Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Just for fun

Deliberately bad writing.

Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest 2008 Results -- The task: The worst opening sentence to the worst imaginary book imaginable.

"Die, commie pigs!" grunted Sergeant "Rocky" Steele through his cigar stub as he machine-gunned the North Korean farm animals. (Dave Ranson, Calgary, Alberta)

Winner: Children's Literature: Joanne watched her fellow passengers - a wizened man reading about alchemy; an oversized bearded man-child; a haunted, bespectacled young man with a scar; and a gaggle of private school children who chatted ceaselessly about Latin and flying around the hockey pitch and the two-faced teacher who they thought was a witch - there was a story here, she decided. (Tim Ellis, Haslemere, U.K.)

Runner-Up: Dorothy had reasons to be nervous: a young girl alone in a strange land, traveling with three weird, insecure males badly in need of psychiatric help; she tucked her feet under her skirt to keep the night's chill (and lewd stares) away and made sure one more time that the gun was secured in her yet-to-develop bosom. (Domingo Pestano, Alto Prado, Caracas, Venezuela)

Romance, Dishonorable Mentions: He was a dark and stormy knight, and this excited Gwendolyn, but admittedly not as much as last night when he was Antonio Banderas in drag, or the night before that when he was a French Legionnaire who blindfolded her and fed her pommes frites from his kepi. (Leslie Muir, Atlanta, GA)

Carmen's romance with Broderick had thus far been like a train ride, not the kind that slowly leaves the station, builds momentum, and then races across the countryside at breathtaking speed, but rather the one that spends all day moving freight cars around at the local steel mill. (Bruce Portzer, Seattle, WA)

Appalling puns, Dishonorable Mentions - Jan Svenson, having changed his fortune in the annual "Scandinavian King of the Beach" in Santa Cruz with a bottle of black hair coloring and thus standing out in a sea of fair-haired rivals to win the coveted title, realized the ironic truth of the old adage "That in the kingdom of the blonde, the one dyed man is king." (Matthew Chambers, Parsons, WV)

Dimwitted and flushed, Sgt. John Head was frustrated by his constipated attempts to arrest the so-called "Bathroom Burglar" until, while wiping his brow, he realized that each victim had been robbed in a men's room, thereby focusing his attention on the janitor, whose cleaning habits clearly established a commodus operandi. (Jay Dardenne, Baton Rouge, LA)

Winner: Western - Nobody knew just who the steely-eyed stranger was, where he came from, where he was headed, or what his intentions were while he was in Dodge City; but he wasn't an hombre you'd want to stick your tongue out at or flip off, and any man who tried to tickle him would be asking for a long stay in a pine box, if you know what I mean. (David McKenzie, Federal Way, WA)

Miscellaneous Dishonorable Mentions - She had the kind of body that made a man want to have sex with her. (Barry J. Drucker, Bentonville, AR)

There are certain people in the world who emanate an aura of well being -- they radiate sunshine, light up a room, bring out the best in others, and fill your half empty glass to overflowing - yes it was these very people thought Karl, as he sharpened his mirror-finished guthook knife, who were top of his list. (Jason Garbett, London, U.K.)

The day started out as uneventfully as any other, and continued thus to midday and from there it was nothing at all to ease into an evening of numbing, undiluted monotony that survived unmarred by even the least act of momentary peculiarity-in fact, let's skip that day altogether and start with the day after. (Jon Starr, Rumford, ME)

Earthy ochre and russet hues in the lifeless leaves which rustle under his feet, and spiral down from the majestic trees above, signal that October has now arrived, but of course he knew this already because he has a calendar above his breakfast bar in the kitchen. (Roz Black, Rhynie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland)

It was a dark and stormy night, except when the lightning flashed, because then it wasn't dark; it sort of turned the windows into a giant disco ball for a moment, but eventually the thunder and lightning stopped and it settled down to a steady light rain, so then it really was dark, but it would probably be a stretch to call it stormy. (Laura Loomis, Pittsburg, CA)

Like almost every other post-Hegelian neo-hipster angst monkey at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Rene flatly rejected the labels society placed upon him. (Bob Salsbury, Spokane Valley, WA)

Gripping his terrified victim by her sensual slender neck with his foul piercing talons like a lawnspiker, Igor the Terrible bellowed, "How do you want to die? over the coals? with a plastic bag over your head? with your blond hair seeped in red blood? in agony? today? tomorrow? -- hurry up, please, my fingers are getting sore." (Edward Vincent Tennant, Edgemead, Cape Town, South Africa)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

those were great!