Study Guide

Cat's Cradle Chapter 42

By Kurt Vonnegut

Chapter 42

Bicycles for Afghanistan

  • John heads to the back of the plane where a small saloon awaits.
  • Boy have we been flying with the wrong airlines.
  • There he meets another couple, H. Lowe and Hazel Crosby.
  • Mr. Crosby is heading to San Lorenzo to build a bicycle-making factory. He claims the workers in his Chicago factory are too busy "trying to figure out new ways for everybody to be happy" (42.6).
  • Yes, what a horrible way to run a company. Not.
  • Mr. Crosby asks John for his name. Hazel Crosby instantly recognizes the name as one from Indiana.
  • You know what that means? Yep, John's a Hoosier. So is Hazel. She talks with him for a good page and a half about how amazing Hoosiers are.
  • To be fair, there are some pretty awesome Hoosiers out there.
  • Then she insists that John call her Mom. In fact, she insists that all Hoosiers call her Mom. John agrees, because what else are you going to do in that situation?
  • John takes this time to bring up the Bokononist concept of the granfalloon.
  • A granfalloon is a fake karass. Hazel's obsession with Hoosiers is an example and so are "the Communist Party, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the General Electric Company, […] and any nation, anytime, anywhere" (42.42).

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