Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Here's What Your Friends Won't Tell You About "The Hitchhiker's Guide"

After years of having better things to do -- or, more accurately, having other things that needed doing first -- I have finally managed to finish Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. So, to all of my friends who cajoled, pleaded, nudged, prodded, admonished and even gave their copies to (thanks, Cindy), it is done. I have joined the dark side. I thoroughly enjoyed it, which I knew I would. And I'm already an addict, which I suspected I would become. I have moved straight on through the next book, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, and am currently halfway through volume 3 of the trilogy, Life, the Universe and Everything, which is proving to be every bit as entertaining. (For the uninitiated, there are actually five books, though Adams had initially planned only to write the three. When the third book was published, it came with the logline, "Third book in the Hitchhiker's Trilogy." When the fourth book, So Long and Thanks for All The Fish, was published, the logline read "Trilogy in four parts." Some printings of the fifth book, Mostly Harmless, carried the logline, "Fifth part of the increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhiker's Trilogy." It is literary perversities such as these that make your friends push you to read these books.)

But here's the thing that none of my fellow addicts bothered to mention. That's the dreams. I have dreams of Zaphod Beeblebrox. I have dreams of Slartibartfast. I can hear Marvin the Robot's depressed moaning drawl, deep within my brain during the course of the day, especially in the afternoons, when the hours get long before its time to go home. I also think that I've fallen in love with Douglas Adams, based solely on his voice (these are books on cassette, unabridged and read by the author), and am extremely upset that he chose to die before we met, for I would have hatched a plot to steal him away from his wife and make him mine. It was extremely bad timing on his part, and given his obvious expertise in time travel, I fully expect him to rectify the error at his earliest convenience.

Anyway, I have joined the dark side. I am a hostage to the deadly white robots from the planet Krikit. I have fallen headlong into the long, dark teatime of the soul. I have lunched at the restaurant at the end of the universe.

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of the Vogon poetry, I will fear not. For I know exactly where my towel is.



  1. See? SEEEEEEE??? (Yay!!) If you manage to steal Douglas Adams, due to some time travel thing... I will be madder than the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal. I'm in love with him! I heard his voice first!! I will have to snatch your towel away from you... and send you to the planet Now What?!... or, or... I'll make you go apprentice under The Sandwitch Maker (you haven't gotten there yet)... but by Almighty Bob... you will soon. You must also read (AND LISTEN TO) Last Chance To See, which is one of my favorite bits of nonfiction EVER, EVER, EVER.

  2. OK, I have to admit I haven't read it either (ducking and cringing). And friends have tried their damndest to compel me. I've picked it up a half a dozen times and then gotten distracted. Does it take awhile to suck you in?

  3. Mary-Mia -- if you get the books on tape (especially if Adams is reading it), I promise you you will be instantly hooked. If you read the book, it might take a chapter or two.

    Come, Mary-Mia.... join us.... join the dark side.... you'll need something fabulous to read on the plane to China....

    (I know. I have no shame. It's a well-known fact.)