Sunday, April 17, 2005

Men and women just can't stop arguing - even in fictional life!

Thanks to Rich Lopez for sending me this interesting anecdote from a writing school...

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Remember the book "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus"?

Here's a prime example offered by an English professor from the University
of Phoenix:

"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 English students:

Rebecca and Gary.



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 around 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
peace-nics 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 F--KING TEA???

Oh no, I'm such an air headed bimbo who reads; too many Danielle Steele
novels!"



---------------------------------------------------------


(Rebecca)

Bastard!



---------------------------------------------------------


(Gary)

Bitch.



-------------------------------------------------------


(Rebecca)

DICK!



--------------------------------------------------------


(Gary)

Slut.



--------------------------------------------------------


(Rebecca)

F__K YOU - YOU NEANDERTHAL!!!



--------------------------------------------------------


(Gary)

Go drink some tea - whore.

**********************************************

(TEACHER)



A+ - I really liked this one. Only group to get an A.





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Woo hoo! Where's that Pulitzer Prize entry form? That bitching I did yesterday about footpumps could be a winner! Chamomile tea and orbiting destroyer craft ... what a cozy twosome...

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