Tuesday, July 20, 2004

The Bulwer-Lytton prize was announced today. The contest encourages folks to submit their version of the worst opening line of a novel and is named after Edward George Bulwer-Lytton who has the distinction of writing in 1830, this opening sentence in his novel Paul Clifford

It was a dark and stormy night; 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.
We humans being who we are, like to have contests to see if such a sentence can be one-upped. Here, in all it's glory, is this year's winner written by Dave Zobel
She resolved to end the love affair with Ramon tonight . . . summarily, like Martha Stewart ripping the sand vein out of a shrimp's tail . . . though the term "love affair" now struck her as a ridiculous euphemism . . . not unlike "sand vein," which is after all an intestine, not a vein . . . and that tarry substance inside certainly isn't sand . . . and that brought her back to Ramon.
Thank goodness the contest doesn't go beyond the first sentence.