|Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.|
Copyright © 1963 by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
|As Bokonon says: Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.|
Bicycles for Afghanistan
They dont have the government encouraging everybody to be some kind of original pissant nobody ever heard of before.
Christ, back in Chicago, we dont make bicycles any more. Its all human relations now. The eggheads sit around trying to figure out new ways for everybody to be happy. Nobody can get fired, no matter what; and if somebody does accidentally make a bicycle, the union accuses us of cruel and inhuman practices and the government confiscates the bicycle for back taxes and gives it to a blind man in Afghanistan.
And you think things will be better in San Lorenzo?
I know damn well they will be. The people down there are poor enough and scared enough and ignorant enough to have some common sense!
Why Americans Are Hated
The highest possible form of treason, said Minton, is to say that Americans arent loved wherever they go, whatever they do. Claire tried to make the point that American foreign policy should recognize hate rather than imagine love.
I guess Americans are hated a lot of places.
People are hated a lot of places. Claire pointed out in her letter that Americans, in being hated, were simply paying the normal penalty for being people, and that they were foolish to think they should somehow be exempted from that penalty.
The Bokononist Method for Handling Caesar
The words were a paraphrase of the suggestion by Jesus: Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesars.
Bokonons paraphrase was this:
Pay no attention to Caesar. Caesar doesnt have the slightest idea whats really going on.
What a Corporal Was Worth
Wherever possible, he had taken the cosmic view, had taken into consideration, for instance, such things as the shortness of life and the longness of eternity.
He reported his avocation as: Being alive.
He reported his principal occupation as: Being dead.
Tutored by Bokonon
Im not a drug salesman. Im a writer.
What makes you think a writer isnt a drug salesman?
Ill accept that. Guilty as charged.
Father needs some kind of book to read to people who are dying or in terrible pain. I dont suppose youve written anything like that.
I think thered be money in it. Theres another valuable tip for you.
I suppose I could overhaul the Twenty-third Psalm, switch it around a little so nobody would realize it wasnt original with me.
Bokonon tried to overhaul it, he told me. Bokonon found out he couldnt change a word.
Ring of Steel
So I said good-bye to government,
And I gave my reason:
That a really good religion
Is a form of treason.
A White Bride for the Son of a Pullman Porter
Tiger got to hunt,
Bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder, Why, why, why?
Tiger got to sleep,
Bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.
Why Frank Couldnt Be President
Maturity, the way I understand it, he told me, is knowing what your limitations are.
He wasnt far from Bokonon in defining maturity. Maturity, Bokonon tells us, is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything.
Dyot meet mat
God made mud.
God got lonesome.
So God said to some of the mud, Sit up!
See all Ive made, said God, the hills, the sea, the sky, the stars.
And I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
Lucky me, lucky mud.
I, mud, sat up and saw what a nice job God had done.
Nice going, God!
Nobody but You could have done it, God! I certainly couldnt have.
I feel very unimportant compared to You.
The only way I can feel the least bit important is to think of all the mud that didnt even get to sit up and look around.
I got so much, and most mud got so little.
Thank you for the honor!
Now mud lies down again and goes to sleep.
What memories for mud to have!
What interesting other kinds of sitting-up mud I met!
I loved everything I saw!
I will go to heaven now.
I can hardly
To find out for certain what my wampeter
And who was in my
And all the good things our karass did for you.
A Medical Opinion on the Effects of a Writers Strike
Sir, how does a man die when hes deprived of the consolations of literature?
In one of two ways, he said, petrescence of the heart or atrophy of the nervous system.
Neither one very pleasant, I expect, I suggested.
No, said Castle the elder. For the love of God, both of you, please keep writing!
The Fourteenth Book
And I remembered The Fourteenth Book of Bokonon, which I had read in its entirety the night before. The Fourteenth Book is entitled, What Can a Thoughtful Man Hope for Mankind on Earth, Given the Experience of the Past Million Years?
It doesnt take long to read The Fourteenth Book. It consists of one word and a period.
This is it:
Mona Thanks Me
We do, doodley do, doodley do, doodley do,
What we must, muddily must, muddily must, muddily must;
Muddily do, muddily do, muddily do, muddily do,
Until we bust, bodily bust, bodily bust, bodily bust.
text checked (see note) Feb 2005