“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 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 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.”
Hitchhikers, grab your towel and
For as long as we can remember (actually 2001), the 25th of May has been celebrated as Towel Day – a tribute to the wonderful Douglas Adams.
Adams was the creator of (among others) the Trilogy in Five (or six) Parts:
– The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (H2G2 or HHGTTG)
– The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
– Life, the Universe and Everything
– So Long and Thanks for All the Fish
– Mostly Harmless
– And Another Thing… (written by Eoin Colfer)
Visit the official Towel Day website to find out how you can get involved!
The Guide on why you shouldn’t forget your towel:
Quotation from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams