Law Review: Bulwer-Lytton awards, part two | SierraSun.com
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Law Review: Bulwer-Lytton awards, part two

 

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.

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Our story begins in the cozy cottage of Bynnoldh-Dyr, son of Asgwitch-Torgwyr, in the idyllic elven village of Myrthffolwrd, but our book actually begins some two hundred pages earlier, in which you are pummeled by irrelevant history and unpronounceable names, because my publisher is paying me by the word. (Fantasy & Horror, Dishonorable Mention)

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The cat purred like a Geiger counter beside the fireplace which crackled like gunfire (which reminded Detective Greenwich of his service in The Ukraine and The Latvia), this feline being the only witness to the murder of the wet nurse and, unless purring counts, he wasn’t talking. (Crime & Detective, Dishonorable Mention)

***

It is not until Liam sat down, wrapped in a white, blue, and red flag, with a bucket of fried chicken, throwing the bones in the plastic-filled ocean next to him while stroking his gun that he realized he had become truly American. (Odious Outliers, Dishonorable Mention)

***

His fist lashed out like one of those boxing gloves on a spring you used to see in Saturday morning cartoons when you were just a kid out of your mind on sugary cereal and unaware that your parents were having sex in the bedroom and hit me hard right between the eyes. (Odious Outliers, Dishonorable Mention)

***

Standing on the top of his half-finished pyramid, and surveying the long rows of stone pullers and whip crackers, the Pharaoh had a pang of doubt: was he building the key to his eternal life, or would it later be regarded as a mere tourist trap? (Historical Fiction, Dishonorable Mention)

***

Neanderthal parents Hru-Vak and Chee were none too happy when their oldest girl Fa-al brought home one of those recently arrived Homo sapien boys but after a while they grew accustomed to his non-protruding brow ridge, upright posture, and problem-solving abilities. (Historical Fiction, Dishonorable Mention)

***

Despite an exhaustive search, rescuers were unable to locate young Christopher Robin in the Hundred Acre Wood before hypothermia took him, and the animals he once called friends descended upon his corpse like a silly old bear upon a pot of hunny. (Children’s & Young Adult Literature, Winner)

***

Little Timmy suffered from Claustraphobia: the fear of being trapped in a closet with Santa Claus. (Children’s & Young Adult Literature, Dishonorable Mention)

***

Even though Bambi the deer grew up to become a sleek and powerful 10-point buck, the other deer frequently chided him about his name, which was a perfectly fine name for a cocktail waitress but not so much for a male deer. (Children’s & Young Adult Literature, Dishonorable Mention)

***

Mary savored her stew, enjoying every last warm, flavorful bite, each one reminding her of her little lamb, Coco, and the way he would hop alongside her joyfully as they walked down the lane . . . speaking of Coco, where was he, anyways? (Children’s & Young Adult Literature, Dishonorable Mention)

***

“Ding dong, the witch is dead, ding dong, the witch is dead, ding . . . “ before I could tenor the next “dong” the black cat that had been sitting on the unmarked grave fixated me with a strange look and a sudden burst of sparkles came over me and changed me from a villager to a green frog, and now I spend my days sitting on the edge of the duck pond in which we drowned the witch, all alone and afraid a Frenchman would come along and fancy my little legs. (Children’s & Young Adult Literature, Dishonorable Mention)

***

As Snow White, the fairest of them all, rushes into the forest to escape being killed by her evil stepmother, she is about to be the most unfortunate of them all because now she is trapped in a miniature home as the pseudo-mother to seven man children. (Children’s & Young Adult Literature, Dishonorable Mention)

***

Post-game cake, long a clubhouse tradition for the Mudville Nine, was taken off the menu when new manager Sperb Farquhar made it clear that everybody, including the team’s sluggers, would be called on to sacrifice bundt. (Vile Puns, Dishonorable Mention)

***

The door to happiness, which was now closed so cruelly for Clare, had been slammed shut the day Jimmy died, yet she lived in hope that someday somewhere someone would come, not perhaps with that superior key of Jimmy’s, the one that fitted the compatible lock of her affections so perfectly, but one like the card-key that finally manages to open the door of your dreary motel room after a whole heap of jiggling and fiddling. (Romance, Dishonorable Mention)

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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