Don’t Panic

Today would be Douglas Adams’ sixty-first birthday: a fact celebrated by today’s Google doodle. I first read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy when I was twelve or thirteen. I don’t remember knowing much prior to reading it, but I do remember after how it left me confused more than anything. It didn’t make sense. I didn’t laugh once, or was ever amused while reading it. The only memorable thing I was left with, back then, was that humans have a habit of stating the obvious, as exemplified by stating the weather. (Saying it’s a sunny day, for instance, when everyone can tell that the sun is shining.)

I really only began to get the comedy fairly recently, as much as a year ago, when I started to listen to the radio series. The radio series actually came first, then it later was published as books and turned into a TV show as well as a movie, among other formats. (I haven’t watched the TV show or movie, though I’m thinking perhaps it’s time to take a crack at the book again.)

Now I appreciate it and actually can make reference jokes to it or understand references to it (such as Roy’s 42 tee shirt in The IT Crowd, which is also sold on ThinkGeek). Perhaps I was too young to get it, but I’m glad I do now. If I like the Boosh and Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, its brand of humour should be something I like.

One other Douglas Adams book I read and enjoyed was The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. I loved Dirk Gently with his I Ching pocket calculator, as well as his habit of following a car in traffic, whilst forgetting his original destination, but always arriving where he was needed.


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