View Full Version : This Year's winners

04-12-2005, 04:54 PM
2005 Winners of Worst-First-Lines Contest
actually these ARE the worst of the "best? worst-first-lines"...previous winners were much better

For you lovers of good writing, these are the 10 winners of this
year's Bulwer-Lytton contest -a.k.a. The Dark and Stormy Night
Contest--run by the English Department of San Jose State University,
wherein one writes only the first line of a bad novel.

10. "As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he were ever to break
wind in the echo chamber, he would never hear the end of it."

9. "Just beyond the Narrows, the river widens."

8. "With a curvaceous figure that Venus would have envied, a tanned,
unblemished oval face framed with lustrous thick brown hair, deep
azure-blue eyes fringed with long black lashes, perfect teeth that
vied for competition, and a small straight nose, Marilee had a beauty
that defied description."

7. "Andre, a simple peasant, had only one thing on his mind as he
crept along the East wall: 'Andre creep . . . Andre creep . . .?
Andre creep.'"

6. "Stanislaus Smedley, a man always on the cutting edge of
narcissism, was about to give his body and soul to a back alley
sex-change surgeon to become the woman he loved."

5. "Although Sarah had an abnormal fear of mice, it did not keep her
from eeking out a living at a local pet store."

4. "Stanley looked quite bored and somewhat detached, but then
penguins often do."

3. "Like an overripe beefsteak tomato rimmed with cottage cheese, the
corpulent remains of Santa Claus lay dead on the hotel floor."

2. "Mike Hardware was the kind of private eye who didn't know the
meaning of the word 'fear'; a man who could laugh in the face of
danger and spit in the eye of death--in short, a moron with suicidal


1. "The sun oozed over the horizon, shoved aside darkness, crept
along the greensward, and, with sickly fingers, pushed through the
castle window, revealing the pillaged princess, hand at throat, crown
asunder, gaping in frenzied horror at the sated, sodden amphibian
lying beside her, disbelieving the magnitude of the frog's deception,
screaming madly, 'You lied!'"

And for those of you who may have missed the following:
The Darwin Awards for 2004

They're back. Yes, it's that magical time of the year again when the Darwin
Awards are bestowed, honoring the least evolved among us.

Here, then, are the glorious winners for 2004.

The 2004 Darwin Award Winner:

1. When his .38-caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim
during a holdup in Long Beach, California, would-be robber James Elliot
did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel
and tried the trigger again. This time it worked . . . .

And now the honorable mentions:

2. The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat-cutting
machine and, after a little hopping around, submitted a claim to his
insurance company. The company, suspecting negligence, sent out one of
its men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine and lost a
finger. The chef's claim was approved.

3. A man who shoveled snow for two hours to clear a space for his car
during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his vehicle to find that a
woman had taken the space. Understandably, he shot her.

4. After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver
found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting
from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped. Not wanting to admit his
incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone
waiting there a free ride. He then delivered the passengers to the
mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable
and prone to bizarre fantasies. The deception wasn't discovered for 3 days.

5. An American teenager was in the hospital recovering from serious head
wounds received from an oncoming train. When asked how he received the

injuries, the lad told police that he was simply trying to see how close he
could get his head to a moving train before he was hit.

6. A man walked into a UniMart, put a $20 bill on the counter, and asked
for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun
and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly
provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving the $20
bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer . . .
$15. (If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, has a crime
been committed?)

7. A thief burst into a Florida bank one day wearing a ski mask and
carrying a gun. Aiming his gun at the guard, the thief yelled, "FREEZE,
MOTHER-STICKERS, THIS IS A ****-UP!" For a moment, everyone was silent.

Then the chuckles started. The security guard completely lost it and
doubled over laughing. It probably saved his life, because he'd been
about to draw his gun, and he couldn't possibly have drawn and fired
before the thief shot him. The thief ran away and is still at large. In
memory of the event, the bank later put a plaque on the wall engraved
with the words, "Freeze, mother-stickers, this is a ****-up!"

8. Seems an Arkansas guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that
he'd just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some
booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his
head at the window. The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be
thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. The liquor store window was
made of Plexiglas. The whole event was caught on videotape.

9. As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store, a man
grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately, and the
woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher.
Within minutes, the police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the
car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car
and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied, "Yes,
officer, that's her. That's the lady I stole the purse from."

10. The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a
Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan, at 5 a.m., flashed a gun, and
demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn't
open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion
rings, the clerk said they weren't available for breakfast. The man,
frustrated, walked away.