Friday, October 1, 2010

The Bulwer-Lytton Contest and a Possible Contestant

For those who don't know, Bulwer-Lytton authored the famous (or infamous) passage:

"It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents--except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness."

A literary contest (and I use the word 'literary' generously) honors the above author by having contestants submit passages that are prolix, awkward, wordy, excessive and over-indulgent. The most recent winner submitted this:

For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity's affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss--a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity's mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world's thirstiest gerbil.

Site for Bulwer-Lytton

Anyway, I was reading a tort case and came across this:

As a lonely chauffeur in defendant's employ he became in a trice the protagonist in a breath-baiting drama with a denouement almost tragic.

Who the hell writes that shit?!!!!!!

The case was about a chauffeur who jumped out of a moving car while an armed man was in his back seat. The car rolled down the street onto a sidewalk and injured a woman and her two kids, albeit minor injuries. The mom sued the chauffeur for negligence but lost. The case was Cordas v. Peerless Trasn. Co.

Anyway, I wonder if the Bulwer-Lytton Contest award the judge posthumously? This judge would definitely make it in the top ten.

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