We've just learned that advertisers have purchased the rights to several classic novels and are planning to incorporate some product placement in the new versions. I consider this an abomination. Take a look at these rebooted classic openers:
# 1. Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851)
Original: Call me Ishmael.
New: Call me, Ishmael, using your free weekend plan from the folks at Cingular, the new AT&T.
# 2. Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813)
Original: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
New: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of Good Year snow tires, now just $99.99.
# 3. Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (1955)
Original: Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins.
New: Velveeta, light of my life, fire of my loins.
# 4. Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)
Original: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.
New: Now is the best of times to buy slacks at the Men's Wearhouse.
# 5. Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)
Original: It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the house-tops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.
New: It was a dark and stormy night. Luckily, we just had Phillip and Sons install their custom aluminum siding to the house. Ask about their gutter guards!
# 6. Joseph Heller, Catch-22 (1961)
Original: It was love at first sight.
New: Thanks to my new Lenscrafters glasses, in about an hour, it was love at first sight.