Remember the book "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus"? Well, here's a prime example offered by an English professor at Southern Methodist University:
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 other 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 re-read 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. The following was actually turned in by two of my English students, Rebecca [last name deleted] and Gary [last name deleted.] "
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.
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 wistfully.
Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Au'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.
10 Blonde Science Fair Projects:
10) Are poisonous snakes really venomous?
9) Is lighter fluid flammable?
8) What hurts more: falling off a building, or a cliff?
7) Are knives sharp?
6) Can sharks hurt a human?
5) What happens if I stick my hand in a piranha aquarium?
4) Can I break my arm hitting it against a wall?
3) Can I eat broken glass and live?
2) Can dogs talk?
1) Are blondes really dumb?
It's Saturday morning and Bob's just about to set off on a round of golf when he realizes that he forgot to tell his wife that the guy who fixes the washing machine is coming around at noon. So Bob heads back to the clubhouse and phones home.
''Hello?'' says a little girl's voice.
''Hi, honey, it's Daddy,'' says Bob. ''Is Mommy near the phone?''
''No, Daddy. She's upstairs in the bedroom with Uncle Frank.'' After a brief pause, Bob says, ''But you haven't got an Uncle Frank, honey!''
''Yes, I do, and he's upstairs in the bedroom with Mommy!''
''Okay, then. Here's what I want you do. Put down the phone, run upstairs and knock on the bedroom door and shout in to Mommy and Uncle Frank that my car's just pulled up outside the house.''
''Okay, Daddy!'' A few minutes later, the little girl comes back to the phone. ''Well, I did what you said, Daddy.''
''And what happened?''
''Well, Mommy jumped out of bed with no clothes on and ran around screaming, then she tripped over the rug and went out the front window and now she's all dead.''
''Oh, my God! What about Uncle Frank?''
"He jumped out of bed with no clothes on too, and he was all scared and he jumped out the back window into the swimming pool. But he must have forgot that last week you took out all the water to clean it, so he hit the bottom of the swimming pool and now he's dead too.''
There is a long pause.
''Swimming pool? Is this 854-7039?''
A couple had two little boys, ages eight and ten, who were excessively mischievous.
The two were always getting into trouble and their parents could be assured that if any mischief occurred in their town their two young sons were in some way involved. The parents were at their wits end as to what to do about their sons' behavior.
The mother had heard that a clergyman in town had been successful in disciplining children in the past, so she asked her husband if he thought they should send the boys to speak with the clergyman.
The husband said, "We might as well. We need to do something before I really lose my temper!"
The clergyman agreed to speak with the boys, but asked to see them individually. The eight-year-old went to meet with him first. The clergyman sat the boy down and asked him sternly, "Where is God?"
The boy made no response, so the clergyman repeated the question in an even sterner tone, "Where is God?"
Again the boy made no attempt to answer, so the clergyman raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy's face, "WHERE IS GOD?"
At that, the boy bolted from the room and ran directly home slamming himself in his closet. His older brother followed him into the closet and said, "What happened?"
The younger brother replied, "We are in BIG trouble this time. God is missing and they think we did it!"
This is a true story from the WordPerfect helpline. Needless to say, the help desk employee was fired; however, he/she is currently suing the Word Perfect organization for "Termination without Cause."
Actual dialogue of a former WordPerfect Customer Support employee with a caller:
"Ridge Hall computer assistant; may I help you?"
"Yes, well, I'm having trouble with WordPerfect."
"What sort of trouble?"
"Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away."
"Hmm. So what does your screen look like now?"
"It's blank; it won't accept anything when I type."
"Are you still in WordPerfect, or did you get out?"
"How do I tell?"
"Can you see the C: prompt on the screen?"
"What's a sea-prompt?"
"Never mind. Can you move the cursor around on the screen?"
"There isn't any cursor, I told you, it won't accept anything I type."
"Does your monitor have a power indicator?"
"What's a monitor?"
"It's the thing with the screen on it that looks like a TV. Does it have a little light that tells you when it's on?"
"I don't know."
"Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes into it. Can you see that?"
"Yes, I think so."
"Great. Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it's plugged into the wall."
".......Yes, it is."
"When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables plugged into the back of it, not just one?"
"Well, there are. I need you to look back there again and find the other cable."
".......Okay, here it is."
"Follow it for me, and tell me if it's plugged securely into the back of your computer."
"I can't reach."
"Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is?"
"Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way over?"
"Oh, it's not because I don't have the right angle - it's because it's dark."
"Yes - the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in from the window."
"Well, turn on the office light then."
"No? Why not?"
"Because there's a power outage."
"A power... A power outage? Ah, Okay, we've got it licked now. Do you still have the boxes and manuals and packing stuff your computer came in?"
"Well, yes, I keep them in the closet."
"Good. Go get them, and unplug your system and pack it up just like it was when you got it. Then take it back to the store you bought it from."
"Really? Is it that bad?"
"Yes, I'm afraid it is."
"Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them?"
"Tell them you're too stupid to own a computer."
Three railroad construction workers, a Chinese man, an Italian, and a redneck, are all sitting down to lunch.
"Man," the Chinese man says. "If I get another egg roll in my lunch, I'll kill myself."
"Man," the Italian says. "If I get another slice of pizza in my lunch, I'll kill myself."
"Man," the redneck says. "If I get another ham 'n' cheese sandwich in my lunch, I'll kill myself."
The next day, all three men get the same lunches, and they all three throw themselves in front of an oncoming train. At the funeral, everybody's crying.
"This is all my fault!" says the Chinese man's wife. "If only I hadn't packed an egg roll that day."
"This is all my fault!" says the Italian's wife. "If only I hadn't packed a slice of pizza that day."
"Don't look at me," says the redneck's wife. "He packed his own lunch."