With one quick look at the cover of Kaspar Totmann’s “The Wypipo”, you should have a good guess on what what the hell this book is about. But before we jump into this absurdist horror/sci-fi novella*, let’s figure out what we’re talking about. If you’re old and white, or maybe just white, you may not know of the term “wypipo”, so let’s go to Urban Dictionary for some help. The current top definition is “Twitter slang or dialect that when[sic] read aloud sounds like white people which is its actual meaning”. You pronounce it like wī-pē-pō. Here are some examples of wypipo in use.
“The Wypipo” opens with a young black female police officer getting a radio call to investigate an attempt burglary in the Hidden Oaks neighborhood, a section of town that sounds so white, you know the white people drink mayonnaise daiquiris there. When Officer Reeves makes it to the neighborhood she finds a person of color, who has been labeled as a criminal by “a shouting woman in wraparound sunglasses.”
Yes, if you had any concerns, “The Wypipo” is going to go there and we’re along for a wild ride of white privilege and idiocy. Reeves talks to the “burglar”, John Moore, a young black man who is a realtor. Reeves tries to diffuse the situation, but Mavis Pinkman, the woman in the wraparound sunglasses goes more than ballistic and, if you can believe it, more white. I’ll leave it at that and say that “The Wypipo” takes off from there.
It’s no secret Kaspar Totmann is really Ed Kurtz, author of “The Rib From Which I Remake the World”, “At The Mercy of Beasts”, and the newly released, “Sawbones”. Kurtz has had his short stories included in many anthologies, one of which isthe 2014 edition of “The Best American Mystery Stories”. What I’m trying to say is this guy Kurtz (or Totmann) can write, so this crazy novella about a glitch in the matrix with white perpetually going crazy is a sadly fun read. Well worth the buck and you can read it while you drink a beer or two. Kurtz has been hinting that there is a sequel of “The Wypipo” not so far out on the horizon. Hot diggidy dog.
* This novella is 88 pages and everyone knows 88 is a symbol of American Nazis. Coincidence? I think not.
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