Alleotheta (al-le-o-the’-ta): Substitution of one case, gender, mood, number, tense, or person for another. Synonymous with enallage. [Some rhetoricians claim that alleotheta is a] general category that includes antiptosis [(a type of enallage in which one grammatical case is substituted for another)] and all forms of enallage [(the substitution of grammatically different but semantically equivalent constructions)].

Her brain was fried; yesterday, tomorrow and today: last year, for all time. “You better shut up,” she said to the mirror “You better take a walk. No, I’m too tired. You will take a walk. We can go together. You will walk while I look around. Come on. Let’s go.” She started out the door, but it looked like somebody was pulling on her arm, keeping her from going out the door.

I asked her if she had taken her medication. “She wouldn’t let me. She likes me this way.” I reached into her purse and got her pills out. She took the prescribed dose and we sat and waited for it to take effect. You could see her disparate selves starting meld. Her face alternatively contorted and smiled, she hugged herself and slapped herself, she swore and quoted the Bible. Suddenly, she was whole—it was like magic. The medication would last six hours. I suggested we go for a walk downtown. It was spring and there were tulips, daffodils, and crocuses blooming all over the place. As we walked, I asked her how she had fried her brain. She replied, “In an iron skillet with chopped garlic and rosemary. Once done, sliced thin and made into a sandwich on freshly baked focaccia with the fried brain topped with roasted red peppers.” I knew it wasn’t true, but the description set off hunger pangs and made my mouth water. I was no Zombie, but I couldn’t get the recipe off my mind. I could smell it. I could taste it. Juicy. Garlicky. Medium rare. Brain!

We were in the cemetery looking at flowers. I hit her over the head with a large rock. I kept hitting her and hitting her until her skull cracked open wide enough to pull out her brain. I put her brain in my backpack and headed home. I was wild with desire to eat her brain. I stopped at Hannaford’s to pick up 5 cloves of garlic, a bunch of rosemary, a jar of roasted red peppers, and focaccia. They didn’t have focaccia, so I got a baguette.

I almost ran home. I got out my skillet, poured in a little olive oil (an innovation), and turned up the heat. I dropped in the brain and sprinkled on the rosemary. Then, there was a knock at the door. It was a nurse from the Home for the Seriously Agitated accompanied by a police officer. Evidently, she had a pass to visit me and had not returned to the Home. I said, “I’ll be right back” to the Nurse and headed for the back door, where another police office was waiting. When they chased me through the kitchen, they had seen the brain cooking on the stove. Trying to be funny in the face of a gruesome fact, the police officer said, “Now her brain really is fried!”

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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