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Opening Arguments

A dark and stormy post

This year's winner in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, which annually honors the worst opening sentence for a nonexistent novel, to honor the Victorian novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton, whose 1830 novel "Paul Clfford" famously begins, "It was a dark and stormy Night":

Gerald began - but was interrupted by a piercing whistle which cost him ten per cent of his hearing permanently, as it did everyone else in a ten-mile radius of the eruption, not that it mattered much because for them 'permanently' meant the next ten minutes or so until buried by searing lava or suffocated by choking ash - to pee.

Long sentence pauses -- which are entertaining but can be distracting, especially if the writer loses track of where he is, and more so for readers who might not be paying as much attention as they should, a description of most readers, really -- are a specialty of mine as well.