April 13, 2007

In Memoriam: The Sun Honors Kurt Vonnegut Jr. ’44

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Kurt Vonnegut Jr. ’44, former Sun assistant managing editor and associate editor, will forever be remembered by members of The Cornell Daily Sun for his lasting contributions and his praise of this newspaper.

“I myself only liked two things about [Cornell]. The Sun and the horse-drawn artillery,” Vonnegut said at The Sun’s traditional end-of-year banquet on May 3, 1980.

Reproduced here are columns Vonnegut wrote for The Sun while he was a student at Cornell. Click here for The Sun’s coverage of Vonnegut’s death.

—RAS

Innocents Abroad

By KURT VONNEGUT

With the hilarious nature of this golden age we live in, with Adolph Hitler, labor riots and the Cornell Widow, one cannot help but see the screamingly funny side to everything — or such is the hope of one dope who spends his time clipping witticism from exchange papers and having gall to demand a by-line for it.

Quip Clipped By Drip
Little ear of corn: “Where did I come from?”
Big ear of corn: “The stalk brought you.”
— Northeastern News

Thanks for the Memory
Thanks for the memory of gargle-wash and pills,
Of lots of grippe and chills,
You were so nice, but cold as ice
And yet you cured our ills,
But thank you so much—

Thanks for the memory of Friday night’s creamed fish
It was a lousy dish—
Instead of steak and lots of cake
Which really was our wish,
But thank you just the same—

Many is the time that we fasted,
And most of the time we fasted,
Oh, but it was cruel while it lasted,
You thought you’d have some fun,
But now that it’s done—

Thanks for the memory,
And now we take our leave,
Soon hospitals bills receive,
We’ll think of you and shed some dew
While parting thus—Adieu,
So thank you so much.
— Smuggled out of Cornell Infirmary

originally published in The Sun on March 25, 1941


Innocents Abroad

By KURT VONNEGUT

Whether anyone else gives a hang or not about keeping out of World War II, we do, and from now on, readers may rest assured that material appearing in this column has been carefully edited so as to exclude anything smacking in the slightest of propaganda.

Stop, Thief
A thug who had just held up a priest suddenly discovered his victim’s identity. Apologizing profusely, he handed back the loot, and solemnly vowed never to steal again.
“I’m glad to hear that,” said the priest. “Here, have a cigar.”
“No, thanks, Father,” replied the footpad. “I’m off cigars for Lent.”
—Rambler

Pageing Mr. Shakespeare
The best “Much Ado About Nothing” story that we’ve heard in a long time popped up the other day. It started when students at the University of Illinois, pursuing a rabbit, started a brush fire in an attempt to smoke the animal out of an oak tree trunk in which he had taken refuge. The fire department, called to the scene, laid 50 feet of hose, ran off 19 engine pumping miles and used 300 gallons of water in extinguishing the hare-raising blaze.
Those Australians had the right idea.

The Height of Illegibility
A doctor’s prescription written with a post office pen in the rumble seat of a second hand car.

originally published in The Sun on April 15, 1941