Recently, I discovered the existence of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest – a contest operating out of California to create the worst opening sentence of a book that you can come up with. Related to this is the Little Lytton Contest, which is a similar thing but with limitations on how long the entry can be.
The contests are named for Edward Bulwer-Lytton, who penned the (in)famous line “It was a dark and stormy night,” which was the opening line of his 1830 novel Paul Clifford. It was also reused as the opener for a fictional bad novel in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Royale,” and of course it was made popular by it being both the opening line and the title of the novel that Snoopy from Peanuts was always working on.
In researching this, I discovered that the organizer of the Little Lytton contest is one Adam Cadre, who wrote Photopia, one of the most moving examples of Interactive Fiction that I have ever experienced, back in the days when I was devouring Interactive Fiction (a combination of story and game). Photopia was briefly and obscurely referenced in this post. You can play Photopia on his site here.
Anyway, all that to say that in perusing the winners over the years, the winning entry of the Little Lytton Contest from 2005, written by Eric Davis, caught my attention as the funniest. So, for the 2.5 seconds it will take you to read this, enjoy!
John, surfing, said to his mother, surfing beside him, “How do you like surfing?”
There. I hope you got as much out of that as I did.