By: Kathleen Pickering

200px-George_Spanky_McFarland[1]Today’s blog will make you laugh. So, you’ll forgive me for reposting an email I received from one of my California writing buddies. Since the content is writing-related, I believe the post is relevant. Besides, it’s so damned funny, I want you all to enjoy a laugh on this lovely Tuesday.

Listed below are actual analogies and metaphors written by high school students who had the great sense to entertain their teachers by submitting these fanciful descriptors in their essays. Enjoy!

The 2010 winners (and I dare say, future writers of America) wrote:

1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

3. He spoke  with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was room-temperature beef.

5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws  up.

6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

7. He  was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.

9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.

10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.

11. From the attic  came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal  quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.

12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

13. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field  toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

14. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan’s teeth.

15. John and Mary had never met.  They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

16. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.

17.  Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted  shut.

18. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.

19. The  plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil.  But unlike Phil, this  plan just might work.

20. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

21. He was as  lame as a duck.  Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real  duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

22. The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

23. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.

24. He was deeply in love.  When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.


I know. Get their names. We have agents waiting! When you stop laughing, please feel free to add your own analogy or metaphor.  Here’s mine:

He tickled her with hands like a gangster, making it hurt to laugh, so she punched him.

28 thoughts on “FUTURE WRITERS OF AMERICA . . .

  1. She had the voice of an Angel–Not the heaven kind of angel, the 110th Street kind of Angel–so I really had no idea what she was going on about.

  2. “Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.”

    I am definitely keeping that one, Kathleen.

  3. ROTFL! Loved this one best:

    “The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.” – that one reveals a lot about the POV character. *-)


  4. Didn’t you just love these?!!

    Joe, John, Diane–thanks for playing . . . .ROTFL!!

    Neil, I’m happy to bring you literary tidbits for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!

    John . . . do you need to, ahem, sharpen your parenting skills? LOL!

    And, hey, Anonymous! Who are you?

  5. Thanks for the post and the laugh, Ms. Pickering. So, here goes nothing:

    Her breath caressed his cheek, like a desert breeze passing over a garbage dump at twelve in the afternoon.

    Jason T

  6. Great list, Kathy. I laughed until I cried like a dog who found the back door unlocked but suddenly realized he had no opposing thumb to turn the knob.

  7. hey, come on….it always takes me a few weeks to get used to jeopardy AFTER the evening news at my mom’s in michigan [from arizona]. i’m confused and befuddled until i acclimate….then it’s time to come home and get confused again!!!!

  8. Love these — they remind me of the Bulwer-Lytton contest.

    My brain won’t produce any twisted similes just now, but I feel compelled to point out that #9 is clearly inspired by a line from Douglas Adams’s HGttG: “The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.”

  9. I laughed until a scary thought popped up. “How many lines like those are buried in my stories?”

    But then I realized I couldn’t write that clever if I tried. So I went back to laughing.

  10. This was shouted out by one of my 8th graders during class.

    Your momma is like a carnival, cheap and dirty.

    Also, I think the language arts teachers at my middle school would be relieved to know that their students’ writing could improve to that point.

  11. So glad you enjoyed these. Wish I could have claimed authorship!

    Hummingbirds, garbage dumps, carnivals, dogs with no thumbs. . . .love it all!!

    Businerdds, if you remake this, you must share!! Laughing is such a great past time! 🙂

  12. She took his breath away, like a sneeze, and caused a fast, panicked, garbled mess of sounds to spill from his lips, like a sneeze.

    I’d heard some of these analogies cited as “bad analogies” before, but they are genius if you ask me. 😉

  13. He thought he could still see the contours of her face, like when you lie on your back in the grass and see circus animals in the clouds.

    Sorry, just can’t top that Jeopardy thing! I laughed until I spit on my computer screen, like when the gentle spring rain hits your windshield.

  14. I wish I were half as creative today! Loved these – but the mob informant/East River was my favorite (#16). Thanks for sharing even though my stomach now hurts from laughing so hard!

  15. These bon-mots hang on my brain like a cheap suit, like the kind you get at K-Mart while the blue light is flashing and the lady with the sharp voice is saying on the loudspeaker, “The blue light special is now!” and instead of “Pierre Cardin” on the lapel it says “Joe Boxer.”

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