Gut Rumbles

April 08, 2005

too good not to steal

I gotta thank George Schneider for this email:

Listed below are the 10 winners of this year's Bulwer-Lytton Contest,
aka 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

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 over-ripe 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 tendencies."


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!"


LOL!!! That's rich.

Posted by: DaneBramage on April 8, 2005 04:33 PM

And I can see the follow up to the #1 entry. "Time passed, the princess came to accept, and even love her amphibian consort. But even a princess has "needs". And her green skinned partner, sensitive to his partner's desires, wanting to satisfy same, would always ask the following; My darling, are you feeling a little froggy?"

Posted by: Guy S. on April 8, 2005 05:06 PM

Haha.. oh wow. Sadly all of those books once finished would end up on the ciriculum of America's high schools and middle schools. I'm sure I've read ones that started out like 2 and 3 for English class.

Posted by: Alli on April 8, 2005 05:23 PM

Well, the Bulwer-Lytton contest is ONE of the better things to come out SJSU, although that's not saying much.

In the latter days of my yoot, while attending said institution, I did find enjoyment and satisfaction in my involvement with the campus radio station, which was broadcasting at 90.7 FM (the bandwidth was shared with Cal Berkeley at the time, but they only overlapped when one travelled north from San Jose to San Francisco).

While I paid less and less attention to my studies, leading to my dropping out from there, I did learn some skills doing on air and production work, was on staff with a scholarship for a year, and got to meet a few folks I'd never dream I'd get to meet, like Ray Manzarek (yes, THAT Ray Manzarek), as well as Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo, and even Mojo Nixon.

I even had a Cafe Su Da (really thick Vietnamese French drip coffee poured and mixed into a glass of sweetened condensed milk and iced cubes)with him, his wife and and Michael McClure (whom I still have no idea what he's written, nor why he is a celebrity of sorts) and interviewed them on air prior to their show at SJSU, when they started doing their spoken word/piano accompanyment performances.

Sorry to reminisce/brag, but mentioning SJSU does that to me sometimes.

Posted by: KenS on April 8, 2005 06:02 PM

Jesalou! That's the best fuckin' laugh I"ve had in a long time!

Old Ralph

Posted by: Rattfuc on April 8, 2005 06:28 PM

I dunno. I think I'd read the last one.

Posted by: Dz on April 8, 2005 07:10 PM

I entered that contest a few years back, but didn't win. My entry went something like this:

Meghan tried to act nonchalant as she entered the reactor control room, but Ferguson, the chief operator, saw the faint blue glow coming from under her hard hat and he knew that this was going to be a very bad day.

Posted by: Ernie G on April 9, 2005 09:26 PM

Ernie, that ain't bad!

Posted by: Acidman on April 10, 2005 07:59 AM

I dunno, I kinda like #3 the best. And now I'm hungry.

Posted by: Ray on April 11, 2005 05:23 PM
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