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Remember the book "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus"? Here's a
prime example, offered by an English professor at an American
university. THE LESSON The professor announced to his class, "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. There is to be
absolutely NO talking and anything you wish to say must be written on
the paper. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been
reached." The following was actually turned in by two English students,
Rebecca and
Gary:

(first paragraph by Rebecca)
At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The
chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now
reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he
liked chamomile. 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 chamomile was out
of the question. (second paragraph by Gary)
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 Geostation17," 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.
(Rebecca)
He bumped his head and died almost immediately but not before he felt one
last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever
had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless
hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. "Congress Passes Law
Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel," Laurie read in her newspaper
one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared
out the window, dreaming of her youth, when the days had passed unhurriedly
and carefree, with no newspapers to read, no television to distract her
from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her.
"Why must one lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she pondered
wistfully.
(Gary)
Little did she know, but she had 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 the Congress had left Earth
a defenseless 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
pulverize 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 vaporized poor, stupid, 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!"
(Rebecca)
This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing
partner is a violent, chauvinistic semi-literate adolescent.
(Gary)
Yeah? Well, you're a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at
writing are the literary equivalent of Valium. "Oh shall I have chamomile
tea? Or shall I have some other sort of ****ING TEA??? Oh no, I'm such an
air headed bimbo who reads too many Danielle Steele novels."
(Rebecca)
Asshole.
(Gary)
*****.
(Rebecca)
DICK!
(Gary)
Slut.
(Rebecca)
Get ****ed.
(Gary)
You wish; eat shit.
(Rebecca)
**** YOU - YOU NEANDERTHAL!!!
(Gary)
Go drink some tea - *****.
(TEACHER)
A+ - I really liked this one.
open minds open worlds

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