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“Smoking is rubbish, most of the time. But if I’d never smoked, I’d never have met Kurt Vonnegut. We were both at a huge party in New York, and I sneaked out onto the balcony for a cigarette, and there he was, smoking. So we talked—about C. S. Forester, I seem to remember. (That’s just a crappy and phony figure of speech. Of course I remember.) So tell your kids not to smoke, but it’s only fair to warn them of the downside, too: that they will therefore never get the chance to offer the greatest living writer in America a light.”

“December 2003 & January 2004,” in The Polysyllabic Spree (San Francisco, CA: Believer Books, 2004), 44.
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