Thursday, July 2, 2009

Jacqui's Worst First Line Ever Contest

This week's Thursday inspirational moment (TNoftheAWSPWTBIM) AND A CHALLENGE FOR YOU are brought to you by San Jose State University's Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, which asks participants to submit the worst opening sentences possible to a fictional novel.*

Here's my favorite, from Eric Rice of Wisconsin, winner in the detective category:

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.


This got me thinking. What would be the worst possible opening sentence for a picture book?

Fuzzy the Bunny lived with his Mama Bunny, Papa Bunny, and his sister, Roadkill, in a hutch at the base of a tall oak tree.

When Marky Sanford was a little boy, there was only one thing he wanted more than to be governor of South Carolina.

A is for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. B is for Brain tumor. (from A Child's Alphabet of Things That Can Kill Your Parents)

These are bad. But we can do worse.

ATTENTION MILLIONS OF VISITORS TO JACQUI'S ROOM!

I challenge you: write me the worst possible first sentence of a picture book.

This is worthy of a font color change. Welcome to JACQUI'S WORST FIRST LINE EVER CONTEST.

THE RULES:
1. No fair lifting the actual first lines of Rainbow Fish.
2. Entries should be posted in the comments here.
3. Entries must be received by July 15.
4. Winners will receive prizes. Good ones. Like books and toys and possibly some other stuff, depending on what I find around here. Details to follow.
5. Judges panel will consist of me, The Mighty Thor, and my sister, Monkey Girl. Please feel free to offer opinions as to your favorites as well.

Do. Your. Worst. And spread the news.

* See all winners here.

36 comments:

Colorado Writer said...

Conner felt like pooping.

Diane T said...

Binky Bunny was so very sad,
His momma looked at him askance,
But he could not help himself
For making piddle in his pants.

From my forthcoming therapeutic, anthropomorphic, rhyming picture book, I Wish My Bladder Were Fatter: A Child's Guide to Incontinence.

Paul Michael Murphy said...

Jimmy was very excited for it was the second Tuesday of the month and the second Tuesday of every month meant one glorious thing: his father would read him the minutes from last night's school board meeting.

Paul Michael Murphy said...

FWIW, I realize I'm playing for second. You can't beat any first line with the word "poop" in it.

cath c said...

i see a theme developing here.

not up for this today, but will give it a try, promise! i do have a wonderfully morbid imagination i often like to avoid capturing in print.

Debbie Diesen said...

This could be WAY too much fun. Are we limited to just one entry?

Here's the first line of Abecedarian Absolutism (Volume One of the Tough Love Phonics series). Written in rhyme, of course.

The Alphabet Ogre eats kids who don't know
The 26 letters and which way they go;
So learn from this story and study this text,
Or Aaron and Abigail -- Watch out, you're next!

Jacqui said...

I love them!

But Paul, I am unswayed by poop and have a special place not in my heart for school board meetings.

Debbie, I needed tough love phonics when I taught second grade, I think.

Jacqui said...

And enter as many times as you want.

cath c said...

Happy Joe, the excitable boy, was so happy to greet the day that he leapt from his bed right out the third story window.

there could be only a second line to that story, or maybe there is something to go on here....

think the ghastlycrumb kids...

Amber Lough said...

Boris Pasternak left his fuzzy, woolen mittens out in the snow and when he went out to find them he discovered the snow had melted, revealing acres of uprooted beats soaking in mud.

This is, of course, the sequel to DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, LARA, LARA'S SON, THE FARM HAND, THE DOG, THE CAT, and THE MOUSE PULL THE BEET OUT OF THE GROUND.

Mary Witzl said...

Yes! This is a contest after my own heart! Love Colorado Writer's contribution. I'm not sure I can improve on that, but I'll be giving this one some thought.


I'll be back.

Amber Lough said...

Wee Willie sat on his potty and thought long and hard about what he was going to doo doo.

Amber Lough said...

Here's another:

Jayden thought "subterfuge" meant eating fudge under the table.

Marina said...

Maybe the smell should have warned him, or the way Tricky Tim sniggered as he held out the bowl, but Greedy Gordon never said no to chocolate ice cream and by the time he realised what he really had in his mouth it was too late.

Carol H. said...

Bartholomew Bunny lives in a lab.

cath c said...

testing new drugs for rehab. third line anyone?

Jacqui said...

These are excellent. I am noticing a poop theme...

cath c and Carol H.,
I feel like line 3 needs Bartholomew drinking Tab.

Boni Ashburn said...

I wasn't sure if you were going for badly written or bad idea, so my entry hopefully covers both:

Jenny surveyed her handiwork- the floor carefully littered with marbles, jacks, Legos, deflated balloons with extra-long strings, pennies, batteries and thumbtacks- but realized that her motives might be a little too transparent, even for her, when her parents brought that annoying new baby home from the hospital, so she put the thumbtacks back in her bulletin board, took one more appreciative look, and breathed a sigh of satisfaction.

Marina said...

A non-poop entry:

“Can’t you sleep, Little Bear?” asked Big Bear, while behind his sympathetic smile he was wondering if he could survive another night with Little Bear sticking his bony little elbows and knees into him, and whining and coughing and crying, and wondering also if it would be very wrong to slip a little something into Little Bear’s warm milk to help him sleep, or maybe he should add that wee dram to his own suppertime drink, or hell, down half the bottle – and if he did, what would the other parents at Bears Without Partners think?

Kristen said...

Tapey the Tapeworm lived in Susi's large intestine.

Diane T said...

I hope you don't mind if I double dip; Cheryl Klein over at Brooklyn Arden is holding the same contest, and since nothing in your rules says I have to be exclusive, and since she's articulated what her prize, I'm using mine again so I don't have to straing my brain.

That's a horrible sentence in itself, isn't it?

Diane T said...

Here's one that has nothing to do with bodily functions:

Bethany had thought her life was over when her parents forced her to move from Hawaii to some podunk town in Ohio, until she spied the incredibly hot guy sitting by himself next to the cafeteria window, his skin almost luminescent in the hot September sun, making her wonder, "He couldn't be, could he? So beautiful and sparkly? Could he be the one to bring magic, eternal love, and meaning to my otherwise empty existence?" but then, as she not-quite-nonchalantly slunk over in his direction and his musk pierced the cafeteria scents of burnt Tater Tots and bad chili, she decided he was shiny because he needed a bath and maybe she'd be better off trying out for cross country after all, instead of expecting some moronic teenage boy to change her life.

Penelope said...

Okay, here goes my first try:

Rhonda, Lindsey, and Eve, stood at the water cooler at work and gossiped; it was a known fact that their co-worker, Hannah, had always been a home wrecker, and her new boyfriend raised all sorts of juicy questions, but what these three women will come to find out in chapter seven, is that Hannah is really just misunderstood.

Keely Hutton said...

With breakfast ruined and her family ravenous from their long walk in the woods, Mama Bear frantically pawed through the cupboards in search of some bagels that would taste ‘just right’ when served Goldilox. (C)

Keely Hutton said...

Hi Jacqui,
Thank you for posting my entry. I just noticed that I had accidently omitted the word "with" before Goldilox at the end of my sentence. Would it be possible to edit it back in, as it's absence changes the meaning of the sentence? Thank you!
Kindly,
Keely Hutton

Jacqui said...

Hi Keely, I'm not sure I have the bloggy expertise to change other people's comments short of deleting, but I will definitely insert the "with" when reading it to Thor and Monkey Girl.

Amber Lough said...

Here's one: Frankie's mommy lost her baby weight the day after he was born, just like all good mommies do.

No, of course, this ISN'T a pet peeve of mine. ;-)

Keely Hutton said...

Thanks Jacqui! Sorry for the mistake.
Keely

lake said...

..... The house seemed so very far, it was incredible to think I'd beat the twister, an onrushing wall of complete destruction but.....I ran, the wind knocking me over several times and huge trees that had been ripped out by the roots hurtled past, the branches brushing my clothes as the train howled on, because that's what it had to be, a train from hell, smashing everything in it's path and the roof lifted clean off, whooshing away as I scrambled to the cellar door then once inside I got the bar across and we all gathered in the room furthest from the outside door with a cheery lantern and everything was going to be ok, the stew was hot and there wouldn't be school today.

Ruth McNally Barshaw said...

If you ever fought with your sister, lied about something, picked your nose or wet your pants, you will eventually discover the ugly truth: Parents divorce mostly because of their kids.

Sandy Carlson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sandy Carlson said...

Scratch the Cat, who was declawed, secretly used her mistress’ WiFi on cold winter nights to send messages across the street to Butch the Bulldog, in order to listen to him howl where he would be sent outside until he cooled off.

Anonymous said...

Waking up and reaching under his pillow to see what the Tooth Fairy had left him, Johnny discovered not only his tooth still there, but that the TF had taken all the ones from inside his mouth.

(from Sandy Carlson, Battle Creek)

Anonymous said...

Didn't you say you would accept multiple entries? LOL I'm just getting used to blogging and leaving comments; sorry about all the multi-entries. The other ones hadn't shown up on my screen till now. Gosh and blush. Sandy

Kate Higgins said...

"Kristy knew if she pushed her sister Jill ahead and told her to turn on the light switch which was located on the opposite side of the dark bedroom, that monsters would get her sister first, you see, Kristy could run faster because she ran a sprint race in 3rd grade and won and got a medal and the monsters would know that and eat her sister and then Kristy could have the bedroom for herself because she hated sharing and her mom liked Jill best anyway so now mom would like Kristy best and then everything would turn out great and Kristy would be an only child and inherit everything and be rich and famous when she got older and sell lots of books about how to get to be rich and famous."

Paul Michael Murphy said...

Ruth, that is outstanding.