Asphalia (as-fay’-li-a): Offering oneself as a guarantee, usually for another.

Edward: I don’t know how many times I put myself last for you. When we were kids I let you get in front of me at the ice cream stand. I always hold the door and let you go first. When we had our first house with one bathroom, I’d let you go first while I went in the yard if I had to. I kept a roll of toilet paper under the back porch by the bucket. If we ran out of something, like peanut butter, I’d let you have the last bit. When we couldn’t afford for both of us to have the Porterhouse steak at “Morty’s Big Meats,” I had a salad, bread, and a glass of water. Whenever we travel, I let you have the window seat and have my pretzels too.

Now, after all the giving and putting you first, you’re telling me I’m having an affair with your sister— God, that’s twisted. I couldn’t have an affair with her if I tried. She is a morally upright Christian girl. She only dates unmarried people of faith. If my selfless track record in our marriage isn’t enough to convince you that there’s nothing going on, then I can vouch for her conduct and character in my capacity as her friend. When has she ever given you a reason to doubt her character? And me? In twenty years of marriage, and two children, I have never let you down. Whoever planted this rumor about Bette and me should be tortured to death, or something like that. I think you should apologize to Bette. She’s as pure as the driven snow. Again, I guarantee she’s not fooling around with me—take it from your loving selfless husband. I was going to visit Bette tonight for our weekly Scrabble game. Why don’t you come along? The three of us can play Scrabble together.


Edward was having an affair with Bette. She became pregnant. She was unable to get an abortion because of her state’s laws. She told her sister everything about her affair with Edward. Edward was found drowned in Big Bend River. Although his pants were filled with rocks, foul play was not suspected. Edward’s death was ruled a suicide. The two sisters moved in together and raised baby Travis to be a selfless loving man.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

Paper and Kindle versions of The Daily Trope are available from Amazon under the title The Book of Tropes.

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