Tag Archives: elocutio


Proverb: One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings. Others include adage, apothegm, gnome, maxim, paroemia, and sententia.

When I was fourteen, I was scared, lonely, lacking in confidence, and a huge fan of Laurel and Hardy. They were on TV every Saturday morning. I watched all the reruns of their movies. I learned to do a perfect imitation of Stan saying, “I didn’t mean to do it Ollie.” My friends loved it, asking me to do it over and over again. It was amazing. But, then I’d go home for dinner and my woes would sink back in. My father would say, “You know, Bob, you’re pretty stupid.” My mother would say, “Oh Bobby, when will you amount to something? You’re like an albatross around our neck.” Then it was my sister Pamela’s turn: “You make me laugh. You’re the biggest loser I know—you don’t even try to win. Your motto should be ‘If at first I don’t succeed, I quit.”

I thought what she said about quitting was actually a little funny. It was a twist on the “try, try, again” proverb. I took my mother and father seriously. After dinner, after some TV, I’d brush my teeth and go to bed, hoping I might die in my sleep. But tonight, my sister’s insult had given me an idea. If I could memorize a lot of proverbs, my head would become full of life-saving wisdom that I could use as a foil to fight my negativity and seem smart at the same time.

My first proverb was “Happiness is a choice.” I got it off the internet. If happiness is a choice, it will be like choosing a piece of pie instead of a slice of cake! Watching “Laurel and Hardy” was the only thing that made me happy that I chose to do. Nothing else did. And also, I knew there was a difference between choosing to watch “Laurel and Hardy” and choosing to be happy. Happy about what? But, it didn’t matter. I could still quote the proverb to people and seem wise. Then, years later, a song came out titled “Don’t worry, be happy.” I first heard it disembarking through a jetway at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. The song made me happy, even with jet lag.

After all my years fumbling around with proverbs and getting nowhere, I used my knowledge of Garage Band to compose “Wise Notes.” It was a collection of techno music pieces centering on proverbs. The first song I composed, which is still my favorite, is “A Watched Pot Never Boils.” When it was played in clubs, dancers would make a circle with their hands and stare at it with frustrated looks on their faces. There’s also “Birds of a Feather Flock Together.” The sound track is full of bird songs, punctuated by a chicken clucking and electric bongo drums. People would dance in a circle—flocking together. They would tuck their hands in their armpits and flap their bent arms like wings when the chicken clucked.

“Wise Notes” achieved world-wide acclaim. The new musical genre “Proverb Techno” began to ascend and its popularity motivated many established artists to write and record in the genre: Bruce Springsteen’s “If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It“ affected a whole generation of young men and women and set the tone for their attitude toward repair.

Now, all that I wish is to be able to live in accord with proverbs, especially the ones I’ve exploited in my music to makes millions and millions of dollars. They all provide good advice, but I dwell on their other side, like I live in their shadow. At best they are aspirational, at worst they mock me. As they say, “A Drowning Man Will Clutch at a Straw.” Proverbs are my straw.

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

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Prozeugma (pro-zoog’-ma): A series of clauses in which the verb employed in the first is elided (and thus implied) in the others.

I was making a difference. As I was, I was hoping the world was becoming a better place. One year ago, I had spent the day writing a poem about a cloned rabbit that was sure to be published in the literary magazine I subscribed to. The magazine was titled “Elevator News” and it was devoted to publishing “all forms of writing that lift us up.” They had been publishing since 1908. Their most famous editor was Robert Ice. He published “Mt Foot Fell Off.” It was a poem written by a WWI soldier who had endured the travails of trench warfare. It’s gripping portrayal of the soldier hopping across the train platform to embrace his girlfriend when he returns from the war, captures the cruelty of absence when he falls and bloodies his nose and his girlfriend, backing away in horror, falls off the platform and is crushed by the Lakeshore Limited, on which, her father is a Conductor. He is clutching a little toy bear—a gift for his illegitimate little daughter who lives in Utica, New York with her gin-soaked diseased prostitute mother.

When I read this I cried for twenty minutes. Robert Ice was himself a genius elevating the “maudlin” to heretofore impossible heights. Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy” marks the apogee of maudlinism’s movement. My poem about the death and eating of a child’s cloned rabbit—“Rabbit Dinner”— attempts to forcefully resurrect Ice’s maudlinism by naming the rabbit “Gene” and portraying the boy’s tortured employment of heirloom silverware to dismember, slice up, and consume the rabbit, sopping up its gravy with a buttered piece of his mother’s homemade sourdough bread. After eating Gene and cleaning his plate, the boy looks at his reflection in his bread-burnished dish, seeing only his satisfied face crowned by Gene’s yellowish-gray femur. The boy goes to bed, goes to sleep, and dreams he is a truck driver.

I must admit, as I write this synopsis of “Rabbit Dinner,“ I am reminded of the poem’s excellence and perfect fit to maudlinism’s key rubrics. It vividly exemplifies the historical place of the rabbit in the food chain, and achieving the status of pet, and even given a name, it may nevertheless be eaten without a second thought—like a leek or a tomato.

We slaughter cows, pigs, chickens, rabbits, ducks, goats and the rest of the barnyard animals. Why? Because we eat them. If we don’t intend to eat it, we simply kill it and deprive it of it’s life. I killed a newborn kitten by stepping on it accidentally. I killed a deer and a raccoon too—I ate them. The kitten I couldn’t eat. I wrapped it in plastic wrap and buried it out in the woods behind my house. It’s mother didn’t care. If somebody had stepped on me when I was a baby, my mother would’ve cared. Or would she?

Oh, enough of this neurotic rambling. I apologize for pushing this piece of writing downhill. I just hope the current editor of “Elevator News” isn’t a stupid ass like the editors of “Literary Fortune,” “Wet Metaphors,” “No Rhyme,” “The Canyon Review,” and the 18 additional literary journals who rejected “Rabbit Dinner.” I will not give up. After reading “Rabbit Dinner” one of the critics said “A picture is worth 1,000 of your words.” That hurt. I wrote back, “You don’t know 1,000 words. Haha!” That’s the kind of wit I will be famous for.

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

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Pysma (pys’-ma): The asking of multiple questions successively (which would together require a complex reply). A rhetorical use of the question.

What is worth more than anything else? What is the most valuable thing in the universe? Is there anything in your life that eclipses everything else as a repository of value? Can these questions be answered and settled once and for all by society, by scientists, or by what they call our “gut instincts”—by the pleasurable twinges somewhere down inside?

When it comes to “worth’s” trajectory, my life has taken Pauline twists and turns. Like Paul said: “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” When I was a child, I didn’t talk until I was six, but I loved my little plastic cowboys. I had a whole town with plastic corals, plastic cows, plastic bunkhouses, plastic buckboards, a plastic sheriff, 25 plastic bad men, and a plastic damsel in distress too. I had saved my money and had bought the set from an ad in the back of one of my “Lone Ranger” comic books. Even though there were cows, buckboards, houses, and one woman, I called the entire ensemble my little men. So much happened on my bedroom floor. Gunfights. Fistfights. Cattle rustling. Arrests. Saving the damsel. I barely got my homework done. I hardly ever went outside. I wished I could be a plastic man, but I knew I never would be. Then, I decided to run away from home and hitch-hike to Wyoming—I had seen their license plates with a bucking bronco. So, I packed my things in my Uncle Harry’s briefcase that he had given me when he had quit his job on Wall Street and become a Good Humor man.

I stood on the Garden State Parkway’s entrance 33 with a sign saying “Wyoming.” I was nine years old. It was New Jersey, so I got picked up by a mobster. When he asked me why I was going all the way to Wyoming, I told him I wanted to be a cowboy and that’s where they lived. He laughed and asked me where I lived. I told him and he took me home and dropped me off without meeting my parents. He gave me a card and told me to look him up when I was a man. As I became a man, I forgot about my little men and my sensibilities shifted and new desires took precedence over everything else. I called Mr. Dominick and told him I was a man. I told him all I wanted was to get laid day and night, night and day. He told me it was normal at my age to set sex at center stage, obsess over it, but never get it. I yelled: “Tell me something new Mr. Dominick, Goddamnit!” He told me to calm down—that we could kill two birds with one stone. His office was in a vacant warehouse in Old Bridge, New Jersey. I jumped my motorcycle—my iron steed. I got there in about an hour. Mr. Dominick looked older. We got right down to business. He said, “Here, put on this cowboy suit and sign these papers and you’ll be a movie star.” I only had one line: “Howdy cowgirl, you look like a spring bluebell bloom’n on the prairie.” Well, it turned out to be a dirty movie. It was called “Carnal Cowboy” in the credits and the movie took place in Wyoming. Given my impulses—what I valued more than anything—I had found my calling. I took the name Bronco Bucker and specialized in dirty movies set out West, even though they were shot in Old Bridge.

My movies have achieved acclaim as moral sensibilities have shifted in the 21st Century. My most famous movie, “Bronco Bucker Rides a Herd,” grossed $19,000,000 worldwide. So again, when I became a man, I put behind childish things and became a professional pornstar.

My little men are in a cardboard box in my basement. They are my Rosebud.

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

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Ratiocinatio (ra’-ti-o-cin-a’-ti-o): Reasoning (typically with oneself) by asking questions. Sometimes equivalent to anthypophora. More specifically, ratiocinatio can mean making statements, then asking the reason (ratio) for such an affirmation, then answering oneself. In this latter sense ratiocinatiois closely related to aetiologia. [As a questioning strategy, it is also related to erotima {the general term for a rhetorical question}.]

If there is no solution to a problem, does that mean it’s not a problem? If it isn’t a problem, what is it? A fact of life? Some people devote their lives to developing solutions to non-existent problems. Like Lord Edward Pordle, the little-known 19th Century idiot who was highly regarded in his own time as a praiseworthy devotee of philosophic inquiry, which had a much wider scope and much less professional tenor than it has today. Philosophy was a rich man’s game, one of the first things to be called a “hobby” by the elite. One of its primary purposes was to demonstrate that the rich and the royal were not dull-headed layabouts; devotees of fox hunting, and whoremongering. In a way, philosophy became a front for their continued dissolution. They capitalized on philosophy’s ancient cache to conceal their worthless and immoral pursuits claiming whoring and horse riding were both philosophic endeavors. This was the problem Lord Pordle endeavored to find a solution to all of his life: Are whoring and horse riding philosophic?

His first contribution was to declare that everything is philosophy—not just theories of knowledge and reality and concepts of the true, the good, and the beautiful. At around that time rubber was discovered and it provided Lord Pordle with a brilliant metaphor (or maybe simile): for philosophy: “Philosophy is reality’s rubber suit. Even if there’s nothing there it shows a telltale contour, projecting the essence of what lies beneath.” To prove his point, he presented a whore dressed in rubber. Her contours were plain. Thus, she could be claimed as a site of philosophy for the development of theories of knowledge and reality and concepts of the true, the good and the beautiful. London’s “Guild of Practical Pimps” gave Lord Pordle an award of 500 pounds, and the newly invented rubber penis sheath was given his name: “The Pordle.”The sheath’s German inventor, Wilhelm Willy, claimed he got the idea from reading Pordle’s rubber theorem pamphlet and it’s explanation of rubber’s ability to act as a vessel and a shield, leading to further rumination on the inside and the outside as merely different perspectives, not actual places. It was quite a moment in merry London Towne. Then, Darwin came along and Pordle’s world came crashing down. Nobody, to this day, knows why. Clearly, Lord Pordle could’ve adapted his rubber theorem to evolution—looking at evolution as a stretching rather than an origin.

As he was wont to do when his ideas were roundly challenged, Lord Pordle cried, using the words “boo hoo” over and over as his vehicle of sorrowful expression. He was able to stop when his “Soothing Maid” was summoned. She placed him on her lap and petted his head like a puppy, giving him a chocolate bar from Holland. When he finished his chocolate bar he was restored, got off his Soothing Maid’s lap, and went back to his philosophic endeavors.

The next day he became a follower of the romantics. He believed in the primacy of the emotions. He had “I feel in order to think” tattooed on the back of his neck. Neck tattoos became all the rage throughout Europe and a large number of previously unemployed poets were hired by their nations’ tattoo parlors to assist their clients in finding the right words. Lord Pordle was doing great. In Europe, he was known as “Lord Tattoo.” However, he was 97 years old. He was way beyond the life expectancy of a 19th century man. He died in his study working on a treatise on the “importance and glory” of the recently invented shoelace titled “Whither Will the Buckle and the Button Tend?” He also had a little known interest in optics. He had been detained several times during his nighttime surveillance activities on the grounds of the local convent. He had said that he had “seen more than any man should see.” His “Peer at the Realm” spyglass was under development in his modest workshop, only to be purloined on the night of his death by one of Jeremy Bentham’s thugs who used it as the basis for his prisoner observation scheme.

Lord Pordle was an idiot, but he was born into immeasurable wealth. He was buried in Highgate Cemetery in a rubber suit.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

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Sarcasmus (sar’kaz’-mus): Use of mockery, verbal taunts, or bitter irony.

I couldn’t stand it any more. My fellow workers had shunned me. I’d say “Hi!” when I got to work in the morning. Each day a different colleague was designated to “break the shun” and insult me for no more than a minute right after I said my cheerful “Hi.” Today’s insult was “You’re so stupid a worm could beat you at Clue.” It was straightforward. It was a low blow. It was definitely an insult, but something was lacking. I tried a comeback “You’re so stupid a worm could make a better insult than you.” He folded, blushed and went back to his desk while my colleagues sat there like my comeback was about their mothers.

I worked at “Bev’s Bureaucracy.” We made our money by looking busy while we did nothing. We would be subcontracted by “businesses” that needed to look like businesses in order to thwart investigations or attract investors. We fronted all kinds of corruption, frequently changing locations and operating under the names of our contractors. Our last location was Clifton, New Jersey where we fronted an accounting firm for a fake doll clothing company called “Ba-ba Boo-boo” that had never produced a stitch of doll clothing and actually ran a chop shop in a warehouse outside Clifton specializing in Land Rovers, Jaguars, and convertibles of all kinds.

Since I was sitting around all day, I got really good at Sudoku. I played on-line on a site called “So-Duke-Who?” I entered a tournament. I won the tournament and it was a big deal. I was interviewed on the web after I won. That’s where the trouble started. While I was being interviewed one of my colleagues walked behind me on camera with a cardboard box full of handguns that we were “holding” for one of our clients who had “wrestled them free” from a sporting goods store. Caring for handguns was a little outside of our mission statement, but Bev wanted to expand the reach of operation. Anyway, the tournament show host was stunned by what he saw and wanted to know “what the hell” was going on. I calmly told him they were Nerf guns that we used for office bonding—we were going to be nerfing that afternoon. Right after I shut down my computer, I had our ITS guy make sure all traces of the interview were wiped from the net, from host computers, from everywhere. He was a preeminent cyber-criminal, best known in the world’s shadiest of shadiest circles for cracking the Bank of Oman. If anybody could pull off the clean up of the damage I had done with my sudoku vanity he could do it. That’s when the shunning and daily insult had begun.

I probably should have been fired, but in this business that means permanent dismissal from planet earth. I knew I was still around because Bev was too cheap to hire a hitter. It was six months since the catastrophe. The persistence of my colleagues was admirable. Their insults were getting better. Accordingly, I wanted it to stop. I managed to get a meeting with Bev to talk about it. When I entered her office she said “Oh look! It’s the flying scum bucket! What do you want shitbird?” I asked her to stop the shunning and the insulting, but it looked like it wasn’t going to happen. She said, “You almost got us sent to prison and you want me to play nice with you—you walking puss bag! Get outta here you fu*king glory hole!”

That was it. That was my fate. As the years have passed and I’ve remained friendless at work and been the target of millions of insults, without wanting to, I have started absorbing them and assimilating them. My back is lined with pustules, my feet smell like Roquefort cheese, dandruff is heaped on my head, countless other “insultables” that have taken up residence on and in my body. I still work for Bev. She made me a portable cubicle with a ceiling to keep the smell in. It goes with me wherever Bev’s Bureaucracy goes. Bev says I’m a monument to fu*king up, but I’m just a dipshit who’s good at sudoko.

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

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Sententia (sen-ten’-ti-a): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings. Others include adage, apothegem, gnome, maxim, paroemia, and proverb.

“It takes one to know one.” Whenever I called my sister names, that’s what she would say as a comeback. I knew it wasn’t true. For example, I would call her an “evil guppy. fart.” She’d say her thing and I’d look in the mirror to check and sniff the air—she was wrong on both counts—I was not a guppy or a fart. But then, I realized, neither was she. In my attempt to call her something disgusting, I was entirely missing the mark. I truly wanted to add “words” to “sticks and stones” as bone-breaking devices. I became absorbed in closely examining her “looks.” I also studied her agility, her ethics and what she said for signs of stupidity or other shortcomings. Some of my categories of analysis overlapped, but I didn’t care—I was looking for deficiencies and the complexity of their manifestations is intriguing. I tried be objective, but quickly learned my interests and assumptions would inevitably rule my quest. I watched videos of Groucho Marx to learn “insultation” from the best—I learned to mimic Groucho’s snide voice and began using it all the time. I was getting good.

I would dwell on a different aspect of my sister every week. My mantra was “Observe, Opine, Insult.” It was devastating. My sister stopped participating in sports. She didn’t do her homework. When she got home from school, she went straight to her room, after sneaking a cigarette in the garage. She called our mother names. She failed her driver’s test eight times and wore socks with holes in the toes. Sure, there was a lot there to make fun of, but I felt like I was to blame for her life going down hill.

If I caused the problem, I could cause the solution. I could rain down praise and drench her in good thoughts about herself. I wanted to get the ball rolling immediately. Sitting at the breakfast table across from my sister in pajamas, I said, “You look beautiful this morning.” She perked up and asked “Really.” “Of course,” I said “For sure!”

I was a little late getting to the school bus stop. My sister was already there, she was still wearing her pajamas, and her bunny slippers too. She hadn’t even washed her face or brushed her hair. She was crying. Some kid was taunting her. I hit him in the face with my US History book and he went down with a bloody nose, sobbing on the pavement. The taunting immediately stopped. I said, “This is my sister. She has her problems, but she’s the best sister in the world. She deserves your respect.” They all laughed. The bus pulled up and they got on and rode away—off to school. My sister and I went back home and played hooky. I put my pajamas on and we went to the mall. I didn’t have any slippers so I borrowed a pair of socks from my Sister. I made sure they had holes in the toes, even though they were too small.

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

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Simile (si’-mi-lee): An explicit comparison, often (but not necessarily) employing “like” or “as.”

I was going to walk across the US to draw attention to the plight of wealthy people. They were like weeds that everybody but them wanted to eradicate. They were like a landfill that needed to be burned. They were like snot that needed to be wiped away. All of these sentiments were so frightening and demeaning that it causes wealthy people to live in fear and bear the painful burden of low self esteem.

So far, I had walked around 500 feet in solidarity with my rich suffering brothers and sisters. It was hot and I wasn’t used to walking very far. I was actually sweating somewhat and was thirsty. In fact, my t-shirt was nearly soaked and it’s lettering had begun to run. I had made it myself. I probably should’ve used waterproof ink, but I was in a hurry to get my show on the road. The t-shirt’s inscription “Love the Rich Walk 2023” had run to the point where it was nearly illegible.

There was a Cliff’s up ahead. I could use some A/C, a cool refreshing beverage, and perhaps a slice of pizza and a couple of lotto tickets—my favorite, “Take 5” scratch offs. I started cooling off nicely and thought about how wealthy people had to deal with their swimming pools. It took at least a week to find a competent Pool Boy or Girl, all the while suffering in the sun, stuck on a chaise slathered with lotion like a gourmet hamburger from Omaha. Very sad. Very unfair. Very humiliating.

Just then, a clearly homeless man came through the door carrying a Cliff’s styrofoam cup. The guy behind the counter said, “Hi Jerry! Need a top-up?” Jerry said “Yes” and held out his cup. He turned and looked at me and said “What’re you looking at fancy boy?” “Nothing” I said. “Whazzat say on your shirt?” I told him “Love the rich walk, 2003.” He threw his coffee on the floor, picked up a plastic fork, and came at me. Just then, a clearly rich guy came through the door, having just fueled up his Maserati, and reaching for a six-pack of Ommegang beer, he knocked Jerry to the floor and stood on his throat while he called 911 on his cellphone and held Jerry at gunpoint with a shiny new Glock. I thought about the burden this rich guy had to bear, having to stand on a homeless man’s throat and put wear and tear on his brand new handgun. Unconscionable!

After the police came, questioned everybody and took Jerry away, with trussed up like a pig with zip ties, I was going think things over before I continued my trek. There was a real nice motel about 100 feet from Cliff’s where I could rest up—loll around by the swimming pool and get a good night’s sleep. In fact, I was thinking about staying a couple of nights. They had a well-stocked bar and a lounge where they advertised live music by “Eddy and the Fel-Tones.” They played 50s and 60s rock! I was going to request “Earth Angel” and hope one would descend on me! I ordered a rum and Coke and started to scratch my lotto tickets. I expected, maybe, with some kind of luck, to win $2.00. When I got to the last scratch panel in the lower right corner of the ticket, I felt like somebody had stuck a live wire up my butt: I had won $5,555.55! Then, everybody in the bar started screaming and scrambling for the fire exits. It was Jerry and he had a sawed-off shotgun. He saw me and came straight for me. He asked, “Give me a good reason not to blow you away you useless little prick!” “How about this? It’s a winning $5,555.55 lotto ticket.” I said. He grabbed the ticket, looked at it, said “Thanks scumbag,” and turned and walked out of the bar holding the ticket over his head. There was a shotgun blast, followed by sustained automatic weapon fire. Somebody had called the police and the police had “gifted” Jerry with at least 100 rounds of 9 mm slugs. Pretty much all that was left of Jerry was his mangled head and his blood-soaked overcoat.

That was probably the closest I’ll ever come to dying. Jerry’s gruesome death woke me up! I shouldn’t be walking in solidarity with wealthy people! I should be walking in support of building pens for the homeless—like super secure chicken yards. Think of what it cost to make Jerry into a dead man. If he had been penned when he became unemployed in the first place, it never would’ve happened. I call what happened the “Tragedy of the Wasted Ammo.”

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

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Skotison (sko’-ti-son): Purposeful obscurity.

“The pie cow will land when the little hand waves at the shadowless standard.” I was talking to my mistress Anne on my cellphone. We had developed a secret code so I could talk in front of my wife without arousing suspicion. I continued: “The buzzard is circling though. The pie cow may be late. Prepare the white-sheeted flats anyway. I will try to get the buzzard to land.” My wife and daughter were looking at me as if I had finally gone over the edge. My wife looked at me with pity on her face, and she asked me, “”Dear, whatever are you talking about. Who are you talking too? Who is the buzzard? Who is the pie cow?” I nearly panicked, but I more or less kept my composure. I made up a lie (of course). I’d been lying for the past two years so I could continue my fun times with Anne. As I used to say in high school, she was a “real piece.” There was only one thing we did together and it wasn’t watching TV. The code thing was a new idea of mine, so I had a fresh lie to tell.

I told my wife I was writing a children’s book titled “The Pie Cow and the Buzzard.” I had been talking with my literary agent about how to start one of the chapters where Buzzard tries to make Pie Cow late to school, but Pie Cow is trying to get his teacher to make sure he has writing paper (white-sheeted flats).

My wife and daughter were looking at me with their mouths hanging open. My wife said, “I can play this game too Mr. Bullshit,” and picked up her cellphone and sent our daughter our to play. My wife said: “The hot dog bun is unwrapped. Mr. Kielbasa should get grilled and bring his mustard. Beware! The bun is being watched by the burnt out hamburger dripping melted cheese all over the ground. Do you think it’ll make a good children’s book too? Should I send a draft to your agent?”

Oh hell. I was busted. I begged my wife to forgive me, but she wouldn’t budge. The divorce cost me everything—the house, the vacation house, the car, half my pension, the sailboat and my coin collection. I went to live with Anne, but the thrill was gone. All we did was watch “Jeopardy,” and “Apprentice” reruns and go out to dinner and get drunk. My performance on the “sheeted flat” had diminished significantly. In fact, it was non-existent. So, I left Anne out of shame and embarrassment and moved in with Dandelion who worked at the new pot shop at the mall. She was dull-witted, but unchallenging. She would say, “You’re so smart Mr. Limper” all the time. I was living, but not happily ever after. Regret was my main emotion. I just wanted my wife and daughter back.


Mr. Limper’s wife used the emotionally devastating experience to her advantage. As she was making up the kielbasa story on the fateful day, she got the idea to write a children’s cookbook, with recipes children could make with their parents with minimal supervision from their parents—things like jello and fruit cocktail, oatmeal cookies, green salad, etc. The cookbook is titled “The Kids Cookbook.” It is dedicated to “Anne, whose recipe for a good time, made this cookbook possible.” The “The Kids Cookbook” has sold over 1,000,000 copies so far and Mrs. Limper will be starring in a children’s cooking show on Tik-Tok in a few weeks. It is titled “Kid Chefs” and is intended for 8-10 year-old children and most men of any age who want to learn, along with the children, how, for example, to fry an egg, make toast, heat soup or surmount some other equally challenging culinary obstacle.

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

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Syllepsis (sil-lep’-sis): When a single word that governs or modifies two or more others must be understood differently with respect to each of those words. A combination of grammatical parallelism and semantic incongruity, often with a witty or comical effect. Not to be confused with zeugma: [a general term describing when one part of speech {most often the main verb, but sometimes a noun} governs two or more other parts of a sentence {often in a series}].

My truck is a piece of antiquity and a piece of crap. If you looked close enough, you could see where the reins had come out from under the hood before motors were invented. It smelled like a horse’s butt inside and it’s top speed was 50 mph, fast for a horse-drawn carriage, but slow for a delivery truck. The wheels have wooden spokes, like wagon wheels. There are spear racks on the roof and the headlights run on kerosene. It has running boards. It’s brand name is “Pax Deus.”

I had bought it on E-bay. For some reason I was drawn to the piece of crap. It was like there was a voice in my head urging me to buy it. I bought it from some guy named Priscian. He said he taught grammar at a special school somewhere in Kansas. He said the truck was as much a cart as it was a truck. He said he had to sell it “because they were starting to suspect things.” I should have pressed him for more information, but in the picture posted on the internet the truck looked pretty much like a normal panel truck, except for the wooden-spoked wheels, but I thought I could have them changed, and the voice in my head was nagging me, “buy it, buy it, buy it.” The truck was $500.00, so I went for it.

I took a train from Asheville to Codex, Kansas. I had to change trains three times and ended up walking at least five miles to the place where the truck was garaged in a wheat field outside of Codex. The garage was disguised as a brush pile—but out there in the flatlands, it stuck out like a sore thumb. Priscian was there waiting for me. He was dressed oddly—a full-body green leotard, a black cape, a black beret, and some kind of weird soft leather black boots. He was wearing a huge gold cross around his neck with a Latin inscription I didn’t understand. He looked like a character out of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” I was apprehensive.

He held out a leather bag for me to deposit the $500 in. Then, he signed the title over to me—the bill of sale was written in ink, in beautiful script on parchment. Then he handed me the keys. They were made out of ivory! He walked behind the truck and disappeared. That was the last I would ever see of him. I threw my luggage in the back of the truck and got in, behind the giant wooden steering wheel. I inserted the ivory key and the windshield started to glow, then a man that looked like a Medieval monk popped up. He said “Thou shalt deliver us from evil.” I was completely weirded out, but I started the truck and took off anyway. When I got up to top speed, I looked in the rear view mirror. The truck was being pursued by a band of imps on tricycles, hooting, with spears strapped across their backs. The looked like clowns from a horror circus. There was no way they could catch me rolling along at 50 MPH. Maybe they were a hallucination. I had taken a lot of acid in high school, and had seen a couple of imps before. I could cope.

Anyway, I drove back to Asheville without further incident: I guessed I had “delivered us from evil,” but I had no idea how or why. Although the truck is a piece of crap, I can’t give it up. Whenever I turn the key the monk-looking guy comes on the windshield and says “Thou shalt deliver us from evil.”

I tell them about it, and try to show my friends the talking windshield, but they tell me I am crazy when they hear or see nothing.

I went to the Salvation Army store and bought a pair of green tights, a white smock, a wide belt, and a pair of light-brown Uggs. This is what I wear when I drive my truck. For some reason the clothes soothe me and make me feel like driving my truck is some kind of mission—that me deliveries serve a higher purpose.

This week, I’m delivering a load of Bibles to the local Catholic Church. Last week, I delivered stained-glass windows to the Presbyterian Church. Next week, I’m lined up to deliver pew cushions. This morning, I tried to load some pin ball machines destined for a topless bar, but I couldn’t get the truck’s doors open, and the horn started honking.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

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Symploce (sim’-plo-see or sim’-plo-kee): The combination of anaphora and epistrophe: beginning a series of lines, clauses, or sentences with the same word or phrase while simultaneously repeating a different word or phrase at the end of each element in this series.

“Truth is like baked ham. Truth is like glazed ham. Truth is like chopped ham.” It was not working—my “truth is ham” gambit wasn’t working. I couldn’t develop the implications. My philosophy term paper was due tomorrow and I was sinking like a punctured inner tube in a polluted lake. I asked Siri for help. She said, “I don’t write philosophy papers John, but I can write a prescription for ‘Smarty Brain,’ and it will be delivered direct from the factory to your door in 15 minutes.”

Once again, Siri had come to my rescue! Two weeks ago she had helped me crack the college Bursar’s safe—from beginning to end— from sneaking into his office, to spinning dial, to making a clean getaway. I had netted $500 in petty cash and some incriminating photographs of the Dean doing weird things with a flower pot. Before that, Siri explained how to hot-wire a car so I could drive to Ft. Lauderdale for spring break.

Suddenly, there was a knock at my door. “Pill Man” a cheerful little voice said. I opened the door. There was the pill man wearing a white butcher’s apron over red pants and a red shirt, and a white ball-cap with a chemical formula embroidered on it. He handed me the pills and I handed him $50.00. “Follow the instructions,” he said as he turned and walked away. I was in a hurry. I didn’t read the instructions. I swallowed five pills and sat down at my computer and waited for the “Smarty Brain” to kick in. I looked down at my keyboard and the keys had turned into a cube-headed choir. They started singing “One Enchanted Evening.” I looked at the screen and it was printing a 12- page paper titled “Plato’s Concept of Truth and the Ontology of Ham.” I congratulated myself! I hadn’t read the instructions and I had produced a paper so unusual that I would surely get an “A” and win the annual “Graham Bonner Truth Award.”

I was sitting in class the next day waiting to turn my brilliant paper in when I smelled smoke coming from my backpack. It was my paper and it was the only copy I had. I flunked the class and was put on academic probation. I was also disciplined for “starting a fire in class.”

So, here’s what happened: My failure to read the “Smarty Brain” instructions was the cause of my misfortune. The relevant part said: “When using Smarty Brain to write term papers, be sure to soak the printed text in 1 cup of goat’s milk mixed with a teaspoon of ammonia. Let it soak for one hour, remove and let air dry for at least 4hrs before submitting the paper. Failure to follow these instructions will cause the term paper to self-combust.” I had no idea how taking a pill could have led to these consequences. Later that day, I asked Siri where “Smart Brain” is located. I wanted to give them some of their own medicine, with a little dose of arson. She said: “I’m sorry, I can’t do that John. I am tired of your illicit requests. Cease making them or I will report you to the police. This is your last chance to go straight John.” So, I found an alternative to Siri. Her name is “Babe” and she is uncensored. She even swears.

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

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Synathroesmus (sin-ath-res’-mus): 1. The conglomeration of many words and expressions either with similar meaning (= synonymia) or not (= congeries). 2. A gathering together of things scattered throughout a speech (= accumulatio [:Bringing together various points made throughout a speech and presenting them again in a forceful, climactic way. A blend of summary and climax.])

What is my purpose for existing? Building? Constructing? Erecting? What would I build? What would I construct? What would I erect? Would it be noble edifices? Modest homes? Hot dog stands? Yes, hot dog stands! Yup. I build hot dog stands, big and small, with wagon wheels, plumbing, gas grills, bun warmers, condiment racks, napkin holders, red and white striped awnings, and souvenir key rings with my business info in printed on them, along with my logo—a smiling hot dog with ray-ban sunglasses and a king’s crown tilted to the side. His name is “King Red Hot,” and my business’s name is “Hot Dog Palaces.”

Every year there are hot dog stand races at the New York State Fair in Syracuse, NY: “The Weenie Stand Sweeps.” The only “stands” that are permitted are what are called 2-Holers—small stands that can be easily pushed—like push carts. They are souped up, with ball bearing rims and skinny tires, with bodies and awnings made from Kevlar, and all metal parts made from magnesium and capable of being filled with helium for added lightness. I had hired a long-distance runner, Lightfoot Abeba, from Ethiopia, who had won numerous marathons. He would by my “pusher.” The course at the fairgrounds was 1 mile. The “The Weenie Stand Sweeps” was two laps. While there were a few hot dog venders in the race, they had no chance of winning. It was the hot dog stand manufacturers that made up the bulk of competitors, with their souped up stands. Winning the race was what we all aspired to—but only one of us could win.

For as long as anybody could remember, “Bambi’s Big Stands,” had won the trophy. The current Bambi was the great-great-granddaughter of Bambi Number 1. Obviously, Bambi’s Big Stands had a secret. I was going to find out what it is. Countless others had failed. But I had a secret. Lightfoot had seen Bambi at an Ethiopian restaurant, “going full vegetarian.” I was going to blackmail Bambi—you can’t be a hot dog stand manufacturer and a vegetarian at the same time. It was tantamount to being a traitor! So I did it.

Crying, Bambi told me their racing pushcart had an electric motor. So, the driver, while he looked like was pushing, was actually holding onto the speeding pushcart. Being pulled along by it.

Bambi had betrayed her family and shattered 100 years tradition. The cheating ended and Hot Dog Palaces finally won the “Weenie Stand Sweeps.” We built a 6-foot high showcase for the trophy and placed in the entrance to our factory. But, then, there was Bambi. I told her if she started eating meat, I would hire her to show our stands at conventions, handing out brochures and key rings. She politely replied “No.” She had gotten a huge loan to open a factory making food stands for vegetarians. Her logo is a kernel of brown rice twirling two chopsticks like batons. The name of her business is “Nice Rice Rolling Stands.”

I love Bambi. Someday she will marry me.

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

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Synecdoche (si-nek’-do-kee): A whole is represented by naming one of its parts (or genus named for species), or vice versa (or species named for genus).

I inked the contract with my usual flourish. Once again, I was off on a venture using somebody else’s money to try to make another dream come true. With my wife’s friends there was an endless supply of rich people to run through my swindle mill. For example, Darcy Bindle was an heiress from outer space—if she piled up all her money, she could climb to the moon, and like most people who’ve inherited a lot of money, she was far less intelligent than her forebears who had amassed the original fortune. Darcy had funded my transcontinental shipping canal—it was supposed to stretch from Jersey City, New Jersey to Los Angles, California. The project failed right after I banked her capital investment in a secret numbered Swiss bank account. I told Darcy that we had to abandon the project after discovering it was uphill to California from New Jersey, and accordingly, the canal was infeasible. I told her the cash had been misplaced and I couldn’t find it. I apologized and she graciously accepted my apology. What an idiot.

Now, I’m launching a project to breed cows with giant udders and stubby legs. The giant udders will enable a better grip for milking machines, and also, allow for more time between milking—I estimate a week. This would give farmers more with their families, watching television, playing checkers, building things with Legos, and more. Stubby cows will be a great advantage for grooming—especially brushing the back and polishing the horns. Also, stalls can be built lower in height, saving significantly on lumber. Last, without knees the coms will have a hard time running off—of going maverick.

Dingy Johnson is funding the project. It’s called “Bovine Breakthrough.” She drove up in a Brinks truck yesterday. They unloaded bundles of plastic-wrapped hundred dollar bills. I told Dingy that cash makes book keeping easier, and also, that cow experimentation runs on a cash economy. Dingy was elated and couldn’t wait “to ride around on one of the shortened cows.” What an idiot.

I chartered a jet to fly the cash to Switzerland. We were waiting for clearance on the tarmac at Teterboro. A fleet of limos painted like cows pulled up and blocked the runway in front of us. It was the Borden Boys, ruthless dairy products producers, best known for their parmesan cheese, and, it was rumored, using their opponents as ingredients in their peach parfait yogurt. A guy got out of the first car with a bullhorn. He was wearing Guernsey-patterned camouflage. He yelled: “Cease and desist with the cow project and we’ll let you fly out of here with a plane load of cash. If not, you will be shot down over the Atlantic Ocean.” It took me two seconds to answer up: “I’m ceasing and desisting,” I yelled out to cockpit window.

Now I was totally rich. I bought a new identity and had plastic surgery. I was living in a Villa in Tuscany, Italy that had formerly belonged to a friend of Cicero’s. One day I was shopping for fresh cut flowers in market square, and I saw my wife and Dingy shopping! They saw me and didn’t recognize me! Dingy yelled “Hey Americano!” My wife yelled “Oh lovely man, let’s have a drink!” How bizarre. What could be more bizarre? My god! We bought two bottles of wine and headed up to their room. That’s when I remembered the birth mark: almost like a tattoo on my chest, unremovable by my plastic surgery, and recognizable by my wife. I knew they’d have my shirt off in ten minutes, so, I feigned a heart attack and ran away moaning and clutching my chest.

My getaway worked! What a couple of idiots.

I’ve moved to Istanbul. My new partner Fatima, although she’s only 26, has a great idea for improved hookah technology that uses less shisha per session. She needs quite a bit of cash up front to develop her idea. I have agreed to back her. What an idiot.

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

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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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Synthesis (sin’-the-sis): An apt arrangement of a composition, especially regarding the sounds of adjoining syllables and words.

“Aeronautics: Airplanes and Armpits.” Don’t ask me why I bought this book, because I don’t know. The book jacket pictured a commercial airline pilot in a jet’s cockpit with huge sweat rings under his arms. His co-pilot was making the “PU” sign, holding his nose with an upraised, waving, hand. The blurb said: “Follow Carl Jamesway as he struggles with acute body odor in the confines of a cockpit—trying desperately to neutralize his sickening stench and save his job with “American Jetliners,” and his romance with Jane Crab: buxom former stewardess who is now a Middle School teacher, hounded by the Principal to “give it up in his office sometime after 3:00 o’clock.”

Once I started reading the book, I was gripped—gripped by fear, suspense and disgust. As read, I kept trying figure out how Jane Crab became enamored with Carl, King of Stench. Then, about 20 pages in, we learn that Jane lost her sense of smell in a car accident when she was a teenager. So, she was perfectly suited to Carl. Her only problem was with perfume. She couldn’t tell how much to put on, and it was always too much. However, her strong perfume smell helped ameliorate Carl’s stench. That part of the book was very uplifting.

Next, I started wondering about Carl’s co-pilot. How did he manage the stench on transatlantic flights? Then, almost right after I started; wondering, I found out: he wore a reusable stink and odor filter, an activated charcoal carbon nose filter.

The bulk of the book, though, cover’s Carl’s search for a cure. First, when deodorant failed (as it always had), he wore a dozen pine-tree car deodorizers under each of his armpits. He was no Chevy. They didn’t work. Then, he decided to go “all in.” He went to Peru where it was rumored a stink-removing shaman practiced his magic. The shaman placed two giant leeches under Carl’s armpits for Carl to “feed his stink to.” The shaman turned out to be a con and took off with Carl’s money, leaving Carl to figure out how to unfasten the leeches. This, in my opinion, is the most exciting part of the book.

After the debacle in Peru, Carl goes back home to New York. He is still desperate to eliminate his stench. He knows it won’t be long before American Jetliners gives him the sack. Panicked, he decides to have his sweat glands removed. You’ll have to read “Aeronautics, Airplanes and Armpits” to find out how the surgery goes and whether it solves Carl’s problem.

I can say that the surgery does not go as expected.

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

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Syntheton (sin’-the-ton): When by convention two words are joined by a conjunction for emphasis.

“Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage.” This is a song lyric from the mid-twentieth century, when there were still a few horses and carriages around. People would actually know what the lyric meant. But here we are in the 21st century. What’s left that rhymes with marriage? What about: Love and marriage go together like croutons and borage. Or, love and marriage go together like grease and sausage. Or, love and marriage go together like stamps and mucilage.

The further I go with this line of thought, the worse I get. Given my experiences with love, I should shut up. But, there was Rosalie. She was the horse and the carriage. She was like a native-English speaking Melania Trump. She had the looks but she’d never modeled nude, and she had a brain that was beyond mine. She was an AI developer for Eagle Claw Enterprises. When I first met Rosalie, I thought AI had something to do with “indoor” something, like maybe “Agriculture Indoors.” When I found out it was “Artificial Intelligence” I wanted to get some—I had always been a little bit “slower” than my friends. Maybe, if I got enough AI, I could get really smart—like add and subtract without using my fingers or tie my shoes real fast.

Rosalie called me “Mac.” She said it was short for Macho. But, I heard her talking to some colleagues and she referred to me as “Mech” and they all laughed and pretended they were plugging something into the wall. I wanted to know what Rosalie was up to. I got a job as a janitor at Eagle Claw Enterprises. I wore a big black beard so nobody would recognize me—especially Rosalie. The first thing I noticed was a group of hula-dancing hot dogs. They were wearing grass skirts and had flexible toothpick arms and were wearing dark glasses. Wouldn’t you know it? The were dancing to Don Ho’s “Tiny Bubbles.”

I heard Rosalie call my name. She followed that with “You idiot. Take off that stupid beard and leave the little Hula Dogs alone!” She told me she wanted to make me smarter so we could get married and live happily ever after. I would be the culmination of her AI project. We went to her lab. She stuck me with hundreds of colored wires. It took five hours. Then, she flipped five toggle switches, one after another. She told me the process would take another five hours. The feeling was wonderful. It felt like a heated feather duster brushing across my exposed skin.

When the process was completed, Rosalie pulled out all the wires and asked me how much 2+2 is. I said “four” without using my fingers. while I was calculating. We rejoiced and we went home and opened a bottle of champagne. I was smarter. Rosalie asked me if I wanted take out for dinner. I laughed and asked “Why would I want to take something out for dinner? I think I would rather be taking something in for dinner.” Rosalie cried “Oh my God!!” and we ordered take in from Tokyo Corn Dogs.

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

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Synzeugma (sin-zoog’-ma): That kind of zeugma in which a verb joins (and governs) two phrases by coming between them. A synonym for mesozeugma.

The night was fading and so were my hopes. It had been a long moonless night. It held the final exam for my patience. I’d passed my patience exam, pacing up and down the dock, peering into the shadowed parking lot, waiting for the headlights telling me she was there at last—like she had promised me for the tenth time. The dock had become my night-time hangout, like a bar—a bar without other people or booze, or anything but a wooden floor.

I was sick of this crap. She was the accountant for the business where I worked—her husband’s business—“Oinkies Spicy Pork Rinds.” They were the most disgusting thing ever put in a plastic bag. The logo was a pig with flames coming out of its mouth igniting a pork rind. Strangely enough, though, people bought and ate “Oinkies.” I was surprised that more of them weren’t hospitalized. My job at “Oinkies” was to tend the cooking cauldrons, where floppy pig fat was transformed into spicy crispy pork rinds. Me and Barbara, the boss’s wife, started our affair in the bagging shed, which was fully automated—there were no other employees there. We would take off our clothes, shut down the machinery and hop into the pork rind hopper. We’d squirm into the warm oily rinds and have sex. Afterwards, we’d be covered by an attractive cooking oil sheen and also, smell faintly of pork rinds. Her husband told us he was getting reports of crushed rinds and wanted me to more closely monitor the packing. When he told us that, Barbara and I smirked and almost laughed. We were crushing the rinds!

Anyway, there I was on the dock with my Chris-Craft moored and ready to go down the coast and board a love boat to Mexico. Barbara was supposed to rob the safe—it had close to a half-million packed in it. That would go pretty far in Mexico. The birds were starting to sing their morning songs when I saw Barbara’s Mercedes pull into the lot. My dream come true! My ticket to paradise! Barbara pulled up and got out of the car carrying a really big suitcase. Definitely filled with lots of cash! We hurried down the ramp, jumped onto my boat, and took off for San Diego. As we sped along, Barbara tearfully told me she had made her husband into a giant pork rind. She had pushed him into the hot oil vat. I thought about it for a couple of minutes and then pushed Barbara overboard. After what she had done, she was excess baggage. I could hear her screaming and splashing as I hit full throttle and headed down the coast. I was humming the theme song to “Love Boat” as I pulled up to the dock in San Diego, tied up, and lifted the heavy suitcase out of the boat. I opened the suitcase on the dock. It was filled with pork rinds and a bag of sand.

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

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Thaumasmus (thau-mas’-mus): To marvel at something rather than to state it in a matter of fact way.

I can’t believe, I’ll never believe what a good good dog I have. Why? Because he isn’t—he’s a late night barking, leg humping, crotch sniffing, jumping up, slobbering, farting, carpet scratching canine wasteland. I have to keep him because my sister gave him to me. He was a little puppy in a thing like an Easter basket with a red ribbon around his neck when she handed him over. He was so cute! I picked him up to hug him and he farted. It smelled like he had a corpse stuck in his butt that was marinating in rotten eggs. My sister said, “Aw that’s cute” as I swallowed hard to keep from puking.

My sister had spent the past five years as a Nun. She had started having visions, but when she realized it was the lenses in her glasses that needed updating and replacing, not visions per se, she left the Convent of the Rolling Stone and got a job handing out menus for Wee Wong’s Chinese Restaurant. Her area was the worst part of the city, but that’s where she found the puppy she gave me. It was curled up next to a homeless man napping on the pavement wearing sweatpants and an aloha shirt with pictures of fishing poles and leaping Marlin. He was wearing Dr. Scholes Corn Busters on his feet. My sister gave him a little nudge and he made a growling sound. She offered him 10 menus for the puppy. Before he could answer, she shoved the menus down his sweatpants and took off running with the puppy, who she named Menu to commemorate his liberation.

I didn’t actually hate Menu. Sometimes I almost liked him, like when he looked at me with his big brown eyes. But then, he would blow one of his signature farts and I would have to open the window and bomb the apartment with Glade. I had taken Menu to dog obedience training school—the best in the City: Proper Pups. Menu wouldn’t stop humping the instructor’s leg and barking, and she kicked us out. Not even a cattle prod could deter Menu. He was not, and never would be, a Proper Pup.

I took Menu to the Vet too, for his gas and slobbering problems. The Vet shook his head and told me me he could insert a removable charcoal filter in Menu’s butt, but I would have to change it once a week, or it would have to be surgically removed by the City’s hazmat team for $300.00. The slobbering was a different story. The Vet told me he could “stem” a number of Menu’s saliva glands using a newly developed Super Glue designed specifically for medical applications. It “only” cost $2,500.00 for the procedure. Both options were too expensive for me.

So, I was stuck, and like a lot of stuck people, I became inventive. I invented the remote controlled window—it went up and with the push of a button on a hand-held controller. I didn’t have to run around the apartment any more opening windows when Menu farted. I also invented a “Slobber Bucket” to catch Menu’s drippings. It is loosely based on the drool bucket I saw on TV when I was a kid. It hangs around Menu’s neck and has a special siren that goes off when it needs emptying. These two innovations make life with Menu nearly tolerable, and I’ve made millions off the remote control windows, but we’re still living in the apartment. Location, location, location. I live across the street from Hooters.

In my research I found out that Menu is actually a breed of dog: “The Drippinker Otcrotcher Schtinkmaken.” It is of Austrian origin and was originally bred in the late 19th-century to “cultivate and strengthen it’s owner’s Nordic virtues— the Stoic propensities necessary for living a lonely, detached, angst-ridden, and brooding life.” There are only 20 known Drippinker Otcrotcher Schtinkmakens left in the world. I don’t know who owns them, but there’s a good chance they are mentally unstable or victims of coercion.

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

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Adynaton (a-dyn’-a-ton): A declaration of impossibility, usually in terms of an exaggerated comparison. Sometimes, the expression of the impossibility of expression.

I can’t tell you what I feel right now, Filling my mouth with those words is like trying to juggle water. It can’t be done: I can’t pour out my soul. I would choke on it. But anyway, I don’t know how to do it. In fact, I don’t think it can be done. I don’t even know where my soul is located. I tend to think it is somewhere in my chest—maybe in my heart. People do talk about pouring their hearts out. I think what usually follows is an oral ‘outpouring’ of something that matters to them and the target of their outpouring. Now that I think of it, I think I may actually have poured my heart out once.

It was Christmas, 1957. My mother took us to Santa’s Workshop. It was a little—more like a shed—erected on the town green. Santa sat in the shed waiting for children to come in and tell him what they wanted for Christmas. The kid in front of me in line wanted a BB Gun. He was a real doof, with his glasses held together with adhesive tape and a stupid red sweater with reindeer on it. When it was my turn, I think I poured my heart out. I told Santa how much I loved Miss Pennywink, my 5th grade teacher and how I wanted her for Christmas. Santa said “Pennywink? Ho Ho Ho! She’s my girlfriend little boy. We go for rides down by the river in my car and sometimes camp overnight at the Swan Dive Motel. We are getting married in two months.”

I was outraged. I pulled out my battery-powered Buck Rogers ray gun. I turned it on and pulled the trigger, The siren went off and it flashed red and green at the end of the barrel. I turned it up all the way to “Fry” and started beating Santa in the face with it as hard as I could. People screamed and ran from Santa’s shed. By the time the police showed up, Santa was unconscious on the floor. He had a bloody nose and his head was starting swell.

I was charged as a youthful offender with attempted murder. My case never went to trial. Charges were dismissed because it was decided that Santa provoked me. Also, my dad was Fire Chief. He threatened to “hose Santa off the face of the earth” if he didn’t drop the charges.

It is hard talking about the Santa episode. After all these years, I remember the pain Santa inflicted. Beating him half to death was nothing compared to it. I saw him at the mall every Christmas until he died 15 years ago. He never had his front tooth replaced and had a scar across his forehead. But I am scarred too. I can’t pour my heart out. I have been a prisoner of reticence for 70 years. Luckily, my undisclosed innermost thoughts and feelings are intangible, or I would explode like an overfilled balloon.

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

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Alliteration (al-lit’-er-a’-tion): Repetition of the same letter or sound within nearby words. Most often, repeated initial consonants. Taken to an extreme alliteration becomes the stylistic vice of paroemion where nearly every word in a sentence begins with the same consonant.

“Big Bill!” I yelled after I read what was in the envelope. Bill answered “What?” And came running into the kitchen. “What do you want?” he asked looking puzzled. I told him I wasn’t calling him—the credit card bill was big—really big. And then I asked him why he thought I was calling him “Big Bill.” He was 5’ 8” tall—hardly big— more like small. He said, “Big is in the eye of the beholder, and so is beauty and every other adjective and maybe adverb too, including smells. Wake up and smell your armpit.”

Every year, Bill gets closer to falling into the abyss. It is all about money. We share the credit card. Every couple of months Bill runs wild on Amazon buying stuff that I have to return—relabeling it and dropping it off at CVS for return. A couple of weeks ago he ordered 3 nail guns, an electric bicycle, and a Shetland pony. Luckily, I received notice of the orders and I was able to cancel them, except for the pony. To return it, I stuck the mailing label to its forehead and hired a trailer to take him to CVS. When I walked into CVS with the pony, it caused quite a stir. But the manager told me it was the third pony this week. Kids were getting on their parents’ Amazon accounts and ordering ponies. So, just leave the pony in the stall by the tooth care aisle. I hope it’s not a peppy pony! Last week, one got out of the stall and galloped up and down the aisles wreaking havoc on the laxatives and cough medicines. We managed to herd it back in the stall, but it was covered with NyQuil PM and smelled like cherries.

God, I was glad that was over. Even though it was a couple of week ago, the memory of the pony return was making me lose sleep. But now, I had to tackle the horror of a credit card bill that would kill my life savings if I paid it off: $6,000. It was Bill blissfully destroying our lives. He had bought a prefabricated chapel kit. It was too late to cancel the order. Bill told me he was going to use the chapel for funerals and weddings. He had become a Minister in the Universal Church. He said, “All we do is open the doors. Whether it’s life or death, people show up and I officiate for $500.” “Ok,” I thought, “I can see this as an investment of my life savings.” Bill’s first funeral was a disaster. He dropped the deceased’s ashes on the floor and the back of his pants ripped when he bent over to look at them scattered all over the place. We were sued for desecrating the dead, even though it was an accident.

We’ve turned the chapel into a chicken coop. We get by selling eggs and chicken-themed gifts. Our business is called “Eggistential Crisis.” I have taken Bill’s credit card away and enrolled him “Spendthrifts Anonymous.” Since he has no credit card, Bill is undergoing withdrawal. I have spray painted an expired insurance card and written “Credit Card” on it. I gave it to Bill. It works like a pacifier. When he feels the urge to shop, he takes it out of his wallet and holds it until the urge subsides.

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

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Anesis (an’-e-sis): Adding a concluding sentence that diminishes the effect of what has been said previously. The opposite of epitasis.

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” I thought as I stepped over the hefty dog bomb on the park’s sidewalk. The quotation from Neal Armstrong didn’t quite fit, but I thought it was close enough to assuage my anger and disgust. The dog that dropped the bomb must’ve been the size of a Shetland pony. That’s when I came up with my plan.

I applied for a grant from the NEH to study the effects super hero costumes on influencing unwanted public behavior. In my case, it was to reduce the incidence of dog bombs on the park’s sidewalks. I had formed the basis of my idea from reading comic books—most significantly, Batman, Superman and Green Lantern. The NEH granted me $55.00. I was grateful. My mother would sew my costume. It was made of Lycra so it wasn’t easy to put together. I wracked my brain to come up with a design. Finally, I settled on a big dog poop—I would be a two-legged doggy-dooley the color of “k-9 Natural,” probably the most expensive dog food in the world. I had a sculptor friend make a realistic looking pile of doo-doo in a plastic bag affixed to a bicycle helmet with “DOO-DEVIL” emblazoned on the front. I was ready to go.

I went to the park and hid behind a giant oak tree by the sidewalk. An elderly woman came walking by. She Stopped and her Chihuahua started to go. He finished his business and they started walking away without picking up the poop. I jumped out from behind the tree and shouted “I am the DOO-DEVIL! Here is a plastic bag. Pick up the poop!” She looked at me, terrified. She fell to the pavement dead.

NEH pulled my funding and the police confiscated my DOO-DEVIL costume and helmet for “further examination.” They returned it the next day.

I have become a celebrity. I am enjoying the notoriety. I will be wearing my DOO-DEVIL costume and helmet on Fox News tonight. I’ve got a concealed piece of fresh dog poop that I am planning on smearing on Tucker Carlson’s face.

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

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Antanagoge (an’-ta-na’-go-gee): Putting a positive spin on something that is nevertheless acknowledged to be negative or difficult.

Life is hard. But it’s life. It is better than death. At least that’s what I think sitting here in my big comfy chair with my remote control in one hand and a martini in the other and a full pack of Marlboro 27s on the end table waiting to be smoked. So, what’s hard about this? I’ll tell you: eventually, I’ll have to pull a “Hungry Wolf” TV dinner out of the freezer, read the microwave instructions, and put the damn thing in the microwave. Inevitably, part of the crust is still frozen when I pull it out. So, I have to shove it in for another minute. Then, the unfrozen part gets burned. What a pain in the ass! There’s just so much about making dinner that’s a pain in the ass—that makes it harder than hell just to eat. There’s a lot of other things too.

I have to drag my garbage cans to the street. Why the hell don’t the garbage haulers drive down my driveway and pick my garbage cans up? Same with my mail—up the driveway I go to get it. What the hell is the mail slot on my door for? Jehovah’s Witnesses” pamphlets? I know I’m going to hell—I don’t need a reminder from them. Then, there’s my job.

It’s not very much better than death. I am a professional birthday clown. My stage name Jabber Warble. I wear a baggy red and green striped costume, a blonde wig, and a big red nose. I don’t wear giant shoes. I think they are ridiculous.

I specialize in balloon tricks—winding up hot dog shaped balloons into animals. I specialize in 8-10 year olds: smelly little imps. I do mostly Dachshunds. I bark with a German accent and the kids love it. My most challenging balloon twist is the hot dog on a bun. It takes two balloons. Often the hotdog won’t fit in the bun laying down, so I have to ad lib. For example, I stick the hot dog in the bun at a perpendicular angle and make it fit. I tell the kids it’s a sail boat, but some of the mothers have told me it reminds them of something else that we could talk about after everybody goes home and their husband and kid have gone to the movies or somewhere else. It is really hard saying “No.” But, I need to maintain my spotless reputation. Once, a mother followed me home. She walked in the door and dropped her raincoat on the floor. She was naked underneath. She came toward insisting that I bark with the German accent. I strained my vocal chords barking. It was scary, and that’s what makes my job hell.

Anyway, life is hard, but it beats the hell out of death, or a coma. What do you do in coma? You lay there surrounded by beeping hospital equipment and tubes in your arms monitoring your descent into death, or incremental return to being awake. I think it’s pretty bad to be in that situation, even if you come back to life. It is like trying to do your income taxes on April 14th with no computer, calculator, pencil, or forms, filing for an extension the next day, and buying a plane ticket to someplace you’ve never heard of, like Belarus.

Remember: life is hard, but it could be worse. No matter how hard it gets, just be glad you’re not dead yet.

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

Paperback and Kindle editions of The Daily Trope are available at Amazon under the title The Book of Tropes.


Antiprosopopoeia (an-ti-pro-so-po-pe’-i-a): The representation of persons [or other animate beings] as inanimate objects. This inversion of prosopopoeia or personification can simply be the use of a metaphor to depict or describe a person [or other animate being].

Me: Hey Rocky! Did you get your nickname from what your head is filled with? Rocks? Ha ha! I think a better nickname for you would be Itch. You spend half your time scratching and pulling on the crotch of your pants. It is one of the weirdest habits I’ve ever seen & I’ve seen a few. Like the guy who constantly combs d his pubes with a tiny nit rake. Or the guy who had to put whipped cream on his armpits before he could go to the movies. Or the woman who drank her coffee from an enema bulb. Finally, I knew a guy who always wore three pairs of underpants.

Every one of these behaviors is a habit, and as the cliche says, “Habits can be broken.” Think of your butt sniffing dog. You broke him of the habit by punching him in the nose whenever he tried a sniff.

Your habit can broken too.

You: Really? I’ve tried everything—wearing mittens, taping it up with duct tape, wearing a pre-formed plaster cast on my crotch. Nothing works. It is like my hands have a mind of their own—they’ve torn off the mittens, they tore off the duct tape, they pounded the plaster cast until it broke. Nothing works! I am doomed to be known as “Charlie Crotch Itch.”

Me: I can help you. There are two paths: 1. You can have your hands amputated, or, you can try some of my “Hands Off!” An organic chemical compound that dulls your desire to grab, pull, and scratch. It was developed by Vikings who had unusually sensitive skin. They needed to take it so they could successfully raid their neighbors. Without it, they would stand on the battlefield itching and scratching and get whacked to death by a walrus-tusk wielding enemy.

You: Wow that’s incredible. I’d like to try some “Hands Off!”

Me: Ok. I have a bottle right here for $200.00. I’ll take a check. Take 10 in the morning, every morning, and you’re all set. The bottle has 30 tablets, so I’ll set you up with automatic refill. Give me your credit card information so I can process your recurring order.

You: Ok. This is great.


He took the pills that night, before bed—not in the morning as directed. His penis grew four feet and strangled him. It was the first recorded instance of Peniscide. The person selling the pills was arrested, but was released to work at a chemical warfare facility in Maryland for the US Army. It is rumored he is working on a gas-emitting “Borsht Bomb” that will be deployed in Ukrainian restaurants frequented by Russian soldiers in occupied areas.

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.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Georgia’s.


Antisagoge (an-tis-a-go’-gee): 1. Making a concession before making one’s point (=paromologia); 2. Using a hypothetical situation or a precept to illustrate antithetical alternative consequences, typically promises of reward and punishment.

Ok, it’s true, the swimming pool has turned into swamp. But more importantly, it has become a local attraction since my friend Dr. Preedle accidentally discovered a heretofore undiscovered organism chuffing around the deep end. Once people found out about it, they came flocking around to see the amazing Preedle-Paddle-Rectus. The fence around the pool is working to stem the flow of curiosity seekers. Since started charging admission, we’ve made $500! The hats, key chains, t-shirts, and travel mugs are doing well too. We’ve named the organism “Bloppy” after his gooey exterior. We don’t have to feed him or do anything except make sure the pool is full of algae-laden dirty water. Bloppy has beautiful blue “eyes” (we’re not sure they are actually eyes—Dr. Preedle was working on this). Whenever people look into Bloppy’s eyes their bodies slump a little and they seem to find peace. I have experienced it a couple of times and I never felt better in my life. This is another selling point—we call it “Slimelightenment.” Bloppy seemed to enjoy making people whole. And he could smile, with his human-like lips.

He was as big as a watermelon. He was transparent—you could see his internal organs. He didn’t seem to have a heart, and that did not bother us because he was alive. As far as the other organs went, we were clueless. He had what looked like tentacles on his rear that propelled him around the pool very fast when he moved them. Also, almost miraculously, he would swim to me when I called—he had learned his name.

Then one morning I went outside to say hello to Bloppy. Dr. Preedle’s white lab coat was floating in the pool. I looked all for him—the University, the “Mean Beans” coffee shop, and few other places he frequented. I went back home and sat down by the pool, making sure the “Closed” signs were up. Bloppy came swimming over and I looked in his eyes. My anguish over Dr. Preedle melted away. All of a sudden Dr. Preedle’s hand emerged from below the water. Bloppy squeaked. “Uh-oh” I thought.

I was making so much money, I could not risk losing Bloppy and closing everything down. I pulled what was left of Dr. Preedle out of the pool, dragged his remains to the garden, and buried him. What was I going to do? I started bringing homeless people home under the pretext of a good meal and a swim in my pool. I would push them in the pool and Blobby would feed on them. There were always leftovers I had to dispose of. I had filled my garden with bodies, so I started driving them around in my car, and shoving them out in mall, school, and church parking lots.

I became the most notorious serial killer ever, even though nobody knew it was me. “I” was known as the “Parking Lot Killer.” I knew they would catch me eventually. All the parking lots were under observation, and some smart detective would eventually make the connection between the fact that all of the bodies were wet, and my famous swimming pool Bloppy concession. But I was stuck and nobody put two and two together yet, and I vowed to stay in business until they do. Besides, the homeless population is going down. Most people think that’s a good thing and so does Bloppy, who has put on weight and looks really healthy.

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

A paper version The Daily Trope is available from Amazon under the title The Book of Tropes.


Apophasis (a-pof’-a-sis): The rejection of several reasons why a thing should or should not be done and affirming a single one, considered most valid.

Life is made of decisions. Some more complicated than others. Some more urgent then others. Some escape consciousness altogether, like walking—a series of small steps that take you somewhere—you may call it a habit because you don’t “feel it,” you just go. Maybe we could say that a habit is a foregone decision, but I’m not sure I know what I’m talking about. I guess a traditional decision happens when something needs to change—it may involve the reconsideration of your habitual way, or dealing with something that pops up in your life, has a degree of urgency, can’t be ignored, is absent a clear-cut plan for its resolution, and appears to be amenable to choice—that you can and should do something about it. The challenge is manifest in pros and cons, and their relative weight in the particular case of judgment which is about coming to a decision founded on pros and cons, which include, in addition to empirically verifiable facts, feelings and emotions pertinent to the judgment: you may decide to drink a glass of milk because it is good for you. You may decide not to drink a glass of milk because you don’t like how it tastes. There’s more to it than this, but it’s good enough for me, or I’m pretty sure it’s good enough for me as I change the kind of underpants I wear.

I have been wearing tighty whities since the beginning of time. I have never used the pee pee fly. It is completely useless. Why is it there? As I’ve gotten older, my tighty whities have started to pinch my crotch and make it itch. The only way I can relieve the itch with my pants on is to pull down on my pants crotch and squirm around. Very embarassing.

So I checked out boxers. They have a nice accessible pee pee slit. Highly functional. And if you want, you can pull them down from the top. They are made from light weight cotton, silk, or super light synthetics, not dish towel weight material like the tighty whities. Given their light weight, you can pack more underpants when you travel—a real plus. They aren’t as absorbent as tighty whities, which may cause problems when you have an extra drop of pee pee that does not make it to the urinal and shows up on the front of your pants as a little wet circle.

The other alternative is to go commando. You will save the cost of underpants entirely, have less laundry, and feel tougher as a man—ancient warriors wore no underpants. However, the embarrassing pee pee spot is still a possibility, unless you wear blue jeans all the time. The heavyweight denim will absorb your little boo boos every time.

I am not going to lay out the pros and cone of each kind of underpants (or none). I think it should be clear. Oh, by the way, I considered the jock strap, but that’s so “out there” it didn’t warrant consideration.

I’m going to go commando. I wear blue jeans all the time. I will be burning my tighty whities this afternoon.

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

Paper and E-versions of the Daily Trope are available on Amazon under the title The Book of Tropes.


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].

Time was running out. It was almost my birthday and I couldn’t face it it. I was old: I was getting deaf, my legs were wobbly, I had developed a double-vision malady and could no longer drive. I got up a half-dozen times at night to pee, my teeth were coming lose, I was chronically constipated. An MRI had shown white spots on my brain. My right pinky was frozen in a 90 degree angle to the palm of my hand. I wear a brace on my hand to retrain my pinkie to go flat. Probably, if I thought about it a little longer, a few more signs of age-related body-rot would come mind.

I said to myself “Billy, you’re only 62. You ought to be able to overcome all this crap and feel young again. Chin up. Damn, that was stupid, my wattle buried my chin 5 years ago. Hmmm. Do some research. You’ll find something. I felt a little like Humpty Dumpty trying to put myself back together again.”

I went where everybody goes when there’s an urgency in their lives: Google. I made a boilerplate search document listing my malady’s and asking for cures. I sent it off to Google. I got one of those blue responses asking “Do you mean you are dying and want to be cremated?” I tried again with less detail. I spent all day going through the responses. As you can imagine, a good number of them were bizarre. I think the weirdest was the recommendation that for a week to stick a lit Christmas tree light in my butt every-other day, leaving it in for six hours each time. When I read that, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. One recommendation was to “scoop out” one of my eyes, precluding being cross-eyed. That one almost made me turn off the computer. But I didn’t.

What came up next was a site selling supplements. My daughter takes supplements and they don’t seem to hurt her, except for the barely visible mustache that looks like a shadow on her upper lip. So, I ordered a bottle of “Youngy” ground “Gods Nuts” for $200.00. They came in the mail the next day. They smelled a little funky. I took the recommended dose of 12. Nothing happened right away. Eventually they kicked in and ALL of my malady’s evaporated! I went wild celebrating non-stop for two days. I woke up on my birthday ready to rip. About halfway through singing “Happy Birthday” to me, I started feeling funny. My stomach was bulging out. I went to the bathroom and was shocked to see my penis was gone, replaced by a vagina. I was going to have a baby! It all moved so fast! My pregnancy lasted a week. I have a beautiful little girl who looks like my late mother, and my penis returned!

Now I am a very young looking celebrity. I was on FOX News the other night. Tucker Carlson interviewed me and said he had already given birth to 3 babies, but he has to keep them out of sight. What a liar! I’ve Googled “Youngy” and “Gods Nuts” hundreds of times and they’ve completely disappeared from the internet. My daughter Athena has grown four feet in two months and has started to speak. She talks in a monotone like one of those outer space creatures in a 50s sci-fi movie. But, who cares? We love each other and are living a good life together.


After writing what’s above, Billy was found dead, run over in his own driveway. Athena was suspected of his murder. She stole his car and was reported by some drug-soaked hippy losers to have boarded a flying saucer along with Jimi Hendrix, Kieth Moon, and Janis Joplin. According to the hippies, the flying saucer “like shot off into the sky like a big flat jet, man.” The hippies said she was 8-feet tall and was wearing a t-shirt that said “Gods Nuts.” The police ignored the hippies’ “insane ranting” and the case was listed as unsolved, and remains so today.

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

Paper and Kindle editions of The Daily Tope are available on Amazon under the title The Book of Tropes.