onsdag, mai 25, 2011

Om håndklær og en filosoferende hval


Som vanlig er 25.mai den intergalaktiske håndkledagen, som feires for å markere Douglas Adams' store klassiker The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Haikerens guide til galaksen). Dagen oppstod visstnok i 2001 som en markering for å hylle Douglas Adams to uker etter hans død. Og hvorfor akkurat et håndkle? Tja, jeg har nok skrevet om det tidligere, men en viktig opplysning må som kjent gjentas noen ganger før den sitter. Jeg overlater herved ordet til guiden selv:

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 vapors; 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.)


Gratulerer med håndkledagen, da. Og husk: Don't Panic!

1 kommentar:

Johanne sa...

Oh no, not again.... ;)