By Jug Varner

The month of August 2002 will complete the first year of JUG'S JOURNAL. I find it hard to believe that 11 months slipped by me so fast, but I do enjoy writing these little musings.

Mostly they are merely my own slant on things, but occasionally I receive items from others that I like to personally pass along to you, such as the one that follows. My good friend and local area writer Bob Quinn passed it to me.

Bob is one of many WW-2 veterans who joined the service before he was of legal age to do so — and got by with it. He is a Navy veteran, a retired IBM executive, and now in a rising career as an author of several books — one of which is entitled, “Damon.” You can read my review of it in the BOOK REVIEWS section.

My own sense of humor differs somewhat from the rating given by the selection panel judges - and yours probably will, too. The number at the end of each opening line is how I would have rated them.


Victorian author Edward George Bulwer-Lytton is famous (or infamous) for writing the novel that began, “It was a dark and stormy night.”

Each year an English writers group holds a Bulwer-Lytton contest see who can write the best bad first line for a really bad novel.

The following are the top ten winners of this year's contest. :

As a scientist, Throckmorton knew if he were to ever break wind in the echo chamber, he would never hear the end of it. (2)

Just beyond the Narrows, the river widens. (10)

With a curvaceous figure that Venus would have envied, a tanned, unblemished oval face framed with lustrous thick brown hair, deep azure blue eyes fringed with long black lashes, perfect teeth that vied for competition, and a small straight nose, Marilee had a beauty that defied description. (3)

Andre, a simple peasant, had only one thing on his mind as he crept along the East wall: “Andre creep”…”Andre creep”…”Andre creep.” (9)

Stanislaus Smedley, a man always on the cutting edge of narcissism, was about to give his body and soul to a back-alley sex-change surgeon to become the woman he loved. (4)

Although Sarah had an abnormal fear of mice, it did not keep her from “eeking” out a living. (8)

Stanley looked quite bored and somewhat detached, but then penguins often do. (7)

Like an overripe beefsteak tomato rimmed with cottage cheese, the corpulent remains of Santa Claus lay dead on the hotel floor. (6)

Mike Hardware was the kind of private eye who didn't know the meaning of the word fear, a man who could laugh in the face of danger and spit in the eye of death — in short, a moron with suicidal tendencies. (1)

With sticky fingers, the amphibian had entered through the castle window, the dawn's light revealing the pillaged princess-her hand at her throat, crown asunder, gaping in frenzied horror at the sated sodden amphibian lying beside her, and, unable to comprehend the magnitude of the frog's deception, she screamed madly, “You lied!” (5)

How would you have rated them?