Monday, June 4, 2007

When similes go bad...

There's a story today in the Oregonian about a local school principal who overcame a horrible childhood (substance-abusing mother, domestic violence, foster care, etc.) and made something of his life. It is a genuinely good article, except for a horribly mangled simile that the writer tries--and fails--to make work.

His mother, Colleen Smyth, was a former nurse, a witty and bright woman whose dependence on alcohol steadily worsened after she was disfigured by burns on her face, neck and hands.

She was like a marshmallow, Smyth says, burned on the outside, but warm, sticky and wonderful on the inside.
Sticky? Weird.