Happy Towel Day to all my fellow Hitchikers! The original quote that referenced the greatness of towels is found in Douglas Adams' imaginative work The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

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, 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.

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Views: 3

Tags: Day, Hitchikers, Towel

Comment by mombat on May 25, 2008 at 4:42pm
Oh Mr. Adams, you left us too soon.
Comment by Dr Dan on May 25, 2008 at 4:57pm
I have 42 towels
Comment by Pat O. on May 25, 2008 at 8:37pm
We did lose Douglas too soon. I got to meet him, and Terry Jones (of the Pythons) at a signing at Page One. They were plugging Starship Titanic, which was effectively a novel and a separate PC video game. They had forgotten their towels, so weren't fully prepared, and I hadn't bought a copy of the book, so didn't get their autographs.

I'm not sure why this is Towel Day (guess: the day the Vogons blow up Earth for an interstellar bypass), but it also happens to be the "happy glorious 25th of May," which along with lilacs, has significance to Terry Pratchett/Discworld fans.
Comment by W2M on May 25, 2008 at 11:49pm
I brought my towel to work and had to explain it to my co-workers... did I mention I am working in Saudi Arabia? they thought it another example of my overall attraction to silliness... I agreed...
Comment by Andrea Lin on May 26, 2008 at 2:47pm
Yep, I wore the towel to work last year and definitely had some 'splainin' to do. This year, however, shame on me as the day passed me by... I was getting sunburnt for .5 oz pours of wine along with apparently 10,000 of the rest of ya'll.
Comment by Benny the Icepick on May 26, 2008 at 8:01pm
Though I had a towel with me, I was too sick yesterday to celebrate to any great extent. I did, however, make sure not to panic.
Comment by Celine on May 26, 2008 at 8:13pm
mmmm had matching towels today with the spouse to go to a pool party . . . but I have never been much for holidays.
Comment by Benny the Icepick on May 27, 2008 at 2:39pm
//I also had five pints at lunch - just in case.//
Five pints of... Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters?


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