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2 B R O 2 B

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Published: 1962
Language: English
Wordcount: 3,610 / 18 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 53.9
LoC Category: PN
Downloads: 29,405
Added to site: 2007.05.03 16767

Got a problem? Just pick up the phone. It solved them all--and all the same way!

Show Excerpt

ring accidents, was an adventure for volunteers.

The population of the United States was stabilized at forty-million souls.

One bright morning in the Chicago Lying-in Hospital, a man named Edward K. Wehling, Jr., waited for his wife to give birth. He was the only man waiting. Not many people were born a day any more.

Wehling was fifty-six, a mere stripling in a population whose average age was one hundred and twenty-nine.

X-rays had revealed that his wife was going to have triplets. The children would be his first.

Young Wehling was hunched in his chair, his head in his hand. He was so rumpled, so still and colorless as to be virtually invisible. His camouflage was perfect, since the waiting room had a disorderly and demoralized air, too. Chairs and ashtrays had been moved away from the walls. The floor was paved with spattered dropcloths.

The room was being redecorated. It was being redecorated as a memorial to a man who had voluntee

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4.4 from 13 reviews: *****

I loved this short story. It was simple and creepy. Creepy is good. Give it a try!


Really interesting short story. Short and quick, it makes you think about the dark side of this "utopian" society.

Aster Asmb

The end made me think of how the humans in that reality would choose to reform their world. That is, once they became fed up with being mostly populated with deceptively old men who thought themselves no more insane than schizophrenics or monetary systems.


A thought-provoking story that touches on some of the burning issues of the day by showing how they've been "resolved" in the future.
You, of course, get the sublime writing style of Vonnegut to take through it.

Andrew Ives

Interesting, thought-provoking & depressing in equal amounts. I wouldn't say it was brilliantly written though and if such a scenario ever arises in the future, I imagine it would be dealt with quite differently. ie not entirely voluntarily, so the main premise has rather a big drawback.


a tale that proved to be smack in the middle of utopia and dystopia... an interesting point... i would want to see this as a short film, preferably directed by David Lynch...


Good story.

The reader's various voices are pretty hammy, though. It was a good effort to energize the story, but it was ultimately distracting.


Great futuristic short.


Funny, though-provoking, prescient, concise.
Vonnegut manages in a few pages what most lesser authors never achieve in a lifetime of novels.


Typical Vonnegut, and that is not a bad thing.


A perfect example of Vonnegut; a perfect example of what SF is all about.


It's quirky and pessimistically fun in that wonderfully depressing Vonnegut sort of way. It's a great example of his style, and I absolutely loved it.

Carl Heerwagen

I found this story to be very interesting and sad. A classic Vonnegut tale.



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R.J. Patterson
While growing up in a military family, R.J. Patterson spent some of his formative years living with his family on the estate of an English baron and baroness. It was there that he developed his passion for good literature. After winning numerous awards for his writing and journalistic work, Patterson left journalism full-time to pursue writing books and now resides in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and four children. He plans to write many more thrilling novels unless the CIA presses him into service to save the world. As our Author of the Day, Patterson tells us everything about his Brady Hawk Box Set.
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