Charientismus (kar-i-en-tia’-mus): Mollifying harsh words by answering them with a smooth and appeasing mock.

A: You smell like a dog.

B: That’s the price you pay for having a best friend. Get it? Haha!

A: I said smell like a dog, not act like a dog.

B: Haha. Let’s shake hands and forget about it. Get it? Haha.

A: I’m not interested in your dog tricks—shaking hands is at the bottom of the hierarchy of dog tricks. Oh, maybe “sit” is lower. Can you sit?

B: Can’t you see? I’m sitting on the couch, curled up. I can roll over too. Look! There you have it!

A: Go home and take a shower and wash away your dog smell. And what the hell are you doing talking?

B: I am home. I live here. See that dog dish over there, it’s mine! What is wrong with you? You knew I was a Venetian Talker when you got me from the shelter. Maybe you should take a cold shower and come back to reality. Do you even remember my name? Just in case you don’t, it’s Strabo.

A: Strabo? Hmmm. Shelter? Talker? What?

I’m pretty sure it’s Wednesday and it’s noon, I’m sitting here in my pajamas, drinking a martini, and I’m talking to a dog. I must be losing my mind.

B: I’ll help you find your mind if you give me a biscuit— my favorite pizza flavored please.

A: Look, I’m going to bed. If you’re still here when I wake up we can play fetch. Can you sing? Maybe we could be a duet. I play the guitar. I can do acoustic versions of heavy metal music. I’ve got “Master of Puppets” down. I can play it with my eyes closed!

B: Sounds good to me. See you later.


As soon as he heard snoring coming from the bedroom, Strabo unzipped and tore off his dog-suit. Using it as a sack, he burglarized A’s house, stealing everything of value that he could see. He tiptoed to the door, carefully opened it, went down the front steps, got on his motorcycle, and took off. Before he got to the end of the street, he was burned by remorse, turned around, and returned everything to its rightful owner. He put his dog-suit back on and prepared to play fetch and sing some songs. Strabo enjoyed being a dog, even if he was fake. It had been five years since he moved in.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

The Daily Trope excerpt are 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.

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