OT: Bulwer-Lytton Awards

Robyn Starkey rohina at shaw.ca
Mon Oct 20 02:41:30 EDT 2003

Off topic, but amusing. I also thought there was some relevance to our 
recent discussion of fairy tale retellings.

> >
> >For those of you who do not know, Bulwer-Lytton wrote "The Last Days of
> >Pompeii", which opens with the famous line "It was a dark and stormy night."
> >
> >Hence the contest. These are the 10 winners of this year's Bulwer-Lytton
> >contest (run by the English Dept of San Jose State University), wherein one
> >writes only the first line of a bad novel (which in this instance is
> >probably more than enough!)
> >
> >
> >"As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he were ever to break wind in the
> >echo chamber he would never hear the end of it."
> >
> >"Just beyond the Narrows the river widens."
> >
> >"With a curvaceous figure that Venus would have envied, a tanned,
> >unblemished oval face framed with lustrous thick brown hair, deep azure-blue
> >eyes fringed with long black lashes, perfect teeth that vied for
> >competition, and a small straight nose, Marilee had a beauty that defied
> >description."
> >
> >"Andre, a simple peasant, had only one thing on his mind as he crept along
> >the East wall: 'Andre creep... Andre creep... Andre creep.'"
> >
> >"Stanislaus Smedley, a man always on the cutting edge of narcissism, was
> >about to give his body and soul to a back alley sex-change surgeon to become
> >the woman he loved."
> >
> >"Although Sarah had an abnormal fear of mice, it did not keep her from
> >eeking out a living at a local pet store."
> >
> >"Stanley looked quite bored and somewhat detached, but then penguins often
> >do."
> >
> >"Like an over-ripe beefsteak tomato rimmed with cottage cheese, the
> >corpulent remains of Santa Claus lay dead on the hotel floor."
> >
> >"Mike Hardware was the kind of private eye who didn't know the meaning of
> >the word 'fear'; a man who could laugh in the face of danger and spit in the
> >eye of death ­ in short, a moron with suicidal tendencies."
> >
> >
> >"The sun oozed over the horizon, shoved aside darkness, crept along the
> >greensward, and, with sickly fingers, pushed through the castle window,
> >revealing the pillaged princess, hand at throat, crown asunder, gaping in
> >frenzied horror at the sated, sodden amphibian lying beside her,
> >disbelieving the magnitude of the frog's deception, screaming madly, 'You
> >lied!'"
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