In the graduate studies course on the history and techniques of games that I’ve been teaching, I have my students create a prose Exquisite Corpse as part of our unit on parlor games. (We are also talking about participatory storytelling around this time.) This involves one person writing the beginning of a story at the top of a sheet of paper, then folding the page so that only the last line is visible. The page is passed to the next person, who writes the next part of the story and folds the page so that only the last line is visible, etc.
What I love about this particular story is that the last installment is the classic Exquisite Corpse ending — and was written (in huge block letters) by someone who had never helped write an Exquisite Corpse before. Here it is in all its glory, with passages from one person to the next marked by “/”
I came to work on Tuesday and looked out to see a sea of shining faces, all eager to learn. But when I asked them for their homework / they chose to instead turn it in late, causing a ruckus of epic proportions. / The two dogs continued to fight until one ripped the head off the other. / So thinking he had won, he strolled down the street but fell down a hole. / Even after waking up at the bottom of the inescapable hole, the LSD had yet to wear off. / Disturbed by the enduring effects of the neurotoxins, Mickey jumped in his riverboat and rushed downriver to find a doctor. Trying to conceal his distress, he started whistling a tune. / It was an old military song. His father used to sing it every night. But despite the old good memories, it still brought back the terrible details of his death. / To top it off, he found out his father was the pope and he had a hand in the hoax of the lunar landing. / Where they had a drink and then the pope killed him. / The pope was arrested and no one knew what to do. How can you send the pope to prison for murder? / And could it even be called murder? Although there was much confusion, many claimed it was self-defense and he had no other choice. / So he should just tun away or call the police. However, he doesn’t do anything. / EVERYONE EXPLODES AND EVERYTHING DIES.