Tuesday, March 1, 2011

That's how it's done.

Last week an old college friend, Joe, sent me an email. Joe sends me a lot of email. He takes digital political activism to new heights. On the political spectrum, Joe stands so far to the right he makes Hitler look like a Communist. Which is a little odd, since in college Joe and I used to hang with a crowd of pot-smoking liberal tree huggers -- literal tree huggers as they were students at the SUNY Environmental School of Forestry -- these were hippies that were so far to the left they made Marx seem like a Fascist.

I use these hackneyed hyperbolic metaphors for a reason.

You see, the email Joe sent me last week didn't concern our muted response to the Libyan crisis. Or the union busting in Wisconsin. Last week's email was a list of the funniest analogies written by high school students on test papers.

I'm no stranger to taking liberties on high school tests. I still have one of those blue pamphlet books somewhere in my garage. I seem to recall fudging some answers on an 11th grade history exam.

Explain the significant contributions of Henry Cabot Lodge.

"He set up temporary housing units for battle-weary Union soldiers and was the forebearer of the modern hotel industry. Today many institutions honor his name and you can still find decent affordable quarters at highway Motor Lodges across the country."

I skated by a lot of classes just by being a wise-ass.

In any case, here are some of my favorite's from Joe's list:

She was as easy as the TV Guide Crossword.

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 PM travelling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 PM at a speed of 35 mph.

The dandelion swayed in the gentle breeze like an oscillating electric fan set on medium.

And the best/worst analogy:

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.

I love that. If I were a Creative Director back in the agency world and I saw that in a young copywriter's portfolio, that kid would be looking at a 6 figure job with full dental and vision coverage.

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