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Between the Lines: Cliches suddenly click out of the blue

In journalism school and from working with talented journalists at The Post for four years, it’s been ingrained in my mind that I should never use clichés.

Well, I’m graduating from Scripps at the end of this quarter, but it wasn’t until last week that I finally understood why exactly clichés are so bad.

It’s because until you actually experience said cliché, you can never truly understand how trivial it is to compare it to anything else.

For instance, the 13,000 people that attended 8Fest were partying “like there’s no tomorrow” — because whether or not you believed in the Rapture, just in case the world were to end Saturday, you wanted to make sure you were having a fantastic time.

So for Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson to create that abomination of a song that was “Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow”… well, it just shouldn’t have happened.

But that’s just one example.

So anyway, there I was, late into the foggy night, sitting in the passenger seat of Post Editor in Chief Joe Ragazzo’s little 1990 Chrysler Horizon, engrossed in a game of Words With Friends as he drove us to Cleveland.

First, I felt it — the swerve of the car. Seriously, so much as a lane change in this Delorean-esque vehicle would wake a bear from hibernation. Then, I heard it — Joe’s “Aaaahhhh!”

And then, I saw it. A deer caught in headlights. A doe, to be specific. Her eyes were so big, so serene, so unaware of what was about to happen even though it was right in front of her.

Less than a second after her eyes met mine, we collided. Joe says he saw her belly explode with fur and guts and all the stuff of horror movie lore.

But all I saw was her head and then her legs flip over the driver’s side of the car and land heavily in the middle of I-271 North. Her legs twitched violently, she heaved a sigh of ultimate defeat, and she was still.

Over on our side of the road, I was screaming. At this point, smoke was billowing out from under the Horizon’s hood, Joe had gotten out to assess the damage and call his parents, and I was sitting still in my seat, crying very loudly.

It was a horrible cycle: My crying would cease, I’d glance to my left, see the doe’s body in the road and start bawling again. It was just a really, really sad sight, both for the deer and for my dignity.

After that, the tow truck was called, the police came to move the doe out of the road and flares went up around us like the fire of a Rapture that never came.

The Pepper Pike policeman that waited with us said something like, “At least it’s not raining,” one of those small-talk phrases that probably belonged in Super Troopers more than it did in my life right then.

It wasn’t until we got to the garage that I could bring myself to look at the damage, a deer-sized dent perfectly smushing the Horizon’s grill in a furry scar of sorrow.

That’s when it hit me (no pun intended) that we were lucky to be alive. I probably looked like a deer caught in headlights — but then again, how could I?

Amanda Lucci is a senior studying journalism and assistant culture editor of The Post. Has a deer’s death ever traumatized you? Empathize with Amanda at

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