Daily Archives: August 9, 2022

Anthimeria

Anthimeria (an-thi-mer’-i-a): Substitution of one part of speech for another (such as a noun used as a verb).


He was a human “Ho-Ho.” I can’t explain it, but every time I saw Milt I started to laugh. Maybe my laughter came from basic meanness or some kind of incongruity between Milt and the way we’re supposed to look, and the way he looked. Milt must’ve dressed in the dark every morning. One day he showed up at work wearing one black polartec slipper and one patent leather dress shoe, red sweat pants, plaid flannel shirt, a blue necktie with a picture of a smiling Jesus on it, and a hat advertising baked beans. Standing there with his Tiger Wood coffee mug, he gave me a big smile and said “Hi Jim.” I tried to return the greeting, but I started uncontrollably sucking in air and my nose started snoffelling and my throat contracted, then, bam, out came a chuckle that turned into a guffaw, that turned into a roaring belly laugh. After it all subsided, I apologized to Milt and started to walk away. “Wait a minute,” he said. He told me he suffered from sartorial dyslexia (SD): an inability to dress right due to a genetically-based chemical imbalance in the part of the brain that processes wardrobe choices. He told me he inherited it, and that family gatherings were like fashion shows without fashion—everything from bathing suits with sports coats, to total nudity with one black Blundstone, and an Apple Watch. I was totally taken by surprise that Milt had a disease that prompted his bizarre clothing choices. I asked him if there was some kind of foundation I could donate to that helps people suffering from SD. He told me the most help I could give was to “Walk in my shoe for a day.”

So, the next morning I dressed in the dark—putting on whatever came to hand, whenever it came to hand. I ended up leaving the house with a Beatle boot on one foot and a penny loafer on the other, blue compression pants, a hunter orange polartec vest, and a navy-blue necktie with ducks on it (neckties were required at work). When I stepped out my door I instantly noticed that people were staring at me, some were laughing and pointing, same were yelling mean taunts—“Where’d you get dressed? In a blender?” That was the rudest. I didn’t even get to the subway before turning around and running with a shoe-induced limp back to my apartment. When I got there, I tore off my clothes and took a shower. I felt so bad for Milt.

I moved in with him and became his “dresser.” I would properly dress him every morning before we went to work. I even went to one of his family gatherings. It was a combination of a mescaline-induced Mardi Gras and a Hieronymus Bosch painting. I loved it! Anyway, we fell in love and got married. Every once-in-awhile, I get dressed in the dark and we drink beer, and we dance around the apartment and laugh.


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

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