Ads 468x60px

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Hitchhiker's Guide to a Fascinating Mind

YES!!! I found it!!! I discovered my literary heaven. With my kind of prose. 

The kind that breaks all the rules and drowns in its own silliness. Adverb-filled, preposition-sentence-ending, zigzaggingly thoughtful, and riddled in made-up otherworldly names. There's all of it and more in Douglas Adams' masterpiece...

Let's see what the all-knowing Goodreads has to say...

Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of the The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out of work actor. Together this dynamic pair begin their journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitch Hiker's Guide "A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have" and a galaxy-full of fellow travellers: Zaphod Beeblebrox - the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out to lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant and chronically depressed robot; etc.

So I just finished my brief wobbly adventure into the first book (Book 1 in the Trilogy of Four), and I thought I'd celebrate by recapping some of my favorite quotes and stuff. Thankfully, I was sensible enough to purchase the whole Master-Volume of the Hitchhiker's adventures, so expect more related silliness forthcoming.

Last time I mentioned I was reading it, I pondered on the technicalities of having two heads. This existential conundrum was inspired by none other than Zaphod Beeblebrox, the President of the Galaxy. As it turns out, we have a lot in common, he and I...

"One of the major difficulties Trillian experienced in her relationship with Zaphod was learning to distinguish between him pretending to be stupid just to get people off their guard (check -- and proud), pretending to be stupid because he couldn't be bothered to think and wanted someone else to do it for him (check, but not proud), pretending to be outrageously stupid to hide the fact that he actually didn't understand what was going on (sadly, double check), and really being genuinely stupid (no wait, I don't do that!)."

Almost like two pods in a pea soup... or something.

Now, if I were cold-calling or door-selling this book to you, I'd simply say this: Do you wanna know the ultimate answer to Life, the Universe and Everything? How about the question? If you replied yes to one or both, this is the book for you! (in bold red letters because that's the only way salespeople can get your attention and keep it for the duration of the pitch but not enough to make you read this insanely long and boring parenthesis in brackets)

But since I'm not selling anything, I thought I'd take it slow. Here are three random (or not) things I LOVED about the Hitchhiker's Guide: 1. The incredibly cool names of people, aliens, and beings in space: Ford Prefect, Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz, Lunkwill and Fook, Loonquawl, Yooden Vranx, Hooloovoo, Slartibartfast, Vroomfondel (now that's a name!), Majikthise, etc. 

And the one thing that can be cooler than cool names is... you ready? The funnest part for me -- this may shock you -- was -- prepare yourselves -- trying out 2. the many sounds of Arthur Dent's space Odyssey. Let's make a quick recap of the more prominent ones:

Hummmmmmmmmmmmmmyummmmmmmmmm ah!

Seriously, sound them out! (Possibly alone somewhere.) Fun, no?

And finally, 3. Randomly hilarious quotes that made me give out my ridiculously loud and attention-winning public snort. (I mentioned on twitter once that it sounds like a pterodactyl giving birth.) So you can  put on your poker face or go full-out giggle-mad for the next few moments, I won't blame you either way.

"...(a Hooloovoo is a super-intelligent shade of the colour blue)."

"On no account allow a Vogon to read poetry at you."

"You'll need to have this fish in your ear."

"You know... it's at times like this, when I'm trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse and about to die of asphyxiation, that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young."

"... so every time you go to the lavatory there it is vitally important to get a receipt."

"Ford, he said, you're turning into a penguin. Stop it."

"Did you realize that most people's lives are governed by telephone numbers?"

"Hey! What's this thing suddenly coming towards me very fast? So big and fat and round ... That's it! That's a good name -- ground! I wonder if it will be friends with me?"

"Why are people born? Why do they die? Why do they want to spend so much of the intervening time wearing digital watches?"

And finally, if you thought Homo Sapiens is the most intelligent species on Earth, think again. You might as well be more fitted to survive if you go to the nearest bookstore and get your own Guide. On the way back to your house, you'll need to buy a towel as well. And take a good look at your neighbours. You never know who's what and what's who in this randomly fun Universal mess of a life.

Next stop: a quick bite at The Restaurant at the End of the Universe!

Until then...