I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.

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More from Douglas Adams

I didn’t jam with Pink Floyd…[it was] a forty-second birthday present to me from David Gilmour. Which was an invitation to play one number (that actually turned into two) on stage with Pink Floyd, their London gigs at the end of their world tour about three years ago. So I go to play the guitar part–which is the easy bit–of Brain Damage and Eclipse at the end of Dark Side of the Moon. It’s that little sort of finger-picking that any fifteen-year old guitarist can do. That was it. I went out in front of 15, 000 people and played this thing and it was fun. You can see why these guys to do it…It’s a gas.

Getting a movie made in Hollywood is like trying to grill a steak by having a succession of people coming into the room and breathing on it.

MIT, 1999

Svlad Cjelli. Popularly known as Dirk, though, again, “popular” was hardly right. Notorious, certainly; sought after, endlessly speculated about, those too were true. But popular? Only in the sense that a serious accident on the motorway might be popular– everyone slows down to have a good look, but no one will get too close to the flames. Infamous was more like it. Svlad Cjelli, infamously known as Dirk.

“Oh God,” muttered Ford, slumped against a bulkhead and started to count to ten. He was desperately worried that one day sentient life forms would forget how to do this. Only by counting could humans demonstrate their independence of computers.

England no longer existed. He’d got that – somehow he’d got it. He tried again. America, he thought, has gone. He couldn’t grasp it. He decided to start smaller again. New York has gone. No reaction. He’d never seriously believed it existed anyway. The dollar, he thought, had sunk for ever. Slight tremor there. Every Bogart movie has been wiped, he said to himself, and that gave him a nasty knock. McDonalds, he thought. There is no longer any such thing as a McDonald’s hamburger. He passed out. When he came round a second later he found he was sobbing for his mother.