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Saturday, February 16 , 2019, 5:50 pm | A Few Clouds 57º


She Said, Z Said: The Forever Story

An autism education charity raises money by producing the world's longest collectively written story. She and Z add their two cents worth.

She: You know how sometimes we tell stories in parts?

Z: You mean the whole, She Said, Z Said thing?

She: Exactly. Now we can do it with Nick Hornby.

Z: I know we talked about using guests in our column, but I didn’t know you were going to go all British on me.

She: It’s for a good cause.

Z: Like you trying to glom onto someone else’s fame?

She: There is that. But also, Hornby is involved with TreeHouse, an autism education charity in London, and they are trying to produce the world’s longest collectively written story to raise money.

Z: Do we get paid per word?

She: No, but the charity gets paid per participant. Here’s the link: www.theforeverstory.co.uk.

Z: Is this like The Amazing Adventures of Koss, that little book we passed around at his baby shower and then remembered to pass around a few more times at his birthday parties?

She: Exactly, except the writing is actually legible, since it’s online.

Z: And readable since it’s Hornby and not just our drunk friends.

She: Instead, we have his drunk friends, who are famous, coherent writers. Tom Stoppard, Richard Curtis, Robert Harris.

Z: Do we have to write it in British?

She: That shouldn’t be that hard for you, since that’s the heart of your affectation.

Z: I’m not nearly as bad as those guys. I have only a slightly fake British accent, while theirs are completely over the top. I think it’s so they can bed American women.

She: You only have to write 30 to 40 words to participate.

Z: That’s my attention span.

She: Here’s how it starts: “For the first nineteen years of his life, Johnny Razor wasn’t Johnny Razor at all. He was Malcolm Weatherly, and he was born in Mile End Underground station on the night of 17th September 1940.”

Z: Are you sure Hornby wrote that? There are no references to Tony Hawk or The Clash.

She: The story starts in 1940.

Z: So instead it’s Tommy Dorsey or Frank Sinatra? Or Napoleon? You know I’m not very good at history. Why couldn’t he have started it in the 21st century?

She: Having read some of it, I don’t think it much matters where he started it. It’s the Forever Story. People are taking it all over and whenever the place.

Z: So if I want to write about Johnny Razor on the moon, then that’s OK?

She: If you can get there in less than 200 characters. You could even have him play on the Arsenal Football Club.

Z: Which is really a soccer team. What idiot nation calls a game you play with your feet football? It’d be like calling a game where you hit a ball with your hands handball.

She: So are you going to add to the story?

Z: I already did.

She: Where did you put Johnny Razor?

Z: I read the 10 people before me, and somehow the story was in the middle of a traffic jam with some woman named Theresa. No Johnny Razor to be found.

She: Did you put her on the moon? Maybe she could have found him there.

Z: No. I just had her play with some water spots on her windshield. The funny thing is that someone must have written at the same time as me, so her section goes where I thought mine was going. Only, she thought it would be clever to end her part midsentence. Didn’t really work when my section popped up next. What did you write?

She: True love, the meaning of life, the secret to eternal youth, bugs, spiders and Theresa’s mother, who had an affair with the milkman.

Z: You got all of that in 200 characters?

She: That’s why they pay me the big bucks.

Z: Yes dear.

Join She and Z and Nick Hornby and become part of The Forever Story at www.theforeverstory.co.uk. Don’t forget to share your contribution with them by e-mailing [email protected]

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