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Hey, galactic hitchhikers - Happy Towel Day!


42 towelQuothe the Wikipedia:

"Towel Day is celebrated every May 25 as a tribute by fans of the late author Douglas Adams. The commemoration was first held in 2001, two weeks after his death on May 11, and since then has been extended to an annual event. On this day, fans carry a towel with them throughout the day. The towel is a reference to Adams's popular science fiction comedy series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."

Hoopy FroodAppropriately enough, I'll be traveling (by air, not by thumb) today, and you can bet I'll have my wits and my towel about me. Always let it be said: "Hey, you sass that hoopy, The Trivia Geek? Now there's a frood who really knows where his towel is."

About

Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger -- amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...

10 comments
neilb
neilb

There are those of us who listened to the BBC radio series back in 1978 and then watched the BBC TV adaptation a couple of years later. I have a T-shirt with "Funny how just when you think life can't possibly get any worse" (Front), "it suddenly does" (Back) that's older than some of the peers. Another twenty years before "Towel Day" hit the streets!

john
john

Ah, but what a legacy... HHGG, Python, Dick Cavett, Dirk Gently, to name but a few. I don't believe in life after, but if there is, I imagine to meet up with him in The Restaurant.

midniteone
midniteone

I too go back (almost) to the original incarnation - picked up the radio series on its first repeat on a dodgy deck in university days - and I've collected books, TV, movie along the way (missed out on the theatre version(s), though). happy to see that the movie finally made it out of development hell - I don't think it did the concept justice but what does? - and the last three series on the radio were fun but had the air of a tribute to the man rather than breaking any new barriers. DNA (apparently he thought that was funny) was a real loss, a subtle but subversive humorist who could hit you on several levels without being as showy (or as revered) as Pratchett (with whom he is most often compared, can't really see why). I sometimes got the feeling that his later stuff was an attempt to break away from Hitch-hikers and that it was always somehow seen as 'second best'. Shame really as Dirk Gently had no truck with causality or the idea of an ordered universe and could be reassuringly anarchic. I'm sure there was more, and maybe better, to come - a real loss. so often, Marvin is the one everyone latches onto out of HHGTG - I did used to wonder if, although he claimed it was based on someone else, it was really the man himself talking. there's a moment towards the end of the second season when Marvin's voice over says something about 'oh dear, reality's on the fritz again' which always keeps me afloat when the spreadsheets are spitting garbage at me. meanwhile, another round of the old Gargle-Blasters!

jck
jck

I can't help I was born in America. However, I am happy to report that I did read the Hitchhiker's books in the early 80s while in middle school...and, I do own the MPEG versions of the show from the beeb on my PC. Marvin is my hero :)

maecuff
maecuff

as the next person. But that doesn't mean I'm going to carry a towel around all day. People think I'm weird enough as it is. I liked the Dirk Gently books better than Hitchhiker. Not that it wasn't great, I just liked Dirk more. As far as hitchhiker on film, I liked the BBC TV adaptation more than the recent movie. The movie kind of sucked.

neilb
neilb

How are things with you. Might be heading your way in October - assuming you haven't made it out - as your Grandma has a hankering for a vacation in Clearwater - assuming that the Scientologists don't get us. Would you recommend the place? Marvin is one of the all time great characters! Marvin stood at the end of the bridge corridor. He was not in fact a particularly small robot. His silver body gleamed in the dusty sunbeams and shook with the continual barrage which the building was still undergoing. He did, however, look pitifully small as the gigantic black tank rolled to a halt in front of him. The tank examined him with a probe. The probe withdrew. Marvin stood there. "Out of my way little robot," growled the tank. "I'm afraid," said Marvin, "that I've been left here to stop you." The probe extended again for a quick recheck. It withdrew again. "You? Stop me?" roared the tank. "Go on!" "No, really I have," said Marvin simply. "What are you armed with?" roared the tank in disbelief. "Guess," said Marvin. The tank's engines rumbled, its gears ground. Molecule-sized electronic relays deep in its micro-brain flipped backwards and forwards in consternation. "Guess?" said the tank. "Yes, go on," said Marvin to the huge battle machine, "you'll never guess." "Errmmm ..." said the machine, vibrating with unaccustomed thought, "laser beams?" Marvin shook his head solemnly. "No," muttered the machine in its deep guttural rumble, "Too obvious. Anti-matter ray?" it hazarded. "Far too obvious," admonished Marvin. "Yes," grumbled the machine, somewhat abashed, "Er ... how about an electron ram?" This was new to Marvin. "What's that?" he said. "One of these," said the machine with enthusiasm. From its turret emerged a sharp prong which spat a single lethal blaze of light. Behind Marvin a wall roared and collapsed as a heap of dust. The dust billowed briefly, then settled. "No," said Marvin, "not one of those." "Good though, isn't it?" "Very good," agreed Marvin. "I know," said the Frogstar battle machine, after another moment's consideration, "you must have one of those new Xanthic Re-Structron Destabilized Zenon Emitters!" "Nice, aren't they?" said Marvin. "That's what you've got?" said the machine in considerable awe. "No," said Marvin. "Oh," said the machine, disappointed, "then it must be ..." "You're thinking along the wrong lines," said Marvin, "You're failing to take into account something fairly basic in the relationship between men and robots." "Er, I know," said the battle machine, "is it ..." it tailed off into thought again. "Just think," urged Marvin, "they left me, an ordinary, menial robot, to stop you, a gigantic heavy-duty battle machine, whilst they ran off to save themselves. What do you think they would leave me with?" "Oooh, er," muttered the machine in alarm, "something pretty damn devastating I should expect." "Expect!" said Marvin, "oh yes, expect. I'll tell you what they gave me to protect myself with shall I?" "Yes, alright," said the battle machine, bracing itself. "Nothing," said Marvin. There was a dangerous pause. "Nothing?" roared the battle machine. "Nothing at all," intoned Marvin dismally, "not an electronic sausage." The machine heaved about with fury. "Well, doesn't that just take the biscuit!" it roared, "Nothing, eh? Just don't think, do they?" "And me," said Marvin in a soft low voice, "with this terrible pain in all the diodes down my left side." "Makes you spit, doesn't it?" "Yes," agreed Marvin with feeling. "Hell that makes me angry," bellowed the machine, "think I'll smash that wall down!" The electron ram stabbed out another searing blaze of light and took out the wall next to the machine. "How do you think I feel?" said Marvin bitterly. "Just ran off and left you, did they?" the machine thundered. "Yes," said Marvin. "I think I'll shoot down their bloody ceiling as well!" raged the tank. It took out the ceiling of the bridge. "That's very impressive," murmured Marvin. "You ain't seeing nothing yet," promised the machine, "I can take out this floor too, no trouble!" It took out the floor, too. "Hell's bells!" the machine roared as it plummeted fifteen storeys and smashed itself to bits on the ground below. "What a depressingly stupid machine," said Marvin and trudged away.

neilb
neilb

I'm so thankful that a mate got me a hookey DVD. I got half an hour into it and then consigned the DVD to the microwave. I can't even complain that it was Hollywood rubbish as the money came from there but it was made in the UK and so obviously made by people who had no idea what it was about. Ah well. Another of my cultural icons gets shagged senseless... :(

JamesRL
JamesRL

I think I may have mentioned it before, but my wife had an interesting encounter in the late 80's. She had been an avid reader of the Hitchhiker Trilogy (all four of them), and she was actually serving someone with legal papers at a hotel. She was sitting in the lobby reading the first Dirk Gently Book, when someone asked about her opinion of it. She said that it was ok, but not as good as the Hitchhiker series. If you haven't guessed who the person asking was.....he did sign her book anyway. I heard the BBC radio plays on CBC radio in my university days. The radio plays to me will always be the definitive version. Douglas was also a bit of a techie. I still remember his Mac World article in the 90s about the fun he had trying to add a handheld scanner to his Mac's SCSI chain - while it was on paper totally feasible, he wasn't able to make it work without disabling some of the devices. The conversations he had with tech support at the scanner maker were very humourous. Yes the movie sucked. But I have the new Doctor Who series to console me - it managed to change the tone of the original series, add special effects, but still make it fun and compelling. James James

jck
jck

Nowhere. If you're coming for a proper holiday, stay in Clearwater Beach or one of the adjoining beaches to the south of it (Madiera Beach, Indian Shores, etc.). There are some very nice hotels in Clearwater Beach right on the water. Also, there's a place called "Big Ben Pub" in Clearwater Beach who (last I knew 2 years ago), if you eat dinner and have drinks there, will send their London-style taxi to fetch you and deliver you back to your hotel. And last I was there, it was run by Rodney who was from England. Drop me a private mail, and I'll help you get all the information you need since Clearwater Beach is a local call on my mobile phone. I'll get you all the info I can straight from the hotels and what not.

maecuff
maecuff

I was a late comer to Douglas Adam's work. I read the Dirk Gently books before I read the Hitchhiker series. Maybe if it had been the other way around, I'd feel differently. Very cool about the book signing. Have you read Last Chance to See? I really enjoyed that one.

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