Dear Tom and Ray:

I really enjoyed these -- doesn't that just figure? I liked the last one best, though. : )

1. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant and she was the East River. (Brian Broadus, Charlottesville)

2. Even in his last years, Grandpappy had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut. (Sandra Hull, Arlington)

3. The door had been forced, as forced as the dialogue during the interview portion of "Jeopardy!" (Jean Sorensen, Herndon)

4. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do. (Jerry Pannullo,Kensington)

5. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work. (Malcolm Fleschner, Arlington)

6. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while. (Malcolm Fleschner, Arlington)

7. "Oh, Jason, take me!" she panted, her breasts heaving like a college freshman on $1-a-beer night. (Bonnie Speary Devore, Gaithersburg)

8. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a land mine or something. (John Kammer, Herndon)

9. Her artistic sense was exquisitely refined, like someone who can tell butter from I Can't Believe It's Not Butter. (Barbara Collier, Garrett Park)

10. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up. (Susan Reese, Arlington)

11. It came down the stairs looking very much like something no one had ever seen before. (Marian Carlsson, Lexington)

12. The knife was as sharp as the tone used by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) in her first several points of parliamentary procedure made to Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) in the House Judiciary Committee hearings on the impeachment of President William Jefferson Clinton. (J. F. Knowles, Springfield)

13. The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)

14. 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 ATM. (Paul J. Kocak, Syracuse)

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

16. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools. (Brian Broadus, Charlottesville)

17. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up. (Susan Reese, Arlington)

18. She was as easy as the "TV Guide" crossword. (Tom Witte,Gaithersburg)

19. Her eyes were like limpid pools, only they had forgotten to put in any pH cleanser. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)

20. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli and he was room-temperature Canadian beef. (Brian Broadus, Charlottesville)

21. She walked into my office like a centipede with 98 missing legs. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

22. It hurt the way your tongue hurts after you accidentally staple it to the wall. (Brian Broadus, Charlottesville)

23. Her voice had that tense, grating quality, like a first-generation thermal paper fax machine that needed a band tightened. (Sue Lin Chong, Washington)

24. A branch fell from the tree like a trunk falling off an elephant. (Jonathan Paul, Garrett Park)

25. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two other sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master. (Sue Lin Chong, Washington)

26. The sardines were packed as tight as the coach section of a 747. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

Steven Weed

[ As Read on Car Talk ]