I can always count on my Florida friend Susan for a good laugh. And that the fact that she’s a word weaver, too, makes it all the more fun. Like yesterday, when she regaled me with a list of quips AND gave me a fresh term for my vocabulary: paraprosdokian. It’s defined as “…a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently used in a humorous situation.”
From a list of 30, we chose our top five:
5. Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
4. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
3. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
2. Hospitality is making your guests feel at home, especially when you wish they were.
1. When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.
Then, as usually happens with our conversations, the subject turned more serious but the laughs kept coming. It’s not that we’re insensitive…just mature enough to realize the distance between crowing and crying is very small. And it shrinks even more when those we love most are involved.
Susan’s elegant, intelligent mom has dementia. No days are predictable, except in their unpredictability. Yesterday’s visit to the care center included an angry response as Susan tried to explain why they couldn’t keep an item that belonged to another resident. “But the good part of the story,” she laughed, “is that about an hour later, Mom started the same conversation that had ended poorly before. And I got a do-over! How often does that happen in life?!” We agreed she should write a book. The working title: “Adventures in Alzheimers.”
Perhaps life is a paraprosdokian.