Diaskeue (di-as-keu’-ee): Graphic peristasis (description of circumstances) intended to arouse the emotions.

It was 96 Fahrenheit. I was standing in front of the airport terminal in Manila, waiting for a bus. I had just arrived from northern New York where it was the middle of winter and 15 Fahrenheit when I left. I should’ve been wearing shorts and a T-shirt, but I was wearing a suit and a heavy woolen overcoat. I had one suitcase, a carry-on bag, and a briefcase with nothing in it. I took off my overcoat and laid it on top of my luggage.

A raggedy-looking teenage boy ran by and grabbed my coat and briefcase. I needed to cut a low profile, so I kept my mouth shut and watched my stuff disappear down the sidewalk. That’s when I realized, when I paid for my entry visa, I had put my wallet into my coat pocket—my credit cards, my cash, my passport. My cellphone was in my other coat pocket. This was truly bad. Thank God I had my bus ticket.

The bus arrived at my stop near my hotel after over an hour of stop and go through Manila’s jammed traffic. I walked into the lobby and up to the main desk. I told the guy behind the desk my name. He asked to see my passport. I knew a saga was brewing. I thought for a minute and did what the situation called for. I took off my suit coat, rolled up my sleeve, and showed the deskman the tattoo on my left forearm. Given how the plane and hotel reservations were made, and paid for, I figured he might be part of the story, recognize the tattoo, and give me a break. He did more than give me a break. He put me in the Presidential Suite. He must’ve known why I was there. I called my contact and he told me his crew had already caught “the little miscreant” who had stolen my coat and briefcase and that he had been properly disciplined. I was not surprised—the people I work with have networks as deep as the Mariana Trench.

I had the maps, the photographs, and specifications in my suitcase. It was time to go to work.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

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