Figures of speech are weird. They’re weird in the fact that you can use them with a broad idea of what something is like, even though you’ve never experienced it. Let me explain.
People say things like, “This tastes like shit!”, without ever having to know what it actually tastes like.
Well, my father was never one for literary devices.
Picture this: Thanksgiving day, 1993.
After a long day of preparation, My dad was ready to sit down for a staple of American holiday tradition: Thanksgiving Dinner. At the time, my younger brother was a little over a year old. My dad was carrying him around as he loaded up his plate.
My brother sat on his lap as he ate, enjoying perhaps a nice bottle of…I don’t know; whatever babies eat. Some time had passed and my dad looked down and noticed that something spilled on his lap.
“Oh. When did I spill gravy on my lap?”, he said to himself, as he swiftly wiped it up with his finger and licked it.
He paused for a moment and probably realized, “Oh. That wasn’t gravy. That was shit.”
I guess some had escaped my brother’s diaper through the side door, and onto my dads pants. He freaked out.
I can only vaguely remember what happened subsequently after — he dropped my brother on his head, flipped the table over, threw up; I don’t know. I don’t really remember.
All I know is that from then on, whenever dad says: “This tastes like shit!”
It isn’t a figure of speech.