Monday, January 21, 2008

Really rotton '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 for the image.


Anonymous said...

Okay, not really sure why anyone's calling these bad similes. They're all hilarious, and intentionally so. Sure, at least one of them is a blatant rip-off of Douglas Adams, but otherwise they're really funny, written by someone(s) really talented.

Anybody who put one of these in his/her highschool paper is probably going further than the other students.

Bitter Animator said...

Yep, number 9 comes from Douglas Adams I'm sure. And, personally, I think numbers 2 and 3 are pure genius and show clever minds at work.

Actually, I couldn't fault most of these. I think they're great - entertaining and wonderfully inventive. Does that mean I'm a bad writer?

Anonymous said...

I'm stealing three of these for a story I'm writing right now. What a time saver!

Thanks. Do this again. Soon!

Tallulah Morehead said...

Douglas Adam's memorable line was "The Vogon ships hung in the air, in exactly the way that bricks don't."

Amd some of those are really very good. All are funny

Anonymous said...

Yes, most of these are indeed brilliantly clever. My stomach hurt from laughter, despite the fact that (as noted already) #9 is a blatant "hitchhiker" rip.

Anonymous said...

No. 6 and 7 are my faves... No. 6 reminds me a bit of that Bill Bailey line "people ask me if Im and optimist and i say 'i hope so!'"

god! everyone got the Douglas Adams one... good to see he was also big in the US, cause i always thought that US audiences mightnt like his 'thing'...

PS everyone should check out Bill Bailey... he's brilliant!

Mike McCann said...

No. 1 truly has style, tempo and brevity. You can envision that writer becoming the next hot creative genius on Madison Ave.

Benjy Stone said...

These are hilarious, but I saw this same list some half-dozen years ago in an English class.

webbie said...

Personally, is there any better visual than a Hefty bag full of vegetable soup?

Craig Perko said...

I love these kinds of things, but I've never seen this particular list before.

A fun set of books for this are the Bulwer-Lytton books ("Son of It Was a Dark and Stormy NIght", etc).

Mary Stella said...

I think most of those are hilarious. I'd like to read the entire stories to see if the authors kept that tone throughout. Surely the writers meant to be funny.

Emily Blake said...

I wish my students wrote this way. Hell number 3 sounds exactly like something I would write.

Anonymous said...

I seriously doubt that any of these are from high-school essays; virtually all of them sound as if they either come from works of fiction, or were invented out of whole cloth. That's not to say they aren't good.

VP81955 said...

Actually, #17 isn't all that bad -- if the context was meant to be sort of a detective story parody. If not, then it doesn't work.

And that poor mallard a few entries later (land mine?).

Anonymous said...

That was as funny as, like, whatever.

Anonymous said...

You're posting e-mail forwards now?

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

M*A*S*H Similes

all the first part of the similes being read by Colonel Henry Blake,
the middle part being read by Trapper
and the end read by Hawkeye...

HENRY: That General Steele still has a great mind.
TRAPPER: ...Like a steel trap
HAWK: Only one that has been left out so long it's been rusted shut.


HENRY: How 'bout that? That girl will really grow on you...
TRAPPER: Like a colony of E.Coli
HAWK: And we're room-temperature Canadian Beef

By Ken Levine said...

I usually never post things I've receeived from the internet but this one was just too too funny.

Dago T said...

I laughed like a guy who was laughing like he'd just read something funny.

Tallulah Morehead said...

"everyone got the Douglas Adams one... good to see he was also big in the US, cause i always thought that US audiences mightnt like his 'thing'..."

Smacklab darling (Classy nom de plume), rest assured that Dougie Adams was immensely popular in the US. (Although he hated that, in the US, total strangers would call him "Doug," instead of "Mr. Adams," or at least, "Douglas.") His novels sold quite well over here (His non-fiction, not so much). I attended four or five of his California book store signing events, and he always drew a huge crowd, at the last one I went to, his line stretched out the door, down the block and around the corner. The DVDs of the HITCHHIKER TV series sells well here. The movie of Hitchhiker didn't do all that well though. He felt welcome enough to move here. Even his DOCTOR WHO work is beloved here.

And let's not forget that we killed him, that is to say, he dropped dead (At the obscenely young age of 49) walking down the street in Santa Barbara, California.

Anonymous said...

shots rang out, as shots are known to do

euphoria0504 said...

These are indeed hilarious -- but they're actually entries from the Washington Post Style Invitational, an ongoing contest in that newspaper. Here's the original URL:

Cap'n Bob said...

I agree, they're funny, but I saw them at least ten years ago, maybe more like 20. The Nancy Kerrigan reference dates it if nothing else. I rather like the image of a body hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag full of soup.

By Ken Levine said...

Like I said, I can't vouch for their authenticity but how funny they were trumped that. And besides, I have the flu. Happy to have something to post that doesn't require my brain.

Richard Cooper said...

Get well, Ken, like a man who swallowed a stomach virus, heaved his guts out, and then started to gradually feel better.

Rob said...

Ken, as a warning, if you get an e-mail offering you $15,000,000 if you can just assist in getting the money out of a war torn country, it MAY be a scam.

The trick is finding an honest Nigerian to arrange the deal.

I love these, myself. Much funnier than anything on According to Jim.

DM Magic said...

Well, I had come here to point out the Hitchhiker's ref, but I see people have it well in hand.

I too, approve of these smilies, like Inspector 12 approves of quality underwear.

Elbow P. Murderpants said...

Yup... as hilarious as a hot model who struts down the runway at a New York fashion show then drops like a sack of hammers off the end... of .... the...


Karen said...

Number 7 comes from the Washington Post's annual simile contest. I first saw it about 6 years ago.

brenderlin said...

I'm glad I'm not the only person who finds these absolutely genius.