Wednesday, October 18, 2006

America's Youth

Every year, English teachers from across the country can submit
their collections of actual similes and metaphors found in high school
essays. These excerpts are published each year to the amusement of teachers across
the country. Here are last year's winners:

1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master. (Gently compressed huh? You've got to be talented with the Thigh Master to do that!)

2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free. (Funny, my random thoughts never seem to make or break any good alliances.)

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. (Enough said.)

4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E.Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef. (I quite like this one. But why Canadian beef?)

5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up. (Whoa! That is not a compliment. That's something nasty and spasmodic that a doctor should look at.)

6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever. (Classic.)

7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree. (I don't think this kid understood the assignment.)

8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine. (Ok, if H cheated on me I would be a bit more shocked than that. More like being hit by a truck, feeling like I've been cut to ribbons by scissors, something more akin to that. Not being charged $2. I would just yell, "I want my $2!" and be done with it.)

9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't. (I'm sorry that one just made me laugh. I know someone who talks like this. No comment.)

10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup. Nice visual huh? Forget strewn instestinal tract on the sidewalk I'm picturing little bits of corn and peas splattered about.)

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. (Damn! I hate when that happens! It really throws me off.)
12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze. (Sounds like personal experience to me.)

13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease. (Again sounds like knowledge from experience.)

14. 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.
(If Suzy is traveling at a rate of 55mph wearing red sneakers and Jack is traveling at a speed of..... you get the idea)

15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth. (Good I'm not the only one who thought that about her teeth)

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

17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River. (Quite good actually.)

18. 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.

19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do. (Love the use of wont. Just can't get good wont like you used to.)

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

21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while. (Yea, that would be hungry alright.)

22. 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. (This sounds like a 3rd grader talking not a high school kid.)

23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant. (Nice one.)

24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools. (Ok, where does this kid live? Child services might need to be called. Exactly how many kids live with you son? Is your Mommy home?)

25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up. (I'm not even going to comment, if that is what he heard when she spoke how would he describe her ass?)


  1. Hey, some of those kids have been listening to Car Talk:

    We quote the centipede one a lot.

  2. Lauren10:22 AM

    Sorry to burst the bubble, but those are taken from a couple of Washington Post contests to find bad analogies:

    One in 1995 and one in 1999.

    Still funny, though!

  3. Yup, NPR, the Post. It's all a repeat. Oh well it made someone laugh. I heard them in my cube. :)


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