What's a metaphor?

The word metaphor gives me cause to smile when I hear or read it.  I love plays on words and it takes me back to my NLP training with Dr Richard Bolstad and his play on words … “What’s a meta for?” 

Auntie Google’s dictionary defines a metaphor as ‘a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable’.  My question is, what happens when metaphors happen in real life?  Or does real life happen in metaphors?

Yesterday as I drove out of the carport there was this miniscule sense of unease in me.  Something felt different, yet I wasn’t sure what it was.  My intuitive sensors were on full alert and my brain was searching to connect the dots.  I stopped, got out of the car and went to check I’d locked the back door.  As I walked back to the car I thought that the carport could do with a sweep, “no – you don’t have time to do it now Barbara, get into town or you’ll be late”.  I walked back to the car and noticed two black parallel lines on the concrete.  “Hmmmm, that’s weird.  I wonder where that came from?”  I wandered to the left hand side of the car to check the tyres and there it was.   My inkling caused me to stop, check and check on something that I didn’t know about.  The back tyre was flat on one side, the bottom side.  Bugger!

So then there’s the story of how to change a tyre in the car given that it’s relatively new to me; pulling out the manual and reading some instructions (heaven forbid!), finding all the bits in the back of the car including the jack; get it mounted under the car in the right spot; get the wheel brace for the nuts and then … OOMPH!  How the hell do you get wheel nuts off when a machine has put them on at speeds of a zillion revolutions per second?  And then it struck me, how will I lift this tyre safely into the back of the car?  Phone call to client – I’m going to be late.  Phoned hubby at work – no, can’t get there.  Phoned the neighbours – all the blokes were out.  Neighbours on the other side are at work.  Phoned the AA – help me please – they’ll arrive in the next 20-60 minutes.  Hmmm – I’m impatient … on a long shot, I phoned my graphic designer who lives up the road and he arrived in a few minutes. 

The brute force of my graphic designer was what got the wheel nuts off and the tyre in the back of the car.  We put the biscuit tyre (aka space saver spare) on and his whizzy cigarette lighter tyre pump got sufficient air in the tyre for me to limp into town at 70 kms/hour just as our wonderful neighbour arrived to help out. 

I’m deeply grateful to neighbours who are there when needed, especially my graphic designer as there was no way I could have dislodged those wheel nuts!  I was on my way within the hour and arrived at my appointment on time.  Oh, and as I was in the process of cancelling my AA call out, the AA man in the van arrived within 30 minutes!  Fantastic service AA! 

So what about the metaphor?  Well after humming a few lines of ‘Sweet Transvestite’ from the Rocky Horror Picture show “ … well you got caught with a flat, well, how about that?...” I wondered what I’d done to create this situation and I then I laughed again. 

The last few weeks have been rather full of business-related activity and having not taken holiday time since October 2016 I’m well overdue for some quality rest and relaxation.  I’d been thinking how I was feeling a bit flat and empty after a having had a late evening the night before and of course, fuel light came on as I was driving into town!! 

Metaphors I think, can quite literally, imitate life!  I think the dictionary might need a correction!! 

PS:  And yes - my car is overdue for a wash!