I would guess that every teacher of creative writing has, at some point, admonished his or her students not to use clichés. But you know what? I love clichés. Like I love sentence fragments. And starting sentences with conjunctions. And exclamation points!
Okay, I don’t love clichés, but I do love a challenge and clichés can provide that: How do you turn a cliché into something new?
So. Let’s try it.
The cliché of the day: I hate Mondays. BUT! Can you use it outside its clichéd context? Jot down a few ideas–this is a writing exercise, so I’ll limit you to three. Do that now, before you read the rest of this post. When you’re done, scroll down and read mine:
- I Hate! Mondays Open Mic Night–Tell Us What You Hate!
- The Monday Family: I hate (the) Mondays.
- iHate Mondays–Deep Discounts on all iHate products!
If you’ve got three ideas, use number three. If you couldn’t think of anything, use one of mine. Write for five minutes. Go.
Mine (It’s a writing exercise–it doesn’t have to be genius):
No one likes working on iHate Mondays. It’s always so busy. And crowded. And hot. People come in hordes to get their discounts and we’re always understaffed, and these are people who are into iHate, so they’re more than a little grumpy. Standing around the store, texting and tweeting and iHating all over the place. Our feed gets completely filled with complaints, eyerolls, and hatebugs. But as angry as everyone seems, they all wait in line, they get their discount, and most of them say thank you before they go out the door.
My favorite (or least favorite? It’s hard to distinguish) customers are the high-fivers. They get their new iHate software or the iHate textbox or the iHate portable headset and then high five each other. Like, yeah! Cowabunga! Let’s go iHate some stuff!
When it started, it was just a restaurant blog. Our founder started “iHating” every pizza place and pancake house in the greater Seattle area and people ate it up–no pun intended. So she piggybacked on the whole Yelp thing and let other people iHate along with her. And then they were iHating movie theaters and pet stores, then movie stars, singers, their neighbors, people who crack their gum. There was a website and an app and they’re talking about making a move. Which I’m sure will do horribly on iHate.
She’s a billionaire now. Richer than Mark Zuckerberg, richer than Bill Gates.
Do you know what our number one seller is? A t-shirt that says, “iLove iHate.”
Share yours in the comments!