So you think it's easy to write bad stuff? Think again. It takes real talent to obfuscate, annihilate, desecrate, decimate, and torture the English language in a way that makes us sit up and take notice. Ask this year's winners of the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest hosted by the Department of English & Comparative Literature, San Jose State University. Good old Bul was the author of the book that began with: "It was a dark and stormy night ..."
Each year I anticipate with bated breath - my bodice ripped from the anquish of waiting - these splendiferously awful results filled with purplish prose, dangling participles, and traileur trashe grammar, not to mention the ponderous PASSIVE VOICE that will drill my eyeballs to my heaving bosom. Oh, q'uelle odeur!
Without further ado, or adieu, here's the 2007 Winner, dahlings:
Gerald began--but was interrupted by a piercing whistle which cost him ten percent of his hearing permanently, as it did everyone else in a ten-mile radius of the eruption, not that it mattered much because for them "permanently" meant the next ten minutes or so until buried by searing lava or suffocated by choking ash--to pee.
Jim Gleeson, Madison, WI (2007 Winner)
As the hippo's jaws clamped on Henry's body he noted the four huge teeth badly in need of a clean, preferably with one of those electric sonic toothbrushes, and he reflected that his name would be immortalized by his unusual death, since hippo killings are not a daily occurrence, at least not in the high street of Chipping Sodbury.
Tim Lafferty, Horsell, Woking, UK
Agent 53986262.9 was strapped precariously to a giant Chinese firework, the fuse slowly shortening like a noodle getting slurped into someone's pursed lips, and although he knew he was running out of time and still had no plan for escape, all he could think of was the song about the Muffin Man and how the word "polyurethane" made it sound like the material was made out of multiple urethras.
Allison Kelly, Great Falls, VA
Had enough? Here's one more. Winner: Children's Literature
Danny, the little Grizzly cub, frolicked in the tall grass on this sunny Spring morning, his mother keeping a watchful eye as she chewed on a piece of a hiker they had encountered the day before.
Dave McKenzie, Federal Way, WA