Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Good, the Bad, and the Punny

This has to be one of my favorite blogging duties: bringing to you, oh faithful Rap Sheet readers, the champions of the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. The task for 2015, as in previous years, was to create the worst (e.g., funniest) opening sentences from never-to-be-completed books. This competition is named in memory of Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, the English novelist and playwright who’s best remembered for having concocted that so frequently scorned opening phrase, “It was a dark and stormy night.”

2015’s overall winning entry comes from Joel Phillips of West Trenton, New Jersey, and fits nicely with this blog’s crime-fiction theme:
Seeing how the victim’s body, or what remained of it, was wedged between the grill of the Peterbilt 389 and the bumper of the 2008 Cadillac Escalade EXT, officer “Dirk” Dirksen wondered why reporters always used the phrase “sandwiched” to describe such a scene since there was nothing appetizing about it, but still, he thought, they might have a point because some of this would probably end up on the front of his shirt.
My favorite selection in the Crime/Detective category happens to be the runner-up, a morsel of inelegant prose supplied by Laura Ruth Loomis of Pittsburg, California:
When the corpse showed up in the swimming pool, her dead bosoms bobbing up and down like twin poached eggs in hollandaise sauce, Randy decided to call the police as soon as he finished taking pictures of his breakfast and posting them to his Facebook wall.
But I also appreciate this “dishonorable mention” winner in the Vile Puns category, submitted by Owen Roberts of Edina, Minnesota:
Sherlock Holmes brusquely dismissed his companion’s theory that the victim had died from an allergic reaction to either seasoning or seafood, saying “Watson, although the problem is alimentary, it is neither the Thyme nor the Plaice.”
Click here to enjoy all of the 2015 winners and their rivals.

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