Aposiopesis (a-pos-i-o-pee’-sis): Breaking off suddenly in the middle of speaking, usually to portray being overcome with emotion.

It’s Thanksgiving again and I’ve got to spend the day with the gaggle of morons called “my family.” There’s Roger my brother who is the most wicked farter in the United States of America. It’s so bad, the rotten egg smell follows him around like a miasma from the Edgar Allen Poe story: “The Murder of the Bellicose Butt.” Then there’s my sister Annette. At the slightest provocation she cries and pulls her hair and asks God to “kill them all.” The last time it happened was at CVS. She was looking at hair dye and I said in a dazzling pun, “Are you dying for a new color?” She went berserk—sobbing uncontrollably and yelling, “Hair I am. Hairs my life. I might as well commit hairy carry. You should. . .try to . . . God, kill them all.” I put my arm around her and we slowly walked out of CVS.

Are you getting an idea of the joys of Thanksgiving at my house? No? Then how about this:

There’s Aunt Venice. Her name should clue you in to her weirdness. She changed her name from Betty after she saw “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” which is set in Venice. I never understood it, but it is what it is. She thinks it’s funny to ask me about my penis: “How’s hangin?” is her favorite. But she has a repertoire: “Have you been letting you meat loaf, Clayton? You know Clayton, a hard man is good to find. You need to put some lead in your pencil, Clayton. When I frown she asks: “Do you have a boner to pick with me?”

You can imagine! This has been going on since I was seventeen. It was bad enough to be a little confused about my sexuality, but it was worse when Venice came for Thanksgiving from Miami and plied me with her dick sayings, and now she was coming again. I am 25 and I still dread the banter. I just hope she won’t ask me to move to Miami again, like she did last year. I was thinking about asking her about her vagina as a counter to her dick jokes, but I was afraid to and decided it was inappropriate anyway. She’s family (my father’s sister), but she has some serious problems.

There’s more to the story, but enough is enough. You don’t want hear about Mom and Dad and their ongoing kickboxing tournament, or my Grandpa’s tattoos.

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

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