Onomatopoeia (on-o-mat-o-pee’-a): Using or inventing a word whose sound imitates that which it names (the union of phonetics and semantics).
I was banging on the door—bang, bang, bang. Three bangs was the rule. If there was no answer after three sets of three bangs, I upgraded to pounding. There were no “sets” to pounding. Pounding was just a rapid fist to door motion that continued until I got a response. Still no response? Time for the battering ram—a six-foot section of 3” pipe filled with concrete, and two welded-on handles—one for each hand—the front one, perpendicular to the pipe, the rear one parallel to the pipe. If all else failed, I was authorized to use Class A explosives, including C4 and dynamite. I had handled a lot of explosives in Vietnam where I got real good at blowing up anything I was asked to blow up, and also lighting things on fire without using telltale petrol.
The battering ram didn’t cut it. Next up: the bomb. If the bomb on the door didn’t work, I’d light the place on fire, but given my experience, I was nearly certain the bomb would blow the door. The bomb was difficult, though. Bombs made a lot of noise and attracted attention. So, I had a remote detonator. I could blow the bomb from a quarter-mile away, and then rush to the site like a concerned citizen. If the door wasn’t blown, I’d wait for the crowd to clear and then light the place on fire. By the way, if at any time the occupant fires a weapon at me, I am authorized to spray them with my MAC-10.
You may wonder what the hell I’m doing, who the hell I work for, and what the hell happened to the world. Well, it’s 2028 and violence is the preferred and legal way of resolving disputes. The 1960’s are so dead that they’ve turned into worm-infested humus. In fact, any mention of the 60’s or Woodstock will net you 2 years in prison. Since I work for the IRS, I am exempt from the “Unauthorized Mention Act of 2027” and other Federal Laws that were passed after Congress voided the Constitution in 2025. Many passages were outlawed and all the authorized passages are published in the “Little Red Book.” Every citizen is required to wear a “Little Red Book” around his neck and refer to it before speaking.
Despite the prevalence of violence, the NRA (National Riot Act) requires every citizen to carry a concealed handgun. People are randomly patted down, and if they are not packing heat, they’ll be shot, but not fatally, so they will have time in the hospital to think about the Big Law, lovingly enacted by Congress to promote citizens’ self-defense and welfare.
Anyway, the door bomb worked. It blew a 5×5 hole in the wall. So, I just waltzed in. There was Mr. Fry, cowering in his soiled underpants in a corner of what I guessed was his living room. There was a lot of smoke, and everything was flipped over. I asked Mr. Fry if he knew why I was there. He nodded, nearly crying. I said: “Under Federal Tax Law Section 26, Failure to pay taxes under $1,000, I am authorized to arrest you and escort you to a hospital where one of your kidneys, and one of your lungs, and 6-feet of your intestines will be harvested and sold on the ‘New York Organ Exchage’ to settle your debt. Do you understand?” He nodded again, and off we went. I considered shooting him, and taking his fresh corpse to one of the many “Chop Shops” that popped up when buying and selling organs became easy and legal under Congress’s “Save the Rich Act,” but I had integrity, and besides, I was in the vanguard of government service as an IRS Agent—I helped raise the money to keep the whole thing going. Nevertheless, Mr. Fry was lucky his debt was under $1,000—anything over that and he wold’ve been conscripted into the “National Slave Corps” and put to work for life in one of the recently created colonies in South America, or the United States of Mexico.
When I got home I was delighted that my grandchildren were there. As we sat around talking, my grandchildren asked me why things have changed so much. I got nervous, and hoped they weren’t subversives. I asked them, “Where did you get that question?” I was fearful they were going to make the illegal comparison between the past and present that claimed things had gotten worse. “Grandma told us,” they said, “We live in a beautiful world, with the bloodstains on the sidewalks, the return of slavery, censorship, air pollution, the outlawing of abortion, the elimination of Social Security, and other things, we live in a beautiful world.” My head was spinning. Their minds had been stained by Grandma’s subversive sarcasm. What could I do? I would never turn them in for “suspicious talk.” Maybe if I just sacrificed one of us, it would keep the rest of us out of harm’s way. “Grandma?” I said in my sweetest husband voice. “Let’s take a ride.”
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).
Buy a print edition of The Daily Trope! The print edition is entitled The Book of Tropes and is available on Amazon for $9.99. A Kindle edition is available for $5.95.