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Got a problem? Just pick up the phone. It solved them all—and all
the same way!
by KURT VONNEGUT, JR.
Everything was perfectly swell.
There were no prisons, no slums, no insane asylums, no cripples, no
poverty, no wars.
All diseases were conquered. So was old age.
Death, barring accidents, was an adventure for volunteers.
The population of the United States was stabilized at forty-million
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