- "Ford was beginning to behave rather strangely, or rather not actually beginning to behave strangely but beginning to bahave in a way which was strangely different from the other strange ways in which he more regularly behaved." (p. 23)
- "He was staring at the instruments with the air of one who is trying to convert Fahrenheit to centigrade in his head whilst his house is burning down." (p. 36) - I loved this line when I read it. Probably because I am completely incapable for converting Fahrenheit to centirgrade.
- "... numbers are not absolute, but depend on the observer's movement in restaurants.
The first non-absolute number is the number of people for whom the table is reserved. This will vary during the course of the first three telephone calls to the restaurant, and then will bear no apparent relation to the number of people who actually turn up, or to the number of people who subsequently join them after the show/match/party/gig, or to the number of people who leave when they see who else has turned up.
The second non-absolute number is the given time of arrival, which is now known to be one of those most bizarre of concepts, a recipriversexclusion, a number whose existence can only be defined as being anything other than itself. In other words, the given time of arrival is the one moment of time at which it is impossible that any member of the party will arrive.. Recipriversexclusions now play a vital part in many branches of maths, including statistics and accountancy and also form the basic equations used to engineer the Somebody Else's Problem field.
The third and most mysterious piece of non-absoluteness of all lies in the relationship between the number of items on the bill, the cost of each item, the number of people at the table, and what they are each prepared to pay for. (The number of people who have actually brought any money is only a subphenomenon in this field)." (p. 42-43) - It's funny because it is so very, very true.
- "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." (p. 43) - ibid.
- "After what it had calculated to ten significant decimal places as being the precise length of pause most likel to convey a generl contempt for all things matressy, the robot continued to walk in tight circles." (p. 47)
- The mattress globbered. This is a noise made by a live, swamp-dwelling mattress that is deeply moved by a story of personal tragedy. The word can also, according to the Ultra-Complete Maximegalon Dictionary of Every Language Ever mean the noise made by the Lord High Sanvalvwag of Hollop on discovering that he has forgotten his wife's birthday for the second year running. Since there was only over one Lord High Sanvalvwag of Hollop, and he never married, the word is only ever used in a negative or speculative sense, and there is an ever-increasing body of opinion which holds that the Ultra-Complete Maximegalon Dictionary is not worth the fleet of lorries it takes to cart its microstored edition around in. Strangely enough, the dictionary omits the word 'floopily', which simply means 'in the manner of something which is floopy'." (p. 49)
Adams, Douglas. Life, the universe, and everything. New York : Harmony Books, 1982.
- "It has been a difficult day - of course.
There had been soulful music playing on the ship's sound system - of course.
And he had, of course, been slighty drunk.
In other words, all the usual conditions which bring on a bout of soul-searching had applied, but it had, nevertheless, clearly been an error.
Standing now, silent and alone, in the dark corridor he remembered the moment and shivered. His one head looked one way and his other the other and each decided that the other was the way to go.
He listened but could hear nothing.
All there had been was the 'wop'.
It seemed an awfully long way to bring an awfully large number of people just to say one word.
He started nervously to edge his way in the direction of the bridge. There at least he would feel in control. He stopped again. The way he was feeling he didn't think he was an awfuly good person to be in control.
The first shock of the moment, thinking back, had been discovering that he actually had a soul.
In fact he'd always more or less assumed that he had one as he had a full complement of everything else, and indeed two of somethings, but suddenly actually to encounter the thing lurking there deep within him had given him a severe jolt.
And then to discover (this was the second shock) that it wasn't the totally wonderful object which he felt a man in his position had a natural right to expect had jolted him again.
Then he had thought about what his position actually was and the renewed shock had nearly made him spill his drink. He drained it quickly before anything serious happened to it. He then had another quick one to follow the first one down and check that it was all right.
'Freedom,' he said aloud.
Trillian came on to the bridge at that point and said several enthusistic things on the subject of freedom.
'I can't cope with it,' he said darkly, and sent a third drink down to see why the second hadn't yet reported on the condition of the first. He looked uncertainly at both of her and preferred the one on the right.
He poured a drink down his other throat with the plan that it would head the previous one off at the pass, join forces with it, and together they would get the second one to pull itself together. Then all three would go off in seach of the fuss, give it a good talking to and maybe a bit of a sing as well.
He felt uncertain as to whether the fourth drink had understood all that, so he sent down a fifth to explain the plan more fully and a sixth for moral support.
'You're drinking too much,' said Trillian." (pp. 62-63)
- "Zaphod had spent most of his early history lessons plotting how we was going to have sex with the girl in the cybercubicle next to him." (p. 72)
- "'We are going to shoot you.' 'Oh yeah?' said Zaphod, waggling his gun. 'Yes,' said the robot, and they shot him. Zaphod was so surprised that they had to shoot him again before he fell down." (p. 75)
- "However, the same event which saw the disastrous failure of one science in its infancy also witnessed the apotheosis of another. It was conclusively proved that more people watched tri-D TV coverage of the launch than actually existed at the time, and this has now been recognized as the greatest acheievement ever in the science of audeince reseach." (p. 81)
- "The Encyclopedia Galactica has much to say on the theory and practice of time travel, most of which is incomprehensible to anyone who hasn't spent at least four lifetimes studying advanced hypermathematics, and since it was impossible to do this before time travel was invented, there is a certain amount of confusion as to how the idea was arrived at in the first place. One rationalization of this problem states that time travel was, by its very nature, discovered simultaneiously at all periods of history, but this is clearly bunk." (p. 98)
- "They obstinately persisted in their absence." (p. 101) - I hate when they do that.
- "It was the product of mind that was not merely twisted, but actually sprained." (p. 109)
- "None of these facts, however strange or inexplicable, is as strange or inexplicable as the rules of the game of Brockian Ultra-Cricket, as played in the higher dimensions. A full set of the rules is so massively complicated that the only time they were all bound together in a single volume, they underwent gravitational collapse and became a black hole." (p. 119-120)
- "RULE SIX: The winning team shall be the first team that wins." (p. 121) - I have a feeling that this is a quotation that I will be incorporating into my everyday lexicon.
- "Ten minutes later, drifting idly through a cloud, he got a large and extremely disreputable cocktail party in the small of the back." (p. 127)
- "The longest and most destructive party ever held is now into its fourth generation and still no one shows any signs of leaving. Somebody did once look at his watch, but that was eleven years ago now, and there has been no follow-up.
The mess is extraordinary, and has to be seen to be believed, but if you don't have any particular need to believe it, then don't go and look, because you won't enjoy it." (p. 127-128)
- "Wherever he touched himself, he encountered a pain. After a short while he worked out that this was because it was his hand that was hurting." (p. 130)
- "Zaphod did not want to tangle with them and, deciding that just as discretion was the better part of valour, so was cowardice the better part of discretion, he valiantly hid himself in the cupboard." (p. 164)
- "He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contrdiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife." (p. 184)
Labels: Douglas Adams, fiction, humour, science fiction