During our plebe year, I remember, Jack all of a sudden decided that he was going to be a cartoonist, although he had never thought of being that before. He was compulsive. I could imagine him back in high school in Wyoming, all of a sudden deciding to build an electic chair for rats.
    The first cartoon he ever drew, and the last one, was of 2 rhinoceroses getting married. A regular human preacher in a church was saying to the congregation that anybody who knew any reason these 2 should not be joined together in holy matrimony should speak now or forever hold his peace.
    This was long before I had even met his sister Margaret.
    We were roommates, and would be for all 4 years. So he showed me the cartoon and said he bet he could sell it to Playboy.
    I asked him what was funny about it. He couldn't draw for sour apples. He had to tell me that the bride and groom were rhinoceroses. I thought they were a couple of sofas maybe, or maybe a couple of smashed-up sedans. That would have been fairly funny, come to think of it: 2 smashed-up sedans taking wedding vows. They were going to settle down.
    "What's funny about it?" said Jack incredulously. "Where's your sense of humor? If somebody doesn't stop the wedding, those two will mate and have a baby rhinoceros."
    "Of course," I said.
    "For Pete's sake," he said, "what could be uglier and dumber than a rhinoceros? Just because something can reproduce, that doesn't mean it should reproduce."
    I pointed out that to a rhinoceros another rhinoceros was wonderful.
    "That's the point," he said. "Every kind of animal thinks its own kind of animal is wonderful. So people getting married think they're wonderful, and that they're going to have a baby that's wonderful, when actually they're as ugly as rhinoceroses. Just because we think we're so wonderful doesn't mean we really are. We could be really terrible animals and just never admit it because it would hurt so much."


- Excerpt from Hocus Pocus, by Kurt Vonnegut