A little boy’s essay on anatomy and a load of student Apocryphal Metaphors


Joel Conger, owner of Mauk’s of Jonesborough, sent me a copy of a young man’s description of the human body a few years ago. I’m sure it was a school assignment for the young man. Joel did not tell me if it was his but carefully mentioned someone had dropped it off. Please see the young man’s description in his own words…

A Little Boy’s Essay on Anatomy

“Your head is kind of round and hard, an brains are in it, and your hair on it. Your face is the front of your head and where you eat and make faces. Your neck is what keeps your head out of your collar, and it is hard to keep clean. Your shoulders are sort of shelfs where you hook your suspenders on them.

Your stumick is something that if you do not eat often it hurts, and spinach don’t help none. Your spine is a long bone in your back that keeps you from folding up. Your back is always behind you no matter how quick your turn around.

Your arms you got to have to pitch with and so you can reach for the butter. Your fingers stick out of your hands so you can throw a curve and add rithmetick. Your legs is what if you have not got two of, you cannot get to first base. Your feet are what you run on, your toes are what always gets stubbed. And that’s all there is of you except what’s inside, and I never saw it.”

Since school is somewhat back in session either in class or at home, students have the advantage of looking most everything immediately up on their computer. Will that make them smarter or depend on an electronic device in every day or social encounters with their fellow man?

I saw a posting this weekend on my phone that a mom’s child asked her what it was like when she was growing up. The mom grabbed her child’s cell phone, turned off her computer, switched off the TV and said, “Honey, go outside and play all day and don’t come home until the street lights come on!”

Since the pandemic has hit I’ve seen more children outside playing, riding bicycles, running, building playhouses, selling lemonade and in our paper last week, selling pumpkins. What fun that is.


Since school has started I think it important to get back to our educational roots or what’s left of them. Below are Apocryphal Metaphors, meaning… (of doubtful authenticity: spurious) from actual Student Essays.

• Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two other sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

• His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a tumble dryer.

• She caught your eye like one of those pointy hook latches that used to dangle from doors and would fly up whenever you banged the door open again.

• The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.

• Her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze.

• Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center.

• Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

• He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree.

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

• The politician was gone but unnoticed, like the full stop after the Dr. on a Dr. Pepper can.

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

• Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long it had rusted shut.

• Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.

• The plan was simple, like my brother Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

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

• Her artistic sense was exquisitely refined, like someone who can tell butter from “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.”

• She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

• It came down the stairs looking very much like something no one had ever seen before.

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

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

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

• She walked into my office like a centipede with 98 missing legs.

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

• It hurt the way your tongue hurts after you accidentally staple it to the wall.


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