Anthypophora (an’-thi-po’-phor-a): A figure of reasoning in which one asks and then immediately answers one’s own questions (or raises and then settles imaginary objections). Reasoning aloud. Anthypophora sometimes takes the form of asking the audience or one’s adversary what can be said on a matter, and thus can involve both anacoenosis and apostrophe.

That lady’s hat is huge, not to mention in poor taste. I know Easter’s around the corner, but an Easter basket hat is totally loony—no matter when it gets worn. Right now, it’s leaking jelly beans down the back of her neck and she’s oblivious. There goes a purple one and a pink one. The chocolate rabbit’s ear has a bite out of it.

What should I do? I’ll ask her to take it off when the movie starts. “Ma’m, can you please remove your hat before the movie starts?” Without turning, she shakes her head “No!” I ask again: “Please. I won’t be able see the movie.” It’s a big “No!” again. Should I report her to the manager?

The movie’s going to start in about 5 minutes. I run up the aisle to the manager’s office. He’s sitting inside at his desk. He’s wearing an Easter Basket hat! He told me the hats were an Easter weekend gimmick. He told me if I looked around the theatre I’d see 30 or 40 of them. I told him I only saw one, and it was blocking my view. Everybody else had removed theirs out of deference to the person behind them. He told me he’d give me a refund, or a ticket to another show. I told him there is no “other show.” It was my last chance to see a movie I had waited months to see. I was really mad! I was madder than hell!

The lights went down and I dashed back to my seat. The newsreel was starting. I asked the lady again to “Please” remove her hat. She vigorously shook her head “No” again. I was losing it. I considered strangling her—not good idea. I considered tearing off her hat and throwing it in the aisle—that was too easy. Then I remembered: my girlfriend had given me a Zippo lighter for my birthday. I pulled it out of my pocket and tried to light it so I could set the lady’s Easter hat ablaze. It wouldn’t light. I had forgotten to put fluid in it. Damn! I started kicking the seat from behind. The lady was rocking forward and backward. Finally, she turned and said, “Ok. You win. I will take it off, but my ears will get in your way. I hope you can live with that.”

It was the goddamn Easter Bunny sitting in front of me! To this day, I find it hard to believe it really happened. By the way, I got to see the movie and I enjoyed it. “Harvey” is about a wealthy drunk who starts having visions of a giant rabbit named Harvey.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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