“We can slurp from that mighty river to our heart’s content And we even take slurping lessons, so we can slurp more efficiently.”
“From lawyers! From Tax consultants! From customer’s men!” Were born close enough to the river to drown ourselves and the next ten generations in wealth, simply using dippers and buckets. But we still hire experts to teach us the use of aqueducts, dams, reservoirs, siphons, bucket brigades, and the Archimedes’ screw. And our teachers in turn become rich, and their children become buyers of lessons in slurping.”
“‘Go where the rich and powerful are,’ I’d tell him, ‘and learn their ways. They can be flattered and they can be scared. Please them enormously or scare them enormously, and one moonless night they will put their fingers to their lips, warning you not to make a sound. And they will lead you through the dark to the widest, deepest river of wealth ever known to man. You’ll be shown your place on the riverbank, and handed a bucket all your own. Slurp as much as you want, but try to keep the racket of your slurping down. A poor man might hear.'”
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater: Or, Pearls Before Swine
By Kurt Vonnegut, Random House, 1998, pages 122-123.
Originally published in 1965