Period: The periodic sentence, characterized by the suspension of the completion of sense until its end. This has been more possible and favored in Greek and Latin, languages already favoring the end position for the verb, but has been approximated in uninflected languages such as English. [This figure may also engender surprise or suspense–consequences of what Kenneth Burke views as ‘appeals’ of information.
Going over the bumps there were rattles. It sounded like somebody was playing cymbals in my back seat. I was waiting for a part to fall off and send a shower of sparks across the road in the nighttime, so it would look pretty cool, but not cool enough. First thing tomorrow, I was taking my 2007 SAAB to visit my mechanic Lars. He was a Swede and specialized in SAABS. His repair shop was called “Köttbulla Bensongarage” (Meatballs Garage). His family had been taking care of SAABs since they were spun off of airplanes at the end of WWII. SAAB ceased production in 2014, but devoted mechanics like Lars kept the remaining SAABS on the road. Mine had 162,000 miles on it when the rattle started.
I made an appointment for 11:00 am. When I got there, Lars was waiting outside the garage’s bays. “Let’s take your car for a ride and see what this is all about.” He hopped into the driver’s seat and off we went. “Sometimes these little Swedish imps get into your car’s insides. The first thing we do to get rid of Noki the Rattler imp is to shake him out.” We were coming up on a really bumpy stretch of road. Lars floored it, the turbo kicked in, and we were going at least 100MPH when we started hitting the bumps. Despite having my seatbelt hooked, my head slammed into the car’s ceiling. I was knocked out. I was in a Swedish dreamland sitting on a steaming pile of meatballs in the back of a speeding pickup truck. I think that Noki was driving, blowing the horn and laughing.
Suddenly, I woke up. My car was stopped and Lars was slumped over the wheel. I thought he was dead, but he wasn’t because it wasn’t Lars. It was Noki— his body was like a cage filled with stones small pieces of metal—he was literally a living rattle. He smiled. His eyes were yellow and he was wearing a smaller noisier version of himself on his head! He said: “I have infected your SAAB. It will never stop rattling. It will drive you crazy. Lars can’t fix it—where is he anyway? He has abandoned you like a bad father abandons his child. So, get used to me or junk this old disgrace of a SAAB.”
I didn’t know what to do. How could I possibly go up against a Swedish imp—the Swedish maker and keeper of the SAAB rattle? Maybe I could flatter him: “Oh Mr. Noki, your rattling is foremost among sounds: grating, banging, clanking, irritating to drivers of SAABs throughout the world. You have done your work here. Why not depart and practice your rattle-magic somewhere else? “Shut up,” Noki yelled, “I will show you the rattle of your life. The world went dark. When the light came back, we were on a road with six-inch high bumps, or I should say, humps. We were going at the SAAB’s top speed: 145 MPH.
Noki was laughing and drooling and rattling like thunder. I was terrified, holding onto my seatbelt and flying up and down. Then, Lars appeared in the road ahead. Just then, the SAAB seemed to run out of gas. Lars was holding a big thick piece of foam rubber and a roll of duct tape. Together we wrestled Noki out of the driver’s seat, wrapped him in foam rubber and secured it with the duct tape. At first, we could hear muffled rattling, but as we tightened the duct tape, the sound faded to nothing. We threw Noki in the trunk. Lars told me he’d made the car seem to run out of gas with some ancient mechanic’s trick. So, we drove away. The rattle was gone! When we got back to the garage, Noki was gone—off to irritate some other SAAB owner with his rattling bullshit.
Given all that Lars has done to keep my SAAB on the road, I think he may be some kind of Swedish God—maybe a god of healing. He always says “No matter what it is, I’ll try to fix it. If I can’t fix it, we’ll send it to Valhal to become spare parts.” He gestured toward the field above garage which held at least 100 SAABs waiting to donate a part, or parts, to prolong the life of a fellow SAAB.
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text inserted by Gorgias.
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