Thoreau and Vonnegut - Day 10

Some bearded man who enjoyed peace and quiet, and, incidentally, to write about it a lot, once wrote in his book about a pond called Walden that “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation…” or some such.

Listen: I lead a life of quiet desperation, wherein my dreams are vivid but the actual events of my life are undertaken with a hesitancy befitting a young group of infantrymen told by their superiors to charge across no-man’s-land during the first world war.

Kilgore Trout once wrote a story about a race of aliens that lived on an inhospitable planet on the outer reaches of a far-off galaxy where the only thing that could possibly sustain life was a little cactus that grew near the only pools of water on the planets rocky surface, which were located around its equator. These cacti lived symbiotically with the aliens. Both species grew to full size within 10 days of their birth without consuming any nutrients, and after the 10 days, an alien would eat one of the cacti, and immediately die after laying an egg that would spawn a new alien and emitting a spore that would plant a new cactus.

This symbiosis continued until one day when an alien named Flitzak was bold and greedy enough to eat his cactus and his young, 5-day old neighbor’s 5-day old cactus at the same time. Flitzak died immediately, but only spawned one alien and one cactus for the two cacti he ate the two aliens whose death he was responsible for. Flitzak’s son was named Boltzak, and Boltzak, when he was but 5 days old, took to the field of young cacti and aliens, and instead of eating a cactus, which would have killed him and made him reproduce, he ate a minute-old alien, which