WHO WRITE WELL ENOUGH TO WRITE POORLY!
THE RESULTS OF THE 2010 CONTEST ARE NOW POSTED ON BULWER-LYTTON.COM .
'MID-JUNE' ARRIVED A BIT EARLIER THAN EXPECTED: ON THE 28TH!
MY ENTRIES WILL BE FOUND HERE -- AND ONLY HERE.
THAT MEANS THEY WERE TOO GOOD TO WIN. BUMMER!
I INTEND TO WIN THE CONTEST BEFORE I DIE --
SO IT LOOKS LIKE I'LL HAVE TO STICK AROUND ANOTHER YEAR.
IF YOU DECIDE TO STICK AROUND, TOO, PLEASE PERUSE MY ENTRIES BELOW,
AND PERHAPS SOME POETRY, SILLY AND SERIOUS --
Thanks for stopping by.
The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, conceived by Prof. Rice of the English Department at San Jose State University, is an annual literary competition that welcomes “wretched writers”. The objective is simply (editor's paraphrase) to compose the first sentence of the worst of all possible novels. Check it out: http://Bulwer-Lytton.com . If you have a sense of humor that’s slightly askew, it just might get a little askewier. The contest was inspired by this classic opening sentence by George Edward Bulwer-Lytton in his 1830 novel, Paul Clifford.
"It was a dark and stormy night and the rain fell in torrents -- except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness."Until 2010, the only time I entered was in 2002 -- when I was surprised to be deemed the runner-up in the Detective Category for this little gem of a sentence, which I really didn’t think was particularly good:
I received congratulatory email from Finland, from Australia, and from points in between.Detective Driscoll had fallen off the wagon like a frozen turkey from a Goodwill helicopter and, like a talking elephant reunited with his old circus buddies after 50 years, he reminisced about the most memorable collars of his career -- and he guffawed so hard that he fell off the bar-stool like another turkey from another helicopter as he recollected the time he arrested a mime for shoplifting and had to say “You have a right to remain silent . . .
After an eight year sabbatical, I entered the 2010 contest with the following carefully crafted crappy compositions. As you can see, once you're in the swing, it's awfully hard to stop.
The Galactic Armistice was signed in blue blood and the Little Green Boys, who were too small to fight, were sweating slime, having heard that their fathers would soon be returning in defeat -- and after Vinny, the boy they called “Smarty-Pants”, realized that since they were green, and their mothers were Little Yellow Women, it could only mean one thing, and a rather scary one at that: “Oh God! No! Daddy is a violent blood-thirsty Smurf, bigger than me ~ and now, after just getting whooped, he’s black and blue and he's coming this way!”
The handsome but histrionic, nebbishy yet narcissistic, sexy though celibate, pompous and puritanical Starship Commander had just resisted -- well, at least he thinks he successfully resisted -- a seduction attempt by a nubile nympho-maniacal virgin, actually an attractive adolescent organic android -- well, at least the hologram of a vivacious voluptuous vamp, a vision that was custom-made from specifications in the Commander’s own lascivious imagination and given this mischievous little mission: To chase the chaste and leave them with no memory of being caught.
The engineer had just said “I kenna do it, Captain!” (whatever that means), when the starship “Booby-Prize” hesitated momentarily, like a thoroughbred rearing up in anticipation of the bell -- well, more like the Roadrunner -- you know, the cartoon one with the whirling feet, just before he streaks off in a cloud of dust like a thoroughbred … well, more like the starship at the end of the last book in this series, because this is a recap, except for the part about the horse and the bird.DETECTIVEThe once-beautiful girl fell into his arms like a corpse from a closet, except that instead of this being a real closet, it was an armoire, you know, a wardrobe like the one you inherited from your grandmother and you really like a lot but don’t have a need or a good place for (because your house is newer and has lots of closets, thus less wall space) but you have to keep forever because it belonged to your grandmother, who could be inside the damn thing, for all you know.D-1
The facts of the case were not in dispute, but the Grand Jury just wasn’t convinced that a crime had been committed at the mortuary on Bring-Your-Kid-To-Work Friday, after the psychiatrists split on whether “necrophilately” is a hobby or a mental illness; while the DA argued that any creep, even a minor, caught in the act of sticking postage stamps on dead people ought to be held accountable somehow.
Little Chucky Cheez had whizzed down to the market on his skateboard to get what his mother said was “the usual amount of beef for my Halloween stew”, but the regular butcher,
Wally Wood, was out with the Swine Flu and the trouble started when the two new guys, Michael Myers and Ward Cleaver, Jr. (the brother who lived in Beaver’s attic), started to argue about how much chuck Wood would cut Chuck if Wood could cut Chuck chuck.
At the crime lab, Grissom was giving a lunchtime seminar ~ a color-slide presentation on forensic entomology, determining the age of a decaying corpse by the sequence of bugs feeding on it, starting with those eager-beaver Blow Flies, followed by feisty Flesh Flies, slightly tardy Dermestid Beetles, fashionably late Mites, and eventually (3+ years post mortem) the Nobody-called-me-to-dinner Beetles ~ when Newman says to the new guy, way too loud, “Hey! If you’re not gonna eat your raisins …”
Boys and girls, you must be very excited ~ but please don’t pee in your pants or shriek in a penetratingly high-pitched 200-decibel tone like that little turd did yesterday at the supermarket when his mother, who already had 43 items in the 7-Items-or-Less express line, refused to buy candy ~ yes, very excited indeed to be reading this long-awaited first edition of “Goofy Goes to Gitmo” by Yours Truly, the author of the profusely illustrated winner of the coveted Publisher's Overstock Award, "A Child's Treasury of Medieval Torture Techniques".ROMANCE
Kevin, a lonely zoologist gazing gloomily through a potted Ficus at the Omaha airport, finally found his dream girl ~ a natural beauty with the eyes of a lemur, nose of an aardvark, lips of an orangutan, teeth of a warthog, hair of a tarantula, figure of a flounder, legs of a turtle, fragrance of a musk-ox, IQ of a ‘possum, and the personality of a tapeworm; but now he’s heart-broken to learn that she also has the ovaries of a rabbit and the attention-span of a cabbage moth and she’s leaving for Guatemala with Jim Fowler to film an intimate mud-wrestling scene for Wild Kingdom.
R-2 (belated entry for 2010 or early entry for 2011)
All the forest creatures, small and great, held their furry or feathery breath as Prince Franklin hovered timorously over the nubile, Caucasian waif who was still asleep on her mossy bed despite thunder and lightning, and -- with his trembling, noble hands descending like timid parachutes toward her tranquil, tender, ‘snow-white’ bosom (actually it’s slightly off-white, yet still virginal) -- he nimbly activated the paddles and yelled “Clear!”, which scared the droppings out of all the forest creatures, small and great.HISTORICAL FICTION
Fourteen-year-old Prince Dwayne was as quiet as a limpet, hiding behind the drapery in the castle library, where it was moldy as forgotten Limburger for it was damp as an October morning on the moor, and he was eaves-dropping on his strumpet of a step-mother, Queen Grenadier, supine on the divan, again, teasing Sir Lancealittle about his well-deserved name.PURPLE PROSE (Excessively Flowery)
Seymour squinted at the booklet through his hefty spectacles and haltingly discerned the following instructions: “Hearty congratulations are bestowed upon you or your benefactor for the sagacious purchase of the finest product ever manufactured in Malaysia, which will now be personally consummated by your fastidious assembly of the 873 miniscule pieces that you behold in the carton, unless, of course, one of our pre-pubescent or illiterate production-line workers has concealed a lapse in ability to keep pace and jettisoned some of your pieces into the carton of the next unit to glide by on our state-of-the-art conveyor belt."WESTERN
Cowboy Bob, who should have known not to mix whiskey and milk, was ashamed and embarrassed to find himself upstairs at the Sundown Saloon after the Wednesday night karaoke contest, with Miss Lola Palooza, a multi-talented “showgirl”, who declared impatiently yet somehow still sultrily, “I don’t mind the ventriloquism dummy ~ in fact he’s kind of fun ~ but, Cowboy Bob, you gotta jettison the spurs and the ukulele!”GENERAL CATEGORYGC-1
After the meeting, Bill started to get an inkling that he had disclosed a bit too much about the planned merger, when the CEO crushed the elevator’s plastic stop-button, jerked Bill’s necktie up until he was tippy-toe like a 4’10” ballerina trying to stow overhead luggage, and whispered (odoriferously) into Bill’s nose through clenched, cigar-stained teeth: “Now that the genie has left the barn and the cat has been rung, how do you propose to get the cruddy toothpaste out of the cow’s bag and into the stupid bottle that spilled the milk on the damn beans? … Huh, Billy-Boy?”
“What up?”, inquired Beauregard.
GC-3 (or VILE PUN)
Sister Marie Claire Voyante, a perceptive teacher and far-sighted visionary, revealed to her pupils the spectacular discovery that the eyeglasses she thought she lost on C Street had miraculously appeared on top of her refrigerator, so she vowed to put bouquets of irises beneath every statue of St. Seymour in the diocese, but couldn’t find even one, so she went to the Holy See and made a spectacle of herself protesting that St. Seymour was obviously conspicuous by his absence and, besides, she didn’t see why there were no statues of any saints wearing eyeglasses.
GC-4 (or VILE PUN)
At the Awards Banquet in San Diego, all the literati, including last year’s winners of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, are strutting around like roosters in recycled prom dresses and rented tuxedos, or is it “tuxedoes”, or perhaps “tuxedi”, in which case one of those little pieces of colored paper falling from the rafters is a “confetto”, when a nervous chicken prematurely jumps out of the cake and the flustered maitre d’, Vincenzo, grabs a myopic English professor by the suspenders and asks, “Which one of these so-called writers gets the Pullet Surprise”?.
Bubba, the understudy for the role of Hamlet, moaning in pain, walked around the dressing room like a knock-kneed flamingo in the tights usually worn by Derwin, the diminutive flu-stricken principal, who then crawled into the room, shivering like a slug in green jello, and quickly diagnosed the problem, as he pointed unapologetically at the bulge that makes the schoolgirls giggle, and immortalized a line from his soliloquy (Act III, Scene 1): “Ah! There’s the rub!”
She lay on the floor, as motionless as a flounder on a bridge
in the late afternoon sun, except that her lips (which were
still as plump as a nervous blow-fish) were moving feebly, so I bent down like a heron stalking minnows (well, more like a flamingo except that I'm not pink and they don't eat minnows, do they?) and she whispered softly in my ear, “Cats don’t care if you fart, you know, and dogs probably like it, but if you’re sitting in the aquarium, it sure scares the crap out of the fish”, then she died.