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Roots & Ripov/2
by Albert Russo

Mr.O, Miss T, and Madame V had a great deal to look back to. Ripov secretly envied them, for they, seemed to have a Purpose in life.

Ripov decided that his situation must be reversed, cost what may .... In spite of the fact that he had no relatives, and that his parents had vanished into thin air when he was still in the crib, without leaving so much as a name to their credit. There were worse calamities however, and Ripov set out to tackle the problem at the root, literally.

And so it was that Ripov became the world's first root therapist. His motto read: 'out of the rut, into the root.' The method he devised was baffling in its simplicity. His patients were asked which one of the following three they could associate with: the carrot, the potato, or the radish. They chose the vegetable that most conformed to their body type 93.6 times out of 100. They attended seminars and learned everything there was to know about their own root: its history, its biology, and its habitat. They acquired self-confidence and, at last. a sense of belonging. It worked wonders ... to a degree that the nation was soon divided into two camps, reenacting as it were, the Dreyfus Affair, only this time, the confrontation pitted the RRs - Ripov Rooters (which backbiters called 'Rotten Rooters') - against the ORs - Other, or Original Rooters. Some, dissatisfied with their camp, defected to the other side. (Madame V was a case in point.)

And it's been going on since. Whatever one may think of Ripov's theory, no one complains about being rootless anymore.