Grand Panjandrum Award is the highest honor conferred on the winner of the Bulwer-Lytton Contest. The challenge of the contest is to write the worst possible opening sentence to a non-existent novel. The contest is so popular that English speaking writers from all over the world compete in the various categories of the contest. Over the years, I have collected hundreds of panjandrums, and even tried my hand at the art, without notable success. Lads and Lassies, for your reading pleasure are several of the best panjandrums in the English language. I offer my sincere congratulations to the winners who possess that rare talent for penning prose that is so terrible; it is magically transformed into Grand Panjandrum.
As the hippo's jaws clamped on Henry's body he noted the four huge teeth badly in need of a cleaning, preferably with one of those electric sonic toothbrushes, and he reflected that his name would be immortalized by his unusual death, since hippo killings are not a daily occurrence, at least not in the high street of Chipping Sodbury.
Tim Lafferty, Horsell Woking, UK
Miss Cardinal mused over the singularly decadent manner in which Master Hammond consumed the steak and kidney pie and was reminded of the practices of certain cannibalistic tribes with whom she had lived during her travels in Borneo, not New Guinea, although New Guinea is certainly nice this time of year, despite the fact steak and kidney pie is rarely served there, at least not the kind made from sheep or cows.
Brad R. Frazer, Boise, ID
Winner: Children's Literature
Danny, the little Grizzly bear cub, frolicked in the tall grass on this sunny Spring morning, his mother keeping a watchful eye as she chewed on a piece of a hiker they had encountered the day before.
Dave McKenzie, Federal Way, WA
Dane worked the Spyrograph furiously, first red, then green, then red again, and finally blue; the pattern he sought was in there somewhere, and the correct combination would open the doors to a euphoria only known to dogs getting their stomachs scratched and parakeets viewing themselves in the mirror.
Matthew Warnock, Elgin, IL
I'd been tailing this guy for over an hour while he tried every trick in the book to lose me: going down side streets, doubling back, suddenly veering into shop doorways, jumping out again, crossing the street, looking for somewhere to make the drop, and I was going to be there when he did it because his disguise as a postman didn't have me fooled for a minute.
Bob Millar, Hässelby, Sweden
She'd been strangled with a rosary, not a run-of-the-mill rosary like you might get at a Catholic bookstore where Hail Marys are two for a quarter and indulgences are included on the back flap of the May issue of "Nuns and Roses" magazine, but a fancy heirloom rosary with pearls, rubies, and a solid gold cross, a rosary with attitude, the kind of rosary that said, "Get your Jehovah's Witness ass off my front porch."
Mark Schweizer, Hopkinsville, KY
What shocked Juliette as she entered the room was not that there was an escaped convict under her coverlet snuggling with her best teddy bear, but that there was a knife through his back, "And who," she wondered out loud, steadying herself against the faux-taffeta wallpaper, "would stab a teddy bear?"
Katie Alender, Studio City, CA
Winner: Fashion and Romance
LaVerne was undeniably underdressed for this frigid weather; her black, rain-soaked tank top offered no protection and seemed to cling to her torso out of sheer rage, while her tie-dyed boa scarf hung lifeless around her neck like a giant, exhausted, pipe cleaner recently discarded after near-criminal overuse by an obviously sadistic (and rather flamboyant) plumber.
Andrew Cavallari, Northfield, IL
Nothing looked good on the two young celebrities, Scarlett Johansson and Kiera Knightly, as they posed on the cover of a fashion magazine, with their lips the color of a Big Ben Hybrid Teas Rose, and flawless complexions, but they could not compare to the one with Jennifer Lopez with her smoky gray diaphanous blouse, high heels, and a black leather belt that would leave a nasty red mark if she were to spank you with it.
Wayne Spivey, Huntsville, TX
Her hair was the color of old copper, not green with white streaks like you see on roofs and statues where birds have been messing, but the kind you find on dark pennies from back in the nineteen-forties or fifties after God knows how many thumbs have been rubbing Abe Lincoln's beard.
Michael A. Cowell, Norwalk, CA
With a belly full of haggis and scotch whiskey, the portly Mr. Ian Fagenglass was enjoying another round of toasts at the Annual Rabbie Burns Night (held for the ninth consecutive year at the Pig and Whistle Pub), and leaning across the banquet table for the bottle, Ian felt a cool draught sweep across his backside and heard a dull rumble of anger from the next table, causing Ian to curse himself, yet again, for taking fashion advice from crazy Aunt Bessie and wearing a micro-mini kilt which did little to conceal his bare backside as he leaned, a bit unsteadily, to pour the lads another round of liquid gold.
Saucy Jack Diplinger, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
She clung to the memory of their love like those tiny bits of used tissues he always left in his pockets, which mostly ended up in the dryer lint basket although enough of them welded themselves to her favorite navy blue, polar fleece pullover, rendering it as permanently flawed and unappealing as his name tattooed on her butt.
Pamela Patchet Hamilton, Beaconsfield, Quebec, Canada
Allison sipped her tea as she thought about the Isabella Rosselini types--tiny, fragile, etiolated, willowy creatures of ethereal beauty whose delicate spaghetti-strapped sundresses seemed to hover about a quarter of an inch above their skin, while Alison's sundress cut into her flesh at the straps and bound at the waist or it ballooned out like the muumuu it really was.
Katy Brezger, Dowagiac MI
Winner: Science Fiction
What a pity Dave was too young to have seen "2001: A Space Odyssey," for he might have been able to predict what would happen next, when the ape standing next to the big black slab picked up the tapir bone.
Ann Medlock, Lenah Valley, TAS, Australia
The easy and comforting roll of the saddle was second nature to Luke, and as he gazed off into the distant setting sun, he wondered whether he had enough change for one more ride at the supermarket before he had to return to the home.
Glenn Lawrie, Chungnam, South Korea
Slim pulled the branding iron away from the yearling's seared flank and looked up to see Taffy Edwards, the boss's daughter, trotting towards him on her sorrel mare, Brandi, wearing absolutely nothing but tight blue jeans and a green tank top---her gi-normous, heaving, unrestrained hooters resembling nothing so much as a pair of fat Charolais heifers trying to beat each other through a loading chute.
Tyler Womack, Eustace, Texas
Winner: Fantasy Fiction
Lady Guinevere heard it distinctly, a sharp slap, as if a gauntlet had been thrown, and yet it was hardly plausible that she, perched delicately on the back of her cantering steed, should be challenged to ride faster, since protocol determined that Arthur should ride in front, then she, then Lancelot, for that was the order prescribed by Merlin, ever since he invented the carousel.
Celine Shinbutsu, Hino City, Tokyo, Japan
At Elvenheim there was great joy, in that the legendary Ring of the Nordlings had been retrieved from the evil Sudlings by the hero Bill Baggydrawers, who it must be said looked nothing like a hero, at least none I've ever seen, and the Ring had once again been placed on the middle finger of the left hand of the Elvenking, who did rather resemble a king, even if his buck teeth made him look for all the world like a great rabbit.
Wayne McCoy, Gainesville Fl