Monday, January 27, 2003

Relay Composition

In my childhood I played a word play, "Someone did something with some other one . . ." It needs a plural number of participants. Each participant writes "Someone," "did something," "with some other one," "at some place," and "at some time" on separate sheets of paper by putting concrete expressions for "some . . ." as he or she likes.

Then all the sheets of "Someone" are mixed, all the sheets of "did something" are mixed, and so on. Each participant randomly choose a sheet of "Someone," a sheet of "did something," and so on, and reads them aloud. A set of sheets thus chosen often gives a wild story.

An extended version of the above play is "relay composition." I also played it in student days. In this play, each of several participants reads only one paragraph written just before and adds one paragraph. The story completed can be quite funny.

When I played relay composition during a New Year vacation, a friend of mine with the nickname of Sam wrote a good final paragraph. I still remember its plot after more than 40 years. I do not remember earlier five paragraphs written by participants other than Sam (including my own), but in essence those must have been something like this:

Jack and Betty lived in K City and were good friends. After graduating from a university, Jack got a job at another city. It was far from K City, and Jack had to move there. Betty was going to be lonely.
What do you write after this, if you are requested to conclude the above story? Sam's final paragraph was as follows:

On the day of his removal, Jack got a card from Betty. It read, "I'm going to move, too. My new address is 1-2 S Street, T City." Jack wanted to take a walk to relax from the work of removal. Outside the gate of his new house, he looked back to see the nameplate. It read, "1-2 S Street . . ."
This is so witty a plot just made for a game, isn't it? Regrettably Sam died several years ago.

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