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."
"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.