Friday, May 24, 2013

Towel Day 05.25.13

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say on the subject of towels.

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 mindbogglingly 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: nonhitchhiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, washcloth, 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 hitchhiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitchhiker might have accidentally "lost.". What the strag will think is that any man that can hitch the length and breadth of the Galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through and still know where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

Hence a phrase that has passed into hitchhiking slang, as in "Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There's a frood who really knows where his towel is." (Sass: know, be aware of, meet, have sex with; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy.)    -- excerpted from "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams

Sass me, my hoopy froods.

Tomorrow is Towel Day.

Or today, depending on your time zone.

Or maybe, yesterday, last month or 42 years ago, depending on when you are reading this. 

Douglas Adams, whose life and work we are celebrating, had a few things to say about time, relativity and digital watches, in his books/radio show/television series/movie...

                                              "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

                    "Time is an illusion. Lunchtime, doubly so." -- Ford Prefect

If you know what The Blog is talking about, then you know what The Blog is talking about.

If you don't know what The Blog is talking about, how the hell did you wind up here?

That's okay. The PC is about to introduce you to one of the great joys of living on the ("Mostly Harmless") planet Earth.

Turn your computer off.

Get your ass down to your local book seller.

Or public library.

Or your eReader store.

And start reading "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," right now.

Or, you could do a search for the original radio show.

The BBC television series is available on DVD, probably Netflix, and The Blog wouldn't be surprised if you can find it on YouTube or Hulu, for free.

Avoid the Disney produced movie, for the time being.

While it has it's merits...

                                            ...including the presence of Zooey Deschanel...

... The movie isn't the best introduction to "H2G2" for the newbie.

(The fact that the ready made franchise never made it to the first sequel attests to that.)

In the meantime...

Let us raise a glass,

Whether a glass of jynnan tonnyx...

"It is a curious fact, and one to which no one knows quite how much importance to attach, that something like 85% of all known worlds in the Galaxy, be they primitive or highly advanced, have invented a drink called jynnan tonnyx, or gee-N'N-T'N-ix, or jinond-o-nicks, or any one of a thousand or more variations on the same phonetic theme. The drinks themselves are not the same, and vary between the Sivolvian "chinanto/mnigs" which is ordinary water served at slightly above room temperature, and the Gagrakackan "tzjin-anthony-ks" which kills cows at a hundred paces; and in fact the one common factor between all of them, beyond the fact that the names sound the same, is that they were all invented and named before the worlds concerned made contact with any other worlds."

... A Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster...

"[The Hitchhiker's Guide] says that the effect of a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick."

... or a hot cup of something that is, "almost, but not quite entirely, unlike tea..."

... and toast the memory of Douglas Adams. Author, satirist, early computer geek, "militant atheist," and even more militant advocate for the planet Earth and it's most endangered species.

Douglas, you are deeply missed!

And, "Thanks for all the fish."

No comments:

Post a Comment