A Maligned Sentence

It was a dark and stormy night. What a maligned phrase we have there. In High School Mrs. Morris, our English teacher, pointed out that it was night, what else could it be? It is always dark at night. Being a dumb kid I nodded my head and went on through life. It was later I learned that nights were not always dark. No, not at all.

For people in our modern times with electricity, it seems dark out there. Nothing is darker than a dark place right after you have been in a lit-up place. Give the nighttime and you will develop the ability to see. Kinda of. You won’t be able to see colors. But you will have “visual purple” or “rhodopsin that builds up and you can see better in the dark. Commonly known as dark adaptation. In the light of the stars, no moonlight, never any moonlight at a star party, I would walk around just by the light of the stars. I could see the bushes, the roadway, everything I needed. Bright out the moon and it was even brighter. So bright that when I was camping in White Sands, New Mexico, I read a book. It was that bright. You could have the same effect on a white sand beach.

So no, it is not necessarily dark in the nighttime. A dark night is special. That talks about clouds. Clouds to block the light from the stars and moon. Add some rain, Then you have darkness. A dark and stormy night. You want darkness, you want stormy add them together and you have one proper dark and stormy night.

But we have Bulwer-Lytton still known for The Dark and Stormy Night. There is an annual contest of people writing their worst first sentences to books that are never written. This years winner (??) was:

A lecherous sunrise flaunted itself over a flatulent sea, ripping the obsidian bodies of night asunder with its rapacious fingers of gold, thus exposing her dusky bosom to the dawn’s ogling stare.

– Stu Duval, Auckland

It does not have the spare seven words employed by Bulwer-Lytton’s namesake. It does go on for a bit there. There are other categories Western, Vile Puns, Historical Fiction, Adventure to name a few.

It was (not) a dark and stormy night. Not tonight here. The moon is waning. Just a night or two ago, it was in three-quarters. If you were up at three or four in the morning you could see it shining light into your home.

Side note, I usually fill up my car on the last or first day of a month. Not this month. My wife told me the average driver in the US spends $250 for a month of gas. I have used four gallons of gas, about $15 worth. I can got through that same amount next month. So I will try. Two months, one tank.

— MichaelRpdx :: rkmm

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