Diazeugma (di-a-zoog’-ma): The figure by which a single subject governs several verbs or verbal constructions (usually arranged in parallel fashion and expressing a similar idea); the opposite of zeugma.

I went out the door, down the steps, across the sidewalk, and down the street to the corner. The parade was coming. I was sure of it, but I was the only one there. I was always the only one there, but I knew if I kept hoping and believing, some day the parade would come.

I had a clear picture in my head of what the parade would consist of: the Mayor in the lead, antique automobiles, fire trucks with firemen throwing candy, drummers, police with rifles pointing in the air, clowns in little cars, farm implements, snow plows, people dressed in silly costumes, like ducks, ghosts, candy bars, baby bottles. And there would be military veterans, school teachers, doctors and dentists, and lawyers carrying copies of the US Constitution, a swimming pool with a mermaid, skate boarders, hippies smoking drugs, a cage full of raccoons, and finally, a full-sized scale model of the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima.

Then I heard a bugle! Surely this was the parade’s herald. I ran up the street toward the sound. It was a homeless man struggling to play “Taps.” It sounded more like “craps.” I thought I was pretty funny, then I noticed his legs were missing. I put 25 cents in his styrofoam up and said “Thank-you for your service.” He yelled: ”Yeah I lost my goddamn legs for no goddamn reason. Save your thank-you for your mother when she passes the mashed potatoes you ignorant prick!” I apologized, but he hit me on the head with his bugle.

The blow knocked me out. I woke up in a big cardboard box under a thin smelly blanket. I had amnesia. I was lost. I do not remember a single thing except waking up. My amnesia was mild, my memory came back almost immediately and I crawled out of the box, stood up, and headed home, or at least where I thought my home was. It was frightening when a woman answered the door in a pink bathrobe with giant curlers in her hair. I asked her how to get to the police station so I could report myself as missing. She offered to take me and she invited me inside while she got dressed.

As soon as I got through the door, she opened her bathrobe like giant pink bird wings, and flapped them. She was naked. “Do you want some of this?” She asked. I said, “Yes.” I never got to the police station. She’s a little older than me, but we get along really well. I hope I never remember where I lived.

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

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