Alliteration (al-lit’-er-a’-tion): Repetition of the same letter or sound within nearby words. Most often, repeated initial consonants. Taken to an extreme alliteration becomes the stylistic vice of paroemion where nearly every word in a sentence begins with the same consonant.

“Big Bill!” I yelled after I read what was in the envelope. Bill answered “What?” And came running into the kitchen. “What do you want?” he asked looking puzzled. I told him I wasn’t calling him—the credit card bill was big—really big. And then I asked him why he thought I was calling him “Big Bill.” He was 5’ 8” tall—hardly big— more like small. He said, “Big is in the eye of the beholder, and so is beauty and every other adjective and maybe adverb too, including smells. Wake up and smell your armpit.”

Every year, Bill gets closer to falling into the abyss. It is all about money. We share the credit card. Every couple of months Bill runs wild on Amazon buying stuff that I have to return—relabeling it and dropping it off at CVS for return. A couple of weeks ago he ordered 3 nail guns, an electric bicycle, and a Shetland pony. Luckily, I received notice of the orders and I was able to cancel them, except for the pony. To return it, I stuck the mailing label to its forehead and hired a trailer to take him to CVS. When I walked into CVS with the pony, it caused quite a stir. But the manager told me it was the third pony this week. Kids were getting on their parents’ Amazon accounts and ordering ponies. So, just leave the pony in the stall by the tooth care aisle. I hope it’s not a peppy pony! Last week, one got out of the stall and galloped up and down the aisles wreaking havoc on the laxatives and cough medicines. We managed to herd it back in the stall, but it was covered with NyQuil PM and smelled like cherries.

God, I was glad that was over. Even though it was a couple of week ago, the memory of the pony return was making me lose sleep. But now, I had to tackle the horror of a credit card bill that would kill my life savings if I paid it off: $6,000. It was Bill blissfully destroying our lives. He had bought a prefabricated chapel kit. It was too late to cancel the order. Bill told me he was going to use the chapel for funerals and weddings. He had become a Minister in the Universal Church. He said, “All we do is open the doors. Whether it’s life or death, people show up and I officiate for $500.” “Ok,” I thought, “I can see this as an investment of my life savings.” Bill’s first funeral was a disaster. He dropped the deceased’s ashes on the floor and the back of his pants ripped when he bent over to look at them scattered all over the place. We were sued for desecrating the dead, even though it was an accident.

We’ve turned the chapel into a chicken coop. We get by selling eggs and chicken-themed gifts. Our business is called “Eggistential Crisis.” I have taken Bill’s credit card away and enrolled him “Spendthrifts Anonymous.” Since he has no credit card, Bill is undergoing withdrawal. I have spray painted an expired insurance card and written “Credit Card” on it. I gave it to Bill. It works like a pacifier. When he feels the urge to shop, he takes it out of his wallet and holds it until the urge subsides.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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