So it Goes.....

One of my favorite stories about Kurt Vonnegut was relayed to me by a few professors that had taught at Iowa University for years. Apparently, a fun past time for him was to attend the final exams of classes that he didn't take (classes that were huge in numbers of students so he could test unnoticed), and about halfway through he'd throw a fit, as if he was a student that just reached the breaking point. He'd scream that he couldn't take it anymore, tear up his exam, throw the pieces in the air and run out of the room.
Why I never thought of this during my college days is beyond me! It just seems so necessary.

Kurt Vonnegut was one of the first writers that I fell in love with when I discovered that I actually enjoyed reading, regardless of the school system telling me that I should. His writing is simple and unpretentious, yet filled with a dark humor and subjects that are usually so off the wall that one would think that they couldn't be taken seriously....yet he could make them seem plausible.
It was with his books that I discovered that the strange ideas that I had swimming around in my own head might actually have a place in this world...a realization that I owe him greatly for.

For about a year of my life, I worked as the kitchen manager for a small, strange Tex-Mex restaurant known as Diamond Dave's in Iowa City. The kitchen window was situated just so, so that I had a near full view of the dining area beyond. One day, Kurt Vonnegut came in. He was in town to speak at the University, the same University that he threw stuff around in....and if I'm correct, the same University he was eventually kicked out of.
Needless to say, I was freaking out. I begged one of the waitresses to approach him and ask his name. Reluctantly, she did. She returned to tell me that I was wrong, that he claimed that his name was something about killing a fish. "Killgore Trout?!" I asked. She agreed. I then told he that she was stupid and I hated her. This was not uncommon. I constantly said this to many of the wait staff and they always laughed it off thinking that I was kidding, when more often than not, I wasn't.
This was when I was twenty years old, and still very self conscious and introverted/shy....and I didn't have the balls to approach him myself. That is probably for the best, all things considered, for I was wearing a damn hat that had chili peppers all over it....but I still sometimes kick myself thinking that I might have met one of my greater influences, maybe even had the chance to thank him and shook his hand....or at least get told to Fuck Off while he sat drinking margarita after margarita.
For the record...he likes his chimichanga almost burnt, and he wanted a hot sauce that he could "taste".

Goodbye Mr. Vonnegut....and thank you.



Kurt Vonnegut 1922-2007