Friday, April 13, 2007


My main man Kurt Vonnegut is dead, no thanks to the years of cigarette smoking that he hoped would expedite the process.

I'd like to thank Kurt for writing the books that gave me many perfect days of substitute teaching. Every time I reported to the main office with one of his worn pocket paperbacks in my backpack, I was ensured that my next couple of days of subbing would fly by and be filled with hilarity.

On the day that I re-read Slaughterhouse Five for the first time since I kind of read it in high school, I found myself disrupting the very class that I was supposed to be in control of by bursting into a fit of uncontrollable laughter as Billy Pilgrim marched through Dresden in his woman's fur coat and shiny boots. The Students thought I was crazy for laughing at a book. I thought the same thing when I was in school. So it goes.

My high school had something called the Newman Prize. It was a contest in which every 11th grader had the opportunity to write an essay about the 5 living Americans they would most like to meet and why. The student who wrote the most compelling essay was then afforded, at the expense of the Newman Committee, the opportunity to meet one of the people on their list.

When I was in 11th grade I didn't enter the Newman Prize. At that time in my life, there was no one in the world, living or dead, that I wanted to meet badly enough that I would write an essay in order to meet them.

If suddenly I was to become unstuck in time, and found myself back in the 11th grade, I would enter the Newman Prize. Kurt Vonnegut Jr. would be at the top of my list.


Blogger Jeff P said...

Well said, brother.

10:02 AM  
Blogger colin loughlin said...

I kinda though you already met that person... i'm thinking me. Also you should make an "RIP Kurt" shirt and dress all grundge, and cut holes in your sweater and have dirty blonde hair and smoke fags. I think you know where i'm going with this idea, and you also know its a dam fine one. (I was listening to Ferrgie while typing this).

12:08 PM  

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