Wednesday, August 16, 2017


For one reason and another I’ve been reading some Kurt Vonnegut short stories, including “Welcome to the Monkey House” the title story in this collection:

That cover is actually contains a spoiler which is a shame - Vonnegut is rather good at twists though his stories don’t entirely rely on them.  For what it’s worth, the sexual politics of the story do seem pretty dodgy at this point in history.

It’s science fiction more or less – a future world, wracked by population growth, combated (at least in America) by a form of birth control which is essentially neutering, leaving people numb below the waist, along with suicide parlors staffed by virgin hostesses.
          An outlaw named Billy the Poet “liberates” one of hostesses - Nancy McLuhan
- and takes her to his lair where a bunch of similarly liberated women are running wild (or possibly behaving normally).  The paragraph that concerns us runs as  follows:
“Nancy went over in her mind all the terrible drugs she’d learned about in school, persuaded herself that the women had taken the worst one of all.  That drug was so powerful, Nancy’s teachers had told her, that even a person numb from the waist down would copulate repeatedly and enthusiastically after just one glass. That had to be the answer: The woman, and probably the men too, had been drinking gin.”
         I wonder if the makers of Monkey 47 Schwarzwold Dry Gin are Vonnegut fans.

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