August 10, 2006

The Simile

When I was in high school english, every so often my AP English teacher would go on a rant about the differences between a "simile" and a "metaphor." Pop culture tells us that there isn't any difference (a simile is like a metaphor, har har), which apparently made Ms. Kritz upset. Incidentally, it was attention to detail like this and a good sense of humor (and her taste in reading material - John Irving Joseph Conrad were among my favorites) that made her such a good teacher.

Anyway, I got an email today listing some metaphors - actually similes - that high school english teachers had submitted from their students' papers. I picked out my favorites because they remind me of a few of my high school and college classmates.



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

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

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

Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

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

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 PM. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 PM at a speed of 35 mph.

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

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

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.

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

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


cruz-control said...


I laugh out loud. This is going above my desk in my office.

Priscilla said...

I loved this! I laughed out loud too. Somehow the dog at the fire hydrant just doesn't work with a graceful ballerina! But it made me laugh just the same!

Mike said...

Ah, the writing hurts so good... for more literary pain, check out the entries to the Bulmer-Lytton writing contest which may be grimaced at here.