Daily Archives: January 27, 2023

Ellipsis

Ellipsis (el-lip’-sis): Omission of a word or short phrase easily understood in context.


There was a lot that was left undone—I wasn’t over the rainbow, the rainbow was over me. That’s the way the cookie crumbles. If I could follow a train of thought, maybe I could get off at the right stop instead of . . . Oh well. The premonition is up ahead. Why do I spend my time considering what will be instead of vesting my interest in what is real, what is tangible, what is here, what has three dimensions, what I can eat for lunch, what I can kick?

I bought a crystal ball at a garage sale: It came with instructions: stare at it until you see something materialize behind the glass. So far, I had seen my hand and a dirty coffee mug sitting on my kitchen table. Then, I saw the face of somebody who looked vaguely like me. He had a lightbulb tattooed on his forehead and Yin Yangs tattooed on his eyelids. His mouth was sewn shut like a shrunken head. He was bouncing up and down and I could hear “Mph, Mph, Gaaa” coming out of the crystal ball. This was the most eventful thing that had ever happened in my life. I was terrified and elated. I said (being dramatic) “Oh yon demon of the ball, how can I help you?” He nodded yes, which did not answer my question. Then, he emphatically wiggled his lips back and forth. I understood immediately: he wanted me to liberate his lips, so he could talk to me and answer my questions about the future, and help me make some money! He tilted his head down and looked toward his sewn up lips. I touched the crystal ball and my hand went into it like it was water. I grabbed the stitches and pulled, like when I opened the bag of birdseed from Agway, and “zip,” the string came loose, and “zip” his lips were freed!

He said, “Let me make sure. You speak English, right?” “Right,” I said. He told me his name was Nick Samaras. I told him my name was Larry Bort, and that I worked for Amazon as a package packer, but I wanted to be a fortune teller, mainly my own fortune, but other people’s too. Nick told me what I had was not a fortunetelling crystal ball, but rather, it was a magical bowling ball. If I said “Let’s roll” to it, it would turn into a bowling ball that would ensure perfect games every time. In a way, it’s guaranteed winning was like telling the future.

What else could I do? I became a professional bowler and made a lot of money. I can’t say I made a fortune—the payouts for bowling tournaments are pretty skimpy. Me and Nick would talk every once-in-awhile. His life story is complicated, as you can imagine. He was born thousands of years ago in Athens, Greece. He was a wealthy goldsmith. He kidnapped a sorcerer’s daughter and married her. The sorcerer put the bowling ball spell on him, intending the ball to be a weapon dropped on people’s heads, along with hot tar, from ramparts.

Then, the worst thing happened. My nephew was staying with me while my sister went on a marriage retreat. I had left Nick on the coffee table on his stand, in his bowling ball guise. My nephew picked him up and put it on his head. My nephew’s head traded places with Nick’s head. I was screwed. Nick said “My God, I never knew.” The bowling ball was silent. I touched it, and said “let’s roll” and it cleared, and it was empty. No nephew. Nick wouldn’t shut up or stop eating. I bought us plane tickets to Athens, where I stupidly hoped that my Nick-headed nephew would figure something out. I was tired of hiding from my sister. As soon as our passports arrived, we took off. Nick disappeared as soon as we cleared passport control. I made the mistake of telling my story to the authorities. Now, I’m handcuffed to a bed waiting to hear what they’re going to do with me. My sister has threatened to have me extradited and arrested for kidnapping. Then, I thought I saw Nick and my nephew looking through the window of my room’s door.


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

Buy a print version of The Daily Trope! The print version is titled The Book of Tropes and is available on Amazon for $9.99. There is also a Kindle edition available for $5.99.