snoopydarkThis annual contest salutes Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, the man who wrote the following in 1830: It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.”

Since then the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (BLFC) is a tongue in cheek contest that takes place annually and is sponsored by the English Department of San Jose University (CA). Entrants are invited “to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels” – that is, deliberately bad

Here is this year’s winner: She strutted into my office wearing a dress that clung to her like Saran Wrap to a sloppily butchered pork knuckle, bone and sinew jutting and lurching asymmetrically beneath its folds, the tightness exaggerating the granularity of the suet and causing what little palatable meat there was to sweat, its transparency the thief of imagination. — Chris Wieloch, Brookfield, WI.

Historical Fiction: The Pilgrims and Native Americans gathered around the feast, a veritable cornucopia of harvest and game, a gastronomic monument to the bountiful biodiversity of the land, and while Mrs. Standish’s cranberry sauce was a far cry from the homogeneous gelatinous can-imprinted sacrosanct blob which has become the holiday’s sine qua non, the rest of the food was good. — Jordan Kaderli, Dallas, TX

Vile Puns: What the Highway Department’s chief IT guy for the new computerized roadway hated most was listening to the ‘smart’ components complain about being mixed with asphalt instead of silicon and made into speed bumps instead of graceful vases, like the one today from chip J176: “I coulda had glass; I coulda been a container; I coulda been some bottle, instead of a bump, which is what I am.” — Brian Brandt, Lansdale, PA

Western: Tex sauntered into the saloon, tipped his hat towards Miss Kitty seated at the bar, and drawled, “I’ve been excogitatin’, and we don’t take kindly to no loquacious sesquipedalians ‘round these parts, lessin’ they be indigenous” – and with that, subsequently shot dead the visiting chatty professor of English standing next to her. — Rick Cheeseman, Waconia, MN

The entire list can be found here.