Proverb: One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings. Others include adage, apothegm, gnome, maxim, paroemia, and sententia.

A. “If a man can jump through the eye of a camel, he’s very, very small.” I learned that saying from my grandmother, but you could jump through the eye of a bumblebee you slow-moving, small-time excuse for an appliance repairman. My dishwasher has been hemorrhaging for two days. You keep saying the part will be in soon. What’s your idea of soon, never?

B. Madam, please forgive the tardiness of the part. It is coming all the way from China where there is social unrest and a marginal postal system. It can take up to six months for an order to arrive. Also, I know I was not blessed with a tall stature, but you don’t have to call it to my attention with your obscure proverb. I may be small in height, but my heart and one of my appendages are quite large. I had rheumatic fever as a child and it left me with an enlarged heart. My pinkie is one-inch longer than my ring finger. You can see, I am not all small.

A. Wait, wait! Did you say six months? I can go to Home Depot and get the part today. What is wrong with you? How do you stay in business?

B. Stay in business? I’m going to hit you over the head with this pre-cut two-foot half-inch pipe and burglarize your home. I don’t think I have the strength to kill you—I am such a little man. Get over there by the refrigerator. Now, get ready.

C. A chorus of voices: Happy Birthday Marjorie! Music begins. Appliance repairman starts to dance swinging his tool belt over his head. Marjorie is standing by the refrigerator crying. What a mess.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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