Honourable mention in the 3rd Annual Geist Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest.
My boyfriend, L, he’s got this doorstopper Smithsonian or Audubon field guide or something, to every animal, it seems, that exists in the world. It’s always open on the coffee table, and if we’re watching TV he’ll flip through it during ad breaks. Since it’s the only thing he reads at the moment, it has had a dramatic impact on the kinds of similes he comes up with.
For example, his boss is a major skink. “That’s actually the name of the animal,” he points out. “A major skink.” I get it, I say. His co-workers on the other hand tend to inspire bird comparisons; for example: “She’s as smug as a Muscovy duck.” Or: “When the shit hits the fan, he’s as difficult to find as a tawny frogmouth.” Another has the “air-brushed creepiness of a northern gannet.” Which is fine with me, since most people I know just think she’s hot. “Ever seen a marabou stork?” he asks. “That’s how comfortable the poor guy looked, in that situation...”
I remind him of a linsang, he says. In case I was wondering. Good. I have no idea what that is. “It’s in the same family as the civets,” he says. Like a mongoose? You’re telling me I look like a mongoose? “No,” he says. “A linsang is slinkier, trust me. And it’s got bigger eyes. It lives in Asia and Africa and eats frogs, rats, mice and snakes. The average litter size is two to three, with most births occurring in February and August.”