I’ve been thinking about this book lately, but I can’t for the life of me remember what it was called. It was a book that introduced kids to SAT-type vocabulary, one word for each letter of the alphabet. Each word had a short story that ended in a pun on that word.
The entries I can remember off the top of my head:
Abasement- An incompetent worker keeps goofing up his job. Each time he messes up, his boss puts him in an office on a lower floor. At the end he ends up in a basement.
Juxtapose- A photographer is trying to take a simple picture of two kids side-by-side. The kids keep on arranging themselves in elaborate displays, while the exasperated photographer asks for “just a pose”.
Nostrum- Some sort of minor illness is going around. A charlatan tells people he can make their sickness go away if they bang their noses on the small drums he’s selling. The people no longer notice their earlier problems because their noses hurt so much.
Paradox- a traveler sees a parrot-ox in a tree, but realizes no one will believe him.
Quixotic- I think Q was quixotic. Must have been. Probably.
Truculent- The truck Hugh lent goes on a rampage through town.
Xenophobia- A foreigner tries to order drinks in a bar- “Zen, uh, four beers?”- but the locals keep making fun of his accent.