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An email from my friend Rick. I thought it was pretty funny.


Remember the book “Men are from Mars, Women are from

Venus”? Well, here’s a prime example offered by an

English professor at Arizona State 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.


(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.



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.



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!”



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-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.”















Get fucked.



Eat shit.






Go drink some tea – whore.



A+ – I really liked this one.

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