20 July 2006 by Published in: Civil War books and authors 7 comments

The following is a list of things that I can only pray that you will NEVER find in one of my books:

Every year, English teachers from across the country submit their collections of actual analogies 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.

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 from Topeka 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 wont 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 a while.

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 power tools.

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

This stuff is every bit as bad as Snoopy’s “It was a dark and stormy night….” stories. 🙂

Scridb filter


  1. Mike Peters
    Thu 20th Jul 2006 at 7:10 pm

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


    That this person is in the habit of frying maggots says more than enough.


  2. John D. Mackintosh
    Thu 20th Jul 2006 at 8:53 pm

    These are really good! I especially like Number 14 comparing the lovers racoing to embrace as being akin to speeding trains that departed stations at different times and speeds. It sounds like the prelude to one of those math questions that should end with ….:”At what time and speed will the lovers collide?”

  3. Dave Powell
    Thu 20th Jul 2006 at 9:18 pm

    Gotta say, some seem staged, like the train comparison in #14 John talks about above. Think the guy was deliberately channelling bad word problems from his past?

    And 6 and 10 are actually funny. 6 sums it all up in a really brilliant conclusion – WhatEVERRR!

    The rest, well, Good Grief, Charley Brown…

    Dave Powell

  4. Dave Powell
    Thu 20th Jul 2006 at 9:20 pm

    Oh, and in 24, who the hell was this kid’s father!? Tobe Hooper?

    Dave Powell

  5. Thu 20th Jul 2006 at 9:44 pm


    I found all of them funny. But I agree with you, Dave. No. 6 was my favorite, too.


  6. Lanny
    Fri 21st Jul 2006 at 9:20 am

    Dear Fearless Leader,
    Thanks for the warning. I will carefully proof read your next opus to ensure the omission of such transgressions.
    Seriously, I enjoyed a good laugh–and I needed one. No 20 reminded me of an ex-friend who was in the business of finding things before other people missed them. I overheard one the other day that you might use in your next book: “It’s not the bullet that kills you. It’s the hole.”
    Best wishes as always,

  7. Fri 21st Jul 2006 at 9:52 am

    LOL! Heck, I think all of them should be used in one work – they’re classic!

    Reminds me of the things that circulate in my business – insurance – which are reasons people give on claim forms. “I was driving along and suddenly this tree jumped out in front of me;” “I didn’t want to hit the rabbit so I ran off the road, flipped the car over, and landed in a person’s living room…” It’s amazing how people write, the analogies they make, and how they express themselves.

    Great stuff.


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