May 24, 2006

Towels at Half Mast

I read on BoingBoing that May 25th is Towel Day. A day to honor the great author, Douglas Adams, who sadly passed away in May 2001 at the age of 49.

Douglas Adams was best known for his Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. I was a big fan growing up. And if I can geek things up even further, I was also a huge fan of his Hitchhker's Guide to the Galaxy text adventure computer game from Infocom. (In fact, there are so many dorky elements to this story, I'm just going to ring a little bell whenever we hit one.)

So, about a thousand years ago, Adams was doing a book signing not far from my high school and I cut class to go meet him (DING!). Although he was out supporting his new book, this text adventure game happened to have been released about a week earlier.

I am both proud and embarrassed to admit that not only had I already purchased the game the day it came out (DING!), but had completed the entire thing in only a few days. (DING!)

I got to the book store early (DING!) and was first in line (DING!). While he was signing one of the several books I brought (DING!), I mentioned how much I liked the text adventure. He asked me what point I was at in the game and when I told him I had already finished it, he honestly didn't believe me. He then proceeded to quiz me on key points in the game and was suitably impressed when I answered all of his questions correctly. (DING!)

Which is why he wrote:

"To Steve, Who is clearly too clever by three-quarters"...


I didn't know Douglas Adams personally but he seemed to be a genuinely warm and friendly person, and I've only read the nicest things about him.

Apparently the idea of Towel Day is for people to carry a towel around for the entire day in memory of Mr. Adams (the usefulness of towels being a running joke in the Hitchhiker's books).

I'm happy to report I'm no longer geeky enough to do anything like that. But for anyone out there who is taking part in this celebration, I salute you. (And hope you don't get your asses kicked, you giant dorks.)

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Posted by Steven | Archive