A Prolix Pleonasm

Michael Drummond/Senior Staff

a pseudo-exploration in esoteric erudition

She was a buxom, slatternly muliebral mondaine in her dotage accoutered with a chignon upon her head, who I later gleaned was a spinster, a dowager, a primipara — most parturient indeed, although I couldn’t imagine her in the process of accouchement — and, in my opinion, quite a harridan. She told me that, in her juvenescence, she had been a pertly nubile ingenue and her sartorial preferences were damask dalmatics or brocade peignoirs. As a lascivious rictus came across my countenance, I began to envisage copulation with her erstwhile self in such pulchritudinous raiment that my mind was torrid with ribald concupiscence. My fantasy was nothing serious — just a libidinous dalliance with a prurient paramour. I became inundated with venery and noticed the tumescence occurring in my lower parts — a product of my salacious and lecherous rapaciousness for hoydens — facilely stymied, however, by onanism.

I began to grow beleaguered of this desultory colloquy, this confab — or, should I say, claptrap, blarney, drivel, malarkey, humbug, tommyrot, prattle, palaver and poncy pontification — because she, I asseverated, was a loquacious and garrulous gasbag, a flibbertigibbet and a blatherskite. Her proclivity to vaunt, in confluence with her bombastic bovarism amalgamated with turgid braggadocio, made me splenetic and tetchy, because although this harpy seemed sapient, it was obvious (after her stridently fervid maundering about the atavistic but anachronistic creoles, pidgins and lingua francas she knew) that she was nothing more than a magniloquent dilettante. She thought her fustian to be abstruse and recondite, but she was truly a philistine, a duffer ensconced in her sciolistic ways.

This cocksure and slipshod wretch had stultified me, transmuted my rictus into a glower and left me in an ornery and bilious bate. I wanted to launch an opprobrious diatribe — I have a penchant for being trenchant — but this trenchancy often becomes carping and vituperative vitriol, and calumnious aspersion, which causes me to come off as intractable, captious and froward, besmirching my eminence. Surfeited, I was able to assuage my spleenful and irascible dysphoria only by considering my own savoir faire and sangfroid. Thanks to my biggity hauteur and chutzpah, my malaise had been palliated, not to mention conciliated, dulcified, allayed, ameliorated and mollified.

I reminisced on my halcyon days as a virile rakehell, a loutish debonair, a chavvy fop. I thought about my quondam avocations and my meretricious panoply of tchotchkes, kickshaws, baubles, bibelots, gimcracks, gewgaws, curios and other frippery more otiose and obsolescent than the ophicleide (originally desiderata, but ultimately a mickle of rejectamenta). My ascetic adipsia made me want to imbibe a quaffable dram, made me long for my more crapulent days of roguery, carousing contumaciously as a libertine swain and satyr who always wanted to be the cynosure. I gallivanted and peregrinated through my memory, a perambulatory tantivy of the finest sort.

In the hoary yet clinquant crepuscule, I dithered while I piddled and waited for my brougham on a littoral bight by the bay next to the vernal dell, overlooking the verdant dale. Traipsing, I fell into self-cogitation, considering my own aberrance, my quiddities and vagaries, my blithe insouciance, which sometimes makes me pusillanimous and phlegmatic but more often leads to deleterious skullduggery, anomie within my coterie and refractory recalcitrance. As I ogled at the anthelion on a nearby cloud in the gloaming, I heard a knell of tintinnabulation. I looked to my left and saw a wan silhouette of an asomatous necromancer — whom I initially thought to be a crinose, bedraggled mendicant — practicing rhabdomancy. After a little conversation, he inveigled me into going to a kaffeeklatsch with him, where the wight would give me my kismet.

He seemed adamantine and perspicacious, and claimed to be clairaudient, but he was drunk, and so his unintentional spoonerisms all became mondegreens for me. As chary as I was to accept his inane fatuity, I couldn’t resist the frisson of euphoria that hit me when he revealed that he and I were consanguineous. But my joviality and jocoseness expeditiously turned to vexatious pique and discomfiture when he told me that the muliebral harridan who had been the object of my lubricous woolgathering in the first paragraph was his sister and thus a kinswoman of me.


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