- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
- The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
- The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
- The Salmon of Doubt
Ford looked angrily at him.
“Will you listen?” he snapped.
“I have been listening,” said Arthur, “but I’m not sure it’s helped.”
All eyes were on Ford. Some were on stalks.
If you’ve done six impossible things this morning, why not round it off with breakfast at Milliways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe?
“You have to get to know her.” said Arthur.
“She eases up does she?”
“No,” said Arthur, “but you get a better sense of when to duck.”
My main role at The Digital Village is to create new projects, to move from one medium to another, to think strategically about new media and to fiddle with bits of equipment.
“Now, that I didn’t know,” said Reg. “Your past has murkier things in it than I dreamed possible. A quality, I might add, that it shares with this soup.”
“Ford,” he said. “you’re turning into a penguin. Stop it.”
“Zaphod! Wake up!”
“Hey come on, wake up.”
“Just let me stick to what I’m good at, yeah?” muttered Zaphod and rolled away from the voice back to sleep.
The planet has – or rather had- a problem, which was this: most of the people on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for the problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green peices of paper that were unhappy.
I have a well-deserved reputation for being something of a gadget freak, and am rarely happier than when spending an entire day programming my computer to perform automatically a task that would otherwise take me a good ten seconds to do by hand.
“Arthur,” said Ford.
“Hello? Yes?” said Arthur.
“Just believe everything I tell you, and it will all be very, very simple.”
“Ah, well I’m not sure I believe that.”
A tall figure appeared silhouetted in the hatchway. It walked down the ramp and stood in front of Arthur.
“You’re a jerk, Dent,” it said simply.
Numbers written on restaurant bills within the confines of restaurants do not follow the same mathematical laws as numbers written on any other pieces of paper in any other parts of the Universe.
This single statement took the scientific world by storm. It completely revolutionized it. So many mathematical conferences got held in such good restaurants that many of the finest minds of a generation died of obesity and heart failure and the science of math was put back by years.
And somewhere on this good boffo stretch of coastline lay the house of this inconsolable man, a man whom many regarded as being insane. But this was only, as he would tell people, because he was.
There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.
There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
He hadn’t had a day as bad as this since the Earth had been blown up.
One of the problems of taking things apart and seeing how they work–supposing you’re trying to find out how a cat works–you take that cat apart to see how it works, what you’ve got in your hands is a non-working cat. The cat wasn’t a sort of clunky mechanism that was susceptible to our available tools of analysis.
Tall. Tall and absurdly thin. And good natured. A bit like a preying mantis that doesn’t prey – A non-preying mantis if you like. A sort of genial mantis that’s given up preying and taken up tennis instead.
If there’s anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.
And no sneaky knocking down Mr. Dent’s house whilst he’s away, alright?
The suns blazed into the pitch of space and a low ghostly music floated through the bridge: Marvin was humming ironically because he hated humans so much.
I suddenly felt, well, terribly old as I watched a mudskipper hopping along with what now seemed to me like a wonderful sense of hopeless, boundless naive optimism. It had such a terribly, terribly, terribly long way to go. I hoped that if its descendant was sitting here on this beach in 350 million years’ time with a camera around its neck, it would feel that the journey had been worth it.
“I could hardly help it, could I?” he bellowed, “when the same thing kept happening, over and over and over again! Every life I ever lived, I got killed by Arthur Dent. Any world, any body, any time, I’m just getting settled down, along comes Arthur Dent – pow, he kills me.”
After nearly four years of total isolation he was so pleased and relieved to see Ford that he could almost cry. Ford was, on the other hand, an almost immediately annoying person.
“The Guide says there is an art to flying,” said Ford, “or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.” He smiled weakly. He pointed at the knees of his trousers and held his arms up to show the elbows. They were all torn and worn through.