A Creative Writing professor from the University of Colorado told his class one day (an actual class assignment):
“Today we will experiment with a new form called tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting next to his or her desk.
As homework tonight, one of you will write the first paragraph of a short story. You will e–mail your partner that paragraph and send another copy to me. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story and send it back, also sending another copy to me. The first person will 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 outside the e-mails and anything you wish to say must be written in the e-mail. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached.”
The following was actually turned in by two of his English students:
(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 Bill)
Meanwhile, Advanced 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 on 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 immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for physically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feeling for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. “Congress Passes Laws 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 newspaper 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.
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 dimwitted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace Disarmament Treaty had left the Earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after 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 even poor, stupid Laurie.
This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic semi-literate adolescent.
Yeah? Well, my writing partner is a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are literally the equivalent of Valium. “Oh, shall I have chamomile tea? Or shall I have some other sort of F@#KING TEA??? Oh no, what am I to do? I’m such an air headed bimbo. I guess I’ve read too many Danielle Steele novels!”
F@#* YOU _ YOU NEANDERTHAL!!
In your dreams, Ho. Go drink some tea.
A+ – I really liked this one.