Mostly Harmless

Quotations

The main town was called OhWell. There weren’t any other towns to speak of. Settlement on NowWhat had not been a success and the sort of people who actually wanted to live on NowWhat were not the sort of people you would want to spend time with.

Everything you see or hear or experience in any way at all is specific to you. You create a universe by perceiving it, so everything in the universe you perceive is specific to you.

A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.

He looked up at the sky, which was sullen, streaked and livid, and reflected that it was the sort of sky that the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse wouldn’t feel like a bunch of complete idiots riding out of.

All you really need to know for the moment is that the universe is a lot more complicated than you might think, even if you start from a position of thinking it’s pretty damn complicated in the first place.

“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.”

He hadn’t had a day as bad as this since the Earth had been blown up.

It wasn’t his job to worry about that, though. It was his job to do his job, which was to do his job. If that led to a certain narrowness of vision and circularity of thought then it wasn’t his job to worry about such things.

One of the problems has to do with the speed of light and the difficulties involved in trying to exceed it. You can’t. Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.

He had a very simple method of dealing with establishments of which he was not a member. He simply swept in as soon as the door was opened, pointed back at Arthur and said, “It’s OK, he’s with me.”

She was a rapidly rising anchor. She had what it took: great hair, a profound understanding of strategic lip gloss, the intelligence to understand the world and a tiny secret interior deadness which meant she didn’t care.

The last time anybody made a list of the top hundred character attributes of New Yorkers, common sense snuck in at number 79.

Besides, she told herself, taking a deep breath, if life had taught her anything it was this: Never go back for your bag.

It wasn’t merely that their left hand didn’t always know what their right hand was doing, so to speak; quite often their right hand had a pretty hazy notion as well.

He always entered via the ventilation system rather than the main lobby because the main lobby was patrolled by robots whose job it was to quiz incoming employees about their expense accounts.

Now logic is a wonderful thing but it has, as the processes of evolution discovered, certain drawbacks. Anything that thinks logically can be fooled by something else which thinks at least as logically as it does.

People knew how to have a good time, and if they didn’t there were courses they could sign up for which would put that right.

“Don’t tell me about the future,” said Ford. “I’ve been all over the future. Spend half my time there. It’s the same as anywhere else. Anywhen else. Whatever. Just the same old stuff in faster cars and smellier air.”