GOOD EVENING, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN
My name is Mandy and I’ll be your narrator today. I’d like to welcome you aboard. You will be reading at the approximate speed of one hundred words per minute. Total estimated reading time will be about fifteen minutes.
At this time, I’d like to point out several of the safety features of this short story. Exits are located at the end of every line, and also at the beginning, middle and end of each paragraph. In fact, you can stop reading whenever you want to.
Please turn off all cell phones and other electronic devices. Some people claim that it’s possible to enjoy a narrative while texting or talking on a cell. These people pose a serious threat to literature as we know it and will not be tolerated here.
Although it is unlikely that you’ll ever need to use one, a dictionary is located at your local public library. Should you come to a word that you don’t understand, PLEASE CONTINUE TO BREATHE NORMALLY. Extinguish all smoking materials. Look the word up.
Thank you, Mandy! This is your writer speaking. Welcome to my story! I apologize for our delay in getting started today. We were in a holding pattern with a number of other stories trying to make it into this book. We’ll try to make up the time we’ve lost by cutting a few corners -- we’ll utilize terse sentences, keep plot developments to a minimum, and so on.
Well, folks, the introduction is over,. If you look below, you’ll see the plot and some of the major characters.
Mandy again. I’m happily married, to Joel, a wonderful guy who loves me. But last week Bob, my high school sweetheart, came back into the life. That’s the three main characters and our conflict in a nutshell. You can mull this over while I serve you refreshments -- a few descriptive paragraphs.
Joel is twenty-eight years old, with a body like Batman and an intellect that can only be described as massive. His eyes twinkle, he always has a spring in his step, and his family has pots of money.
* * *
This is the writer taking over again. Sorry to interrupt, Mandy, but we’re encountering a little bit of unexpected reader resistance. I’ve turned on the NO DESCRIPTIVE PARAGRAPHS sign, and I’d like to ask those readers whose minds are wandering to please return to their original outlooks.
* * *
Mandy again. Please don’t become alarmed -- a story without descriptive paragraphs is very routine. Thousands of stories carry their readers safely to their conclusions without any descriptive paragraphs at all! This superbly designed story is equipped to continue relying only on ingenious plot twists and snappy dialog.
As I was saying, Bob was my high school sweetheart. When I was a foolish teen I’d imagined that the two of us would grow old together, but that was before I discovered Bob and my best friend Sally under the bleachers one afternoon. They swore that he was just helping her look for a lost contact lens. “I’ve never heard of a contac ending up THERE before!” I sobbed as I stumbled onto the infield and collapsed, sobbing, near the third base line.
* * *
This is the writer again. The editor has just informed me that there seems to be a problem with our story. It’s probably nothing -- just a misplaced modifier or two, or a loose epiphany -- but to be on the safe side we’re going to have to cut this story short by jettisoning fifteen or twenty paragraphs, and return as quickly as possible to the bookshelf. Please pay attention as Mandy shows you how to assume the emergency reader protection position.
* * *
Mandy here. The emergency reader protection position is as follows: firmly grip the edges of your book with both hands, breathe deeply and keep your mind open. Now, repeat after me: “What a fine story! What a fine story!”
If you wish, you may remove your shoes.
This is the writer again. Great job, everybody! We’ve got everything back under control. There’s just enough time for Mandy to wrap up the narrative.
Thanks, writer. Yes, I decided to stay with Joel. I couldn’t abandon our life together. The near-fatal incident with the inflatable rhino in the health club Jacuzzi made me realize that he needed me now more than ever. It was a tough choice to make. But isn’t making tough choices what life is all about?
* * *
Thanks, Mandy. This is the writer again. Although the narrative has been successfully completed, we ask that you please remain reading until the story has come to a complete stop.
Thanks so much for reading us today. We’ve enjoyed having you with us and hope that if your future plans include literature, you’ll keep our author in mind!