Carburetor breast fantasy wins bad writing contest
Fri Jul 29, 2005
A Microsoft analyst has won an annual contest celebrating bad writing by comparing fixing carburetors to fondling a woman's breasts.
"As he stared at her ample bosom, he daydreamed of the dual Stromberg carburetors in his vintage Triumph Spitfire, highly functional yet pleasingly formed, perched prominently on top of the intake manifold, aching for experienced hands, the small knurled caps of the oil dampeners begging to be inspected and adjusted as described in chapter seven of the shop manual," went Dan McKay's winning entry in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.
McKay, 43, of North Dakota was said by organizers on Thursday to be visiting China "perhaps to escape notoriety for his dubious literary achievement." He wins $250.
The California San Jose State University contest challenges entrants to submit bad opening sentences to imaginary novels and has attracted entries from around the world for 23 years.
It was inspired by 19th century novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton, who opened his 1830 novel "Paul Clifford" with the now immortal words, "It was a dark and stormy night."
San Jose State English Professor Scott Rice said that judging the contest "is a hoot."
"By and large the entries are submitted by serious readers who have a notion about what is good and bad writing. That is what is heartening," Rice said.
In a contest that now has several sub categories, the winner in the children's literature section was sent in by Shelby Leung of New South Wales, Australia.
"The woods were all a-twitter with rumors that the Seven Dwarves were planning a live reunion after their attempted solo careers had dismally sputtered into Z-list oblivion and it was all just a matter of meeting a ten-page list of outlandish demands (including 700-threadcount Egyptian cotton bedsheets, lots of white lilies and a separate trailer for the magic talking mirror) to get the Princess Formerly Known As Snow White on board."