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Published July 15, 2010 More Info »
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Published July 15, 2010
Offered by an English professor from the University of Phoenix . The professor told his class one day, "Today we will experiment with a new form called thetandem story. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with theperson sitting to his or her immediate right. As homework tonight, oneof you will write the first paragraph of a short story. You will e-mailyour partner that paragraph and send another copy to me. The partner willread the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story and sendit back, also sending another copy to me. The first person will then add athird paragraph, and so on back-and-forth.  Remember to re-read what hasbeen written each time in order to keep the story coherent. There is tobe absolutely NO talking outside of the e-mails and anything you wish tosay must be written in the e-mail. The story is over when both agree aconclusion has been reached." The following was actually turned in by two of his English students:Rebecca and Gary. ------------------------------------------- THE STORY (first paragraph by Rebecca) At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. Thechamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, nowreminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that heliked chamomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mindoff Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about himtoo much her asthma started acting up again. So chamomile was out of thequestion. (second paragraph by Gary ) Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadronnow in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about thanthe neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he hadspent one sweaty night over a year ago. "A.S. Harris to Geostation 17,"he said into his transgalactic communicator. "Polar orbit established. Nosign of resistance so far..." But before he could sign off a bluishparticle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship's cargobay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and acrossthe cockpit. (Rebecca) He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he feltone last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who hadever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointlesshostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. "Congress PassesLaw Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel," Laurie read in hernewspaper one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her.  Shestared out the window, dreaming of her youth, when the days had passedunhurriedly and carefree, with no newspaper to read, no television to distract herfrom her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her."Why must one lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she wonderedwistfully. ( Gary ) Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live. Thousandsof miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership launched the first ofits lithium fusion missiles. The dim-witted wimpy peaceniks who pushed theUnilateral Aerospace disarmament Treaty through the congress had leftEarth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determinedto destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treatythe Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower topulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them, they swiftlyinitiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered theatmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret mobile submarineheadquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam , felt theinconceivably massive explosion, which vaporized poor, stupid Laurie. (Rebecca) This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. Mywriting partner is a violent, chauvinistic semi-literate adolescent. ( Gary ) Yeah? Well, my writing partner is a self-centered tedious neurotic whoseattempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium. "Oh, shall Ihave 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 who reads too many DanielleSteele novels!" (Rebecca) Asshole! ( Gary ) Bitch! (Rebecca) F**K YOU - YOU NEANDERTHAL! ( Gary ) Go drink some tea - whore.   (TEACHER) A+ - I really liked this one.