Happy Towel Day! Today is an annual tribute to the life and work of Douglas Adams generally celebrated by fans around the universe by carrying a towel in his honor. I, for one, will be carrying a towel with me all day today. According to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a towel is “about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.”
As most Hitchhiker’s fans know, the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything is “42.” (When Adams was asked how he came up with the number, he said, it is “a completely ordinary number, a number not just divisible by two but also six and seven. In fact it’s the sort of number that you could without any fear introduce to your parents.”)
I love Adams’s humor and the whole series of Hitchhiker’s books. Right now, a little humor goes a long way. Thank you, Douglas Adams, for making me smile today.
In the original book, the narrator speaks about the answers to universal questions: “There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory mentioned, which states that this has already happened.”
Carry a towel today. If anyone asks you the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything (as computed by Deep Thought over 7.5 million years), say, “Six by nine. Forty two. That’s it. That’s all there is.” If you have correctly identified that six by nine equals fifty four and that forty two is mathematically incorrect, you have taken your first step towards understanding the wonder of Douglas Adams.
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Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.