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Chapter 5

To Tralfamadorians, the stars look like spaghetti. Billy wanted to read, but the Tralfamadorians only had the Valley of the Dolls (for the zoo exhibit) and their own novels-which looked like clumps of symbols separated by stars. They have no plot, but merely a collection of scenes. Billy was flung back to a childhood trip to the rim of the Grand Canyon. The ranger told them three people committed suicide there annually. So it goes. Then Billy leapt to later in the vacation when they were in the Carlsbad Caverns experiencing total darkness. Suddenly, he was in total light in the delousing station. He got his clothes back and had his name written in a ledger, thus proving he was still alive. As they waited to move on, one American was knocked down. He asked the guard, "Why me?" They moved to a shed and were greeted by 50 middle-aged Englishmen singing "Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here." Officers taken prisoner early in the war, they were in good shape (especially thanks to a Red Cross clerical error). The Brits set up a banquet and a musical performance of "Cinderella" for the Americans. Billy started shrieking during the performance and was taken to the hospital. Derby volunteered to watch Billy as he read The Red Badge of Courage. Under morphine, Billy dreamed of giraffes in a garden. He was unstuck in time and went to a mental ward in a veteran's hospital in 1948. His roommate was Eliot Rosewater, a sci-fi fanatic devoted to the work of Kilgore Trout. Billy also became enthralled by Rosewater's Trout collection. Rosewater said the Brothers Karamozov contained everything there was to know about life. "But that isn't enough anymore," Rosewater said. When Billy's mom came to visit, Billy covered his head with his blanket. She embarrassed him because she had worked so hard to give him life and Billy really didn't like life. Rosewater, experimenting with being ardently sympathetic, had a bland conversation with Billy's mom. When Billy awoke, he was back in WWII thinking about the future moment when Derby would be killed by a Dresden firing squad. The head Englishman, coming to check up on Billy, said he had seen the American's shaved faces and said to himself, "It's the Children's Crusade."
Billy traveled back to the veteran's hospital. His mother had gone, but his fianc´┐Że Valencia was now there. Wealthy, and a chocoholic, her engagement ring was made with a diamond Billy found in Germany. Billy knew he was crazy when he asked her to marry him. Later, Rosewater comments, "That's the attractive thing about war. Absolutely everybody gets a little something." The three of them discussed The Gospel from Outer Space, another book by Trout. The Christian Gospels teach if you kill somebody, make sure he's not well connected. So an alien, who decided this is why Christians can be so cruel, wrote a new gospel in which Jesus was adopted by God just before he died-proving that everyone should be nice to everyone. Rosewater complains that it's hard to get Trout's books because he is constantly changing publishers. Trout actually lives in Ilium-but more on that later. Valencia wants to talk about silver patterns, but Billy traveled forward to the Tralfamadorian zoo. Everything from his habitat had been stolen from the Sears & Roebuck warehouse in Iowa City, Iowa. The crowd watched him do everything through a dome. A question came from the crowd: "Are you happy here?" Billy answered, "About as happy as I was on Earth." Billy learned there were five sexes on Tralfamadore and seven on Earth. Most of these were only sexually active in the 4th dimension. Tralfamadorians couldn't understand earthlings' conception of time except as a painful torture device. Billy thought the aliens, who always seemed so peaceful at the zoo, wouldn't understand the Earth concept of war. They told him they have horribly bloody wars and a Tralfamadorian test pilot eventually accidentally blows up the universe. They just prefer to remember the nice moments.
From there, Billy traveled to his wedding night where he was creating Robert. He rolled off his wife and she thanked him because she never thought no one would ever marry her. She offered to lose weight for him, but he told her he didn't need that. She asked him if he ever thought of the war, and questioned him about it. He got up to take a leak and was back in WWII. Americans were all over the latrine, sick from the Brit's massive welcome feast. Vonnegut made an appearance excreting his "brains" out. At 3am, Lazzaro was carried into the hospital. An Englishman had accidentally knocked him unconscious when Lazzaro was trying to steal his cigarettes. A German major came in with a monograph by Howard W. Campbell Jr., an American in the German ministry of propaganda. He later committed suicide while awaiting trial. His writings bashed Americans' love of money and the soldiers' behavior. While they were reading his statements, Billy traveled to 1968. Barbara was mad about his letters to newspapers about aliens and worried about how cold the house was. She forced him to lay under his electric blanket until the oil burner man came. So Billy went to sleep and traveled to the zoo when his mate Montana Wildhack, an American movie star, was brought in. She was only 20 years old and only had a heart -shaped locket on. The sight of aliens freaked her out, but she came to love and trust Billy. They slept together. Billy awoke in 1968 in Ilium, after having a wet dream. Billy went to work the next day and saw a boy whose dad had been killed in Vietnam. So Billy reassured him that he would see his dad again in those earlier moments. Billy was taken home.

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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10



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