Assumptio (as-sump’-ti’o): The introduction of a point to be considered, especially an extraneous argument.
See proslepsis (When paralipsis [stating and drawing attention to something in the very act of pretending to pass it over] is taken to its extreme. The speaker provides full details.).
A: It is snowing again. We’re supposed to get a foot of snow—heavy wet snow. Back-breaking snow. Devil-snow. Our driveway is 200-feet long. I shovel it by hand. It takes nearly all day and you’re stuck in the garage waiting until I finish. Then it starts snowing again. Our driveway is cursed. It is killing me. I want a snowblower.
B: A snowblower? What are you crazy? They cost thousands of dollars. It’s hard enough to support my mother. A snowblower would bankrupt us. Aside from the occasional chest pains, shoveling keeps you in shape and those EMS volunteers are so nice. When they put that shock thing on your chest, you bounce three inches off the ground, and they’ve brought you back to life every time we call them. Do you want to give all that up? The electric shock? The bouncing? The coming back to life?
A: You are heartless Marge—heartless Marge. Let’s hire somebody to plow our driveway. I wouldn’t even have to go outside! It would add a few years to my life. I could watch out the window and wave.
B: What are you crazy? They start plowing at 2” and keep going as long as it snows. They charge $20.00 per plow. Over time, that’s more expensive than a snowblower. I think your selfishness is reprehensible. Look, just because you’re due for the eventual fatal heart attack, doesn’t mean we have to spend our life-savings and your Social Security on snow removal. My poor mother, and me too. Lower middle class does not cut it when you look at our myriad expenses. You don’t know it, but I spend $100 on eggs alone! And your life insurance premiums go up every year. Wake up Frank! We’re not millionaires.
A: Ok Marge, that’s it. I think the best argument I can make for snow management is to move to Lima, Peru without you. Clearly, you want me dead. I don’t want to be dead. I will sell the house and split the proceeds with you, and you can figure out what to do about the snow in the winter, and the grass in the summer. Maybe your mother can move in with you and help shoveling the driveway and mowing the grass.
Next winter, I’ll be eating ceviche and dinking Pisco Sours. I hope you enjoy freezing off your cheap merciless ass with you mother. Maybe the two of you can make some snowmen or a luge run. Goodbye.
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).
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