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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 the

tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the

person sitting to his or her immediate right. 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 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 outside of 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:

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



(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 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 wondered



( 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.




This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My

writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic semi-literate adolescent.


( Gary )


Yeah? Well, my writing partner is 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 F**KING TEA??? Oh no,

what am I to do? I'm such an air headed bimbo who reads too many Danielle

Steele novels!"






( Gary )








( Gary )


Go drink some tea - whore.






A+ - I really liked this one.