Friday, September 24, 2010

Bad Beginnings.......

Every year, San Jose' State publishes its list of the worst opening lines in a story.

Wow, these Folks can write!!!

Here are some examples:

It was a dark and stormy night, well, not pitch dark so much a plumby, you know, that time of night where it turns into that kind of eggplant color, which I hate-- eggplant not the time of night--and it wasn't stormy so much as drizzly, like a cold that's not so bad but really annoying, where you sound a little plugged up and all your mucus just sort of hovers at the edge of your nostrils or drips down the back of your throat, it was like that.

"Fightin' Joe" Steerforth thought he was tough until the day he met Annie ("Big Bucket") McGillicuddy and she left him battered and spent like a punch-drunk prizefighter on the ropes of love.

Just beyond the Narrows the river widens.

The golden, starry wonders of the dark universe unfurled before the brave interstellar vessel "Argus" like a black flag of victory with a whole bunch of holes in it as the mysterious mission buoyantly commenced that would one day resolve critical questions about space, time, and the appropriate ratio of nuts to chips in a perfect chocolate chip cookie.

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.

The wind dry-shaved the cracked earth like a dull razor--the double edge kind from the plastic bag that you shouldn't use more than twice, but you do; but Trevor Earp had to face it as he started the second morning of his hopeless search for Drover, the Irish Wolfhound he had found as a pup near death from a fight with a prairie dog and nursed back to health, stolen by a traveling circus so that the monkey would have something to ride.

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.

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

Oliver Smith, spy on Her Majesty's service - not that she knew about it, because that tended to spoil the whole secrecy thing and really, who'd want an un-secret spy, anyway? Not to mention that any spy worth his salt would kill anybody who knew his identity . . . so I wouldn't go around mentioning that I read this if I were you - looked both ways before crossing the street.

The serrated butter knife tossed capriciously onto the 38th Street sidewalk amid the detritus of Salem cigarette butts and a Mentos box was devoid of zero trans fat margarine, but glinted invitingly in the sunlight nonetheless, poised for the opportunity to be repurposed to cut up a Snuggie, and Vladimir took it.

Fleur looked down her nose at Guilliame, something she was accomplished at, being six foot three in her stocking feet, and having one of those long French noses, not pert like Bridget Bardot's, but more like the one that Charles De Gaulle had when he was still alive and President of France and he wore that cap that was shaped like a little hatbox with a bill in the front to offset his nose, but it didn't work.

The horizon coughed up the morning sun much as if Atlas had lowered the world from his mighty shoulders and given it the Heimlich maneuver.' "This is almost worth the high blood pressure!" he thought as yet another mosquito exploded.

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.

Warily-as if his hands were a green-bean casserole in a non-tempered glass dish that had just come out of the freezer, and the patient was an oven that had been preheating for a good 75 minutes at 450F-the surgeon slowly reached into the incision and groped for the bullet fragment in the pancreas, at last finding it nestled near one of the Islets of Langerhans like a small wrecked lifeboat foundered on a sandbar as it floated in the fog, adrift in the Sea of John's Innards.

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

The Cunard "Carinthia" glided through the starry waters of the Bering Sea, 843 passengers aboard, including Harriet Dobbs, resignedly single for over a decade, while a nautical mile due west slunk the K-18 submarine, under the command of lonely Ukrainian Captain First Rank Nikolai Shevchenko: ships that passed in the night (although the second technically a boat).

She walked into my office on legs as long as one of those long-legged birds that you see in Florida - the pink ones, not the white ones - except that she was standing on both of them, not just one of them, like those birds, the pink ones, and she wasn't wearing pink, but I knew right away that she was trouble, which those birds usually aren't.


aA said...

Man, I wish I could write like that! I used to, kinda, but just got more impatient in my old age.

Excellent find, Mr. Wollf!

Rose said...

I was impressed that they knew De Gaulle and words like McGillicuddy, is that an eastern term, they must be older students passing like ships in the night or is it stoned out of their minds? Maybe it's the pressure or the indescribable beauty, or is it the mucous dripping back down his throat? The plot thickens, he thought to himself as he gulped down his last beer, watching her ride off on a... ehh - I just can't do it as well as they did. Try it it's hard. Like trying to talk about something for a half hour straight on QVC. This lovely____, it's such a lovely ___


Robin Shelley said...

Amazing is the word I'm stuck on. Read a newspaper article just today that used "amazing" seven (7!) times!

Still love "It was a dark & stormy night..." Snoopy did, too!

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