Daily Archives: February 23, 2023


Climax (cli’-max): Generally, the arrangement of words, phrases, or clauses in an order of increasing importance, often in parallel structure.

Me: My foot. My leg. My God! My eye! What about my hand? My ear? What about one of my testicles! Here I am strapped to a table. Here you are laughing and waving a scalpel and a meat cleaver. I never should’ve agreed to come over here and show you how to make beef stew. Why are you wearing that stupid hockey mask? You look like a fiend from a horror movie. I don’t get it. I know who you are, why cover your face?

Answer me!

Fiend: Oh, come on. We both know you can’t be a proper fiend without a gimmick. I know the hockey mask isn’t a new idea, but it gives me a horrific aura based on the intertextuality of the original and my co-optation of its bloody project. Between the two there is an aura of suspense gesturing toward dismembering you, making you into a stew and eating you with French fries, buttered bread, and deep-fried Almond Joy. I had that at the state fair last year, and really enjoyed it. In order to be tidy about this, I will feed the table scraps to my pet pig Melania, named after my Savior’s saintly wife.

Me: What the hell happened to you? And why me? Why am I your victim?

Fiend: What happened to me? Who’re you trying to kid? You know damn well. I was studying to be a priest at St. Plagarismus Seminary in in Rhode Island when I had the vision. I saw myself driving to heaven in a Land Rover packed with naked angels. We were somewhere in North Carolina when I swore at some guy who was going under the speed limit in front of me. I tried to pass, but I couldn’t. One of the angels called God on her cellphone and reported me for swearing. I was “raptured” out of Land Rover and returned to the seminary. When I awoke, there was a naked angel hovering in the corner of my chambers. She was real. She told me that my behavior had earned my expulsion from St. Plagarismus. I was devastated, all I ever wanted to be was a minion. Now, I was nothing, less than nothing, less than less than nothing. So, I decided to become a fiend, and here we are.

Me: I don’t follow you. Your story doesn’t hang together. It’s narrative fidelity is lacking. It characters are undeveloped. From a literary standpoint it is shallow, illogical, vague, and slightly insane. I think you should rethink your story’s trajectory. I think you should free me and we should go to the mall. This would be a more credible consequence of all that’s happened. We can hang out at Starbucks and further discuss your so-called story.

Fiend: Hmmm. Ok. But I’m going to hang onto my meat cleaver just in case.

Me: Ok. Sounds like a plan. Let’s go.

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

The Daily Trope is available on Amazon in paperback under the title of The Book of Tropes for $9.95. It is also available in Kindle format for $5.99.