You know that book Men are trom Mars, Women from Venus? Wail, here' s a prime example
of that. This assignment was actually turned in by two of my English students: Rebecca hast
name deleted) and Gary [last name deleted).
First, the Assignment:
Assignment for Wed nastay:
Today we will experiment with a new mun called the tandem story. The process is simple.
Each person will pair oft 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 rebread what has been written each time in order to
keep the story coherent. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached.
And now, the Assignment as submitted by Rebeca & Gary:
At first, Laurie couldn' t decide which Rind of tea she wanted. The camomile, which used to be
her favourite for lazy evenings at home, new reminded her too much of Carl, who once said,
in happier times, that he liked camomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her
mind off can His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much
her asthma started acting up again. So camomile was out of the question.
Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant can Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over
Salon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an bareheaded,
asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago.
As. Harris to Gasstation ff," he said into his transatlantic communicator. "Polar orbit
established, No sign of resistance so far..." But before he could sign oft, 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 tor brutalising 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 Abolishing War and Space Traver",
Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news 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.
Lime did she know, but she has less than IO seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the
city, the Anu' Adrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dim-
witted, wimpy percent's who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace Disarmament Treaty through
Congress had left Earth a defenceless 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' Adrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverise the
entire planet. With no one to stop them, they swiftly Initiated their diabolical plan.
The lithium tuscon missile entered the atmosphere The President, In his top-
secret headquarters on the ocean Mor oft the Guam, teit the
massive explosion which Laurie and 85 other Amercians.
The President slammed his tast on the turttle. "We ttchtt' t allow INS! I' M going to
veto that treaty! Lees blow 'ern out of the sky!"
This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent,
Yeah'? Well, you' re a , tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary
equivalent of Valium.
Rebe ma: Assh ole.