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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Literary Magic

Great Moments In Literature, borrowed from a much fuller list at Richard Hartner’s World. These are, allegedly, actual analogies and metaphors found in high school essays:

She grew on him like E. coli and he was room temperature Canadian beef.

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.

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

McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.

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

He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant and she was the east river.

He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a really duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a landmine or something.

She was as easy as the TV guide crossword.

5 Responses to “Literary Magic”

  1. OutOfContext says:

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

    I believe this is plagiarized, or at least paraphrased, from Gertrude Stein’s The Making of Americans.

    jb says: I couldn’t find an attribute for it, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

  2. Peter says:

    I don’t believe these are from real high school essays because some of them are good.

    jb says: You could be right, Peter. I’m sure someone will tell us.

  3. OutOfContext says:

    Actually, jb, that was attempted humor on my part, which usually amuses only myself.

    jb says: Looks like that last was a real break-out joke, ooc. Slow acting, but deadly accurate.

  4. stevent says:

    Funny stuff. Are you familiar with the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, where writers submit the worst opening sentence of the worst imaginary novel they can think of? Last year’s grand prize winner came up with this sentence:

    “Gerald began–but was interrupted by a piercing whistle which cost him ten percent of his hearing permanently, as it did everyone else in a ten-mile radius of the eruption, not that it mattered much because for them “permanently” meant the next ten minutes or so until buried by searing lava or suffocated by choking ash–to pee.”

    I especially like the winners from the Fantasy Fiction category, for example:

    “Lady Guinevere heard it distinctly, a sharp slap, as if a gauntlet had been thrown, and yet it was hardly plausible that she, perched delicately on the back of her cantering steed, should be challenged to ride faster, since protocol determined that Arthur should ride in front, then she, then Lancelot, for that was the order prescribed by Merlin, ever since he invented the carousel.

    Enjoyed the post, thanks.

    jb says: Hi Stevent. Pity to load old Bulwer-Lytton with such a prize. I’m sure he would never have loaned his name to it if he’d been asked. Wasn’t he the one who said: When a person is down in the world, an ounce of help is better than a pound of preaching.

  5. stevent says:

    “When a person is down in the world, an ounce of help is better than a pound of preaching.”

    A worthy statement.

    jb says: Especially at the time – middle of the 19th century – when most people simply believed the opposite.