Hysterologia


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).

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