Epizeugma (ep-i-zoog’-ma): Placing the verb that holds together the entire sentence (made up of multiple parts that depend upon that verb) either at the very beginning or the very ending of that sentence.

Going to the liquor store, library, and my daughter’s school play was an unusual sequence to say the least. Usually, I just went to the liquor store, bought the cheapest vodka in the universe, went home, cracked out some ice cubes, dropped them in my giant tumbler, covered them with vodka, threw in a couple of olives, and sat in my raggedy old chair and listened to rock classics on my blue tooth earbuds that I stole off somebody’s seat on the bus from Toledo. I loved Blue Oyster Cult and put “Burnin’ For You” on repeat until I passed out. My wife would wake me up when she went to pee around 3:00 a.m. She would prod me with a spatula until I woke up. Then, with my arm over her shoulder, she would lead me to bed. Once, I ended up on the front porch. It was cold, and I got a mild case of frostbite on my toes. My wife told me she couldn’t find me in my chair, so she figured I had gotten lost somewhere and she would find me “tomorrow.”

After the frostbite incident, I decided to just stay in my chair all night. I decided to start reading books. The TV was too loud, books were a perfect solution. So, after the liquor store, I started going to the library and checking out the night’s book. I needed something short so I could finish it between waking up and passing out again. I hit on children’s books as the perfect thing to read. I started with “Little Red Riding Hood.” Without going into detail, the story scared the shit out of me. I had to have two more vodkas to get back to sleep. And the story made me think of my own daughter. She had red hair, and we called her red. That night I decided, for the sake of my daughter, to clean up my act. Now, when I go to the liquor store, it’s to get Bloody Mary Mix—I make virgin Bloody Marys—no vodka. I go to the library to get a book to read to my daughter. I love mimicking the characters in the stories—like Billy Goat Gruff.

Tonight she’s playing a nondescript role in her school play. She plays a fruit-monger with a basket of apples. She walks across the stage once yelling “Apples for sale!” That’s the sum total of her role. She thinks it is great. She’s so cute. She’s our little star.

If I hadn’t stopped drinking, I’d probably be dead. “Little Red Riding Hood” saved my life. Next, I’m going to get a job.

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

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