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Today’s Guardian says

And if your grandkid ever asks for sage advice, just regurgitate Kurt Vonnegut’s: don’t take liquor in the bedroom, and don’t stick anything in your ears.

I’m scared of being the granny everyone avoids. How do I get over this?, Eleanor Gordon-Smith, 24 Dec 2019

I’ve Googled but I can find no reference to Kurt Vonnegut (or anyone else) saying this. Did he say it? If not then who did? The only reference that Google finds is the Guardian article itself.

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    There was a commercial for Q-tips in the 70s, I think, where the guy touts using the swabs for cleaning the outer ear. And he says "and, remember, never put anything in your ear, except your elbow....," and have seen the axiom phrased as "never put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear." I always assumed this was an old bit of folk wisdom. Perhaps the attribution is from a Vonnegut character saying that in a book. – PoloHoleSet Dec 26 '19 at 15:48
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I have found some people quoting this as Vonnegut: "Never take liquor into the bedroom. Don’t stick anything in your ears. Be anything but an architect. Live in a nice country rather than a powerful one. Power makes everybody crazy. Get somebody to teach you to play a musical instrument." But as Einstein said, "Be skeptical about things you read on the internet."

I have also found the following passage published in Letters by Kurt Vonnegut, in a letter to Sam Lawrence:

"Advice my father gave me: Never take liquor into the bedroom. Don’t stick anything in your ears. Be anything but an architect. Your good mother is putting a present in the mail for you. Cheers, K"

And in another letter to Nanny Vonnegut:

"I think it’s important to live in a nice country rather than a powerful one. Power makes everybody crazy."

And yet another letter to Nanny:

"Also: get somebody to teach you to play a musical instrument"

So, it appears that your skepticism about The Guardian was misguided here, the online quotes are an agglutination of loose bits, though, and half invented, since a part of it is about advice he got from his father.

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    @AE: yes, the Guardian slip, confusing “take liquor in the bedroom” and “take liquor into the bedroom”, are for a journalist inexcusable. These are different things. – Quora Feans Dec 25 '19 at 11:39
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    The crazy thing is: only after reading this answer I realized that the quote on the Title does not read "into" 🤔 – guntbert Dec 25 '19 at 15:24
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    as Einstein said, "Be skeptical about things you read on the internet." I see what you did there – Jonathan Dec 26 '19 at 8:32
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    @Jonathan I'd always heard it ascribed to Lincoln. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Dec 26 '19 at 9:25
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    @QuoraFeans Can you expand on that a little? I'm reading the former to mean "[drink] liquor in the bedroom", and the latter to mean "take liquor into the bedroom [to drink it]." Which one am I misunderstanding? – pip install Monica Dec 26 '19 at 13:05

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