Sunday, February 29, 2004


Every stupid one of us possesses within his or her bowels a good story. It’s lurking somewhere inside, in the guts, in the belly, safely hidden by all that bone and meat.


What you’ve got to do is reach one hand into your asshole and pull that fucker out and splat it on the page like this:


Imagine yourself as a writer of scientific fiction whose success is conversely related to your prolificacy. In other words, you’ve written upward of 120 mind-boggling novels, yet remain a poor, under-appreciated hack, living in squalor and obscurity. The canon of your work can only be found, dog-eared and musty, by the psychotically determined who are willing to scour the neglected back bins of pornographic-material supply shops.

This terrible sci-fi smut pusher, with a threadbare tweed coat and a scraggly beard and bad knees, is your alter ego. Give him a name evocative of your own. Something anagrammed or spoonerized. Shove him into every book. Develop something of a God complex. Have your fictional self revered by institutionalized lunatics and dangerously alone madmen. There is honor in unrecognized genius.

Eat whatever you want: bacon, cheeseburgers, corn dogs, Funyons. There’s no such thing as unhealthy food.

Call your grandmother.

Never trust doctors, the elderly, Asians, men wearing neckties, or women named Maria.

TV lies to you. Telephones lie to you. Books, newspapers, computers: fabulous liars, all of them.

If you can visit Hawaii, Spain, Tralfamadore, or Branson, Missouri, in the springtime, for the love of God, do so.


Always remember that you could do worse.

Fame & fortune is worth doodley-squat. Music is invented by God. Firemen are holy. Babies are ugly.

If you can get your name miscredited to a poppy little message of advice to graduates, which, by fluke of whim, zigzags throughout the nation’s consciousness and, eventually, airwaves, by all means, do not speak up. Let the masses think you’re a clever old cracker for a few months before souring their spirits with the rank odor of truth.


This is a picture of an asshole:


- K.V.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. is the author of numerous works of fiction and the star of Back to School.

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