Creative Comedy Project
Barbara Thomas By Barbara Thomas
THE METAPHOR IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE CLICHÉ
My writing tutor upset me today. I know I’m a brilliant writer, I don’t need ‘constructive criticism’ from her! For heavens sake, I only joined the course so that I could get my ego massaged……..
As she read my latest masterpiece her face was expressionless.
‘She’s struggling to hide her jealousy’ I thought
Finally she looked up then…..After a pregnant pause she hit me with a bombshell!
‘You know….’ she began slowly
‘You use too many clichés’
Well! ….You could have knocked me down with a feather!
I wished the ground would open up and swallow me.
Anyway, I believe in calling a spade a spade
‘Look’ I said to her
‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks
You want to get off your high horse
And try putting yourself in my shoes.
I mean, writing’s not rocket science is it?
When you get an idea in your head
You’re like a dog with a bone
I know I’m not the brightest button in the box
But one thing I do know is
I’ve never used a cliché in my life!’
‘Anyway’ I thought ‘What the heck is a cliché when it’s at home?
I bet she doesn’t know either
I bet when the chips are down
And push comes to shove
She wouldn’t know a cliché
If it jumped up and bit her on the end of her nose!’
She ignored my little outburst and addressed the class:-
‘Would someone like to read something they’ve written and demonstrate how they’ve avoided using cliches?’
Up jumped Jack the eager class clown, cleared his throat dramatically and began to read:
‘When I met my wife’ he read, ‘she was a stunner. She wasn’t good looking or anything, she worked in an abbatoir.’
At this, the students started laughing like drains. I rolled my eyes skyward, I wouldn’t mind if it was even funny. The only other person not laughing was my French friend Michelle, she had a quizzical expression on her face as she looked from Jack to his hysterical audience then finally she looked at me, shrugged and held out her palms indicating surrender.
Michelle had already given me her feedback on my story before my tutor had read it:
‘I love eet, eeees sooo romanteec, ze couple keesing in ze moonlight in June.’
Yes, Michelle could spot a great story when she saw one!
As Jack droned on with his boring story I returned to my seat clutching my precious manuscript. Michelle leaned over and whispered:
‘Deed she like it?’
‘Not really’ I said, ‘she said it was full of cliches.’
What eez thees cliché?’ she asked.
‘Heaven only knows Michelle’ I responded, ‘Heaven only knows!’
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