One or two lines usually stand out in books that are frontrunners for the Delete Key Awards for bad writing, the shortlist for which will be announced on Feb. 26. Then there’s Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid. (Viking, 240 pp., $26.95) by the comedian and Rescue Me star Denis Leary. You could practically tape pages from this one to a wall, throw darts, and come up with a winner.
Can you help to select the worst line from among the many worthies in the book? Some of the candidates appear below. (In entry No. 4, asterisks replace words likely get this post blocked by library filters.)
1 “I’ll take five Anna Nicole Smiths for every Martin Luther King.”
2 “I don’t know a living man on this planet who DOESN’T have attention deficit disorder or spends [sic] at least twelve hours of each day thinking about his penis.”
3 “The women [at the gym]? Paired off on adjacent treadmills or elliptical trainers – yak yakkety yick yak yic, yic yickety, yawbeddy jawbeddy – jic jak yick. Yicketty yacketty blah blah blah.”
4 “Which is why I walk around now just wishing I could grab every other mouthy, misbehaved, spoiled and rotten little urchin I come across in airports and restaurants and just when I’m walking down the street – kids who are throwing snit fits in public as their disinterested or seemingly powerless parents stand off to the side and let the rest of us listen to the whining – I just once wanna grab them HARD by the flesh on their twiggy upper arms, that soft flesh that really hurts – and I mean grab them bruise-inducing, five-finger-indentation-left-behind hard – and whisper Clint Eastwood–style in their dirty little ear: Listen up and listen fast, punk, ’cause I’m only saying this one ****** time: yer gonna shut the **** up right now and start doing what yer dumb*** mom and dad say from here on in or a special van is gonna pull up one day and just pluck you right off the ****** street and drop your *** on a plane to Iraq where you will be dropped out of the sky with nuthin’ but a parachute and a bag of white rice – no cash, no toys, no more SpongeBob Square***– ya follow?”
I’d hoped to do this post as a poll, using the new WordPress polling tool PollDaddy, so you could vote anonymously. But after signing up for the required PollDaddy account, requesting help on the Forums, and contacting an unresponsive WordPress Support, I still can’t get the poll to work. Are you a WordPress.com blogger who has used PollDaddy? If so, I’d love advice. (None of the suggestions on the Forums works for me.) I’d like to poll visitors about another author early next week. Thank you!
The Feb. 24, 2008, post has questions and answers about the annual Delete Key Awards.
© 2009 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.