Category Archives: systrophe

Systrophe

Systrophe (si’-stro-fee): The listing of many qualities or descriptions of someone or something, without providing an explicit definition.


Christmas’s was coming!

“Suit of red, big fat head.” “Felice nasal hair.” “Deck your balls with boughs of holly.” “Jingle bells, Santa smells.” “Rudolph the red-nose reindeer had a weeny like a hose.” “Away in a pager, no room for his meds.” “Walking in a wiener wonderland.” “Frosty the hit man.” “I am a poor boy, too, pa rum pum pum pum, I have no gift to bring, except this cheap Appleton rum.”

I thought I was so funny making fun of Christmas songs. Every year, I’d parade around the house insulting Sanata and blaspheming Jesus on his birthday. I was the only one who thought I was funny. I sang my version of “Felice Navidad” right before closing at the “Drunkin Do-nots” bar. The guy on the stool next to me, who I thought was my friend, whacked me on the head with a beer mug. On the way to the hospital, barely conscious, I started mumbling my version of “Jingle Bells.” The driver pulled the ambulance over to the side of the road. The EMT hovering over me told me “You’ll be rolling out the back door if you don’t shut the hell up.” I shut the hell up, the ambulance’s siren came back on, and off we went. I though I had only a mild concussion. I wasn’t going press charges against the jerk who had bopped me, although I wanted to. What kind of psychopath tries to murder somebody over a Christmas song? Santa? Ha! Ha!

The ambulance went silent. The driver and the EMT were gone. I was barely able to sit up. I looked out the window. Holy Shit! We were flying through the sky. There was an elf in a little green suit driving the ambulance now. And there was Santa, his reindeer and his sleigh keeping pace alongside us. Santa looked me in the eye gave me the finger, and peeled away. Instantly, the ambulance was back to normal, but I wasn’t. Everybody on board denied that anything unusual had happened. I was devastated: Santa had given me the bird. Why didn’t I listen?

For years, when I sang “Jingle bells Santa smells,” my little daughter would get REALLY upset. She would tell me that Santa will get really mad and may not come to our house. I thought what she said was really funny, and told her she shouldn’t believe stuff like that—it was stupid—there wasn’t even such a thing as Santa Claus. That was a huge mistake. I don’t know if she’ll ever forgive me. However, after my ambulance Santa experience, I became a believer, but she didn’t believe I believed. Truly a conundrum from hell.

I didn’t know what else to do, so I went to the mall to apologize to Santa, and have a picture taken of me on his lap as proof that we got along. When I sat on Santa’s lap, the mall disappeared in a flash of red and green light. We were sitting on a snowbank by a giant red and green striped candy cane with a sign that said “North Pole.” Santa told me to mellow out and quit acting like such an immature asshole. He told me to show more respect for my daughter’s feelings. He told me to hug her every day and tell her I love her. There were some other things he told me to do that I can’t disclose here, but suffice it to say I promised to do everything Santa told me to do.

Santa laughed his signature laugh—Ho, Ho, Ho—and we were back in the mall. Nobody seemed to have noticed what transpired. I went home and hugged my daughter and told her I love her, and this was just the beginning! I left Santa a gift under our tree. It was a new digital camera to replace the piece of crap he was using at the mall.


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

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Systrophe

Systrophe (si’-stro-fee): The listing of many qualities or descriptions of someone or something, without providing an explicit definition.


Lush. Warm. Another day, like nearly every day. Hopeful. Optimistic. Smiling. Driving to work. Bobbing through traffic. Here we are! “National Figments.” I’ve been working here for 51 years! I started when I was 11 with a fake I.D. my Uncle “Bingo” gave me as a gift when I dropped out of school in the 5th grade. I’ve won employee of the month 140 times. I’ve lost track of the different kinds of items I’ve helped make on the assembly line, but my favorites are made under contract to the U.S. Government. I’ve worked on useful things. Under the Trump administration we made sturdy and escape proof child-size cages, tasers disguised as cellphones, and “Fake News” generators. Under Bush, we made a line of one million ceramic cups that said “Mission Accomplished.” I think the best thing we made (and it was for Trump) was the “Sloganator.” It generates slogans that can be repeated until they sound like common sense. I was real proud of “Stop the Steal” and “Lock her up.” The craziest thing I ever helped to make was the Puppettron. I’m not sure how it works, but I do know it is some kind of implant that makes a person say whatever the controller wants them to say, and once they’ve said it, they believe it no matter how crazy or untrue it is. It is rumored that most Republican Representatives and Senators, ultra right wingers, and their news outlets have been fitted with Puppettrons. We’re all wondering who is doing the talking. The Puppettron’s sponsor was deeply concealed, but it seems to be used to advanced Republican interests. It’s easy to see as far as they consistently make bizarre claims and tell lies with conviction about things that are transparently untrue. Right now we’re working on the Democratorater, a device that jams the Puppettron’s encrypted signal and restores peoples’ freedom of speech and thought. This is typical of government work: make it and then break it.

I’m retiring next week. My boss told me I’ve been here too long and know too much. As he said that, he hit the palm of his hand with his fist. I told him I’d be gone by Friday. He said “good” and turned and walked away. As he walked away, I noticed he had a small incision on the back of his neck that had recently scabbed over.


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 video reading of this trope is on YouTube at the Johnnie Anaphora channel.

Systrophe

Systrophe (si’-stro-fee): The listing of many qualities or descriptions of someone or something, without providing an explicit definition.


It was long and sharp and flashed in the sunlight like a mirror or a diamond, or a polished moon hubcap from back in the day. As I swung it around my head, it made a soft swooshing sound. I’d never made shish kabob before, but as I pierced the pieces of cubed red meat I thought about being stabbed, or stabbing a stranger sitting by me on the subway.

I closed my eyes and violently shook my head to exorcise the image. After tonight, I’m going vegetarian. I yelled to my buddy for a beer. I caught it and popped it open. I wondered what my buddy would taste like grilled. As I walked toward him, the world around us dimmed and disappeared. He looked terrified. I held out a piece of meat and said, “Try this! It could be your sister. Ha ha ha!” He didn’t laugh.


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.

Systrophe

Systrophe (si’-stro-fee): The listing of many qualities or descriptions of someone or something, without providing an explicit definition.

He had tiny hands. They looked like chicken feet sticking out of his shirtsleeves. His lips were almost always puckered–not like he had eaten something bitter, but rather, as if he were sucking a straw and couldn’t get anything to come through it. It was like he looked mad, frustrated and thirsty all at once; maybe like a baby whose ba-ba nipple was malfunctioning. Post-pucker, he would throw his little chicken-feet hands around in no discernible gesture–maybe flailing, definitely not waving. His blond hair was stiffly coifed around his head like an amusement park ride called “Shellac Mountain” with hidden tunnels bypassing his bald flesh and buttressed against the wind’s revelation of the cosmetic circus playing beneath the surface of his hair.

This man wants us to believe he is worth a shit. Some people swear by him like he is Jesus Christ. Many of us just piss our pants or vomit dreading his continued presence in our lives. But some of us are immune to his idiocy having been inoculated with facts and learned opinions. We are biding our time. There will be a judgment day and it isn’t spelled Armageddon.

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.

Systrophe

Systrophe (si’-stro-fee): The listing of many qualities or descriptions of someone or something, without providing an explicit definition.

He wore big black leather boots. His blond hair was slicked straight back, held in place by some kind of industrial strength gel. He stood on the corner of two busy streets as if the corner was his front porch. His mustache drooped below his mouth. His coat had a shiny badge shaped like an octagon pinned to the front–a little crookedly. He looked straight into my eyes and turned around and walked away, slapping his golden truncheon in the palm of his hand. I was glad it was his hand and not my head.

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.

Systrophe

Systrophe (si’-stro-fee): The listing of many qualities or descriptions of someone or something, without providing an explicit definition.

Slumped in the sticky slurry. Sick on the pavement–bluish red. Like a carcinoma. Like a cracked piston. Like a nosebleed that’s already bled.

Sobbing like a pig with wide eyes begging for slaughter in the dawn’s early light.

Oh, say can you see?

The loaded handgun is still here: cold gleaming proof that the end is always near.

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

Systrophe

Systrophe (si’-stro-fee): The listing of many qualities or descriptions of someone or something, without providing an explicit definition.

Straight up into the air!  Buzzing softly overhead–my eye in the sky, my chopper on the roam, my battery-powered aerial eavesdropper.

Checking out the neighbors’ hot tub. Live-streaming video! Shotgun. Uh oh.

BA-BOOM! Shards of plastic. Styrofoam snow.  Bye, bye, birdie-sky-eye!

Time for me to go. Uh oh. Too late. Sirens, red lights, squealing tires, under arrest. $200.00 fine. Community service, 5 months.

Now my neighbors hate me and call me Sky Peeper, wave their fists, and curse at me every Thursday when I take out the trash.

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

Systrophe

Systrophe (si’-stro-fee): The listing of many qualities or descriptions of someone or something, without providing an explicit definition.

What a mower! Fast, big, red, zero-turner.

Grass flies, neighbors applaud, I sing: “Get your mower running, head out on the greensward, looking for adventure in any agrostis canina that gets in my way. I’m going to make it happen–catch the weeds in a blade’s embrace. Buy all of my overhauls at once and properly rusticate! For I’m a true haymeister’s child and I’m born to mow wild, born to mow wild, born to mow wild . . .”

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

Systrophe

Systrophe (si’-stro-fee): The listing of many qualities or descriptions of someone or something, without providing an explicit definition.

Human beings are complicated creatures! How caring, how filled with rage, how attentive, how lost in space, how loyal, how unfaithful, how obedient, how rebellious, how generous, how stingy–how completely dialectical–how vexed, how mercurial!

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