Ennoia (en-no’-i-a): A kind of purposeful holding back of information that nevertheless hints at what is meant. A kind of circuitous speaking.

Once upon a time there was a man who had married young. He had gotten married when he was twenty. Now, he and his wife are seventy. This man often dreamed of breaking free and finding a younger woman to spend his life with: maybe somebody fifty or sixty. At some point, he decided that being bored is not a good reason to terminate a marriage. If he could cheat on his wife with luscious younger ladies flush with their Social Security checks, he thought all of his marital concerns could be solved: sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll were the remedy. Viagra, pot, and Pink Floyd would set him free.

He caught crabs from the first woman he had sex with outside of marriage. Those little crawly insects picnicking on his crotch made him itch and made him wonder—made him wonder if he was actually moving backward. The last time he had caught crabs he was in the Army in Vietnam. He caught the crabs from a whore who primarily serviced ARVN (Vietnamese) soldiers. Just like now, he was given a little can of DDT to sprinkle on what he called his “crotch crickets.” But, as he sat there feeling them crawl around on his scrotum, giving him little itchy pin-prick nips, he came to a conclusion. Cheating on his wife was bad—bad for him and bad for her. He had crabs and she had been betrayed and she didn’t know it. Right then and there he vowed to clean up his act. No more running around. No more looking for women on “SpicyGrandmas.com.” No more bar-hopping. No more being stupid. It had taken a lot to get to this conclusion. That’s why he was super annoyed when he found out his wife had taken up square dancing.

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

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