Antistasis (an-ti’-sta-sis): The repetition of a word in a contrary sense. Often, simply synonymous with antanaclasis.

I thought I had cracked the woodchuck code by shifting to another animal with “wood” in its name. I new I would be beaten down by the woodchuck aficionados, and probably banned for life from “World Punsters” who want to preserve ancient puns and sayings like jam—like a jam on the road to change. What they get is progress toward no progress. When I unveiled my new “wood” question, woven into a pun at the annual meeting in Amsterdam, the audience threw mayonnaise covered french fries, and whole conical paper containers, at me like they had planned it ahead of my scheduled presentation. Soaked in mayonnaise, and accompanied by loud boos, I lifted my bullhorn and read: “How much wood could a Woodpecker peck, when a woodpecker pecks wood.” A wooden shoe went flying past my head. The delegation from Italy threw a headless woodpecker onto the stage. The Japanese delegation threw exploding origami woodpeckers. The Americans threw Woodpecker puppets with nails driven into their heads. There were hundreds of countries represented, but suffice it to say, there was hostility beaming from every corner. I was terrified. Then, somebody in a giant woodpecker suit came bursting through the entrance pushing a shopping cart.

“Get out of the way scum!” the giant woodpecker yelled, scaring the cowardly audience. It made it to the stage and told me to get into the shopping cart. People yelled obscenities as as we pushed our way to the exit. We ran to the University of Amsterdam where I had lectured 10 year before. The woodpecker took off its head. It was the girl who had called me a fascist for wearing a black shirt with my suit when I had lectured there. She had aged, but she was just as cute now as she was then. I was covered in mayonnaise, or I would’ve given her a big hug. As a joke, she started licking the mayonnaise off my face. We were both laughing, and things got serious. So serious, in fact, that I have made Amsterdam my home. I have continued my literary endeavors, and Sanna (the woodpecker) supports me. Currently, I’ve started revising aphorisms to align them more accurately with life’s 21st century vagaries. I’m working on “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” My latest revision is “When the going gets tough, get going out of there.” I am making my revised sayings into wall hangings painted onto small pizza pans. I think they have great potential for the kind of moral realignment that world desperately needs.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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