Aporia (a-po’-ri-a): Deliberating with oneself as though in doubt over some matter; asking oneself (or rhetorically asking one’s hearers) what is the best or appropriate way to approach something [=diaporesis].
I asked myself: What is the meaning of life? I thought about it for two or three seconds and then went on to something else. If I’m going to ask myself questions, they should be easy so I can answer correctly. Hmmm. Where am I? Truckee County Jail, in a small cell. If I stand on my toes, I can look out through the bars and see the river. Why am I here? I ran over a blind guy in the crosswalk outside Cliff’s. After I hit him, he was on his knees waving his red-tipped cane around and yelling. He looked ok, so I drove away. Two hours later, two police officers came to my door. I was caught. They handcuffed me and we drove to the station. They told me that approximately 25 people saw what I did. I can’t pay bail, so I’m stuck here. I called all my former wives, and my current girlfriend, for help. Why are they all so broke that they can’t afford to pay the tab? And where’s the demonstration outside the jail? “Free Carl! Free Carl!”
What should I do? In the thirty years I’ve lived on this planet, I’ve managed to stay out of trouble. The cardinal rule is “Stay out of trouble.” I was in trouble. I was going to be in more trouble if they were able to penetrate my disguise. My human appearance was a ruse. I had an implant enabling body-changing technology to make me appear like a member of the dominant life form. It was refreshed once a month by a precision-aimed beam of particles that were projected at me for 10 minutes in my back yard. Without the refresher, I will return to my alien form. Since I am locked up, I won’t be refreshed on schedule and I will morph. I will look sort of like an octopus with thick black hair covering my body, yellow eyes, and a nose that looks like a spoiled hot dog.
Suddenly, the particle beam shot through my cell window. I basked in it for ten minutes and was good for another month. The Sherif walked up to my cell door with the keys in his hand. He unlocked the cell and told me I was free to go. The man I supposedly ran over wasn’t really blind and all 25 witnesses agreed that he wasn’t in the crosswalks, and I did not hit him. Does it get any better than this? I was pretty sure I hit him. My colleagues from above must have tinkered with the witnesses. I found out later that the old man found a suitcase on his front porch filled with $100 bills and that his vision was miraculously restored minutes after the accident.
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).
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