Oxymoron (ox-y-mo’-ron): Placing two ordinarily opposing terms adjacent to one another. A compressed paradox.

The car parked in the impoundment lot was almost new and very very expensive. It’s not every day we get a Rolls Royce. The interior is made of wood and leather, like it was made by a carving beaver who liked lounging on leather at the end of the workday. The chances anybody would retrieve it grew tinier every day. Who in our big nothing of a town could possibly own, let alone bail out, one of the most expensive luxury cars in the world?

Then I saw Mr. Parker, our high school principal, coming up the street. He was carrying a small suitcase and he was wearing one of those Groucho Marx mustache, glasses, and nose disguises. I was suspicious. When I saw him drive the Rolls off the impound lot, I convicted him in my head of some kind of criminal activity.

I went to the lot and the owner Mr. Rim had some pretty steep stacks of 100-dollar bills on his desk. “Don’t you worry about Mr. Parker,” Mr. Rim said, “He won the Rolls in a raffle and had a little trouble paying the taxes.”

I was relieved. I knew Mr. Parker was a good guy. What happened to him was an unfortunate accident. He got locked in the trunk and starved to death. It was surprisingly predictable—the Rolls is built like a tank and has no latch inside the trunk. The one thing I don’t understand, though, is why none of his colleagues came looking for him.

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

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