Diasyrmus (di’-a-syrm-os): Rejecting an argument through ridiculous comparison.
I was minding my own business, sitting on a park bench with my index finger in my left nostril, trying to dislodge a particularly stubborn booger. I had never experienced something like this before. Two days of the squeaking sound my nose made when I inhaled. I tried everything—blowing my nose, spraying my nostril in the shower, a dinner fork, a screw driver, a knitting needle, Japanese chopsticks, a coat hanger, a toothpick: everything I could find to stick up my nose. On day four, I made an appointment at the ENT Clinic. I was going to see Dr. Nosifer, winner of the 2000 “Nosy,” an award given to the Rhinologist “most devoted to ending mouth breathing.” He was top of the line.
I had come to the drastic conclusion that I should have my nose amputated, so I would be free of the booger. I figured I could wear a Groucho Marx glasses disguise to cover up, and conceal, my missing nose. I had tried a pair on at Spencer’s Gifts in the mall. I felt like they made me look like a man of mystery. “Bond, James Bond” I said as I adjusted them.
The nurse called me in to Dr. Nosifer’s office. As we greeted each other and shook hands, I was freaking out. He was wearing Groucho Marx disguise glasses. He made no attempt to explain them. He said: “I see you want your nose amputated to remove the recalcitrant booger lodged in your left nostril. I can tell you, this is like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Ha ha! You idiot! It is like jumping off a building as a shortcut to the first floor. Ha ha! It is like spilling toxic waste so you can clean it up. Ha ha! It is like walking across broken glass barefoot to save your shoes. It is wrong! Wrong, wrong, wrong!”
Me: “So, what should I do then?“
Dr. Nosifer: “Ha ha! Now we’re getting someplace!”
He reached in his shirt and pulled out a very small silver spoon on a delicate silver chain. It’s handle was elaborately decorated with an entwined art nouveau vine motif. He reached in his pants a pulled out a similarly decorated vial. He popped open the vial’s lid. The vial was filled with white powder. Dr. Nosifer scooped out a level spoonful of the white powder. He told me to tilt my head back and, without warning, thrust the spoon with its white powder up my left nostril where the criminal booger resided, and at the same time, punched me in the stomach.
The booger made a popping sound as it flew out of my nose. Dr. Nosifer yelled: “Now put your finger on your right nostril and make an inhaling snorting sound with your newly cleared left nostril!” I did as he told me. Suddenly, I felt euphoric, energetic, talkative, mentally alert, and hypersensitive to sight, sound, and touch. It was amazing. I took off my clothes. I ran around the office naked. Dr. Nosifer yelled at the nurse to take me downstairs. I fell down the stairs. When I got up, I saw that I was in a well-furnished room and I wasn’t alone. The nurse told me, “This is the recovery room for the Doctor’s patients.”
I spent about 2 hours “recovering.” Then, I went home with a clear nose and a clouded conscience.
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).
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