Cataphasis (kat-af’-a-sis): A kind of paralipsis in which one explicitly affirms the negative qualities that one then passes over.
A: You are a cloud hovering over an otherwise wonderful day—stuck in front of the sun and dimming the landscape with your darkening presence. But today, I don’t want to revisit your brooding bullshit. I want to talk about your “announcement” and ask how you think you got pregnant?
B: Honestly, I don’t know. I forgot to take my birth control pills for a couple of months. But it was only a couple of months, they shouldn’t wear off that fast. Anyway, I wanted a baby. We’ve been married five years and have nothing to show for it.
A: Don’t you think we should’ve discussed this, especially since we haven’t been trying to get pregnant? We haven’t had sex for a year. So, the big question is: Who’s the baby’s father?
B: Scooter Boone.
A: OH MY GOD! The developmentally delayed towel boy at The Confederate Car Wash! He’s the stupidest person in Mississippi, and that’s saying something. Did he rape you?
B: No. We did it in the car going through the car wash. I am very truly sorry. I don’t want our marriage to end. I love you.
A: I have my doubts, but I think we can see this through. As you know, abortion’s illegal here in Mississippi and we can’t afford to drive you to hell and back to get you one in some other state. I guess you’ll have to have Scooter’s baby. I just hope the baby’s nothing like Scooter, especially in looks. Scooter has a nose like a vulture beak—unmistakeable. What the hell will we do if the baby’s born with Scooter’s beak?
B: I don’t know. Can’t we please go to Illinois so I can get an abortion?
A: I don’t know. I work overtime all the time at the feed mill, and we still barely have enough to pay the rent and eat. How about this: Ask Scooter to drive you to Illinois—he’s the father, he should take responsibility.
B: Ok, I’ll give it a try.
Postscript: Scooter and Marla took off for Illinois to get the abortion. Marla got the abortion and she and Scooter settled in Chicago where Scooter found employment at the Abraham Lincoln Car Wash, specializing in luxury cars, and making tons of money in tips. Marla had her dream come true: eat deep dish pizza twice a week and send poison pen letters once a month to her husband Wayne, who had a nervous breakdown and lost his job at the grain mill. He took Scooter’s old job at the car wash, but he can’t get any women to do what his wife did with Scooter. He’s thinking of driving to Illinois and killing Marla for what she did. Now that he’s single, he can afford the drive and she stupidly puts her return address on her letter’s. Wayne feels fortunate that Mississippi has such liberal gun laws! The two Glocks and ammunition he bought set him back a bundle, so he’s got to save up while he waits and decides whether to kill Marla, and Scooter too.
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)
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