My friend Hayley is almost finished with her first year of teaching high school English and sent me a list of actual analogies and metaphors found in high school essays that were collected by teachers from across the country. Here are some of my favorites:
1. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.
2. 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.
3. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli, and he was room temperature Canadian beef.
4. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.
5. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
6. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.
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 machine.
8. 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.
9. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.
10. 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.
11. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.
12. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.
13. 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.
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. 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.