Paraprosdokian: A figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase [or series = anticlimax] is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe the first part. . . . For this reason, it is extremely popular among comedians and satirists. An especially clever paraprosdokian not only changes the meaning of an early phrase, but also plays on the double meaning of a particular word.(1)
I had a double at the bar, and later, all night at my place with the two women I met there. This town is so wild, it helps if you know a zookeeper. Every time I go out in this town, I am not looking for trouble—well, not that kind of trouble. I just want to go for a walk, but I go off the deep end every time. I want a friend with benefits—I want to use her credit card. I want to go on a trip and get away from here, but gas is 5.00 per gallon, and that’s more than the wine I drink. Maybe I should take a train. I’ll be on track. Maybe I’ll go visit my sister. The food is good, but her children aren’t. They stay up late and make a lot of noise—they’re like a couple of coyotes. Maybe I’ll fly somewhere far away and warm. I know! Panama. No, I don’t like that—it sounds like enema—how good could that be? Maybe I should just stay home and watch TV with my cat, Jack. It’s like there’s nobody there.
1. “Paraprosdokian.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 4 Jan 2008, 03:30 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 9 Jan 2008 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraprosdokian>.
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