Oh So You Can Smell?

Just an excerpt from one of my favorite books, to show you that Kurt Vonnegut is someone you should read at least once in your lifetime.

“You know–” said Eliot, “Kilgore Trout once wrote a whole book about a country that was devoted to fighting odors. That was the national purpose. There wasn’t any disease, and there wasn’t any crime, and there wasn’t any war, so they went after odors.”

“This country,” said Eliot, “had tremendous research projects devoted to fighting odors. They were supported by individual contributions given to mothers who marched on Sundays from door to door. The ideal of the research was to find a specific chemical deodorant for every odor. But then the hero, who was also the country’s dictator, made a wonderful scientific breakthrough, even though he wasn’t a scientist, and they didn’t need the projects any more. He went right to the root of the problem.”

“Uh huh,” said the Senator. He couldn’t stand stories by Kilgore Trout, was embarassed by his son. “He found one chemical that would eliminate all odors?”

“No. As I say, the hero was dictator, and he simply eliminated noses.”

(God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater – page 156)


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