Friday, August 21, 2009

If This Isn't Nice, What Is?

"My late Uncle Alex Vonnegut, my father’s kid brother, a Harvard-educated life insurance agent in Indianapolis who was well read and wise, was a humanist like all the rest of the family. What Uncle Alex found particularly objectionable about human beings in general was that they so seldom noticed it when they were happy.

He himself did his best to acknowledge it when times were sweet. We could be drinking lemonade in the shade of an apple tree in the summertime, and Uncle Alex would interrupt the conversation to say, “If this isn’t nice, what is?”

I myself say that out loud at times of easy, natural bliss: “If this isn’t nice, what is?” Perhaps others can also make use of that heirloom from Uncle Alex. I find it really cheers me up to keep score out loud that way."

--Kurt Vonnegut

I say "If this isn't nice, what is?" quite a lot to honor, Mr. Vonnegut, my favorite author and maybe my favorite human being. And then I almost always add, "God bless you Kurt and Uncle Alex wherever you are. I hope it's nice." It's a ritual I have, and if no one else is around, I say it to the cat or the dog. Who gives a shit? The main thing is to say it and thereby to recognize happiness. It's American Zen.

11 comments:

downtown guy said...

I usually say, "Damned if this ain't good," but it's the same feeling.

Findon said...

A wonderful sentiment too. Thanks for the message. I am doing fine, have to have an angioplast in the cooming week but apart from that I'm told to take it easy. So I am having sometime off work. First time that hasever happened in 33 years and I feel as guilty as hell. I am very touched and feel ever so special that I was in your thoughts. I have to tell you that I have just told my Beautiful that if I wasn't married to her then it would be a gorgeous creature called SB, you are special to me as you make me smile and you are a genuine human being. There aren't that many around these days. Have a good weekend and I'll keep you posted.

Steph said...

I love Kurt and I love you.

Findon said...

I left a comment before so I hope you got it. I have just taped ( theres a term that dates me) 84 Charring Cross Road. One of my all time favourite films. I was trying to think who Anm Bancroft reminded me of. Then it hit me. It's you. You ARE Ann Bancroft in Charing X road. God I love that woman, she has such spunk ( another term that dates me). And that's why I love you SB. You're the best.

Ms. Moon said...

Thank-you for that very sweet reminder, Ms. Bastard. You are loved.

adrienne said...

i looked at the photo alone, and i too thought to myself 'if this isn't nice, what is?'

then i read the quote, and seconded (wtf?) that emotion.

then i thought to myself, 'who the hell does sb think sb is to choose an appellation like 'sb' and then go and write such a lovely post?

it's neither sarcastic nor bastardy; i must say i love you for your versatility.

xo

Sarcastic Bastard said...

DTG,
Yes, it is.

Sending love,

SB

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Findon,
Thank you for the really kind comments. I loved Charing Cross Road. And Anne Bancroft was a feisty old broad. I loved her.

You are special to me, too, and I will be thinking of you. DO please keep me posted.

Sending good thoughts and love,

SB

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Steph,
I love you, too, girl!

SB

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Ms. Moon,
You are my idol and I do not jest.

Love,

SB

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Adrienne,
And I love you for your insightful and perceptive comments on my page and the pages of others. We travel a lot of the same Internet ground, and I always read your comments.

You are very wise, and I am glad to call you a friend.

Love, SB.