A bed near the window

A bed by a window

A bed by a window

During a visit to my doctor, I asked him, “How do you determine whether or not an older person should be put in an old age home?”

“Well,” he said, “we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to
the person to empty the bathtub.”

“Oh, I understand,” I said. “A normal person would use the bucket because it is bigger

than the spoon or the teacup.”


“No” he said. “A normal person would pull the plug. Do you want a bed near the window?”

List of analogies for use by ebook authors

He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant and she was the East River. (Brian Broadus, Charlottesville)

Even in his last years, grandpappy had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)

The door had been forced, as forced as the dialogue during the interview portion of “Jeopardy!” (Jean Sorensen, Herndon)

Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do. (Jerry Pannullo, Kensington)

He regarded death with hesitant dread, as if he were a commedia dell’arte troupe and death was an audience of pipe-fitters. (Brian Broadus, Charlottesville)

The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work. (Malcolm Fleschner, Arlington)

Now, back to the gloriously bad analogies.

Sixth Runner-Up: The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while. (Malcolm Fleschner, Arlington)

Fifth Runner-Up: “Oh, Jason, take me!” she panted, her breasts heaving like a college freshman on $1-a-beer night. (Bonnie Speary Devore, Gaithersburg)

Fourth Runner-Up: 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. (John Kammer, Herndon)

Third-Runner-Up: Her artistic sense was exquisitely refined, like someone who can tell butter from I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. (Barbara Collier, Garrett Park)

Second Runner-Up: She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up. (Susan Reese, Arlington)

First Runner-Up: It came down the stairs looking very much like something no one had ever seen before. (Marian Carlsson, Lexington, Va.)

And the winner of the Smorked Beef Rectum: The knife was as sharp as the tone used by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) in her first several points of parliamentary procedure made to Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) in the House Judiciary Committee hearings on the impeachment of President William Jefferson Clinton. (J.F. Knowles, Springfield)

More of these from a 1999 article on the Washington Post here.

Washington Post archive of “The Style Invitational” collections.