The Man Who Values Not Hyperbole is a Lonely Man

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Story Submitted by Leigh:

James, who I met online, was five years older than I was (he was 30), and a high school teacher.  In a message to me, shortly before our date, he said:

"People use metaphor and hyperbole waaaaay too much.  They shouldn't be abused.  That's what's made America so idiotic."

Oddly, he never called me on anything in our introductory e-mails or in the single phone call we had leading up to the date.  The date itself, though, was a different story.

We met at a mall.  While we were walking together, I said, "I had a project at work today that took me forever."

He cut in, "Then why aren't you still doing it, if it took you forever?"

I didn't know what to say.  He continued, "Obviously, it didn't take you forever.  Be more literal, please."

I told him that everyone used such phrases all the time.  He countered with asking me, "Does that make it right?  And by the way, saying that 'everyone' uses them is another fallacy."

I was growing tired of him fast, and we had only been out for ten minutes.  "That's just how I talk," I said.

He went on a diatribe about how everyone from his family to his friends to his students are stupider now than they've ever been before.  When the language is corrupted, he explained, the mind became corrupted.

I cut in, "But what about Shakespeare?  He used metaphors and hyperbole all the time."

"Another fallacy," he retorted, "He didn't use them 'all the time,' and when he did, he used them correctly and effectively.  Oh, the Bard," he sighed, like he was missing an old friend.

I asked him if it was okay that he suspended his corrective logic for the rest of our date, because the way that I spoke couldn't be "fixed" in a single night.

He replied, "There's no better time to start.  You're very lucky to be out with me, did you know that?"

All through dinner, it was more and more.  He took forever to form a sentence, because he was probably trying as hard as he could to avoid metaphor or hyperbole.  Finally, I said something really minor, like, "I couldn't wait for the day to be over."

He said, "That's either a lie or hyperbole.  If you couldn't wait, then you wouldn't have waited.  If you did, then you just lied.  See?"  He smiled and raised his paper cup of Pepsi in my direction.

I said, "I'm just going to talk how I want, and that's it."

He shrugged and said, "Pity."

We finished dinner in awkward silence, went for another short walk (which I directed down towards the parking lot), said goodnight, and weren't in touch anymore after that.

Worst date ever.  No hyperbole.


  1. "He took forever to form a sentence"

    More hyperbole. You have a lot of work to do.




  3. You're the worst commenter ever, Nikki. Ever.

  4. He dodged a hyperbole bullet there!

  5. Can you imagine this guy in the classroom? I can, and it's not pretty.

    1. His students would hate him, but they'd be better writers and clearer thinkers for it. Sounds like a good trade to me.

      But he should have toned it down on a date

  6. Reminds me of the hipsters at my old community college.

  7. This post literally made my head explode.

  8. @Jason:

    Made me laugh. Thanks.

  9. Ohhh his poor students. Wow.

  10. Jared, stop hating on me and Kanye West. We're the voices of our generation.

    And no one likes your stories.

    Additionally, Jason, until I see the pictures of your skull and brainmeats (why the fuck does Mozilla recognize "brainmeats" as a valid word? Did I add that to my dictionary?...) scattered on your computer monitor, I refuse to believe that your head "literally" exploded.



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