Saturday, April 26, 2008

"It Was a Dark and Stormy Night"

One of my favorite regular features in Home Education magazine is their "Good Stuff" segment. It is always based on a theme and the author recommends various resources to learn more about the chosen theme. This month's theme was "Wretched Writers Welcome" based on the The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest in which participants compete to write the first sentence of the world's most dreadful novel. (You can read more about that in the article.) One of the recommended resources was a game called "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night", a board game of first lines, in which players move their pieces around a board, trying to identify titles and authors from the first line of a well-known book (or movie). I love board games and I love books so this sounded like the perfect game for me! Sadly the $50 price tag is rather more than I can justify spending on a board game. However, as the last line of the article says: "...don't forget that adroit homeschoolers with a handy pack of index cards can always invent first-line games of their own." And so came the idea for this post.

In this version of the game, anything is fair game for first lines; books, movies, songs, operas, plays, etc. I tried to choose lines from media that a larger number of people would have been exposed to, just to be fair. There are 30 lines. I'll post the answers tomorrow, and, if you'd like, you can post how many you got correct, along with your favorite first line that I didn't include here. Enjoy and good luck!

1. One thing was certain, that the white kitten had had nothing to do with it: - it was the black kitten's fault entirely.

2. Oh yeah, I’ll tell you something, I think you'll understand.

3. Did you hear that? They shut down the main reactor. We’ll be destroyed for sure. This is madness.

4. Is this the little girl I carried, Is this the little boy at play?

5. Five little puppies dug a hole under the fence and went for a walk in the wide, wide world.

6. All the leaves are brown, And the sky is grey

7. Help! Oh help! Or else I am lost, a certain victim of the cunning serpent.

8. Buddy you’re a boy make a big noise Playin in the street gonna be a big man some day

9. True! – Nervous- very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?

10. Friday night and the lights are low Looking out for the place to go

11. It was the middle of winter, and the snowflakes were falling like feathers from the sky, and the queen sat at her window working, and her embroidery-frame was of ebony.

12. Load up on guns. Bring your friends. It's fun to lose and to pretend. She's overborne and self-assured. Oh no, I know a dirty word

13. In the high and far-off times the elephant, oh best beloved, had no trunk.

14. All children, except one, grow up.

15. It's been seven hours and fifteen days Since you took your love away

16. It was a pleasure to burn.

17. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

18. We were at a party. His ear lobe fell in the deep. Someone reached in and grabbed it

19. Dismount! Herman’s horse-sick!

20. When shall we three meet again in thunder, lightning, or in rain?

21. I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful.

22. See the stone set in your eyes. See the thorn twist in your side

23. This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it.

24. March went out like a lion Awakin' up the water in the bay;

25. Ah, there it is. My house. And good old Cleveland Street. How could I ever forget it?

26. How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man?

27. All right, ladies and gents, comical poems suitable for the occasion, extemporized and thought up before your very eyes.

28. The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee.

29. Whoa there! Halt! Who goes there?

30. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.


Amy said...

Wow, I might only know for sure 3 of these. Another one sounds kind of familiar, but I can't place it. I can't wait for the answers.

benspendlove said...

Hey, I got like almost half of them! (Some of which were because I read some of the answers before I read the questions, thinking "What are these the answers to?"