Why English Teachers Die Young


Probably the most hilarious forwarded e-mail I’ve ever received, sent to me by a parent of one of my students:

Why English teachers die young: Actual Analogies and Metaphors in High School Essays

  1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides, you know like gently compressed by a Thigh Master.
  2. His thoughts tumbled around in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free softener.
  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 solar eclipses 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.
  9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball would not.
  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, my Grandpappy had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long that it had rusted shut.
  19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.
  20. The plan was simple, just like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just actually 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, just like a dog at a fire hydrant.
  24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing their kids around waving power tools at them.
  25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.
  26. Her eyes were like limpid pools, only they had forgotten to put in any pH cleanser.
  27. She walked into my office like a centipede with 98 missing legs.
  28. It really hurt! like the way your tongue hurts after you accidentally staple it to the wall.

The only thing that makes me doubt these are real is that some of them are really good!


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