Daily Archives: December 7, 2022


Hypozeuxis (hyp-o-zook’-sis): Opposite of zeugma. Every clause has its own verb.

I found my charger cable. I found my sock. I found my wallet. I found my passport. I found them all underneath my cat’s bed, in a corner, on the living room floor. I had flipped the bed over by accident when I was pushing it with my foot because it was in the way of my bookcase’s bottom shelf. That’s where I kept my copy of “Sleeping in the Light: Iceland, Steam, and Lava.” I had been to Iceland on vacation every year for the past five years. I loved the beauty of the razor-sharp lava fields, the giant natural hot tubs, and the delicious barbecued Minke sandwiches.

As I looked at my belongings on the floor, I couldn’t imagine how my cat could’ve put everything under his bed, let alone carry them there. I was getting ready for my annual trek to Iceland, and thought that, as crazy as it seemed, my cat was trying to thwart my vacation plans. With the exception of the sock, the stuff hidden under his bed was critical to my travel. Without my wallet or passport, I was finished. With no charger chord, I would be inconvenienced. The sock had been missing for a year. It was irrelevant. I would catch him! I would set up CCTV in the living room and my bedroom and review the recordings every morning. I put everything back the way it was so my cat would not be suspicious. He hadn’t come out of the basement for two days, at least, as far as I knew. This wasn’t unusual. My guess was, he was coming up at night to do his dirty work. His empty food dish told me that.

My guess was confirmed the next morning when I reviewed the recordings. My fingernail clippers were missing from the little dish on my dresser. My mother had given them to me when I was 12 and I had developed an attachment to them and an obsession with clipping my nails. The nail clippers went with me wherever and whenever I travelled. I had had them gold-plated and a gold jump ring added. I wore them on a gold chain. They were missing.

There on the recording was my cat sneaking into my bedroom, jumping up on my dresser, and grabbing the nail clippers in his mouth. The clip from the second camera shows him in the living room pushing his head under his bed, dropping the clippers, slowly backing away, and then, curling up in his bed. I was astounded, and at the same time, wanted to figure out what to do. Why did he decide to do this when I was getting ready for my 6th Iceland trip, when he had never done it before? Maybe he was finally fed up with having to stay with my sister. She has five children who probably taunt Him. I decided to take everything (but the sock) back from under under his bed.

The first night, he took my passport again. The cat was persistent. So, as a typical cat owner, I decided to take him with me on my next trip. The process was convoluted, culminating in a 14-day quarantine at the airport. I sat him down on the kitchen island, at eye level, and told him what I was going to do. His tail shot up like a pillar of fur, signifying his happiness. Over the next few days he returned everything to its rightful place. We started working on leash training, and he quickly mastered walking on a leash. I filled out all paperwork from Iceland for his “pet passport.” I was allowed to keep him in the airplane’s cabin during our flight. I got him a “Cat Caliph” pet carrier. If he touched a mouse-faced button on the carrier’s side, the floor rolled back revealing a special travel litter box that could be used with no odor, or cleaning, for one week. I filled my backpack with “10,000 Salmon Heads” kitty treats. For the most part The cate would ride on my lap, sleeping and looking out the window.


We had a wonderful trip. The cat made many friends. When it got close to time to leave, my passport went missing. I looked under The cat’s bed in our hotel room and there it was.

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

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Hysterologia (his-ter-o-lo’-gi-a): A form of hyperbaton or parenthesis in which one interposes a phrase between a preposition and its object. Also, a synonym for hysteron proteron.

I was in India for the fist time. I am a salesman, not quite door to door, but close. I sell a chewable drug called “Faster!” It it popular with manufactures who want to influence workers’ nimbleness and manual dexterity, moving their hands rapidly to assemble whatever it is they are assembling. The faster they move, the more product is made in a shorter period of time. Workers dosed with Faster! have been shown to increase their output by 12-18% over peers not taking Faster! The laws are so lax here, and corruption so rampant, that it is permissible to lace workers’ food or beverages with Faster! without their knowledge. The company I am meeting with today manufactures bondage balls and small three-function flashlights. Their name is Gagflash Products Ltd. The CEO is taking me on a tour of the plant, with a special emphasis on their quality control operation. I’ve seen videos of their bondage ball testing on BDSM internet sites—including the premier site titled “Owy,” and, of course, “Belt, Welt, and Candle,” the very first BDSM site on the internet..

It was early in the morning but it was steamy hot already. It was 8.00am and I needed a cold beer already to lower my temperature and make me feel a little better. I guzzled my beer like a schoolboy, and had two more for good measure. The hotel doorman motioned that my cab had arrived. I was feeling no pain. My driver held the cab’s door open for me and I jumped in. Off we went. We rode for about ten minutes when I realized I hadn’t told him where I was going. I asked him if he knew the way to Bombay. He said “Yes, Mumbai.” I said, “No, Bombay.” He said, “Yes, yes. Mumbai, Mumbai.” I said, “Let me out you idiot. I’ll find somebody else to drive me.” I was feeling no pain. He said, “Sir this is very dangerous here.” I said, “Look, I grew up in Newark, New Jersey. Stop the goddamn cab and let me out.” I got out. The cab took off. I tripped on the sidewalk and nearly fell down. I pulled out my phone to call the hotel to have them send me another cab, but there was no cellphone service. I went up to a guy to see if he knew where I could find a phone. He reached out and dropped a small snake down my shirt and motioned like he wanted to box or wrestle. Luckily, my shirt was untucked and the snake slid down and out the bottom of it. It hit the ground, and then, slithered up the guy’s pant leg. The guy put away his fighting pose, pulled a cellphone from his pocket and waved it over his head, taunting me as he walked away.

Now I heard some dirge-like singing. I saw five men in a circle coming toward me. They were wearing American football helmets painted pink and decorated with images of striped hyenas. They were dressed in see-through togas and Gucci loafers. I didn’t know whether to laugh or run. Unfortunately, I laughed. As they came closer, they opened their circle and scooped me up, closed the circle, and kept on going and chanting. I tried, but I couldn’t escape from the circle. We stopped in front of a wall with a gate. There was a poster picture of Jerry Lewis affixed to the gate. The gate opened. We went inside. There was a little man who was, despite the heat, sitting on a giant couch in a a yellow onesie with blue cuffs. He took a look at me and said to the circle of men “He’ll do.” I asked what was going on and got no answer. I looked around. There were cheap plaster faces of terrified-looking men lining the wall. The little man said, “Soon you will become the final face, completing the pantheon of WOES arrayed on the Wall of Desolation devoted to The Great Bummer. Go take a bath and prepare yourself.” As I was led to the bath I noticed a bucket of plaster of paris. Then it hit me: My face would be pushed into the bucket. I was going to drown. I was going to die. Then, I heard a commotion and yelling. It sounded like my cab driver! He burst into the bath with an AK-47 ready to make some woe of his own. We fled back to the cab and took off. “Why did you come back?” I asked. He told me he felt very bad for dropping me where he knew I would have trouble. He wanted to make amends. I asked him how he found me. He told me the crazy snake man who I had encountered saw the cult members take me away, and told him where the cult’s headquarters was. My cab driver pulled his AK-47 from under the cab’s seat, broke through the gate, and saved me.

I thanked him profusely and told him I would buy clothes for myself and give him a $25 reward when we got to Bombay. He said, “Oh that is wonderful. Yes, yes, yes! When we get to Mumbai!”

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

Buy a print edition of The Daily Trope! The print edition is entitled The Book of Tropes and is available on Amazon for $9.99. A Kindle edition is available for $5.99.