Northeast Side Story

I like to think that my (nonexistent) writing career began the summer after my freshman year of high school, when I wrote a 120-some page parody of West Side Story, titled Northeast Side Story. Before you get impressed with the length, be aware that I wrote it in play format, so there’s lots of empty space on most of the pages. New York City is replaced by the city of Hyperbolic Enmity and West Side Story’s two gangs, the Jets and the Sharks, are replaced by the Swans and the Frogs, clubs consisting of ballet dancers and gymnasts, respectively. Local law enforcement is comprised of the Punk Police, a squad of breakdancing corrupt cops who have passion for professional wrestling. There’s a boy band named “Young Blood” that is comprised of senior citizens. The rival clubs meet at an adult bookstore and have their big fight on a golf course. Nothing really makes sense, but that is the whole idea. At various points the story is interrupted with random events and even a few songs. Yes, it is a musical and I wrote the lyrics to the songs.

Probably the best thing about Northeast Side Story is that I actually got to use it for a school assignment. In my AP English class we had to do a parody or satire, and I instantly knew that Northeast Side Story’s day had come. I can distinctly remember the day when my teacher came around collecting everyone’s works, and I dropped my monstrosity into the pile of papers. My submission was larger than all the other papers combined, and the crazy thing is, what I turned in was actually a shortened version of Northeast Side Story. The night before, I had realized my parents’ printer did not have enough paper to print out the whole play, so I created a shortened version that was about 80 pages long. I got an A on the assignment, and to this day Northeast Side Story stands as one of my greatest writing accomplishments.

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