Without further ado, the opening lines from each story in Sam Lipsyte’s collection Venus Drive, quantified (I swear I thought of this concept before I read Sean Lovelace’s Mary Miller post on Friday):
You could touch for a couple of bucks.
Here’s Hilda with the big blind eyes.
Daddy can’t stand the kikes.
Everybody wanted everything to be gleaming again, or maybe they just wanted their evening back.
I can’t remember the name of the camp.
Someday, I shit you not, we are going to smash the state.
Gary gets to pick a park.
“Do you want to see it?”
Lucky for me I get a Larry tonight.
There were marks in it, divots in it, a feathering of weals and burns.
The building where I work used to be a bank.
The crazy thing is I’m not even Jewish.
Out on the street I’m thinking, “Who needs life, people?”
Average number of words: 9
Maximum number of words: 15
Minimum number of words: 5
Names of characters: 2
References to Judaism: 2
Bits of dialogue: 1
Statements with a version of “I”: 6