I’m Selling Artisanal Ten-Dollar Words! by Jason Hayes

Ahoy there, you two. Yes, you two! You look like a keen couple—a discerning pair, indeed. You look like the type of young go-getters who pickle their own cukes and brew a new, flat homebrew every season. Yes, when I saw you both I thought to myself, “Now here’s some people living a mindful life.” Maybe the most mindful I’ve ever seen! But let me ask you this: Do your friends appreciate how mindful you are? When you tell them you disdain Hallmark holidays, is the contempt so palpable it rots the air? When you enter a coffee shop, do people stiffen their spines in anticipation of your next great sentence? Well, it seems to me that they fucking should.

The problem isn’t you. It’s your words! My friends, no one will take you seriously if you’re just babbling about monoculture. To be remembered, you need to lock eyes and gut them with a statement about modern man’s surreptitious and iniquitous manipulation of nature, something that sounds so intelligent that your friends will just piss themselves.

That’s where our artisanal ten-dollar words come in.

Yes, our artisanal ten-dollar words are just plain dandy. We’re not some automated, suburban word factory, either. No, sir, we’re the real deal. We’ve got the most honey-soaked syllables out there. Dulcet enough for sapiosexuals and casual word collectors alike. My friend, we’re talking words with syllables like mountaintops, words so scintillating that you won’t need to be coherent. These words, my friends, are showstoppers.

You seem dubious, sir. Well, try this on for size: perspicacious. Go ahead: say it. That one’s free.

Why, you look a good four inches taller when you say it! See how it slow-dances with your mustache? Use it in a sentence. Say, “I purchased a velocipede because I am perspicacious.”

Wow. That sounds smart on you.

And what about you, ma’am? I’m sure everyone in your group text is just raving about how rich and warm vinyl sounds. Well, let them know your limited release Neutral Milk Hotel album is just euphonious. That’ll shut ‘em up for a bit.

I think you’re starting to see the power of our artisanal ten-dollar words.

To find these words, we scour lost texts and forgotten sentences written by the most periphrastic authors. We’re talking high school seniors writing college essays by thesaurus. We’re talking unskilled David Foster Wallace derivatives. My friends, we find authors setting poorly researched screenplays in Shakespearean England and just gobble that shit up.

Deep in these texts, we find lost words to rescue from the surrounding prose and palaver. Believe me my friends, when we retrieve our words they are only penumbras of their potent selves. But our word artists—each with rippling forearms and calloused hands that illustrate their manual prowess—nourish the weakened locutions by uttering them into a crackling fire. And they whittle mahogany too, because it’s badass. This process can take years, my friends; we don’t rush these words to maturation. Finally, once their little syllables are filled with purpose, we climb up a cliff in winter and scream them into the night sky. When each word successfully summons a pack of wild wolves, they are ready.

What other purveyor of words can say the same? You deserve better than the words of some trend-chasing bro hocking portmanteaus like hiberdating and chillax. Your mouth hole deserves better than the verbal equivalent of Ikea furniture. Those words will be obsolescent in a year anyway! Fill that trap with words as sturdy as an artisanal oak tree!

So, what do you say you two? How about a pair of distinguished words for your hand-sewn back pockets?

Yes. An excellent choice, you won’t regret it. One artisanal ten-dollar word apiece? My friends, that comes to $49.95.

The Humor Section features a piece of original humor writing each week. To submit your work for consideration, send it here.

I’m Selling Artisanal Ten-Dollar Words! by Jason Hayes