Acrostic: When the first letters of successive lines are arranged either in alphabetical order (= abecedarian) or in such a way as to spell a word.





This is an angry acrostic. I am so mad. I am paying $5.00 per gallon for gas and I have to blame somebody. There are so many conspiracy theories floating around on my social media sites, it was hard to believe which one to choose. The most believable, “Your Worst Nightmare Revealed!” puts the Saudis in cahoots with oil swilling sentient space microbes from a planet we can’t even see, and who’re willing to pay $1,000 per barrel for crude oil. How pernicious! The Saudis are diverting the world’s supply of oil to the space microbes, driving up the price of all petroleum-based products. The space microbes’s planet is rumored to littered with unlimited amounts of gold, diamonds, and Medjool dates—a triple whammy for the Saudis. Almost hypnotic, and surely irresistible! The ultimate plan is world conquest. Once everything’s gone totally to hell, the space microbes will blow around the world, dispersing to every corner, enslaving everybody but the Saudis, who will act as their enforcers, pushing around the world’s population by threatening to “pull the plug” without specifying what that means. “Your Worst Nightmare Revealed!” says “It’s a fact that the space microbes have ‘Dinosaur Guns’ that turn people into puddles of crude oil that they consume by a process of osmosis. They don’t have to do this. For them, shooting people with their “Dinosaur Gun” is a sport like deer hunting.” That did it!

I can remember when gasoline was 19 cents per gallon. It was full of good smelling lead and was a beautiful golden-brown color. I used to sit in the back seat of the family car and watch the colored balls being agitated by the gas flowing through a glass dome on the side of the pump. The attendant would clean the windshield no matter what, and he wore a military-style uniform, including a shiny black plastic bow tie. If you said “gimme’ the works,” the attendant would check your tires’ air pressure, battery water, radiator, and oil. We didn’t have windshield washers on our car, or he would’ve checked their fluid level too. Now the whole fueling process is DYI, except in states where attendants are mandated to pump the gas for “safety” reasons. What a crock! They inevitably squeeze in a few more drops after the pump nozzle has done it’s auto shut-off, even though it says on the gas filler door “DO NOT TOP OFF.”

Now, with the end in sight, I bought an electric car. I don’t want to end my life as a puddle of crude oil in my front yard or living room. In fact, I’ve heard that the space microbes are getting into the electric car business so there will be more crude oil for them. This may be true. The person who sold me my Faraday, was weird. The Faraday was state of the art—a 6,000 mile range, numerous safety features, and an inward-facing dash cam monitoring me, with no off-on switch. I asked the salesperson Thad what was up with that. He told me it would record my “Driving Diary” or DD, to make sure I honored the Faraday creed. I had no idea what the creed was, but at that point I didn’t care. When I finally read it, I was kind of shocked, but it didn’t seem so bad. It’s reference to being “courteous to your overlords no matter where you drive or park” was the most off-putting provision, but I didn’t question it. I just wanted to drive.

Thad said, “Take the wheel, my carbon-based underling, and go where you will.” That was weird, but I got in my car and took off. I muttered “What a bunch of assholes” and my Faraday shut down. Thad came out of the air conditioning duct as a sparkling multi-colored mist and reconstituted in the seat next to me. He said, “You have violated a provision of the Faraday creed. ‘Assholes’ is not courteous. This is strike one. You have three strikes. On strike three, I will take control of your Faraday and drive it into a bridge abutment at 120 MPH with you in the back seat with your seatbelt unbuckled.” My first thought was “Where the hell did this guy find out about baseball?” He was obviously a space microbe. I had a precautionary bottle of crude oil in an old screw cap wine bottle in my backpack. I handed it to Thad and said “Let’s let bygones be bygones.” He smiled and he guzzled it down, pressing the bottle to his forehead. He immediately fell asleep. According to “Your Worst Nightmare Revealed!,” space microbes passed out and lost their memories of the past day when they consumed crude oil. I covered my DD’s lens and microphone with a tab of duct tape and shoved Thad out the car door, backed up, and drove over him a few times. He lay there on his back with a smile on his face, hopefully dead, and I took off. The next day, he came to my house and asked me how I liked my Faraday so far. He also informed me there was a bug in my DD’s camera and audio, and that maintenance people were examining it as we spoke. I had already taken the tape off the lens and microphone. I was clear! What a goddamn nightmare. But I liked Thad, and I told him so. Thad’s face turned into a substance like cream of wheat and dripped on his shirt, and smoke drifted out of his left ear that smelled like car exhaust. He returned to normal in a couple of seconds and said “We can be friends.” And friends we were! His family was very powerful and I was appointed Minister of Dietary Supplements.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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