Victorian novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton originated the phrases, “the pen is mightier than the sword,” “the great unwashed” and “the almighty dollar,” but is best known for opening one of his novels with the immortal words, “It was a dark and stormy night.”
In his “honor” there is a competition each year for the worst (best) opening sentence for a novel. This year’s winner was David McKenzie who wrote:
Folks say that if you listen real close at the height of the full moon, when the wind is blowin’ off Nantucket Sound from the nor’ east and the dogs are howlin’ for no earthly reason, you can hear the awful screams of the crew of the “Ellie May,” a sturdy whaler Captained by John McTavish; for it was on just such a night when the rum was flowin’ and, Davey Jones be damned, big John brought his men on deck for the first of several screaming contests.
Can you imagine reading 300 pages of that? Teachers are not allowed to reply that they do so on a regular basis…