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Subject:  Writing Assignment

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  This assignment was actually turned in by two English students:

  English 44A
  Creative Writing
  Prof Miller

                    In-class Assignment for Wednesday

  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.  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 reread
  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.

  At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted.  The
  camomile, 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 camomile. 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 camomile was out of
  the question.

  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 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

  Little did she know, but she has 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 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 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!"

  This is absurd.  I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My
  writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic, semi-literate adolescent.

  Yeah?  Well, you're a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at
  writing are the literary equivalent of Valium.

  You total $*&.

  Stupid %&#$!.

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