Simile Fever Spreads Like Wildfire

word processor

I learned a new word this week: completist. It’s defined as an obsessive, typically indiscriminate, collector or fan of something, and boy that sure sounds like me, especially when it comes to finding, making, adapting, using, misusing, repurposing, folding, spindling or mutilating new words.

Once upon a time I made a nice little collection of metaphors and similes, and stored them in a cool, dry place. Today I take them out, dust them off, and present them to you in their original, story form. No life lessons today, campers, just a good ol’ dose of simile fever which, I’m given to believe, is going around…

It was a small cafe, old as the hills but neat as a pin, clean as a whistle and comfortable as an old shoe. I studied the menu with eyes as big as saucers, for the expression “hungry as a horse” fit me like a glove.

Then, sudden as a summer rain, she walked in, cool as a cucumber and fresh as a daisy. Thoughts of food flew from my mind like a bat out of hell. She was pretty as a picture and cute as a button, with skin as smooth as a baby’s behind and lips as red as a red, red rose. I knew as sure as I’m standing here that she was innocent as a lamb, chaste as a nun, pure as the driven snow. In an instant, my destiny was clear as a bell, my fate plain as day. We couldn’t be just like two ships passing in the night. We had to be thick as thieves.

Quick as a wink, or even greased lightning, I crossed to where she stood. My mouth was dry as a bone. I shook like a leaf and sweated like a pig. You’d have to be blind as a bat not to see that I was drunk as a lord with love. “I may not be smart as a whip or wise as an owl,” I said, feeling nervous as a bridegroom and naked as a jaybird, “or sharp as a tack with a mind like a steel trap. I may not be fit as a fiddle or sober as a judge, but my heart is as big as all outdoors. I’d be pleased as punch if only you’d be mine.”  Loose as a goose, I rambled on. “Marry me,” I said. “I’ll make you as happy as a hot dog at a vegetarian barbecue.”

Her face lit up like a Christmas tree. She said it would be easy as pie to love me if only she were free as a bird, but she had a boyfriend big as a house and mean as a junkyard dog. Then she cried, and her tears fell like rain. Well, I couldn’t just sit there like a bump on a log. I stood up straight as an arrow and stiff as a board.

“Bring him on,” I said. “I’ll make him hurt like the dickens!”  Suddenly, like a bolt from the blue, I heard a voice as cold as ice and black as midnight threatening to beat me like a drum. Slow as molasses, I turned around. My heart sank like a stone. He was tall as a tree, crooked as a snake, dumb as a post, ugly as sin and built like a brick… well, built like something commonly built out of bricks.

I should have been scared, but instead I felt light as a feather, high as a kite, giddy as a school boy. “Look,” I told him, “we’re different as night and day. You’re strong as an ox and I’m weak as a kitten. Beating me up would be like taking candy from a baby. But I’m stubborn as a mule. Though you may pound me flat as a pancake, I’ll still be right as rain because my love is solid as a rock and as deep as the deep blue sea.”

Well, that made him mad as a wet hen, or a hornet, a hatter, or even a March hare. He came at me like a house afire, but I was slippery as an eel, slick as a whistle. He found out that catching me was like shoveling smoke or nailing jelly to the wall. Oh he landed a few punches, but they were like water off a duck’s back. Soon it became plain as the nose on his face that his great romance was dead as a doornail. That made him hot as hell, but he had to face the fact: sure as taxes, I had won.

Ever since that night, my darling and I have been like two peas in a pod, happy as a lark, or even a clam, with a love as good as gold and a future as bright as the sun. I’m as proud as a peacock to call her my own. It hasn’t always been easy, not like falling off a log. For one thing, we’re poor as church mice and sometimes that makes us fight like cats and dogs. So I keep myself busy as a beaver working like a dog to make us rich as Croesus, and when I come home every night, regular as clockwork, she makes me feel as snug as a bug in a rug. Friends call us crazy, and maybe they’re right.

Crazy like a fox I’d say.


About John Vorhaus

John Vorhaus has written seven novels, including Lucy in the Sky, The California Roll, The Albuquerque Turkey and The Texas Twist, plus the Killer Poker series and (with Annie Duke) Decide to Play Great Poker. His books on writing include The Comic Toolbox, How to Write Good and Creativity Rules!


  1. Jeanne Kisacky says

    I was going to use a simile in my reply, but you used them all up already! Thanks for making me smile.

  2. says

    I knew I’d gone too far as a rock hoarder when I built a tiny mini “waterfall” in my bathroom sink – rocks piled just so, so that when I turned on the sink, the water cascaded over the rock formation and I’d sometimes stare at it for far longer than is healthy, as I brushed my teeth or whatnotall. Yeah. I don’t do that anymore.

    Loved your simile post, made me s(i)mile . . . teehee.

  3. says

    I take a mournful view of the fact that I see such a breeding of poor writing these days. Once upon a time, when it took work to get your writing in shape for an agent, people who knew they couldn’t write didn’t. Now it feels like anyone with spell-check thinks they can write, and since it’s easy to learn how to write a good query letter, books with good use of descriptive nouns and vivid verbs get lost in a sea of simile (not to mention CUPS errors).

  4. Diane Watanabe says

    “…happy as a hot dog at a vegetarian barbeque.” I never heard that one before. This was great. Thanks!

  5. says

    JV has left no turn unstoned. Actually, the only thing that he’s missing is some of the backwoods beauties uttered in “Moonshiners,” but that’s a different kettle of fish.