"Jeepers creepers!' she began, "it's raining cats and dogs outside, a real gully-washer! I thought I was a goner a couple of times when my wellies slipped in that mud. Mud! You wouldn't believe the mud. Why it's as muddy as…as…as"
Ella's words trailed off. She had run out of trite metaphors and clichéd similes. She looked at James, who held the stopwatch.
"Sorry, Ella," he said. "You only lasted seven seconds. You're obviously not going to be a winner tonight. But, as you know, heavy the head that wears the crown! Being champion might have been just one more onerous burden for you. Let's move right along. Harold, you're next in line. How about you give a kick at the can?"
Harold cleared his throat and began: "Fourscore and seven years ago… Just kidding, folks. Just tickling your ribs, trying to get a rise out of you. Now here's the real McCoy, the real deal. I'm stepping out here, letting loose with all the bells and whistles and, as they say, I've got rings on my fingers and bells on my toes tonight. I could bend your ears till the cows come home, so don't get your hopes up that I'll let the golden ring slip through my fingers. Old Silver Tongue will be happy as a clam, as smug as a bug in a rug, chattering on for your pleasure. This sort of thing is like mother's milk to me, a piece of cake, as easy as pie. Why, I was born and raised on clichéd phrases and trite expressions. My talent is just a gift. A downright gift. And I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. Now you just stop me, James, if I go on too long, but I think I can safely say that I'm the best of a bad bunch here tonight. I believe I've captured the gold ring and James has the stopwatch to prove it! How'd I do?"
Indeed, Harold's performance was hard to beat. He was crowned winner of the Citywide Cliché Contest, and he reigned in peace for the entire year.