“One sort of optional thing you might do is to realize there are six seasons instead of four. The poetry of four seasons is all wrong for this part of the planet, and this may explain why we are so depressed so much of the time. I mean, Spring doesn’t feel like Spring a lot of the time, and November is all wrong for Fall and so on. Here is the truth about the seasons: Spring is May and June! What could be springier than May and June? Summer is July and August. Really hot, right? Autumn is September and October. See the pumpkins? Smell those burning leaves. Next comes the season called “Locking.” That is when Nature shuts everything down. November and December aren’t Winter. They’re Locking. Next comes Winter, January and February. Boy! Are they ever cold! What comes next? Not Spring. Unlocking comes next. What else could April be?
“One more optional piece of advice: If you ever have to give a speech, start with a joke, if you know one. For years I have been looking for the best joke in the world. I think I know what it is. I will tell it to you, but have to help me. You have to say, “No,” when I hold my hand like this. All right? Don’t let me down.
“Do you know why cream is so much more expensive than milk?
"It is because the cows hate to squat on those little bottles.”
Excerpted from If This Isn't Nice, What Is? by Kurt Vonnegut; edited and introduced by Dan Wakefield. Copyright © 2014 by Kurt Vonnegut; edited and introduced by Dan Wakefield. Excerpted by permission of Seven Stories Press, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.