It is time to report the winners of a few competitions we ran over the last several months – Worst Sex Scene in a Contemporary Novel, Worst Sentence in a Modern Novel, and of course, Worst Rhyme in Rock and Roll History.
Today’s post includes:
- Much focus-group-tested humor
- A sincere mea culpa.
- All the trenchant social commentary you have come to expect from The Rotting Post.
Let’s begin with the mea culpa, which relates to the “Worst Sex Scene in a Contemporary Novel” competition.
This was won, by a clear majority, by Elizabeth McKenzie’s, “The Portable Veblen”. Here is a partial excerpt:
…he…saw himself as a master Tillamook Cheddar Log, Millie as the pliant grater beneath, a Cheddar who wanted to be grated, a grater who wanted to be Cheddared, and even still he managed it, until he was melting all over her as Cheddar will do…
The thing is, “The Portable Veblen,” really was a perfectly fine book. Mrs. Rotting Post genuinely enjoyed it, and she’s a highly critical reader (I say this from much personal experience). What’s more, the book does not take itself too seriously, nor is the author a part of the annointed literary royalty that is so irresistible to poke fun at. Out of a welling sense of guilt, I emailed the author and asked if she wanted to comment on winning the award. Her reply was both funny and deserved.
Here is Elizabeth McKenzie’s response:
“Winning the Worst Sex Scene in a Modern Novel competition is truly a great honor. I would like to thank my parents, my wonderful agent and editor, my first boyfriend, his dealer, and mostly, all who read the scene out of context and were thus unable to determine that the hideous, burlesque hallucinations rose out of an accidental acid trip visited on the youths by Paul’s hippie parents!”
Ugh! Mrs. Post read this and started giving me that horrid, high-chinned, “tsk, tsk” look. So, mea cupla! And good luck to you, Ms. McKenzie, with, “The Portable Veblen and all your future writing endeavors.
From this day forward, I pledge to use my snark only for good and never again for evil. I will reserve it for Tom Wolfe and Nicole Krauss.
Next we come to our, “Worst Sentence in a Contemporary Novel,” competition.
The Worst Sentence , according to the Nobel Committee – sorry, I mean according to the Rotting Post readers – was won by Arundhati Roy’s, “The God of Small Things,” for this little marvel of mangled metaphor:
Though, on the one hand, he was taken by surprise, on the other, he knew, had known, with an ancient instinct, that one day History’s twisted chickens would come home to roost.
I have to admit, I was really pulling for Nicole Krauss in “Great House”. Sorry, Nicole. You came in second, which is really not so bad. I will nominate you again next year. I promise.
(NEWS FLASH: Nicole Krauss has refused to concede! She says the whole competition was rigged from the start and that “Great House” contained literally hundreds of sentences worse than that one about the twisted chickens of history!).
Finally, we come to our beloved, “Most Painful Rhyme in Rock-and-Roll History” competition
While we did not really receive votes on this one, many astute readers offered their own extremely worthy suggestions.
Here are a few favorites that were submitted via the comments:
Kia pointed out that Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s “You Turn Me On” has the memorable line,
Every day a little madder, a little sadder, someone get me a ladder.
I really, really loved this one. Just reading it makes me gladder that I’m not an adder. Thank you, Kia.
LosLorenzo nominated Lenny Kravitz’s “Fly Away for the admirable:
I wish that I could fly
Into the sky
So very high
Just like a dragonfly
A few commenters took exception to, “Take the Money and Run,” by The Steve Miller Band, though there was no consensus on which was the worst lyric in the song. There are so many to choose from. This couplet was deemed particularly odious:
You know he knows just exactly what the facts is
..He makes his living off of the people’s taxes
John pointed to a couple of repetitions masquerading as rhymes. From Foreigner’s ‘Hot Blooded’:
You don’t have to read my mind
To know what I have in mind
And Christopher Cross’s, ‘Arthur’:
Living his life one day at a time
And he’s showing himself a pretty good time
In a similar vein, Deborah noted Rick Ross’ song Holy Ghost:
My teacher told me that I was a piece of shit
Seen her the other day, driving a piece of shit
Note to songwriters of the world: Words don’t rhyme with themselves!
Anonymous found this beauty from Eminem:
Chicks they come and chicks they go
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Yo
Which actually reminds me of the beginning of Springsteen’s, “Hungry Heart”:
Got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack
We went out for a ride and we never came back.
Yo! Who the hell is Jack?
Michael Arsham pointed to these lines from Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan:
Depart from me this moment
I told her with my voice
Said she “But I don’t wish to”
Said I “But you have no choice”
Dylan and Springsteen fans: Yes, I know they are great song-writers. But I have to agree with the Michael here. “I told her with my voice”? What else would you tell her with? Not your best, Mr. Nobel Guy.
Many thanks to all who commented. Except for the dude who defended, “How is the weather”, in “Happy Together,” by the Turtles, and who found it incredible that I did not understand the pained, forlorn, poignant cry that is the true meaning of this line, and who proceeded to question in what part of my anatomy my thought-processes took place.
Okay, okay, thanks to him too! I was wrong. I just didn’t understand the profound meaning of, “How is the weather”! It’s a brilliant, heart-rending, soulful line of lyric poetry.
Well, that is our report.
Shall we make these annual competitions? What do you think? We could call them the Twisted Chicken awards. Unless someone has a better suggestion.
And remember…if you run into bad writing, bad rhyming, artsy, pedantic crap of any sort, please send it to us.
Remember, at The Rotting Post, Pretentious Drivel is what we’re all about!