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François De Ripove
by Albert Russo

Ripov was tired of the city's anonymity. He would change all that, at least where he was concerned, and decided to play his French card, for Ripov had a perfect grasp of Rousseau's language and felt at home in the Gallic civilization.

He designed himself a 'carte de presse' in which he wrote, using exquisite German print, 'Francois de Ripove, Grand Reporter de la République.' That document gave him free access to New York's most exclusive clubs and societies and soon he received invitations to cocktail parties and galas.

With 'le charme, mon cher,' America lunged at his feet. François used it with great discernment. Yet, not everything went off as smoothly as he would have wished.

Husbands and lovers were getting sick with jealousy. Some of these insisted that he give them sex therapy sessions and things became somewhat touchy.

Very quickly he was swamped with orders and had to deliver the goods. The Gay libbers demanded his collaboration, bestowing upon him the title of 'Maître du Gai Savoir-Faire.'

Soon all this was literally getting out of hand. Even the political parties called on Ripov to redefine their campaign slogans. (A Herculean task!) The advertisers grabbed him, often without his knowledge, to sell their products: in one television commercial, Ripov appears asleep, arms outstretched, while on the other half or the screen a blonde, beautiful girl in a luxurious lace-trimmed dressing gown, slowly wakes. “Ah,” she sighs, “it's you, my darling, my François.”

Ripov's devastating popularity ended by creating a national turmoil: the country was on the brink of civil war, but this time the French would step out of the game. And step out Ripov did. Forgetting that he ever had a notion of French, or English, or any human language, Ripov flew, incognito, to Australia, and joined a pack of kangaroos.