Throughout my life it has in fact been very difficult for me to get used to the disconcerting and flabbergasting "normality" of the beings who surround me and who people the world. I always say to myself, "Nothing of what might happen ever happens!" I cannot understand why human beings should be so little individualized, why they should behave with such great collective uniformity. Take such a simple thing as amusing oneself by derailing trains! Think of the thousands of kilometres of railroad tracks that cover the earth, in Europe, America and Asia! And what a negligible percentage of those who have a passion for derailing trains ever put it into practice, as compared to the number who have a passion for traveling! When the train wrecker Marouchka was caught in Hungary this was regarded as a sensational and unique event.
I cannot understand why man should be capable of so little fantasy. I cannot understand why bus drivers should not have a desire once in a while to crash into a five-and-ten-cent store window and catch a few toys on the fly for their wives, and amuse the children who happened to be around.
I do not understand, I cannot understand why toilet manufacturers do not put concealed bombs in the flushing compartment of their products which would burst the moment certain politicians pulled the chain.
I cannot understand why bath-tubs are always made in approximately the same shape; why no one invents taxi-cabs more expensive than the others fitted inside with a device for making artificial rain which would oblige the passenger to wear his rain coat when he got in while the weather was fine and sunny outside.
I do not understand why, when I ask for a grilled lobster in a restaurant, I am never served a cooked telephone; I do not understand why champagne is always chilled and why on the other hand telephones, which are habitually so frightfully warm and disagreeably sticky to the touch, are not also put in silver buckets with crushed ice around them.
Telephone frappé, mint-colored telephone, aphrodisiac telephone, lobster-telephone, telephone sheathed in sable for the boudoirs of sirens with fingernails protected with ermine, Edgar Allan Poe telephones with a dead rat concealed within, Boecklin telephones installed inside a cypress tree (and with an allegory of death in inlayed silver on their backs), telephones on the leash which would walk about, screwed to the back of a living turtle . . . telephones . . . telephones . . . telephones . . .