In preparing this, the Uncyclopedia article on Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., I have had to change names in several instances, in order to spare embarrassment or worse to innocent persons still living.
I have corrected some spelling, removed some exclamation points, and all the italics are mine.
There is one point at which my accuracy rather than the accuracy of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., can be questioned. That point is in the section on "Death", on which Vonnegut can be said to have had little editorial influence.
I have made significant cuts in only two places. In the section dubbed "College and war", I have made a cut that was insisted upon by my publisher's lawyer.
The only other cutting I have done is in the "The Size and Girth of Everyone's Penis" section, which is pornographic in the original. I would have considered myself honor-bound to present that section unbowdlerized, were it not for the contributors' request, right in the body of the text, that some editor perform the emasculation.
The original article also contained a dedication in a section the contributor later discarded: "Before seeing what sort of article I was going to have here, I wrote the dedication 'To Samuel Beckett, who described every word as an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness.'"
I would prefer to dedicate it to someone else, widely known to have said: "I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different."
Let me honor myself in that fashion, then:
This article is rededicated to Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (/ˈvɒnɨɡət/; November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007), is no longer amongst the living, as they say. He is kaput.
So it goes.
When I was a young man, Kurt Vonnegut taught me to love life. The way he taught me to love life was to be impolite about everyone and everything. Now I am an old fart and I am paid to be impolite, but my impoliteness never seems as profound, never seems as graceful as the impoliteness of Kurt Vonnegut. I still remember the lessons Kurt taught me. He taught me that humanity was in great danger and we were all hurtling out of control on a fractured planet that was dying fast. The only way we could correct the venality and stupidity and vindictiveness and barbarity of our fellow man was by exposing it to the light of day. I sure miss Kurt Vonnegut.
My article begins like this:
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. was born in the United States of America.
And finishes like this:
Now I have finished this article, how do I feel? I feel lousy. But I always feel lousy about my articles. Whenever I got paid for a piece of writing, my brother-in-law used to say: "What are you, King Midas?"
King Midas was a figure in Greek Mythology who starved to death because everything he touched would turn to gold.
Not everything I touch turns to gold. But when I am a writing-machine in good repair, I eat.
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. was born in the United States of America. This was more commonly known as America. America was a confederacy of states. At the time, it was the biggest and strongest nation in the world. This is what its flag looked like:
America was formed by sea pirates who realized that by enslaving people they called "niggers" and making them exploit the land that belonged to people they called "Injuns", they could become fabulously well-to-do.
By the time Vonnegut was growing up, there were still plenty of fabulously well-to-do people, but most people didn't have doodley-squat. The Americans had a name for that period. This is what it was:
THE GREAT DEPRESSION
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. was born in 1922 to two parents (which was the usual number at the time): a father, coincidentally also named Kurt Vonnegut, and a mother named Edith. His father was a building-designing machine and a defective money-making machine, while his mother was a cooking machine, a cleaning machine, and a defective cock-sucking machine. She later killed herself by drinking Drāno. So it goes.
Drāno was a mixture of sodium chloride and sodium hydroxide. If you drank it, you became a living volcano. So it goes.
Vonnegut began his writing career at the age of twenty-eight, after a chance meeting with distinguished science fiction author and Nobel laureate Kilgore Trout, who he had just created in his mind. The Nobel Prize was named after chemist Alfred Nobel, who was most famous for inventing dynamite.
Dynamite was a mixture of nitroglycerin and soil, forming a high explosive which has allowed man to kill man at an unprecedented rate. So it goes. After reading a premature obituary, Nobel became so worried about his legacy, he gave away cash prizes to academics and peace activists.
Alfred Nobel died in 1896. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. died in 2007. The first contribution was made to this article in 2005. In 2018, you came to visit this article.
College and war
Listen: After graduating from high school, Vonnegut attended Cornell, Yale, Princeton, Harvard, Duke, SUNY Fredonia, and Smith College. He flunked out of all of these institutions at astonishing speed, sometimes only lasting for a few hours. He held the record for collegiate failures for several years until it was beaten by Henry Kissinger. He was then beaten by Henry Kissinger. Wow!
After college, Vonnegut went to Europe to fight in the Finale Rack of human progress, World War II, where he witnessed the fire-bombing of Dresden. The incident had such an impact on his life, he wrote Slaughterhouse Five, a book about the impossibility of writing a book on the fire-bombing of Dresden. He turned the whole thing to gold, like King Midas.
- That is when you put things in an unusual order. Many of his books follow a non-linear narrative.
- He wrote simple sentences.
- He often played with intertextuality, with many of his works supposedly being edited autobiographies, or discovered scraps of paper, or Uncyclopedia articles.
- He also made use of metafiction, but only when I made him do it.
- Many of Vonnegut's characters appear in several of his works, notable Kilgore Trout, the science fiction author. Trout was also the name of a fish. It looked like this:
Trout have been known to reach speeds of up to 60 mph.
- And so on.
In 2007, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. fell from a ladder and broke his skull, like poor old Tim Finnegan. Tim Finnegan was an Irishman who, so the ballad goes, died after falling off a ladder. At Finnegan's wake, someone poured whiskey all over him and he got back up again. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. did not get back up again.
To find out how old Vonnegut was when he died, take the year Harry Houdini died. Subtract the title of the science fiction movie based on a novel by Arthur C. Clarke. Do not panic. This will give you a negative number, but Arabs in olden times taught us how to deal with such. Add the year of Hitler’s birth. There! Everything is nice and positive again. If you have done everything right so far, you should have the year in which Napoleon was banished to Elba and the metronome was invented, neither event, however, discussed in this article. Add the gestation period of an opossum expressed in days. That isn’t in the article, either, so I make you a gift of it. The number is 12. That will bring you to the year in which Thomas Jefferson, the former slave owner, died and James Fenimore Cooper published The Last of the Mohicans. Divide by the square root of 4. Subtract 99 times 9. Add the greatest number of children known to have come from the womb of just 1 woman, and subtract 7.
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. is now no more. So it goes. At his funeral, his epitaph was revealed:
EVERYTHING WAS BEAUTIFUL AND NOTHING HURT
Birds were talking. One bird said, "Poo-tee-weet?"