25 May 2009

Don't Panic

Grab your Hitchhiker's Guide, towel and babblefish, it's time to celebrate Douglas Adams.

Towel Day is celebrated every May 25 as a tribute by fans of the late author Douglas Adams. On this day, fans carry a towel with them to demonstrate their love for the books and the author. The commemoration was first held in 2001, two weeks after Adams' death on May 11, 2001.

A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. ... For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitchhiker) 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 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.

---- Douglas Adams, Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy
If you have never read the many works of Douglas Adams, do not make the mistake of thinking of him as "just" a science fiction writer or "just" a humorist or "just" a commentator on all that surrounded him and attracted his attention. He was quite simply one of the most original thinkers to bless the planet while giving you a truly big laugh.
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem.

Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.

Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the drug store, but that's just peanuts to space.

Reality is frequently inaccurate.

He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher... or, as his wife would have it, an idiot.

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.

I'm spending a year dead for tax reasons.

If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.

If somebody thinks they're a hedgehog, presumably you just give 'em a mirror and a few pictures of hedgehogs and tell them to sort it out for themselves.

It is a rare mind indeed that can render the hitherto non-existent blindingly obvious. The cry 'I could have thought of that' is a very popular and misleading one, for the fact is that they didn't.

The impossible often has a kind of integrity which the merely improbable lacks.

The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at and repair.

There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

This must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays.

To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.

You live and learn. At any rate, you live.

Farewell and thanks for all the fish.


Linda said...

Amanda has been reading "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" so she would appreciate this post! I read the books years ago and they were great!

Now that I think about it, I believe the book is due back at the library, too!

carol g said...

For a while I wondered what towel day was. Then I looked it up. Then I forgot about it. But now I am going to get this book.