Hi everyone. Well, it’s Towel Day. Hopefully, if I can get this straight, I’ll show you my towel. Yeah.
“Six pints of bitter,” said Ford Prefect to the barman of the Horse and Groom. “And quickly, please, the world’s about to end.”
The barman of the Horse and Groom didn’t deserve this sort of treatment; he was a dignified old man. He pushed his glasses up his nose and blinked at Ford Prefect. Ford ignored him and stared out the window. So the barman looked instead at
Arthur who shrugged helplessly and said nothing.
So the barman said, “Oh yes, sir? Nice weather for it,” and started pulling pints. He tried again, “Going to watch the match this afternoon then?”
Ford glanced round at him.
“No, no point,” he said, and looked back out the window.
“What’s that, foregone conclusion then, you reckon, sir?” said the barman. “Arsenal without a chance?”
“No, no,” said Ford. “It’s just that the world’s about to end.”
“Oh, yes sir, so you said,” said the barman, looking over his glasses this time at Arthur. “Lucky escape for Arsenal if it did.”
Ford looked back at him, genuinely surprised.
“No, not really,” he said. He frowned.
The barman breathed in heavily. “There you are, sir, six pints,” he said.
Arthur smiled at him wanly and shrugged again. He turned and smiled wanly at the rest of the pub, just in case any of them had heard what was going on.
None of them had, and none of them could understand what he was smiling at them for.
A man sitting next to Ford at the bar looked at the two men, looked at the six pints, did a swift burst of mental arithmetic, arrived at an answer he liked and grinned a stupid hopeful grin at them.
“Get off,” said Ford. “they’re ours,” giving him a look that would have made an Algolian Suntiger get on with what it was doing.
Ford slapped a five-pound note on the bar. He said, “Keep the change.”
“What, from a fiver? Thank you, sir.”
“You’ve got ten minutes left to spend it.”
The barman decided simply to walk away for a bit.
“Ford,” said Arthur, “would you please tell me what the hell is going on?”
“Drink up,” said Ford. “You’ve got three pints to get through.”
“Three pints?” said Arthur. “At lunchtime?”
The man next to Ford grinned and nodded happily. Ford ignored him. He said, “Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so.”
“Very deep,” said Arthur, “you should send that in to the Reader’s Digest. They’ve got a page for people like you.”
“Why three pints all of a sudden?”
“Muscle relaxant, you’ll need it.”
Arthur stared into his beer.
“Did I do anything wrong today,” he said, “or has the world always been like this and I’ve been too wrapped up in myself to notice?”
“All right,” said Ford, “I’ll try to explain. How long have we known each other?”
“How long?” Arthur thought. “Er, about five years, maybe six,” he said. “Most of it seemed to make some kind of sense at the time.”
“All right,” said Ford. “How would you react if I said that I’m not from Guildford after all, but from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse?”
Arthur shrugged in a so-so sort of way.
“I don’t know,” he said, taking a pull of beer. “Why, do you think it’s the sort of thing you’re likely to say?”
Ford gave up. It really wasn’t worth bothering at the moment, what with the world being about to end. He just said, “Drink up.”
He added, perfectly factually, “The world’s about to end.”
Arthur gave the rest of the pub another wan smile. The rest of the pub frowned at him. A man waved at him to stop smiling at them and mind his own business.
“This must be Thursday,” said Arthur to himself, sinking low over his beer. “I never could get the hang of Thursdays.”
One way or the other, you will hear all of what I just read. Some of it is being cut out and no doubt looks choppy. Anyway, it doesn’t matter because I have got this [my towel!] and I’m celebrating Towel Day today.
So happy Towel Day, everybody. Take your towels, wave them around, read some Douglas Adams, and someday maybe I’ll get a copy of some other book by him so I can read that to you.
But in the meantime, don’t panic and always remember, celebrate Towel Day and have your towel with you at all times in case of an emergency, which there won’t be. So don’t worry. Don’t panic. And I’ll talk to you later. Till next year! Be seeing you, something like that.
Be seeing you!
PPS: Admittedly, this was not my best reading. Sorry about that. Oh, don’t mind me. Carry on! 🙂
PPPS: This transcript was created with Rev.com! A great tool! Give it a try? 🙂 (That’s an affiliate link. There, I said it!)