A TRUE STORY RECEIVED FROM AN ENGLISH PROFESSOR
You know that book Men are from Mars, Women from Venus? Well, here's a prime example of that. This assignment was actually turned in by two of my English students: Rebecca (last name deleted) and Gary (last name deleted).
First, the Assignment:
In-class Assignment for Wednesday:
Today we will experiment with a new form called the tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting to his or her immediate right. One of you will then write the first paragraph of a short story. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back and forth. Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached.
And now, the Assignment as submitted by Rebecca & Gary:
At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The camomile, which used to be her favourite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked camomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So camomile was out of the question.
Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed, asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago.
"A.S. Harris to Geostation 17," he said into his transgalactic communicator. "Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far..." But before he could sign off, a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.
He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but
not before he felt one
"Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War
and Space Travel",
Little did she know, but she has less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dim-witted, wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace Disarmament Treaty through Congress had left Earth a defenceless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty, the Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverise the entire planet. With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan.
The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion which vaporised Laurie and 85 million other Americans. The President slammed his fist on the conference table. "We can't allow this! I'm going to veto that treaty! Let's blow 'em out of the sky!"
This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic, semi-literate adolescent.
Yeah? Well, you're a self-centred, tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium.
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