Adynaton (a-dyn’-a-ton): A declaration of impossibility, usually in terms of an exaggerated comparison. Sometimes, the expression of the impossibility of expression.

Dear Diary 9/1/22:

I was walking in the woods adjacent to my house. I went for a walk on the trails every day. I was getting old and thought I needed exercise to add a few years to my life. It was early September and I had wandered off the trail looking for mushrooms—usually oyster mushrooms because they were easy to identify. Suddenly I heard a tiny muffled voice. It sounded like it was coming out of the ground—it was a woman’s voice crying “Help me! Help me! Please!” I looked around and there was a beautifully colored ceramic urn laying underneath a small rotting tree that had fallen down years ago. The little voice was coming from the urn! I was astonished and frightened, but I lifted the tree and kicked the urn out from under it. “Unscrew the lid” the voice said. I did. Out crawled a woman about six inches tall. She had midnight black hair, gentle brown eyes, an open smile, wore a red silk dress, and had the kind of body I lusted after when I was in high school. I didn’t care if she was the size of a Barbie Doll. She was beautiful. My fear melted away and I yelled “This can’t be! Holy shit, I’ve won the lotto—this is like flying to the moon in a Cadillac! Marry me!” She touched my big toe sticking out of my sandal. I started to shrink and she started to grow. When I stopped shrinking, she grabbed me by my shirt collar and shoved me in the urn, and quickly screwed on the lid. I was terror stricken. I begged her to let me out. She said, “As long as you are sealed in The Magic Urn you will not age, you will not need to relieve yourself, you will not need food and water, and you will not need air. When liberated you will remain whole.” She said her name was Anya and that her husband Rudra had fallen in love with an imp from South Jersey named Boopsie, and Boopsie had cast the “Shrinker Spell” on Anya so Boopsie and Rudra could run off together. “I must find them and reverse the spell.” I could hear the leaves rustle as she hurried away.

I was totally dejected until I remembered my cellphone and wondered if it’s shrunken version would work. I called my daughter Madeleine who was visiting for a week from her job in NYC. Her mother had left us a few years earlier and Madeleine had developed the grit to handle anything. The phone connected! I told her to use the find my phone app and she would find me in a ceramic urn in the woods by our house. She was skeptical, but soon I heard her feet swishing through the leaves. She picked up the urn, unscrewed it’s lid, and looked inside. I told her not to touch me, and to put down the jar. Madeleine took it all in stride.

As soon as my tiny feet hit the ground there was a bright flash of red light and the smell of cedar shavings all around us. It was Anya! She touched my forehead and I started to grow, and she didn’t shrink! She put a surgical glove on her hand and opened the mesh bag she was carrying and pulled out a little flailing man, shoved him into the urn, and screwed on the lid. “Meet Rudra,” she said “I found him and Boopsie in a small suburban town in New Jersey. I forced Boopsie to shrink him by threatening to hit her in the face with a cricket bat. As soon as she shrunk my husband, I made her disappear forever with this Thai vanishing monkey dust I bought in Newark.” I was impressed and in love. Anya and I have been living together for 6 years. We keep her husband in a linen closet in our home’s media room. We enjoy listening to him whine and beg in his sealed urn each night before Anya and I watch “Murdoch Mysteries” and eat dinner.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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