Saturday, 16 August 2008

Men are from Mars, wimmin are from the hairdressers...

Here's a prime example of 'Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus' offered by an English professor from the University of Phoenix .

The professor told his class one day, 'Today we will experiment w ith 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.

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

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 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 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 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.

(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, 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!'

(Rebecca)

Asshole!

(Gary)

Bitch!

(Rebecca)

F**K YOU - YOU NEANDERTHAL!

(Gary)

Go drink some tea - whore.



(TEACHER)

A+ I really liked this one

19 comments:

Ossian said...

It does make a good read. I like to think that one good satirist could have written the whole thing. Satirists are from Mercury.

Vanessa Gebbie said...

I gather this has been orbiting for a few years... Ive just caught up with it! I am from a lesser known moon of Saturn.

Women Rule Writer said...

I'm with Rebecca, whether she's real or fictional.

Vanessa Gebbie said...

I'm with them both, and would not have had them in the same class in the first place!

Douglas Bruton said...

I think there's a subtext here, something going on between the lines of Gary and Rebecca, and if they could just see the funny side (and there is a funny side) they might both enjoy camomile tea in the ashes of their planet... and there's a story waiting to be written.

Fun

D

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Sure, there is a funny side. I somehow dont see Gary being remotely interested in chamomile tea, or Rebecca being interested in armageddon. Give her a nice steady accountant with blue eyes, and find him a turbo charged pole dancer.

Douglas Bruton said...

When worlds collide strange bedfellows are made, and Gary and Rebecca no more strange than some that walk though these days hand in hand.

It's like Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracey, at war and close to love... can't remember the movie... black and white and the tv was snowy then.

They may not share a love of tea and end-of-the-world conclusions, but strip them down to the naked skin of things and I bet they'd find something to knot them into a couple.

There's already sparks there!!

The eternal romantic and optimist

D

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Best film ever made: The African Queen.

"Mr. Allnut! Mr. Allnut, you may come in out of the rain!"

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Rose: Who do you think you are ordering me about?
Charlie: I'm the captain that's who! And I'm ain't taking you along. You'd only be in my way.
Rose: I suppose I was in your way going down the rapids. Then what you said to me back there on the river was a lie about how you never could have done it alone and how you lost your heart and everything. You liar! Oh, Charlie, we're having our first quarrel.
Charlie: All right. It'll be you at the tiller and me at the engine, just like it was from the start.

Douglas Bruton said...

African Queen works too, to make my point... even though that was Hump Bogart... maybe I was thinking of something closer to 'Adam's Rib'... hell, Hepburn argued with everyone....on screen that is... but there was chemistry too... that's why she and Tracey made so many films together... and off screen an even stranger combination and still the chemistry...

Rebecca and Gary have A+ Chemistry. teacher says so!! Somebody should tell them?

D

Ossian said...

I wonder if it might be an interesting exercise to cast against type with writing, for her to write sci fi schlock and him to write a -- whatever that godawful daytime tv tea advert was. I suspect you'd get better sci fi and better tea saga. Or not.

She: "Captain Torabolakov flung the burst teabag into the vaporiser in disgust. He was so wound-up he'd stirred too hard and burst the teabag. Damn those Morbidons for attacking today. He wondered what to wear to the summit. That Lt. Wozfaz would be sure to comment on it."

He: "She was tired, damn tired. I'm f- if I'll make dinner today, she thought, I'll just go and change the oil in the car. Yes, always wanted to try that. She gulped down her tea and flung the Woman's Own at the table, but it slipped onto floor. Good."

Vanessa Gebbie said...

She: “After all, the summit was sixteen megazips away and whatever Captain Torabolakov wore, it had to stand the journey. Hmm. What about the green all-in-one, the colour of those little fruits that used to grow on Planet China, (he’d seen them on encyclopiPods, ‘limes’ they were called). Maybe not. Wozfaz didn’t like green, said it reminded him of Rhipzitz invasions, unpreparedness and the indelicacies of the trunkoblasters.”

He: “Six hours, ten calls to ten different garages, eighteen nice men (veeery nice) and a box of Twix later, the oil was changed. But what to do with the old stuff? He poured another cup of tea. Damn and f. Oops. Cold. Hmph. In a flicker of an arched, intelligent eyebrow, the megakettle was back on, and Torabolakov was fishing in the vapouriser for the used teabag. Waste not want not…”

Vanessa Gebbie said...

D - of course it was Bogart, silly moi. Got carried away there!

Maybe its A+ in some hitherto undiscovered branch of Physics?

Frances said...

Ossian and Vanessa - I love your contributions! Definitely "better sci fi and better tea saga"

Nik's Blog said...

Thanks for posting this - it always makes me chuckle.

Nik :)

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Thanks Frances! Glad to be of service, Nik...

Tim Jones said...

This collaborative story leaves me with two questions:

1) Why lithium fusion, in particular?

2) Did the attack by the Anu'udrians help to advance their character arc?

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Hi Tim

In a collaborative story like this, in which it would appear both sides are irretrievably distant, lithium fusion sorts out the bipolar nature of the thing. Far better than electro convulsive therapies, and far less violent.

The attack is proving totally inconclusive as far as character arcs go.

But they are both well published authors, now, earning squillions.

ros said...

I've seen this before, but it still makes me laugh!