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09/20/2002 Entry: "Men Are From Mars"

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.

"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 of my English students: Rebecca (last name deleted), and Gary (last name deleted).

THE STORY:

(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 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.

(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 round 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 FUCKING TEA??? Oh
no, I'm such an air headed bimbo who reads too many Danielle Steele novels."

(Rebecca)
Asshole.

(Gary)
Bitch.

(Rebecca)
DICK!

(Gary)
Slut.

(Rebecca)
Get fucked.

(Gary)
Eat shit.

(Rebecca)
FUCK YOU - YOU NEANDERTHAL!!!

(Gary)
Go drink some tea - whore.

(TEACHER)
A+ - I really liked this one.

Replies: 1 Comment

loved this one, and linked it to my blog. Still laughing about it.
thanx for sourcing it.

Posted by stranger @ 09/22/2002 03:01 PM PST

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