Pareuresis (par-yur-ee’-sis): To put forward a convincing excuse. [Shifting the blame.]
I was selling paper airplanes at the Meander Brook Mall. I had a cylinder-shaped stand that the mall had loaned me to use as a counter. Everybody else who was selling stuff in the galleria had a big red pushcart with wagon wheels, slanted display cases, and big light blue umbrellas, making it look like they were at a park, selling stuff to passers by. One guy was selling sticky notes in different colors and sizes. What would you use an 8X10 orange sticky note for? A suicide note?
The guy on the other side of me was selling battery-powered, rechargeable “universal” car jacks. They could also be plugged directly into your car’s former cigarette lighter—a nice touch. He had invented the electric car Jack after his wife had died of a heart attack jacking up their car. They had had a blowout on I-90 on their way to Albany, New York, to the New York State Museum. He told me his mechanic had noticed the bald tire, but had assured him it had another one-thousand miles on it, more than enough to get him to Albany and back to his little town in Central New York. Tears welled up in his eyes, and he turned a little angry as he said: “I never should have listened to that damn mechanic.” “But what about your wife?” I asked “Didn’t you know she had some kind of heart condition?” “It wasn’t my fault. She loved her Crisco Cakes and Lemon Puckers: one dozen per day. If I mentioned that she might want to quit them, or cut back, she would call me names like “Hitler” and throw her pink hair curlers at me, and then, eat a Crisco Cake with two hands.”
Then I noticed, some kid was wrapping his gum in one of my paper airplane sheets. I went back to my kiosk, and chased him away, but not before I made him unwrap his gum and give me back the paper, which was a little damp, but would dry out quickly. The name of my business was “Flying Paper.” I had a problem from time to time with people thinking I sold kites. But, as soon as they saw my display, they knew I was selling paper airplanes. I sold airplane paper—special ultralight—tissue paper lightly seasoned with organic mucilage glue that reduces the paper’s limpness, and gives it light weight stiffness. I also sell a little booklet titled “Bold Fold” that gives instructions on how to fold a variety of paper airplanes: from the “Migrating Goose,” to the “Fighting Falcon.” I also have this powder you can snort called “Diminuating Dust.” One snort, and it will make you tiny for fifteen minutes so you can take a ride on your own paper airplane. Get a loved-one to launch you, but make sure you have enough time. If you get big again while you’re ten feet up, it could kill you. I had gotten the dust when I was dealing drugs in the 80s. I was in the middle of the jungle in Bolivia looking for the Holy Grail of cocaine. I was laying on my back in my tent when I felt something pulling out my eyebrows. I sat up and a tiny man tumbled down my chest. He had a tiny dot of white powder on his fingertip. He shoved it in my nose and I felt like a contracting rubber band. I was tiny for fifteen minutes. Lucky for me, I was in my tent and there were no insects. I took 100 kilos back to the States. Customs had no idea what the powder was, so I had no trouble. I made the paper airplane connection on the way home. Flying toward New York was my inspiration. I had a vision of Tiny Me straddling a paper airplane, flying around my living room.
I have given the gift of flight to 100s of people with no major mishaps. The only downside is if you use the dust too much, you stay small. I have succumbed. When working at the mall, I wear a Big Man hydraulic shell with controls in the head. I look like I’m trying to be a robot, so the ruse works as an apparent attention-getting gimmick. Outside of work, I ride on a little saddle on my assistant’s shoulder. All I have to wear are Chelsea Boy Doll shorts, t-shirts, and trainers. In fact, my furniture and dinnerware are all from Barbie’s house. But, I have a tiny girlfriend named Shiela that is stuck tiny like me. In fact, there is a growing community of Tinys that is slowly organizing and demanding the same rights as Bigs.
I have to return to Bolivia next week to restock my supply of Diminuating Dust. Another 100 kilos should do the trick for another 20-30 years. I’ve hired a mother and daughter to pack me in their carry-on luggage, where I’ll pose as Barbie’s Chelsea Boy “friend” with the brunette hair. As long as I stay stiff and keep my eyes open, I’m good to go.
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.
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