Thaumasmus (thau-mas’-mus): To marvel at something rather than to state it in a matter of fact way.

It was like a big black hubcap with holes in it hovering over my yard. I had never seen anything like it, silently hanging there, looking at me. I gave it the finger and it flew away. Amazing! Too much! Unbelievable!

Later that day I received an email with a photo of me attached, giving the finger. It was blackmail! You see, I’m a Baptist preacher. Giving the finger is out of bounds. I should’ve known. Ever since I called him out in front of the congregation for cutting back on his tithing, Porky Jones has been out to get me. Somebody let the air out of my tires. Somebody smeared dog poop on my front door. Somebody burned “I heart Satan” into my front lawn.

I had to do something—it was out of hand. I decided to contact my buddy Wild Man Piply from my Army days. He had no soul, so there was nothing there to save. But I had saved his butt too many times to remember: pulled out of pistol fights in sprawling Saigon whorehouses. Loaning him endless cash to cover his gambling debts in totally rigged Saigon casinos. Helping him get out of a scrape over a stolen Jeep. If anybody would help me and keep his mouth shut it was Wild Man Piply.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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