Make Model Airplanes

January 24, 2015 § Leave a comment

INTERVIEWER
You just laughed about something.

VONNEGUT
It was something dumb I remembered about high school. It doesn’t have anything to do with writing.

INTERVIEWER
You care to share it with us anyway?

VONNEGUT
Oh—I just remembered something that happened in a high-school course on civics, on how our government worked. The teacher asked each of us to stand up in turn and tell what we did after school. I was sitting in the back of the room, sitting next to a guy named J. T. Alburger. He later became an insurance man in Los Angeles. He died fairly recently. Anyway—he kept nudging me, urging me, daring me to tell the truth about what I did after school. He offered me five dollars to tell the truth. He wanted me to stand up and say, I make model airplanes and jerk off.

INTERVIEWER
I see.

-From “The Art of Fiction No. 64” in The Paris Review
Kurt Vonnegut interviewed by David Hayman, David Michaelis, George Plimpton, Richard Rhodes
Issue 69, Spring 1977

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