Epitrope (e-pi’-tro-pe): A figure in which one turns things over to one’s hearers, either pathetically, ironically, or in such a way as to suggest a proof of something without having to state it. Epitrope often takes the form of granting permission (hence its Latin name, permissio), submitting something for consideration, or simply referring to the abilities of the audience to supply the meaning that the speaker passes over (hence Puttenham’s term, figure of reference). Epitrope can be either biting in its irony, or flattering in its deference.
You tell me: is time on my side? You know what I’m talking about, and it isn’t about showing up at work on time. It is about these damn fruit flies quietly swarming over my fruit bowl, and the pineapple upside-down cake I made yesterday. Where do they come from? It’s like magic that they appear, and like a blessing when they disappear. I’ve been waiting around two weeks for then to go and haunt somebody else’s peaches and bananas.
I tried using a fly swatter, but the swarm parts when I come down with the swatter— it’s like Moses parting a sea of bugs, but I don’t want them to part—the Promised Land should be under my swatter littered with tiny smooshed bugs. I tried making a trap, but they just circle around above, like they’re making fun of me on a joy ride above the bait. Then, I tried to burn them with one of those BIC lighter wands. It didn’t work. They saw me coming and hovered near the kitchen ceiling. I scorched the ceiling in a couple of places and gave up. They immediately flew back down and continued to circle my fruit bowl and cake.
I figured out how to get them off the cake: I would eat it. With a ten-inch diameter, it wouldn’t be easy. As I went to cut the cake, the swarm thickened—it was so thick that I couldn’t see the cake. I was thwarted! I threw the cake away. Now, my kitchen trashcan was surrounded by fruit flies. I did what I had to do. I threw the trashcan out the back door. The trashcan rose from the ground and headed toward me. I squatted down as it flew over me back into the kitchen and landed upright exactly where it had been. I tried throwing the fruit bowl out the back door. The fruit was reassembled in the bowl and the bowl flew toward me. I ducked and it was whizzing by and landed with a thud on my kitchen table.
But, you tell me: is time on my side? Yes it is. These little bastards don’t live forever. They’re fruit flies for God’s sake. But, I must say they are highly intelligent and artistically inclined. This morning, when I get up, they had swarmed into a bathrobe with my initials monogrammed on it. I stretched out my arms and they flew it on me. It is very warm and luxuriously soft—almost like cashmere. Somehow, I could sit down in it without harming the fruit flies. I imagine they swarmed away from my butt cheeks when I sat. They began burrowing into my ears. Now, they make me go to the grocery store and buy cartloads of apricots and grapes.
If you are watching me on Tick Tok now, you can see my proboscis. I am becoming a fruit fly, and I don’t care. Fresh fruit tastes so much better.
So, I asked if time is one my side. I am becoming the Big Boss Fruit Fly. Time does not matter any more, unless it’s time for some fresh pineapple.
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).
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