Today I laughed til I cried. Which was a change from yesterday when I cried just because I couldn’t actually stop. No, today the tears were definitely happy ones. I was sent a link to an old blog post, and even though the basic idea was something I’d seen before, it couldn’t stop me from cracking up.
What I read was a list of the ‘worst analogies’ that US high school teachers had encountered when marking their students papers over the years. I recently dabbled in some creative writing and it brought back a flood of memories from my own high school days and let me tell you, coming up with clever and meaningful figurative language can be tricky.
I’ve whittled the list down a little, to my absolute favourites. Sit back and enjoy!
1. Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center.
2. He was as tall as a 6′3″ tree.
3. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.
4. 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.
5. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
6. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.
7. 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.
8. The lamp just sat there, like an inanimate object.
9. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.
10. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.
11. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant and she was the East River.
12. She was as easy as the TV Guide crossword.
13. She walked into my office like a centipede with 98 missing legs.
14. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.
15. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.
16. It hurt the way your tongue hurts after you accidentally staple it to the wall.
17. Her date was pleasant enough, but she knew that if her life was a movie this guy would be buried in the credits as something like “Second Tall Man.”
18. The red brick wall was the color of a brick-red Crayola crayon.
19. Her pants fit her like a glove, well, maybe more like a mitten, actually.
20. They were as good friends as the people on “Friends.”
21. I felt a nameless dread. Well, there probably is a long German name for it, like Geschpooklichkeit or something, but I don’t speak German. Anyway, it’s a dread that nobody knows the name for, like those little square plastic gizmos that close your bread bags. I don’t know the name for those either.
22. Her artistic sense was exquisitely refined, like someone who can tell butter from I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.
23. You know how in “Rocky” he prepares for the fight by punching sides of raw beef? Well, yesterday it was as cold as that meat locker he was in.
24. The dandelion swayed in the gentle breeze like an oscillating electric fan set on medium.
25. The sunset displayed rich, spectacular hues like a .jpeg file at 10 percent cyan, 10 percent magenta, 60 percent yellow and 10 percent black.
Now tell me you aren’t on the floor, holding your stomach, tears on your cheeks, laughing.
Nose hair after a sneeze! “Second Tall Man”! As shots are wont to do!
Maybe for the teachers marking the “creative writing”, these were a painful reminder of how challenging teaching the youth of today can be, but for me they show a subtle brilliance and a knack for seeing life clearly.
I sympathise with these poor students of language and only hope that something in amongst all the learning made them laugh, like a person who laughs at something funny…