Saturday, March 13, 2010

Really rotten ritin'

I don't know how legit these are but who cares? They're really funny.

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 amusementof 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.

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 Canadian 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.

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.

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. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

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 fromTopeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's 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.

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 known to do.

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 awhile.

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.

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

24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with powertools.

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

Thanks to toadking.com for the image

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

I highly doubt that it's legit given that the same set of "this year's winners" have been floating around the Internet for years.

Don from Vancouver said...

Awesome, like removing a newly discovered ball of lint from your belly button. :)

Max Clarke said...

Hilarious but lacking legitimacy, obviously written for the category by people who know how to get a laugh. Some of them are perfect one-liners, though, with maggots and lame ducks and vegetable soup.

Jake S said...

Yeah, no way these are real. Heck #7 could have been Raymond Chandler.

Toby O'B said...

And #9 is a reworking of a Douglas Adams line....

Tim W. said...

I actually laughed out loud at several of them. And I laugh out loud as often as someone who doesn't do it very much.

l.a.guy said...

Sorry to report this does appear to be a work of fiction according to the good folks at Snopes.

At least this is one internet myth that is harmless and funny.

Larry said...

I don't know if any of these are real, but if they are, some are obviously meant ironically, and aren't bad. Some of them are affirmatively good. Stuff like "Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever," "The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't" and "Shots rang out, as shots are known to do" are good lines.

Word Verification: imark--iCarly's friend.

D. McEwan said...

Yes, some of these are rather skillfully written comic lines, and number 9 is a direct rip-of of Douglas Adams's "It hung in the air in exactly the way that bricks don't."

Steal from the best, and Adams was the best.

Anonymous said...

"almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea".

Ian said...

Maybe not genuine, but genuinely funny anyway. This left me wanting more, like a snack-size bag of Cheetos.

Vermonter17032 said...

Yes, these are funny, exactly the way the Republican National Convention isn't.

Christinawrites said...

This filled my heart with song, like watching The Sound Of Music without knowing about the Nazi part.

Rodney said...

I guess if I wanted to see this type of thing for real I would watch some shows I normally avoid-let me see if I can think of any: nope, not really, I can't say what the writing is like offhand because I avoid them on general principle for other reasons-in fact the last new show I added to my regimen of shows I normally watch is The Mentalist and only because the press was so favorable (they did that with The Closer, too, but I can't stand that show because of constant manipulation, back stabbing, etc. whereas Mad Men keeps that type of stuff manageable and watchable)-anyway it turns out they were right about The Mentalist-terrific show. Thursdays episode was both highly disturbing and intriguing.

normadesmond said...

ah, it makes sense that these are not what they advertise to be....some are just to good.

Charles H.Bryan said...

#5 made me think of Raymond Chandler; #19, maybe Steve Martin or Woody Allen; #14, a smartass high school student who hated the assignment.

Back when I was teaching, I learned from a 9th grader that Louis Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon!

Shawn said...

Well, at least some of these bad writers are unique. Cliched bad writing would just be boring and painful.

Anonymous said...

#18 isn't half bad if the person used it as a jumping off point and expanded or elucidated the metaphor.

Anonymous said...

Very funny stuff these were. Some had me outloud laughing they did. Like an application of the force that pushes through your cheek your tounge they are.

BigTed said...

This is actually funny writing, like half an episode of "Saturday Night Live" -- as opposed to awful writing, like half an episode of "Saturday Night Live."

C said...

I howled with laughter ... like the way one of your friends does when you stub your toe on your bedpost.

But really, I did. I love this. :) Glad I found it.

Mary Stella said...

I groaned at some of them like a weak floorboard under the weight of my bovine Aunt Lu.

Anonymous said...

These sound very similar to the entries for the Bulwar Litton bad writing contest.

Megan said...

Even though they might not be real, they're hilarious.

If they were in a book, I would seriously consider reading it.

www.bestoffates.com

rms said...

Real or not, they are funny. Thanks for the laughs.

M said...

Loved this!

Annoying FYI:

Do you relize when you post your blog link on twitter, it sends people to the main page, not to specific stories?

Twitterfeed will automatically send your stories for you-the direct links.
(no I'm not spamming for them-it just makes things easier for me)

Hol tMurray said...

don't care a whit if they're real or not, but they're awesome - had to staifle laughter while eating lunch.

Favorite was simple like Bro-in-law Phil, but this one would work... ;D

JOnny from Panama city, Panama said...

Didnt seem legit to me, but i laughed pretty hard a few times, my eyes even got watery, like a light swampage from walking in the sun.

Lyss John said...

Question, do they not seem legitimate because none of you think high schoolers can be clever and witty?

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

Lyss, I've read this list several times over the past ten or twelve years. They are funny, but not collected from high school students over the past year. That's why they aren't legit as presented.

Anonymous said...

What do you mean, legit? They're real, and they're funny. Who cares where they came from?

Throckmorton Jones said...

I've seen these dozens of times over the years, but they are still funny. I also recognize #9 as being in the style of Douglas Adams.

GregM said...

Come on, Ken. These are from a Washington Post style invitational, either '95 or '99, and while I don't usually carry much water for the pro-torture Post, it deserves credit for hosting the contest, and their readers deserve credit for submitting. How'd you like it if a random set of jokes from a Frasier ep you wrote showed up with a note saying "actual things people said to each other on dates"? My guess is you wouldn't be quite so blase. Accuracy matters, and as a former journalist, you ought to know that.

http://www.snopes.com/humor/lists/metaphor.asp

Desmond Hilary said...

I thought the one about the east river was the best. I'd like to say something clever about how much I enjoyed it but I'm searching for a simile like a dog with a long body and a short tongue.