Tuesday, 20 July 2010

cop-out blog number three

Time’s still pressing so I’m having to cop out again, but this time I thought I might ask for help. First of all, it seems that my brother Ron reads these postings now and then so I thought it might be an idea to set up a clamour for him to guest blog again. If you decide to leave a comment, therefore, I’d be grateful if you’d join me in bullying him into making another contribution.

Next, Dragonlady (aka Diane Nelson) was indiscreet enough to suggest another Dinsdale the whale exercise might be appropriate. I immediately jumped at the chance and invited her to write it. She’s quite a busy person so we won’t expect anything from her until August but, as before, if you’d like to throw in some suggestions of things she MUST include in her offering, they’d be very welcome. She’s good, so don’t hold back. I’ll offer some of my own nearer the time.

Finally, I’ve once again ‘borrowed’ (i.e. plagiarised) from the list of similes created by real students in their GCSE essays. As I was starting to group them in categories, however, it struck me that they’re so inventive that they could easily have been produced by some well-known authors. So which literary greats might have scribbled the following in their exam answers? I’ll number them for ease of identification.

1. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

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

3. 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.

4. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

5. 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 cashpoint.

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

7. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a dustcart reversing.

8. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli and he was room-temperature British beef.

9. Her voice had that tense, grating quality, like a first-generation thermal paper fax machine that needed a band tightened.

Good luck.


  1. I've taken a fancy to #2, though #1 has a certain elegance to it.

  2. Number eight is early Dan Brown, innit?

  3. Surely they're all Raymond Chandler, although number two might be from a reading primer by Ronald Ridout.

  4. First Ron, no I don't want you to write a guest blog post, I want you to send me a couple of Rammenas flash fiction stories.
    Diane,what about a man in small close fitting swimming pants carrying a pair of skis.

  5. 1. I didn't put them here just for you to nick them - who wrote them?

    2. Heikki, I only managed a couple of paragraphs of Dan Brown so I'm not a good judge of that but my guess would be that the specific genius of 'room temperature' makes it too sophisticated for him.

    3. Anneke, I've already nagged Ron about writing for rammenas again so stop coming here with your negative marketing techniques. On the other hand, your suggestion for Diane's Dinsdale is an excellent start.

  6. You're right Bill, my appologies. I'm looking forward to Ron's guestblog here. It'll give me a feeling of joy, like finding leftover Indonesian Gado Gado in my fridge when I'm hungry.

  7. Linda, I see you've re-entered your enigmatic phase.

    Anneke, I hope Ron reads your comment and produces the requisite Gado Gado.

  8. No 8 was my favorite, then 9. I know you didn't ask for favorites but there you go. They are inventive.

  9. OK Marley, but now it's tempting to look at people's favourites and draw conclusions about their own personalities. I'll keep my conclusions to myself.

  10. Yes, I am definitely enigmatic--#8 is my favorite. :)

    P.S. Sometimes, Bill, it's wisest NOT to comment. I figured that out when I was about 45.

  11. You're right, Linda. I'd rather not remember the number of things which I wish I'd left unsaid.

  12. I'd love to see another post by your brother
    Ron, and #9 is my favorite. I have no idea who might have written it. I'm only good at stealing writer quotes from the Internet and posting them on my Facebook site: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fans-of-Jean-Henry-Mead/334147262834?v=wall&ref=ts

  13. At least you have the decency to attribute the quotes you 'steal', Jean. I have no idea where my 'borrowings' originated.

  14. Ron, Ron, Ron...and Bill...more blog postings from you, too. it is your blog after all! :)

  15. I know, Scary, but I'll tell you a secret. All the stats show that the most visited of all my blogs is the one Ron wrote, so getting him to do more will raise my profile.