Pareuresis (par-yur-ee’-sis): To put forward a convincing excuse. [Shifting the blame.]

There was a bowling ball in the middle of the road. But that isn’t bad enough—it was on fire and there was screaming child pinned underneath it, clutching a hamster in one hand a water bottle in the other. Fire, trapped child, I yelled “Dump your water on the bowling ball.” Then, I ran toward the child to kick the bowling ball away.

As I ran toward him, I slipped on something and fell on my face. I was knocked unconscious. When I woke up I was in a hospital bed, hooked up to tubes and monitors. I was told the little boy had a 1-in-ten chance of surviving. If only I hadn’t slipped. I asked the Doctor if she knew what I had slipped on. She told me it was my leather-soled shoes.

Damn, what rotten luck. I work in a bowling alley and am required to wear leather-soled shoes. I never had any trouble with them before. I always wore them in the bowling alley and never out on the street, but that afternoon I was in a hurry to get home for my daughter’s 9th birthday party. I had bought her a book “Bowling Rolls.” It was a best-seller among bowling enthusiasts.

I need to make it clear: I had never seen that boy or that bowling ball any time in my life. I tried to help him, but I failed. It was a horrible accident. It was my leather-soled shoes. If I had been wearing my running shoes, that poor little boy would be just fine.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” ( Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

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