8:00am

Fri May 25, 2012
Pop Culture

Don't Forget Your Towel, It's Towel Day

Ford Prefect was right. If you want to survive out here, you've got to know where your towel is.

Whether you're just commuting to the office today, or off to hitch a ride from Betelgeuse to Traal. Don't forget your towel. The Guide has a lot to say about towels:

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker 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 mindbogglingly 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.

— Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

On your list today should be keys, wallet, coffee mug and your towel. And yes, towel day is real. Real enough for Wikipedia at least.

By the way, if you were wondering why today was Towel Day, like we were in the newsroom, since yesterday was the 24th and 24 is 42 backwards, @nico_hofmann has the answer:

 

One last thing. Don't forget your Guide. It's the one with "DON'T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover."

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