In the Beginning…

What if some of us are famous, someday? What if one of us has JUST THIS SECOND become famous, or is famously becoming famous… and we just don’t know it?

What is the sound of one person becoming famous? Clapping?

Setting aside the good, the bad, and the ugly cliches about whether or not being famous is a good, bad, or ugly thing, let’s pretend:

You are a famous author (chicken farmer, beekeeper, astronaut, whatever you are, how-the-hell-should-I-know-what-you-are?), and someone not quite as famously famous — a journalist, perhaps — asks you:

What’s your favorite opening line from a book?”

Could happen. Chicken farmers read.

Shouldn’t you be ready for that question? And have clean underwear?

I have clean underwear. It’s in my pocket. So I’m ready, just not for that question. I have too many favorite opening lines. Some of them aren’t even from my favorite books. Here’s one, which actually is from one of my favorite books, Terry Jones’s Lady Cottington’s Pressed Fairy Book:

Nanna wuldnt bleive me.

Here’s another all-around favorite, from The House at Pooh Corner:

One day when Pooh Bear had nothing else to do, he thought he would do something, so he went round to Piglet’s house to see what Piglet was doing.

And then there’s:

This is the tale of a meeting of two lonesome, skinny, fairly old white men on a planet which was dying fast.

(Breakfast of Champions)


“To be born again,” sang Gilbreel Farishta tumbling from the heavens, “first you have to die.”

(The Satanic Verses)


It was love at first sight.


Of course, this one is on lots of people’s lists:

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

(Pride and Prejudice)

I shan’t forget my beloved Alice in Wonderland. I shan’t!:

Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do; once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, “and what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures and conversations?”

Then there’s this opening line, which tells so… so much in so few words:

When Jamie was home, May Rose felt safe.

(The Girl on the Mountain)

But I might (just might) have to vote for The Catcher in the Rye, which is not one of my most favorite books, but it is a classic for good reason and I just love the opening:

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it.

My favorite part of that is “how my parents were occupied”. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is that, like all good chicken farmers, I might be famous someday. And so might you. So start making your lists now, fellow future famous folks. If you want, you can share them now, and here. Just for practice. I bet these guys practiced.

After all, we must be ready for anything. Even questionable questions about our underwear.

6 responses

  1. If anyone asked this chicken farmer what her favorite blog post was, I’d have to say this one. 😉

  2. Thanks, Harlow. (If I may call you Harlow, and if it is indeed your name.) I hope you’ve started on your list!

  3. Reblogged this on Carol Ervin's Author Site and commented:
    Here’s another profound and witty post from author Lindy Moone. What if you become famous? Get your answers ready!

  4. Not only do I have it remembered, it’s tattooed on me. So I have no excuses. “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.” From The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, meaning “Don’t let the bastards grind you down.”

  5. Excellent. You are ready. And don’t let the bastards win!

    If I had to pick one of mine, above, for a tattoo, it would be “Nanna wuldnt bleive me,” over a colorfully squashed fairy. I’m tickled at the thought that a typo-crazed maniac such as myself would have three misspellings in one misguided tattoo.

    There’s at least one typo in the present ebook of Hyperlink. When I found it, I may have shrieked and clenched my fists at the heavens. I may have screamed, “Oh, the humanity!”… before fainting from shame. (I may not have, too.)

  6. “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit”

    That one gets the gold medal IMHO. Raises so many questions, you don’t even know where to start.

    Plus, Tolkien was the first serious reading I ever did, and that led to writing, and the rest is history 😀

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