The full statement goes: “Some people are like slinkies – not really good for anything, but you still can’t help but smile when you see them tumble down the stairs.” It took several clicks before I found the source of the quote: Patricia Briggs, an American author known for her urban fantasy books.
I stumbled upon this line while searching for the origin of another statement crafted along the same tone. It says “Some people are like clouds. When they disappear, it’s a brighter day.” It has surfaced in many social networking sites, but unlike the first quote, the source of this second witticism is not clear. Not really surprising in social media where people hardly lift a finger anymore to cite their sources of information.
Soon I was on a little fishing expedition for other ‘Some people are like’ lines. Here are some that got caught in my trawl:
Some people are like:
… pennies. Two-faced and worthless.
… mummies. So wrapped up in themselves.
… onions. They have many different layers.
… seasons. They come and go.
… fish. They wouldn’t be in trouble if they kept their mouths shut.
… lava lamps. Fun to look at, but not all that bright.
… crystals. You can see right through them.
… blisters. They don’t show up until the work is done.
… trees. They take forever to grow up.
… buttons. Always popping off at the wrong time.
… wheelbarrows; useful only when pushed, and very easily upset. (Henry S. Haskins)
… popular songs that you only sing for a short time. (La Rochefoucauld)
Good copy, right? Hmm…on closer look, probably not. They focus on what’s uncool about the other guys, and worse, those people may not even realize that they are being likened to ‘buttons’ or ‘mummies,’ much more so to ‘clouds.’ I just had to look for more positive similes. Luckily, there were a few. Like, I found three! 😀
Some people are like:
… bras. Close to your heart and there for support.
… tea bags. Put them in hot water and they grow stronger.
… coffee. The best ones are rich, warm and can keep you up all night long.
Not that many really, so I went back to the uncool ones and attempted to rework them, starting with slinkies. These are not really worthless relics and in fact, can be quite useful as note holders, education tools, or stress busters. I love their bouncy nature, so I’m more inclined to say that “Some people are like slinkies. They tumble gracefully as they fall down the stairs.”
And for clouds, how about this: “Some people are like clouds. They keep us cool by blocking off harmful elements.”
Care to give the other lines a try?