Homoioteleuton (ho-mee-o-te-loot’-on): Similarity of endings of adjacent or parallel words.

Life was so different without my wife. We had been together for 33 years. We had just celebrated our anniversary. I had given her an apron with a picture of Benny Hill on it. She loved Benny Hill, and seemed to love the apron. She had recently begun to smoke. It was no joke: she was smoking a pack of Marlboro 27s every day. Even though I had given her a new apron, she started making frozen dinners in the microwave. She knew I hated them. Like a fool, I wrote it all off, as she was trying new things—frozen dinners and cigarettes. “What next?” I thought as I got ready for bed. In the spot where she usually slept by me, there was a coiled up garden hose. I called to her and she yelled back “Shut up, I’m sleeping in the garage.” The door slammed shut. Now, I was worried. The next morning I went down to the garage to talk to her. There was a note scrawled in pencil on a piece of paper on my lawnmower’s seat: “Trouble is double when there are two. Two minds. Two directions. Two lives. After capitulating for 33 years, I have seen the light. His name is Cramwell Stricter. I have joined the Sunshine Mountain Collective where Cramwell is the treasurer-in-chief. Stay out of my life.” Well, that was the end of my wife.

I sat in my big living room chair to think and decide what to do next. I was elated that she left me. The past 20 years had been like living in a drainage ditch with a ill-tempered rat. I decided to go onto a dating site. I chose “Match Catch,” a site for people over 60. Their tag line is “We’ll find you somebody to spend your Social Security check on.” I was ready for that. I got an immediate response from a woman named “Tik-Tok Terry.” She lived in the next town over and wanted to come to my home that evening. I agreed on 8.00 pm. The doorbell rang right on the dot. I opened the door and nearly passed out. There was a woman in her sixties dressed like a cheerleader. She started cheering: “You are home, you’ve no place to roam. I’m at your door to give you more—to tease you and please you with my Tik-Tok dance, and possibly some romance.” I thought I must be hallucinating. I slammed the door and hid in the basement. I could hear her yelling obscenities on the front porch. It quieted down. I went back upstairs and opened the front door a crack. She was still there! She started with her Tik-Tok dance again. That was it! I opened the front door to push her off the porch, but she lunged at me. She had a knife. She slashed the back of my hand and ran away. I called the police and they showed up about a half-hour later. I looked a wreck and they asked me if I wanted to try counseling to deal with the incident. I nodded my head. The police officer gave me a card with contact information. The counselor’s name was Cramwell Stricter. I started to cry, tore up the card and asked the night “Why does life have to be so hard? I need a drink. I need to think.”

After ten minutes of deep thought, I went online and bought a plane ticket to Belize. I was going to get tattoos and run wild in the jungle. Then my doorbell rang. The obscenities started. A shotgun blast blew a six-inch hole in my door. I ran out the back door, jumped in my car and drove to the airport. My flight left at 6:30 the next morning. I would spend the night in the airport. What could go wrong?

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

Selections from The Daily Trope are available as a book under the title of The Book of Tropes.

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