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    • CommentTimeAug 14th 2008
    The Bulwer-Lytton contest, named after the famous "It was a dark and stormy night" author, has released its annual worst opening sentence awards. This year's winner:

    Theirs was a New York love, a checkered taxi ride burning rubber, and like the city their passion was open 24/7, steam rising from their bodies like slick streets exhaling warm, moist, white breath through manhole covers stamped "Forged by DeLaney Bros., Piscataway, N.J."

    Garrison Spik
    Washington, D.C.

    The rest of the results can be viewed here.

    I think this one is a tad better in that awful way:

    Bill swore the affair had ended, but Louise knew he was lying, after discovering Tupperware containers under the seat of his car, which were not the off-brand containers that she bought to save money, but authentic, burpable, lidded Tupperware; and she knew he would see that woman again, because unlike the flimsy, fake containers that should always be recycled responsibly, real Tupperware must be returned to its rightful owner.

    Jeanne Villa
    Novato, CA

    This made me think about real bad opening sentences. Off to the library I go.
    • CommentTimeAug 14th 2008 edited
    I'm a fan of:

    "Mike Hummer had been a private detective so long he could remember Preparation A, his hair reminded everyone of a rat who'd bitten into an electrical cord, but he could still run faster than greased owl snot when he was on a bad guy's trail, and they said his friskings were a lot like getting a vasectomy at Sears. "

    Robert B. Robeson
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    • CommentTimeAug 14th 2008
    My favorite:

    "Hmm . . ." thought Abigail as she gazed languidly from the veranda past the bright white patio to the cerulean sea beyond, where dolphins played and seagulls sang, where splashing surf sounded like the tintinnabulation of a thousand tiny bells, where great gray whales bellowed and the sunlight sparkled off the myriad of sequins on the flyfish's bow ties, "time to get my meds checked."

    Andrew Bowers
    • CommentTimeAug 14th 2008
    "Lightning flashed from the blue-black sky of this alien world and shattered the engines of the spaceship, destroying Reninger's last chance of escaping and reminding him of the time his sister returned from New York with the tips of her hair dyed blue, except for the part about the lightning and the spaceship."

    Mark Murata
    Kirkland, WA

    just great.
    • CommentTimeAug 14th 2008
    "Call me Ishmael, WHORES!"

    Frank Miller
    Montpelier, VT
    • CommentTimeAug 14th 2008
    Those last two are the BEST opening lines, @aRgus & @outlawpoet!
  1.  (3318.7)
    argus, that reminds me of a cartoon I saw recently depicting Frank Miller trying in vain to write a single story with a female character who is NOT a prostitute.
    • CommentTimeAug 14th 2008

    Ok sorry, back on topic.
  2.  (3318.9)
    I quite like the winner. Mentally remove the commas and read it again. Does it remind anyone else of "On the Road"?


    Upon discovering that Miles Black, the famous phrenologist from Yorkshire was going to take up yodeling to lonely goats in Bali, James White decided to balance four planks of wood on a beer keg and call it an abstract work of art in the style of a famous fourteenth-century architect, just going to prove that people will read any old garbage if they think there will be a good pun at the end of it.

    nearly made me wet myself
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2008
    When I first heard of this competition, I was a bit disappointed when I found out that the sentences were written to be deliberately bad, rather than opening sentences from actual books. I think the latter would be funnier, although there are some pretty good entries.
  3.  (3318.11)
    @Argus Hehehe ...whores.
    Actually the @Thom-wong's proposed Tupperware opening, for some reason, I liked it. It sort of reminded me of Vonnegut, when he shoot off into bits about some Indianapolis families wealth or some ostentatious background on a product a character was using.