The Census report, like most such surveys, had cost an awful lot of money and didn’t tell anybody anything they didn’t already know – except that every single person in the Galaxy had 2.4 legs and owned a hyena.

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More from So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish

“You’ll have to excuse me,” said Arthur. “I’m terribly happy.”

Grown men, he told himself, in flat contradiction of centuries of accumulated evidence about the way grown men behave, do not behave like this.

“Zaphod’s calmed down a lot you know.”
“Really?” said Arthur, clustering hurriedly round Fenchurch to relieve her of the shopping.
“Yeah,” said Ford, “at least one of his heads is now saner than an emu on acid.”

A man can’t cross a hundred thousand light years, mostly in other people’s baggage compartments, without beginning to fray a little, and Arthur had frayed a lot.

All eyes were on Ford. Some were on stalks.