fewer citizens, pestering less, becoming more benign and harmonious. They were still there, still a nuisance, but everyone stopped seeing them as evil, and began to think of the Bugs as just another harmless irritation of everyday life.

The king ordered his wizards to conduct a scientific study to determine the cause of the Bug decrease. What they found was this: Bugs thrive on hostility against them. They are attacted to laws forbidding them, people swatting them, being called an evil threat to the young, etc. And if you ignore them and let them go about their business, they might not go away, but they'll sure bug you less.

Meanwhile, back in Del Lasso, I was speaking with a little girl down the street, and I told her of the Legend of Buglovia. She looked it up on her spyClone, and sure enough, there it was. So she did a school report on Buglovia, and she told her friends about it, and they looked it up on their Spamatron Prindles, and learned that maybe Bugs aren't so evil once you let them be where they need to be. And they all told their parents about it, and the parents, who worked for the Lovermint and Bustoms and Lorder Quatrol, all said "Hmmm. I didn't realize that that's how it worked. Hmmm. That makes sense!"

And the parents got together and had meetings at the Lovermint Bedsnorters, and the Lovermint chiefs took a long hard look at the ancient civic proclamation forbidding Bugs, and they discovered not only that it was based on silly outmoded superstitious fears of a bygone era, but also that the ordinance had expired 26 years earlier and no one had noticed. And they all groaned and exclaimed, "What a silly old misconception we've been clinging to! Aaarrgh!!"

And they struck the law from the books and let the Bugs go free. The Bug Users were set free from the Schnizzons. And there was peaceful rejoicing in Del Lasso, and riotous rejoicing in Rarrez, and the Little Water in the Big River flowed clean and clear again without all that blood tainting it. The Bug Cartels burned their Buns and got honest jobs regulating and licensing certified grade A Bug Bwodducts. Once again, Del Lasso was a buggy, law abiding city, and Rarrez was a peaceful, wild and woolly city, and they were friendly and everyone got along with one another.

And now the Bustoms and the Lorder Quatrols could focus on their main job, catching those wicked, pesky, Sprillegal Snailiens.


Back To Top of Page