To the character of Kurt Vonnegut:

At about the time of the release of Timequake, my wife and I attended a talk Kurt Vonnegut gave in Palo Alto. This being Palo Alto, which is where Stanford is located, I assumed this would be a well attended event in a large venue. It turned out to be a somewhat poorly attended event in a high school gym. One of the things I remember from the talk was the part where he compared the internet to a bunch of hobbyists with ham radios all going "Blah blah blah blah...".

Following the talk was a question and answer session. One question I remember in particular was given by a very full of himself high school student who obviously thought that since he had read a couple of books that intellectually, he was the shit. The interchange went something like this:

Arrogant Kid: Mr. Vonnegut, {rambling, long word containing intro to his question. Not included for brevity and because I don't remember any of it}. What is your opinion of the average person?

Kurt Vonnegut: Do you consider yourself to be above average?

AK: Well, yes.

KV: Well, you're not.

Crowd: {Much laughter at the expense of AK.}

AK: {Sheepishly sits down.}

After the event was over, my wife and I caught up with KV in the parking lot. As seemed completely appropriate, he was wearing an old sport jacket that had holes worn through the elbows. My wife asked if he would mind signing my old paperback copy of Welcome to the Monkey House for a fellow Hoosier. This is the only Vonnegut book I have every purchased, all of the other ones I've read coming from the library. His response was this: "I've been signing books all day, and if I sign that for you, I'll have to sign stuff for everyone else."

So, I have a book that Kurt Vonnegut personally refused to sign, which I think seems very fitting.