Despite my poorest efforts —

Teenage superspy Jimmy Stone rolled his eyes, which was not the wisest course of action, as by the time he retrieved them from the other side of the craps table, the monomaniacal villain that had been within his sights had fled the casino and already made it halfway out of Monte Carlo.

In retrospect, “Nights in White Satin” had been a poor choice for prom theme, as it stains easily, and — even when unsullied — is slippery and thus difficult to fold and put away at the end of the dance.

— I did not win the 2012 Bulwer-Lytton contest. (For the uninitiated: “Since 1982 the English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels.)

Ah, well. Worse luck next year, right?