A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

01 February 2014

Day 1: Gouda Morning to All

"Gouda Morning to All"
Well, that's how I was going to start this first of "30 Days Minus 2" challenge, considering its birthday is today ("Good Morning to All" is the same tune as "Happy Birthday to You" in case you didn't know that).  Does this make it one or two years old?  Is it three...because it feels like four.  Well, it doesn't matter as I'm going to cheat a little and post up a blog from a few years back. 
Because it's about cheese...and Gouda is a cheese...and this website has the word "cheese" in the title...and today's prompt is "Gouda" (I think I neglected to say that).  Anyone see a pattern here?
Anyway...as I promised to Scott Rice (the originator of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest) ever since I won back in 2003...here again is a tiny bit of publicity, provided by me.  Yeah, I know that might sound cheesy...but I'm being sincere. Oh yeah, and don't forget to get your entries in for this year...you still have time.

And don't forget to go to "We Work for Cheese" to read all the other entries for this month's challenge...Day 1 being "Gouda".

(The following piece was originally written/posted at my own blog site on 4 April 2006.) 

The Best at Being Worst...and Proud of It!

Well, seems it's that time of year again...the dreaded deadline looming ahead like so many ravenous vultures...like so many you lose count - even if you have one of those fancy hand-held metal clicker things that can be punched to 999 before it resets back to zero...then I guess you have to mentally remember that it spun around one whole time already, kinda like when you're dealing out cards and the phone rings and interrupts you midway and you forget who gets the next card, so you just start all over again because someone probably looked at your cards while you were gone anyway. Yep, the 15th of April is fast approaching and soon everyone will be asking each other, "Did you get it in on time? Did you get your entry in?"

"What the heck is she saying??" you might have asked yourself...and what about vultures? Is she talking about the IRS? Accountants? Huh...cards??? "Nay", say I...I'm talking about 'The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest' also referred to as the 'It was a dark and stormy night' competition. You might have read about it when I won the Grand Prize in 2003. Oh, c'mon...it was on the front page of the Montgomery Advertiser...surely you couldn't have forgotten that? Well, okay...maybe you did. Sigh. Let me then enlighten and elucidate...

You see that long sentence I started my blog off with? The one that goes on and on and on and on. Well, that was intentional..and not just because I am a bad writer (oh, keep the remarks to yourselves) but because I was, at least in 2003, proclaimed as the BEST at being the worst. I won the dubious distinction of writing the worst opening line to a fictional novel...and that opening sentence, above, is a little bit like what you'll see in the competition. Need a better, er...um...worse...example? Here is my winning entry:

They had but one last remaining night together, so they embraced each other as tightly as that two-flavor entwined string cheese that is orange and yellowish-white, the orange probably being a bland Cheddar and the white . . . Mozzarella, although it could possibly be Provolone or just plain American, as it really doesn't taste distinctly dissimilar from the orange, yet they would have you believe it does by coloring it differently.

The rules can be found on their home page...but they are relatively simple. Write the opening line for a fictional novel...make it bad...but make it enjoyably bad. Longer is not necessarily better, but it seems they do tend to favour longer entries...but be careful on your punctuation...there's only so many words you can string together before it gets too monotonous. Monotonous doesn't cut it...badly well written does.

So, do you have what it takes to make the cut? Cut might not be the best choice of words...don't cut...but rather elaborate. Can you write famously bad...to get 14 minutes of fame? All forms of glory can be headed your way...I was interviewed on CNN Live (yes, in the daytime)...and a bunch of other radio/tv stations from California to Australia...I showed up on over 7000 hits on Google...more than Alex Trebek; less than Mel Gibson...my name and entry was in newpapers, literally from Albania to Zimbabwe...I even made the front page of USA Today. In a nutshell, I loved it...can you tell? Okay, so Letterman never called...and Conan O'Brien's people said I probably couldn't fill up six minutes of airtime. Uh huh...right. And Craig Ferguson wasn't around yet...what a pity. But I do try my best to get the word out to people who might not necessarily know about the contest because it really was both a fun experience and an honour to be chosen. Thank you again, Scott Rice.

(Professor Scott Rice, of San Jose University, is the originator of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest which has been running continually since 1982.)


  1. Well done. There's a certain cachet in being the best at the worst.

  2. See, now I've always aimed at being the worst at the best. I may have to rethink my strategy! :-)

  3. I believe Snoopy was the first winner.

  4. It is indeed a cheese plug. :)

  5. Hmm, that was a gouda one! ;)

  6. This is the best worst 30M2DoW entry ever! (I have no idea whether I just complimented or slammed you.)

  7. Gouda entry :) I like it, and I look forward to reading more of these as the month progresses.

  8. Sounds like fun. I'm off to check it out. I pride myself on writing as badly as anyone out there! :)

  9. It's day one and you are already resorting to copying and pasting? Congratulations. You beat us all to it. :)

  10. I remember reading this classic post a long time ago. As good/bad as your winning entry was, I was always a big fan of that long introductory sentence. I had forgotten all about this entry until now, so I'm glad you've guided us back to it so that we got to rediscover it.

  11. Winning. It allows you to cut the cheese anytime, anywhere.

    Happy Gouday!

  12. Oh yes, that was definitely the best of the worst!

  13. Yes...I manage to post this up every year...somewhere, somehow. It was time and the prompt was right.

  14. I am attempting to follow in your illustrious footsteps. I entered the contest this year. I'm not sure if winning would be a good thing or a bad thing, though. I would think including it in your resume might give some folks (folks without a sense of humor, of course) the wrong idea.

  15. Gouda for you, Jim! (Sorry.) I'd love to see your name up there as the winner. :)

    Yeah, I know what you mean about the resume thing.

  16. That was truly awful. You totally deserved that award.

  17. You know what i loved the best? "Yeah, I know that might sound cheesy..." That made me smile! Question... is that SMOKED babybel? I am used to seeing the red... I can't imagine a smoked one!

  18. You've cheesed me by posting old posts. :)

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