A statement, and then a confession:
I will have nothing to say about the death of Kurt Vonnegut Jr., other than the usual: Ah, that’s bad news. A great loss.
Now, the confession: Because I have never read any of his books.
Yes, yes, I know. Heap derision upon me. I once went out with a guy who was such a fan he made “So it goes” his mantra; it was under his picture in his high-school yearbook. I tried to read “Slaughterhouse Five” once and I dunno, it just didn’t grab me. I should try again. Part of it is genre-phobia — I can count the sci-fi books I’ve read and enjoyed on two hands, maybe one. (I’m also allergic to fantasy. I’ve never gotten past page 50 in “The Hobbit,” never mind the trilogy that followed. Say “one ring to rule them all” and I have no idea what you’re talking about.) The rest is just the sort of educational black hole some people have. Alan used to work with a woman who, in 1990-something, had never heard of Oprah Winfrey. Never. I’m like the film buff who never saw “Taxi Driver.” That’s me and Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Yesterday I heard an interview with Sherman Alexie on our way to Columbus. He said “the hero of Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Slaughterhouse Five,'” and I thought, in the split-second before he said the rest of the sentence, “Billy Something.”
That’s what I know. I’ll leave the tributes to others. (Lance promises to have something later.) Sorry.
Here we are in the Buckeye State, where it’s warmer than Detroit. Considerably so, although the threat of piles of snow was replaced by a rip-roarin’ hailstorm that blew through last night. BB-size precipitation, however, not the golf ball variety, which can leave your car looking like someone went over it with a ball-peen hammer. I’m grateful it’s merely covered with shmutz from the tree it was parked under.
A drunk airport worker with a half-empty beer in his vehicle and an unopened can in his pocket flipped his deicer rig on a remote airstrip at Metro Airport on Wednesday afternoon, airport officials said.
Without drunks, the newspaper really would be filled with stories of hero Boy Scouts. Here’s to drunks.
And here’s to a day off with family. If you have something to say about Billy Pilgrim’s creator, you know where to do it.