Law Review: Bulwer-Lytoon 2020 winners, part 2 | SierraSun.com
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Law Review: Bulwer-Lytoon 2020 winners, part 2

As a reminder: the Bulwer-Lytton Contest is named after novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton who wrote many famous novels including “Paul Gifford” which started with the immortal words (often parodied), “It was a dark and stormy night.”

The Contest rewards rookie writers composing intentionally bad opening sentences to imaginary novels. These are some of my favorites.

***



She swept into the ballroom, expensively dressed, coiffed, and bejeweled, her opulent display most obviously done for the same reason that a baboon has a red butt, both saying, “Pay attention to me!”

***




Having lost part of her left ear while working in a circus knife-throwing act during the summer between her junior and senior years, Karen felt all the more reassured about her decision to major in statistics, but she couldn’t help but to ponder the probability of regaining physical symmetry were she to return to the circus for one more summer after she graduated.

***

Call me Ishmael, for my tale is that of the only survivor of the attack by a great white whale on the “Pequod,” our Nantucket whaling vessel, and though the story is so fantastic you may be tempted to question my veracity, I need only remind you that writers write and readers read, and you really should stay in your own lane.

***

The rules of drama are many and varied, but the most important, as stated by the great writer Chekhov, is that if there is a banana covered in axle grease in act one, then you’d better hope that the theater burns down before act five.

***

Out in the West Texas town of El Paso, I fell in love with a female undocumented immigrant.

***

The gentle, rhythmic sound of water lapping at the metal hull of the boat transported Phillip back to a simpler time of marshmallow campfires and magical summers at the lake until, upon waking, he came to realize it was only the sound of the Roomba vacuuming robot which had short-circuited and was running repeatedly into the baseboard heat register.

***

Our story opens, unfortunately, in Florida; a place that’s only good for unhappy old couples living in mobile homes — oh, and the childhood trauma of making awkward conversation with the cast members dressed as princesses at Disney World.

***

He revved the engine — filling the air with a deep, throaty roar, rather like a giant with a wretched head cold, a rumbling cough, and nasty post nasal drip (the kind where your swollen throat hurts so horribly, and your eyes turn red and watery, which only makes the cold more drippy [and the phlegm!]) — and sped off.

***

On March seventeenth, when the dawning sunshine was drying up the rows of tufted fog lying gently over the meadows on both sides of the highway and turning them into wisps of lace floating over the road in front of him, Jamie, on his way home after a night shift at the plant, decided to quit.

***

The rain fell in buckets as I walked the cobbled streets of Old Town, although I supposed, if rain really came in buckets one might land on my head and knock me unconscious so I’d much prefer raining cats and dogs because I’m quite fond of cats, but better still if were hot enough to fry an egg on the pavement as I’m rather puckish.

***

The sound of his raspy voice and the feel of his chilly hand on her shoulder made her shudder, like the wooden things on the sides of windows, but a verb rather than a noun, and with two d’s rather than two t’s.

***

As hard-nosed P.I. Dan McKinnon stepped out into the gray gritty dawn, a bone chilling gust of filth-strewn wind wrapped the loose ends of his open trench coat around him like a day-old flour tortilla around a breakfast burrito with hash browns, sausage, and scrambled eggs, hold the pico.

***

“So, these are Hobbits?” Grenwildr thought to herself, making an attempt to seem worldly and not at all surprised by how small they were, despite the pressure to purchase quickly; the price was right and the taxidermist would be closing shop soon.

Jim Porter is an attorney with Porter Simon licensed in California and Nevada, with offices in Truckee and Tahoe City, California, and Reno, Nevada. Jim’s practice areas include: real estate, development, construction, business, HOAs, contracts, personal injury, accidents, mediation and other transactional matters. He may be reached at porter@portersimon.com or http://www.portersimon.com.


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