Friday, May 25, 2007

Don't Panic

It seems without those two wise words, well truly 1 word, and a two word contraction, we would be lost with the passing of Douglas Adams on May 11th, 2001. He was a literary wisenheimer, and to crib a little, he was able to turn a phrase such that it hung in the air, much like brick shouldn't.

So with a proper morning period of two weeks well in place one fateful May 25, 2001 was a time to celebrate Douglas Adams with Towel day. Towel's being so very useful as one hitchhikes across the Galaxy, in fact the guide itself says:

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have. Partly it has great practical
value - you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you - daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

So Douglas, where ever your disembodied voice might be, let me this with a now cliche of your own devising.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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