Towel Day on May 25 is an annual holiday created to celebrate author Douglas Adams by his fans. Adams wrote the classic sci-fi novel, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” This day was organized in memory of him after he suffered a sudden heart attack at the age of 49. His fans wanted to find a way to commemorate his life’s work, and after having one towel day, its success made it a yearly event.
“A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker 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 miniraft 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 avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); 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.
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.”
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
What colour are your towels? I tend to be a bit boring, mine are mostly white or blue, apart from a few colourful beach towels.
“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” ― Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
For today’s #maydays prompt, I couldn’t help sneak in a little Douglas Adams and it was great looking through the holiday albums for a photo to fit it too! This pic is off a lovely little jetty in Sardinia for those interested, one of those photos that my husband scoffed at me for taking while I hung precariously from a wonky walkway, but I knew it would be useful one day, hopefully, it may inspire you :). Anyway, enough rambling (although that may feature) today’s prompt is about a journey. Physical, Spiritual, Emotional, you may decide. 🙂
Remember you can write a memory, short flash fiction, poetry or whatever may take your fancy and pingback here so that I can pop by and visit you. Don’t forget to TAG your prompt #maydays too.
“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 chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
For today’s #maydays prompt time to take a little walk in space. Let space somehow feature in your post today. May you live long and prosper – hehe.
Remember you can write a memory, short flash fiction, poetry or whatever maytake your fancy and pingback here so that I can pop by and visit you. Don’t forget to TAG your prompt #maydays too.
Assumptions have an unnerving way of becoming facts and received wisdom over time. This seems to be the case more and more lately particularly with the power of Facebook. I regularly seem to be reading stuff on there that I know not to be true.
A recent post that I saw being discussed was about the weather (typical British :p), saying “the flooding of a local area is down to global warming” (which is most likely true in a partial form) but I then read an article the same day about the same area having similar floods several times during different periods in the last century, so it can’t be the only reason for the area having flooded. Agreed, it is possibly a contributing factor but people just seem to make these statements without all the facts. That area has flooded in the past, yet there are more and more houses added to it, potentially without adequate drainage solutions provided and of course removing green space which can be so crucial to waterlogged areas and I am sure there are many many other contributing factors. Anyway I’m in no way an expert on global warming or flooding (and I’m wittering!), all I am trying to say is people seem to jump on a bandwagon, especially when a fear factor is concerned but they don’t seem to provide reasonable and robust arguments for these statements (both for and against).
My husband is reading a great book at the moment called “The World According To The Man In The Pub” and it reviews “so called” facts that you get told by the man in the pub and it’s amazing just how many you think are true. One story featured – that I have heard many times and believed (although I am gullible!) – was that if a store had incorrectly priced something they had to sell you it at that price. That is not true. A store at any point can refuse sale of an item and they can do so for any reason, it’s their item.
So, maybe before people dive in at the deep end, maybe they should just sit back a little and examine all the facts surrounding something, maybe even read a book about it. 🙂
On this day…12th October 1979 – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the first of five books in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy comedy science fiction series by Douglas Adams is published.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a comedy science fiction series created by Douglas Adams. Originally a radio comedy broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1978, it was later adapted to other formats, and a “trilogy” of five books published between 1979 and 1992, a sixth novel penned by Eoin Colfer in 2009.
On Writing The Hitchhiker’s Guide
Adams was a notorious deadline-buster. He was famously quoted as saying, “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they go by.” As he was polishing The Hitchhiker’s Guide, his publishers called Adams and demanded he finish the page he was writing. To ensure he didn’t hear the deadline’s whoosh, the publishing house immediately sent a bicycle courier to pick up the manuscript.
When writing the fourth book in the Hitchhiker “trilogy,” So Long and Thanks For All the Fish, Adams was locked in a hotel suite for three weeks with his editor (and girlfriend) to ensure the book got written in a timely fashion.
Did You Know?..
The Spelling of Hitchhiker varied – a lot!
The spelling of “Hitchhiker” was wildly inconsistent through the series’ publication run – from “Hitch Hiker” to “Hitch-hiker” – until Adams announced in 2000 that “Hitchhiker” one word, sans punctuation, was the definitive spelling.
Adams is best known as the author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which originated in 1978 as a BBC radio comedy before developing into a “trilogy” of five books that sold more than 15 million copies in his lifetime and generated a television series, several stage plays, comics, a computer game, and in 2005 a feature film. Adams’s contribution to UK radio is commemorated in The Radio Academy’s Hall of Fame.
Adams also wrote Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (1987) and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (1988), and co-wrote The Meaning of Liff (1983), The Deeper Meaning of Liff (1990), Last Chance to See (1990), and three stories for the television series Doctor Who. A posthumous collection of his work, including an unfinished novel, was published as The Salmon of Doubt in 2002.
What is there that has not been said about Douglas Adams? He seems to be a bit like marmite, people seem to either love or loathe him. I definitely fall into the first category. After seeing the movie I became briefly obsessed with the novels and couldn’t believe these were actually being sold in charity shops (who would give such treasure away?). His style of humour is beyond comparison and the Hitchhiker’s series is probably one of the few which genuinely make readers laugh out loud. Not much more to say apart from so long, so long, so long and thanks for all the fish!!