Sunday, May 25, 2008

Do you know where yours is?

It's Towel Day!

Carry your towel around with you today to show your respects for the great man, and also what an in-the-know type of geek you are.

Why a towel? You might as well ask what's so special about the number 42? Go read the book already! Geez, I'd read it before I'd even turned 13! And I'm assuming most, if not all, of my readers here are older than that. Go on, go reserve it at your local library, or go order a copy, I'll wait. It's called The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Ok, done? Well, since you've done that, I don't mind quoting a bit so you can understand what the rest of us are on about. The Guide has this to say about 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 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.

So, grab your towel, and drag it around with you all day. Sure it says "I'm a geek!" but at least it says "I'm a geek with great literary taste!"