Daily Archives: May 23, 2023


Synonymia (si-no-ni’-mi-a): In general, the use of several synonyms together to amplify or explain a given subject or term. A kind of repetition that adds emotional force or intellectual clarity. Synonymia often occurs in parallel fashion. The Latin synonym, interpretatio, suggests the expository and rational nature of this figure, while another Greek synonym, congeries, suggests the emotive possibilities of this figure.

Mad. Angry. Pissed off. Burned up. Locked and loaded. The more I thought about it, the angrier I got. It was time for annual reviews. I worked at “Jimmies Jingle Bells,” a small shop in the mall dedicated to “keeping the Christmas Spirit bright all through the year.” Jimmie’s parents had abandoned him and his sister Nell on Christmas Day when they were children. They lived like feral children for a month. Their parents were survivalists so the basement was stocked with Dinty Moore Beef Stew, Hawaiian Punch, mustard sardines, and potato chips. To keep warm, Nell and Jimmie read out loud to each other while they huddled underneath the living room carpet—their parents had stripped the house before they left, leaving only a can opener, a beer can opener, two forks and the canned goods. Anyway, there were only three books in the house: a lawn mower owner’s manual, a Bible, and Kafka’s “Metamorphosis.” Their favorite was the owner’s manual—it had lots of pictures and they loved how all the parts fit together, unlike the random jumble that was their lives. Given the craziness of their upbringing, Jimmie and Nell thought that camping in their abandoned home was what their absent parents wanted them to do. But, finally, their extremely wealthy Grandmother rescued the kids and they lived like royalty. Their cruel parents were killed in an avalanche while driving over Donner’s Pass in California on Christmas Day.

Due to the date when Jimmie’s parents had left him, and when they had died, Jimmy had a weird fixation on Christmas. He wanted it to never end—he did not want the day after to ever come—to wake up and find his parents gone. Hence, “Jimmie’s Jingle Bells,” the perpetual Christmas store. Jimmie dresses like Santa all the time. Nell has little triplets who she dresses as Santa’s little helpers. Nell (who is beautiful) dresses like Santa’s close friend “The Snow Queen.” It is all very crazy. But what’s even crazier are the cans of mustard sardines and lawnmower owner’s manuals we throw out of Jimmie’s limo on Christmas Eve as we cruise slowly past the homeless people.

I haven’t gotten a pay raise for five years. Inflation is killing me. That’s where my anger’s coming from.

So, now, Jimmie gives me the annual review. He says: “You are doing good: The Mistletoe is hung in the doorway, The lights are flickering on the tree, Baubles of glass and glittering angels, Presents are wrapped in silver and gold and green.” I thought, “same old bullshit quotation from ‘The Night Before Christmas’.” I felt like sticking a candy cane up his butt, but I didn’t. He went on: “This year, your bonus consists of a six-month supply of Dinty Moore’s Beef Stew, and a year’s supply of Hawaiian Punch. As we try to fight inflation, your pay will remain the same, or maybe go down a little.”

Well, there you have it. If I wasn’t in love with his sister, I would kill him. But I had to swallow my rage and go on with my asinine life. You see, Nell’s three little imps were mine. Her husband had fallen off a train and was killed the week before we met. Nell had been standing right behind her husband when he slipped on a wet candy cane. It was traumatic for her. She was lonely when we accidentally crossed paths in her bedroom. We plan on getting married and moving to a country with no Christmas.

My wife is dragging her feet on the divorce. Nell has suggested that my wife and I take a relaxing train ride to “unwind, so she’ll think you’re not trying to just push her out the door.”

Ha ha! Oh Nell! Your sense of humor is like the scent of a stuffed Christmas stocking hung with care.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)

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