Apagoresis (a-pa-gor’-e-sis): A statement designed to inhibit someone from doing something. Often uses exaggeration [or hyperbole] to persuade. It may combine an exaggeration with a cause/effect or antecedent/consequence relationship. The consequences or effects of such a phrase are usually exaggerated to be more convincing.

Once there was a boy who shot dice every day. Every time he won, he would gratefully kiss the dice. Once there was an old lady who lived alone with her cat Rambo. She would shake his treat bag and clap her hands to call him. When he came home, she would pick Rambo up and gave him a kiss. There was a guy who was addicted to golf. He dressed like a lunatic in green riding pants, and a blue and orange and black golf shirt, and a pink hat. He cheated at golf, but he was the boss and nobody said anything. Whenever he sunk a putt he kissed the golf ball as if it were his lover, wrapping his tongue around it and quietly, and briefly, moaning. Then there was the woman who always kissed the egg before she cracked it and made scrambled eggs for her husband’s Saturday breakfast. And, there was a girl who still played Barbie at the age of 22. After Barbie defeated her in the living room ballerina contest, she was getting back at Barbie by giving Ken long lingering kisses, all over. Although Ken’s pubic area was only a flesh-colored triangular blank space, she pretended it wasn’t. She propped Barbie up in a position where she had to watch her slobber all over Ken’s flat pink plain of asexuality.

In the end, what happened to these kissing crazies? Every one of them had to have their lips amputated and then replaced by dead peoples’ lips—refrigerated since being surgically removed from their hosts. Lip loss is not as uncommon as we think, but in every case it is transmitted by kissing inanimate objects or animals. If you don’t want to lose your lips, kiss only people, and only on the lips.

Definitions courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

Paperback and Kindle editions of The Daily Trope are available on Kindle under the title The Book of Tropes.

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