Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I F'd up on NPR

Pretend you're me for a second and there's a challenge on the web to write as badly as "this" guy. This guy being the fellow who won the Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest for bad opening sentences to a novel, as sponsored by the University of San Jose or someplace close to that.

Bulwer-Lytton are the duo who chanced upon "It was a dark and stormy night" as bad writing and the rest is history or a Peanuts cartoon depending on the depth of your cultural immersement. Me? I'm with Snoopy and the lost Van Gogh.

But NPR featured the winner of the contest and his first full winning sentence and I, singing to the tune of two lunchtime martinis, thought I could do just as well if not better.

And herein lies the distinction between talent and alcohol. See, the tenets of the contest call for you to write the worst first opening SENTENCE to a novel and while my entry garnered a pretty good collection of recommends, they all came from barflies such as myself who can't seem to distinguish SENTENCE from PARAGRAPH which is to say the first has words, the second PUNCTUATION. Alas, death by period. Something most of my high school girlfriends at first feared then prayed for.

So I entered NPR's little joust but really disqualified myself by entering a first paragraph rather than a first sentence. Publicly humiliated, I'm a little short on the shame quota, because whatever you fuck up in the national arena, you can always take back and mulligan in private.

So here it is. My NPR entry for worst writing, had I been paying attention.

Big Jake stopped his pickup and threw it into park like most folks would throw a bag of dirty clothes that came to represent their worst life memories into a corner of the basement, he opened the door and stuck his boot into the dust, raising a cloud that could have been his life's hopes and dreams, 'cause they settled just as quick as he pulled one last swig off of the tequila bottle which jiggled his contents like so many Jell-o desserts his Momma had made him; tighten your belt, boy, put "the negotiator" in its holster, breathe in deeply and walk as calm as you can to that waiting spaceship.

Shucks, I could have had a 34 second interview.

Bunny on.

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