Bagombo Snuff Box

10♦  10♦  10♦  10♦  10♦  10♦  10♦

Where is Bagombo, anyway?  In Ceylon.  Where is Ceylon?  Africa? India? China?

I couldn’t help but like Eddie Laird.  He not only suckered his ex-wife and her current husband in to believing he was a wealthy world-traveler, but he suckered me into believing it, too.  I really felt like I was sitting in Amy and Harry’s living room. What an impression Eddie made on these two with his small bejeweled gift from his travels!  Looking back on the story, it’s funny how easily impressionable Amy and Harry were in comparing their suburban family life to Eddie’s stories.

Then, of course, their little brat, Stevie, comes in to ruin it all!  How dare a nine year-old enter the room and demand to know where Ceylon is?  Or to question the small tag on Eddie’s gift?  As the reader, the realization of what Eddie’s stories were didn’t dawn on me until Stevie and his parents go get an Atlas while Eddie makes a run for it.

The phone call Eddie makes at the end of the story could have been simply sweet and sentimental, but the air of sadness in it made me like Eddie all the more.  Vintage Kurt Vonnegut!

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2 responses to “Bagombo Snuff Box

  1. Hi Dale,
    I re-read this after readi your post. I’d remembered the ending of Eddie’s misplacing the location of the purchase of his exotic gift, but had forgotten how he’d agreed with the kid, who turned out to be wrong, kind of a sweet story,I thought. 🙂
    -Jay

    • Jay,
      While Vonnegut is known for his biting satire and social commentary, his short stories (especially the ones in this collection), show he’s just as skilled with human nature and human emotions. This is just a great collection!
      -Dale

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