The Bridge will participate to the celebrations, given the importance Adams’ novel had in the development of the twisted mind behind this blog. As an example, here you are an arrogant quote from my MA thesis, recently brought up to light by Rodolfo Toè:
”Most probably, a work like this (or better to say, the attempt to produce this analysis fruitfully) would have no meaning in Hitchhikers’s Guide to the Galaxy’s universe. The existence of the Babel fish would, in fact, sort out most of the misunderstanding, controversies, deceptions and mistakes derived from the different languages we all use.”
What is a Babel fish? Buy the complete five-books saga and find it out. This post is dedicated to Towel Day, thus we shall investigate more on the meaning of such an object, as Adams describes it:
“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 miniraft 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 avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); 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.
Hence a phrase that has passed into hitchhiking slang, as in “Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There’s a frood who really knows where his towel is.” (Sass: know, be aware of, meet, have sex with; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy.)”
As clearly proven by Adams, a towel is the most diplomatic, elegant and practical tool for moderns “internationals”. Especially for those, like the undersigned, who are obliged to beg somebody else hospitality during their researches, their leisure trips, their job journeys.
If my 5th & 1/2 sense is right, most of the readers of this blog are inner, hidden (maybe not so hidden…) Hitchhikers. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. I would rather say that it is a new status symbol, it denotes a clear understanding of world’s social functioning. It is an expression of a new awareness.
That is why, my dear Hitchhikers, we shall show our devoted awareness to the world and share a towel with the rest of mankind.
May 25th will be the day: bring a towel with you, wherever you are.
Please feel free to share your pics of Towel Day celebrations on The Bridge Facebook Page
And remember: elegance is an attitude.
Thus, LONG LIVE THE TOWEL!
p.s.: this blog will also advocate for the creation of an international Babel fish day. Unfortunately I am pretty sure that those who believe in any god would not endorse the campaign…