050_mrmopeA few days ago I was reading the Daily Duncer, a fake newspaper that serves several counties in imagi-nation and I saw an adverse-tisement.  Looks like that slippery scumbag weasel Mister Mope was up to his old tricks again:

Hi suckers.  Need a life?  I got ’em all, only 5 cents, 10 cents or 25 cents for gumball machines.  You get free ghost and everybody will look at them and not you. No junk.  Girlz get speshal offer–25 more cents you get paper.  Tells you what think and say so nobody get wize.  Send money box 99.

Nobody would fall for that, right?  Well Mister Mope is ripping off kids, not adults.  Never trust a gumball machine junkie!  They’ll hook you onto a fake identity for life, all for a piece of cheap bubblegum!  And whatever that ghost does, that’s what people will think is you.

Insidious, because kids love to play pretend.  They want to learn how things work and they want to be liked.  Long after that ghost has stopped being fun, it’s still hanging around showing people sides of you they want to see, not who you really are.

Addictive, because even though it dehumanizes, it is much easier to let a ready-made part do the work for you.  Just say your lines, think everything is puffy clouds, and you won’t even notice when your life starts to resemble a ghost’s.  Ghost gets your life, you slide on by.  Pretty good deal for the ghost, eh?

The ghosts of other people are playing you.  You might have a ghost of your own too.  So back it up, back it up.  Who you with?  The ghost, the real person, the real you?  It’s all pretend, and you can trick that Mister Mope right back.

See, being an untrustworthy fellow, he is remarkably vulnerable himself to trickery.  Once you know you’ve been ripped off, or that people have been ripped off as kids, you can start to look for the ghosts.  Oh!  That person really isn’t my soul mate, they’re just some person who wants to be left alone.  Yeow, am I really that person’s hero?  Don’t they know I burp and fart?

Be yourself.  Deceptively simple wisdom, but like an honor code it calls you to know yourself.

Stop, and watch the ghosts.  What those ghosts got to do with you?  Me, I’ve got some bridgefront property with the most awesome gumball machines, evar.  Just wait until Mister Mope gets the postcard directing him to the alligator farm.