Daily Archives: January 28, 2022


Systrophe (si’-stro-fee): The listing of many qualities or descriptions of someone or something, without providing an explicit definition.

Lush. Warm. Another day, like nearly every day. Hopeful. Optimistic. Smiling. Driving to work. Bobbing through traffic. Here we are! “National Figments.” I’ve been working here for 51 years! I started when I was 11 with a fake I.D. my Uncle “Bingo” gave me as a gift when I dropped out of school in the 5th grade. I’ve won employee of the month 140 times. I’ve lost track of the different kinds of items I’ve helped make on the assembly line, but my favorites are made under contract to the U.S. Government. I’ve worked on useful things. Under the Trump administration we made sturdy and escape proof child-size cages, tasers disguised as cellphones, and “Fake News” generators. Under Bush, we made a line of one million ceramic cups that said “Mission Accomplished.” I think the best thing we made (and it was for Trump) was the “Sloganator.” It generates slogans that can be repeated until they sound like common sense. I was real proud of “Stop the Steal” and “Lock her up.” The craziest thing I ever helped to make was the Puppettron. I’m not sure how it works, but I do know it is some kind of implant that makes a person say whatever the controller wants them to say, and once they’ve said it, they believe it no matter how crazy or untrue it is. It is rumored that most Republican Representatives and Senators, ultra right wingers, and their news outlets have been fitted with Puppettrons. We’re all wondering who is doing the talking. The Puppettron’s sponsor was deeply concealed, but it seems to be used to advanced Republican interests. It’s easy to see as far as they consistently make bizarre claims and tell lies with conviction about things that are transparently untrue. Right now we’re working on the Democratorater, a device that jams the Puppettron’s encrypted signal and restores peoples’ freedom of speech and thought. This is typical of government work: make it and then break it.

I’m retiring next week. My boss told me I’ve been here too long and know too much. As he said that, he hit the palm of his hand with his fist. I told him I’d be gone by Friday. He said “good” and turned and walked away. As he walked away, I noticed he had a small incision on the back of his neck that had recently scabbed over.

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

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