Thaumasmus


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


I wanted new footwear—shoes, boots, flip flops, trainers—I didn’t care. I just wanted something new for my feet. My friend told me about an internet-based shoe store called “Atlas Sole Man.” Eddie said you could put in any search terms and you’d get a footwear surprise. I thought Eddie was full of crap. I asked how he found out about it and he said, “Family secret.” I thought to myself that it was odd—usually, ‘family secret’ is reserved for a special recipe or an illegitimate child being raised by the mother’s mother—the grandmother.

So, I booted up my laptop, logged onto the internet and Googled Atlas Sole Man. Nothing came up. I texted Eddie: “You’re full of shit. Soul man does not exist.” Eddie texted me back: “Sorry. Try ‘Sole Mann.’ Atlas uses two n’s on the internet. I Googled again and found the site. The opening page was a red slide. The slide said, “If you were sent by Eddie, click here. If Eddie did not send you, do not enter or your computer will be destroyed by the most virulent malware in your universe.

I was filled with wonder—all for some new footwear! Well, there I was. Just to see what I’d get I put “Pizza” in the search box. Immediately a digital voice said “Place your bare feet on your computer screen within the next 20 seconds.” I had to hurry. I pulled off my shoes and socks put my bare feet on the screen as instructed. When I pulled my feet back, I was wearing the coolest looking pepperoni and onion pizza sandals. They were made of Vibram. The topping faced the ground and worked as treads. The smooth side of the pizza was flat against the bottom of my foot. It was amazing. In fact, it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen in my life!

When I tried to go back on the site, it had disappeared. I asked Eddie what it was all about. He said, “It’s a family secret. Have you ever heard the tale of the elves and the shoemaker? My ancestors came from Germany and we’ve been working with magical elves for centuries, ever since my great-great-great-great grandfather, a shoemaker, saved some elves’ lives by making them warm clothes in the bitter winter.”

I believed every word Eddie said, but nobody else did. As soon as I told Eddie’s story to somebody else, my pizza shoes disappeared. People mocked me and Eddie said I was a liar.


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

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