can’t see the forest

A Bad Analogy is Like a Misbegotten Simile

Posted in English, humor, writing by Curtis on 1/15/07

From a years-old Washington Post, via Tina’s Humor Archives, some prize-winners and honorable mentions from a “bad analogy contest.” I believe that most of these are similes rather than analogies, but that’s okay. 

Winner: His fountain pen was so expensive, it looked as if someone had grabbed the pope, turned him upside-down, and started writing with the tip of his big pointy hat.

1st Runner-Up: She was as unhappy as when someone puts your cake out in the rain and all the sweet green icing flows down, then you lose the recipe and, on top of that, you can’t sing worth a damn.

2nd Runner-Up: I felt a shameless 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.

3rd Runner-Up: The baseball player stepped out of the box and spit like a fountain statue of a Greek god that scratches itself a lot and spits brown, rusty tobacco water and refuses to sign autographs for all the little Greek kids unless they pay him lots of drachmas.

4th Runner-Up: “Oooo, he smells bad,” she thought, as bad as Calvin Klein’s Obsession would smell if it were called Enema and were made from spoiled Spamburgers instead of natural floral fragrances.

And some honorable mentions:

He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree.

The politician was gone but unnoticed, like the period after the Dr on a Dr Pepper can.

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 p.m. instead of 7:30.

They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan’s teeth.

The thunder was ominous-sounding, much like the sound of a thin sheet of metal being shaken backstage during the storm scene in a play.

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

Her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze.

Like, whatever.


6 Responses

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  1. servant said, on 1/17/07 at 4:01 pm

    Where similies are concerned, many are called but few should be chosen.

  2. peoplesgeography said, on 1/17/07 at 5:38 pm


  3. Dr. V said, on 1/18/07 at 4:33 pm


    Have you read Nuri Al-Malirkey’s interview in the Italian press?

    Now even Bush’s handpicked puppets are criticizing him openly…

    Turns out these guys were Teheran’s puppets after all.

    And the SCIRI/Al-Hakim crowd is no better- in many ways, they’re actually even more Persianophile than Muqtada and his mad messianic mullahs.

    Partitioning Iraq in three homogeneous ethnic-religious pieces and rearming the secular/Westernized Baathist types is the only sensible policy option left: I know the Pentagon’s top brass favor such a course…but are the Neocon weakened enough to finally let the US military undo their Pharisaic follies?

  4. raincoaster said, on 1/18/07 at 10:28 pm

    Are you going for a nonsequiter award, Dr V? You win.

  5. Curtis said, on 1/21/07 at 7:37 pm

    I agree, servant, it’s better to keep the cap on one’s pen sometimes. :-)

    I haven’t read said interview, Dr. V., so I won’t comment just yet…but, personally, I’ve always had a hard time reading very much of a sinister nature into Iranian foreign policy. Foreign policy, n.b. I’ll have to take a gander, thanks. That’s a pretty brutal analysis.

  6. canada Vacation Winter said, on 7/10/07 at 2:03 pm

    canada Vacation Winter

    This sounds pretty good.

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