A resident of Madison Wisconsin, Jim Gleeson is the winner of the Twenty-fifth Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest recognizing the worst opening sentence of an imaginary novel that is yet to be written, named after the author of the novel, Paul Clifford, with its memorable introductory line, "It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents," and awarded by the English Department of San Jose State University, the quaint community at the south end of San Francisco Bay, immortalized in the Burt Bachrach penned hit sung by Dionne Warwick, "Do You Know the Way to San Jose" which lacks a question mark at the end of the title, but does not leave us questioning the good judgment of well-paid Golden State faculty members who honored our fellow Badger.
What asked to what he attributed his prowess in terrible writing, Gleeson "credited his college with preparing him well."
Gleeson's winning entry was:
Gerald began — but was interrupted by a piercing whistle which cost him ten percent 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.
Waxing America was unable to contact Gleeson but we feverishly hope that he attended a public Wisconsin university at taxpayers expense and that all of this makes Steve Nass crazy.