Monday, August 18, 2008

Best Bad Prose

ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
The Bulwer-Lytton prize goes each year to the contest entrant who has written the absolute worst, baddest of the bad one-sentence opening to a bogusly bad novel. The prize is $250.00, and this year's prize money went to Garrison Spik of Washington, D.C. His appalling opening sentence read as follows:


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."


The runner-up:


"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


Other delectable entries include:

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

I'm convinced that the Doc is dealing drugs to most of the mining crew because they either can't stay awake, constantly sneeze, grin like maniacs, or won't look you straight in the eye (not to mention behaving like a moron) and they wonder why a dwarf gets grumpy!
- Neil Prowd, Charnwood, ACT, Australia

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

The pancake batter looked almost perfect, like the morning sun shining on the cream-colored bare shoulder of a gorgeous young blonde driving 30 miles over the speed limit down a rural Nebraska highway with the rental car's sunroof open, except it had a few lumps.
- Jim Thomas, Gilbert, AZ

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

"Let's see what this baby can do, Virgil," said Wyatt, as he floored the Charger, brushing a Dart out of the way, sideswiping an oncoming Lancer, rear-ending a Diplomat, and demolishing a row of Rams before catapulting head-on into the sheriff's Viper -- realizing that we'd indeed missed the turn-off to Abilene and ended up instead, in Dodge City.
- Paul Curtis, Randburg, South Africa

Watching Felicia walk into the bar was like watching two fat Rottweilers in yellow spandex and spike heels that had treed a scrawny bleach blond cat at the top of a skinny flagpole that for some reason had decided to sprout casaba melons.
- Melissa Alliston, Coraopolis, PA

The homicide detective was an aging woman with a crusty and somewhat ill-tempered personality, an individual who reminded me of the kind of woman my mother, a Sunday-school teacher, would have been if she had been a crusty and somewhat ill-tempered homicide detective.
- Bill Crumpler, McKinney, TX

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

Fittingly for a butcher, Carl resembled a fresh turkey - pale, knobby, and large through the middle with spindly appendages - and as he was wont to do on slow days, he had nearly finished reassembling the hams, loins, and chops into something approaching a pig when she walked in - long, flat, and lean, like a flank steak, radiating a heat that would cause him to flush, then darken, and, eventually, to crisp up deliciously.
- David K. Mullen, Batesville, IN

Vito watched as Robert squirmed in his life vest while the Great White brushed against his chum-soaked and shackled body, but it wasn't until the terrible fish circled back, finally ending Robert's evening, that Vito, with the vision of the legless torso undulating up and down in the Farallon current had his epiphany, and uncovered one of life's truly great mysteries: when you shorten Robert you really do get bob.
- Paul Olson, San Jose, CA

Don't you wish you could write that badly? Which one of those was your favorite? Inquiring minds want to know.

Speaking of bad, we have Words Gone Wild blasfomys to examine today, courtesy of TWISTED LINGUISTICS.

acqua - Choking sound made by the AFLAC duck.

usful - The state of being us.

hairir - What you might say when you look in the mirror on a bad hair day.

envirment
erronious
valcano
discreetion
negitive
digrntlements
oblivian

20 comments:

puerileuwaite said...

First! Yeah!

Here's my favorite:

Watching Felicia walk into the bar was like watching two fat Rottweilers in yellow spandex and spike heels that had treed a scrawny bleach blond cat at the top of a skinny flagpole that for some reason had decided to sprout casaba melons.

You always remember your first Felicia, that's why.

NYD said...

My eyes! Oh, god! My eyes. My brain. My soul- the horror.

G-Man said...

Dodge City....?
That was too funny!!!!
How could that have been voted as a worst opening line? That was very clever and witty.

...now this on the other hand.

"It was the Breast of times, it was the Wurst of times. But Maggie the Butcher's Apprentice knew that Mr. Perfect would be T-Boning her soon enough......"

or..

'Madge always was a head turner!
She never really understood why...
Was it the fact that she was a Chiropractor?
Was it because her bunion made her walk with a little bobbing motion that made her bounce like one of those ceramic Hula-Dancer's stuck on the dashboard of an 89 Corsica?
Maybe it was because she always forgot to button up her blouse due to an abnormally extended jaw"...?

I could go on and on....
Have a Great Week Sherry!!!!!!
xoxbgxox

Bilbo said...

I don't understand the joke about Preparation A. I thought that was what NASA issues to astronauts to shrink painful asteroids.

Never mind...

acqua - the reaction you have on seeing that the color on the wall looks nothing like color on the little chip from Home Depot.

usful - Full of ourselves.

hairir - the guy at the Hair Club for Men who plants the little plugs of hair in desperate men's scalps.

envirment - where men can be virile.

erronious - very full of errors.

valcano - Mr Kilmer's renowned temper.

discreetion - what Sioux diplomats practice.

negitive - the reversed, black-and-white version of the picture you don't git from your digital camera, dadgummit.

digrntlements - grntlement molecules?

oblivian - a guy from Oblivia?

VE said...

Ha ha ha. THose are great. I wish I could write that bad. I'm not even taltented enough to do that! I think I'll have to go with the one comparing a woman to flank steak. I always have a soft spot in my heart when a woman is compared to flank steak...

Mona said...

The runner up comment is by far the worse, but if you see, all of them beat each other. the tupperware & the mother being the detective is also terrible!

Yay! Nyd is still alive after having visited ghosts!

Mona said...

Even the butcher para is equally bad! It is terrible in fact!!

envirment : the state of being in envy!

erronious :one who is erring on us

valcano : Val can have an orgasm

discreetion : The art of screeching doubly

negitive : 'I' am a negative person ( new short hand)

digrntlements : Dig the rented apartments

oblivian : One who lives in an oblong ( or oval) office . Right now Bush is an oblivian :D

Serena Joy said...

So, Puggy, this is how you remember your Felicia? She must have been quite a looker.:)

Poor NYD. I do hope you've recovered. That was a shock to the system, I'll agree.:)

LOL, Galen. You know, you could enter this contest -- and win. Those are funny opening lines. I plan to have myself a fine week and hope you do, too.:)

LOL, Bilbo, at the Preparation A thingie. Great definitions! I've missed your help in wrestling with these things the last few days.:)

LOL, Mona. It's kind of hard for me to judge which is the worst. They're all so terribly (albeit intentionally) bad. Hey, you did a good job with the words today, too.:)

Rex Zeitgeist said...

I think Val is stealing your gig SJ......

Hi, btw.....

Rex Zeitgeist said...

Mona*, haahahahahaha, guess I got stuck on that one word....(men are such pigs)

Serena Joy said...

Hi ya, Rex. Long time, no see. I guess I don't mind too much Val stealing my action.:)

ThatGreenyFlower said...

Oh my God...I love them all...each and every terrible sentence!

Serena Joy said...

Aren't they just wondrously, fearsomely lovely, Greeny? Kind of makes you want to pick up each tiny mutant word and hug it to your bosom.:)

Hale McKay said...

...When you shorten Robert, you really do get Bob." My side was hurting for 15 minutes.

I'm not saying it was the best of the bad or the worse - but it sure latched onto my funny bone like a near-sighted leech that had targeted and missed the fat leg of my obese friend whose gams obviously offered a potentially juicier repast.

Hale McKay said...

Say,

I wonder if there is place that hires people to write these kind of things professionally?

Hale McKay said...

"Echoes" part 33 is up. I didn't see a comment on nbr 32. (I think it will take up to #35 to effectively finish the tale.

Skunkfeathers said...

Maybe there'll one day be an award for the worst opening line in a scam response, and then maybe I'll actually *win* something ;)

Serena Joy said...

That one got a belly laugh out of me, too, Mike. And just look -- you've written your own entry for next year. I know I'm behind on "Eddie." I'll catch up.:)

Skunk, if you entered a couple of your Scam Spams, you'd be a surefire winner.:)

quid said...

What a great post! Thanks, SJ!


I can't remember where I got these lines, but they've been with me for years... I think they were the opening to someone's bad poem:


I was squeamish.
Or maybe it was screamish (?)
But in either event,
It felt better than wetting my pants.


One of my more intellectual memories.

Serena Joy said...

Glad you enjoyed, Quid. LOL at those opening lines from your memory. Me likey.:)