Assonance (ass’-o-nance): Repetition of similar vowel sounds, preceded and followed by different consonants, in the stressed syllables of adjacent words.

Standing all along the bakery windows in colorful rows were the famous “Sons of Buns.” They were bite size jelly donuts with glazed frosting in different pastel colors. I bought a half-dozen of blues and reds every Friday night so we could have them for breakfast on Saturday. This had been going on for fifteen years of marriage and two daughters.

As I dove into my donut, I felt a piece of paper between my teeth. I thought, what is this, a fortune donut? My family huddled around as I pulled the strip of paper out of my mouth. It had writing on it, but it was in Thai or Lao—I knew from my ‘activities’ in SE Asia during the war.

I couldn’t read either language, and called the donut shop. They didn’t know what I was talking about and I believed them. I was about to throw the slip of paper away when my daughter Katy reminded me that we had a neighbor from Laos who could probably read both Thai and Lao.

We knocked on our neighbor Phayvan’s door and she answered right away. I told her about the slip of paper and she asked to see it. As she read it, she inhaled sharply. “Uh oh” I thought. “What does it say?” I asked. Phayvan gave me a wild-eyed look, crushed the slip of paper, swallowed it, and slammed the door.

I was dumbfounded. My curiosity was peaking. My frustration was exploding. But really, there was nothing I could do. The next day a “For Sale” sign went up in front of Phayvan’s home. I saw her pull into her driveway in a brand new Maserati. That afternoon, in my mailbox, I found a $500,000 cashier’s check made out to me! The car, the house, the check: it had to be the donut note!

Phayvan had disappeared, but I didn’t care. I was happy with the money. I invested it in Bitcoins and doubled it in six short months. Things couldn’t have been better, but they could’ve been worse, as five years later I found out when I was charged, tried, and convicted of Phayvan’s murder. They found her in my back yard wrapped in decaying paper with Lao writing all over it. The police had it translated: “A tray full of money is not worth a mind full of knowledge.”

I guess this is some kind of lesson I’m supposed to learn. What a crock of shit.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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