A Pointless Exercise
"You have to learn the rules to break them," said Professor Tenure, the Creative Writing instructor.
Hand raises—Last row, and waves eagerly.
"But I think there's a misplaced imperative in that statement," said Testicles. "I mean, you can go straight to breaking rules without even knowing them."
Laughter—Mostly nervous—flares up, dies down quick.
"Very funny, Testicles," said Professor Tenure. "And now, on with the lesson . . . The first rule is: Write What You know."
"What is it now, Testicles?"
"Nothing, I just think it's funny when you say Testicles!"
Laughter—Mostly amused . . .
"And how should I say it?"
"It rhymes with Hercules. Not non-ferrous nickel."
"Much appreciated. Now, as I was saying . . . Write What You Know. What does that mean? Anyone?"
"Yes, Tes--you . . ."
"I think it is an empty statement. Full of Sound and . . . Well, just sound actually. Although the 'told by' part might still apply."
"Do state your reasons before the class. This is an open forum," said Professor Tenure, sitting down on the front of his desk, pretty cocky-looking I expect.
"Thank you," said the abnormally massive Testicles, stomping to the front of the room and sitting on Tenure's chickenboned lap. "I've got a few reasons . . . Shouldn't it be Write What You Don't Know? Being that the creative process should be one of exploration and discovery? Much as reading should be?"
"Mister Testicles, if you please—" said Tenure, nearly squirming. "I'm crushed—"
"Oh, you are taking it far too hard, Professor," Testicles continued. "Just a few more words and I'll be done . . . You see, once the work is written and finished, there is little difference between an author and the reader. No longer actively engaged in the process of writing, the writer becomes simply the one who read the story first . . . Think about it: Outside of a Zen koan, nobody would say 'Read What You Already Know' or 'Discover What You Already Have Discovered.'"
"That's true," nodded the Zen master, who was auditing the class.
Testicles sort of slid/reared up off Tenure's lap and started back to his seat.
"Anything else?" the Professor gasped as sarcastically as was possible under the awkward, painful circumstances of reduced blood-flow and Ego (Both temporary).
"Since you ask," Testicles said, "Nobody has ever proven that anybody knows anything. There's no definitive epistemology. So this entire exercise has been pointless."
Laughter—Enlightened—Drowns out the sound of one yelling.