The Worst Of The ‘Best’ From The Beijinger’s 6-Word Contest Really Are The Best

The Beiinger had a neat idea for a six-word contest last month, and in this month’s issue the editors have chosen their “50 best” entries. Leave it to the judges to spoil a good idea… OR MAKE IT AWESOME! We weren’t going to do this, but, well, here it is: below, unedited, the 20 worst of the Beijinger’s “50 best.” (And lest you think I’m just bitter that my entries weren’t chosen… you’re right. I’ve included my three submissions at the bottom for public ridicule.)

Love pollution. May I have another?

Taste of Beijing? 350 API, yuck!
who needs air, pollution is delicious
Got out, breathed in, threw up.
Lungs dying anyways. Why not smoke?
Grey skies get under your skin.
Beige skies, gray roofs, pink lights
Black sky; gray moon; red stars.
I love Beijing — it’s killing me

This one’s so good it doesn’tneedtobesixwords.

500pm: blue sky with Chinese characteristics

I get it. Chinese speak Chinglish.

hello new friend bag you want?


Lao wai looka looka yangrou chuanr

You missed an apostrophe.

Its been downhill since the Olympics

You misspelled apocalyptic. 

Lonely. Neon. Fetid. Post-Apocolyptic. Horse burgers.

Because Ni Hao means hello. Ahhh.

You had me at Ni Hao.

I don’t understand the lowercase i.

i just don’t understand other laowais

You seem confused: hipster or bro?

bro, fengtai is the new dongcheng


Subway snail, crushing crowds, glazed glances

Just plain bad.

Civilised Chaoyang? Spit Spit Beep Beep.
Ring roads wrapped around red ruins
Duffle coat resplendent while dumpling dependent

My submissions:

Accidentally lost my livelihood. Chai happens.
Peking Restaurant: world’s best, with caveats.
Mandarin is best shaken, not stirred.

    6 Responses to “The Worst Of The ‘Best’ From The Beijinger’s 6-Word Contest Really Are The Best”

      • Jonathan Lethem

        C’mon man, some of those on the full-page-spread are inspired. General tao’s just being pedantic – though his caveat restaurant maybe deserved to get a mention.

        • The Tao

          In all fairness, I did quite like: “English teacher’s party! See you their!” and “Dao! Dao! Dao! Dao…Dao…Hao!”

          One man’s pedantry is another man’s punctuation? “it’s not alcoholism it’s just Beijing” lost a point in my book for the missing comma; otherwise, not bad either.

    1. Terri

      He’s got a point. If those are the 50 best, what were the 50 worst?

      Take: “stuck in traffic, might be late” That reads like a boilerplate text message. How about “going to shop, need anything? – John”

      “Faces stare at what they’re not”. What? Is that a misplaced rock lyric?

      Then there’s the lyrical fails like “Bicycles in a jigsaw of hutongs” (yawn!) and the last four not-know-where-to-look bad atrocities… that’s their BEST?!


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