Within a minute I swung from apoplectic to flummoxed. My erudition had been called into question with an unkind gibe. A friend — truth be told, an impious ragamuffin — started this small, mental kerfuffle by suggesting I would not be able to use a set of 21 words in a single blog post. Was this louse, this piebald swiller serious, or was it waggish humour? Apparently, he was serious. There was no playfulness here.
I confess the challenge did give me the collywobbles. Could I obfuscate? Could I substitute an alternative, thesaurus challenging vocabulary and get away with it? Perhaps there was a set of lexical dregs or suppositious words to hornswoggle the reader. I had it …. a story laden with sesquipedalian, polysyllabic nonsense.
“The mountains ached for the moon to rise and break the thick, tenebrous night. The canvas of a small ketch caught the zephyr wind to pull it across the ….”
Ugh! Jabber! I had macerated this nubbin long enough. If I wasn’t careful I would choke on the challenge, and no wine to quaff. On the other hand, there would be a simple joy in succeeding. With an exuberant ululation from the balcony, I would announce my victory to the world, and he (he who had created this casus belli) would withdraw — vamoose — tail between the moose’s legs.
There was one small problem. Yenta. As in, “she’s such a Yenta”; a person, especially a woman, who is a busybody or gossip. It was a little too xenophobic for my taste, not to mention misogynistic. What to do? I could not meet the challenge. Hubris won. Who was the moose now?