Thursday, January 11, 2007
So Long, and Thanks For All The Fish
In my continuing quest to put up my favourite bits of the Hitchhiker's "triology" in reverse order, here are my fav quotations from So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish:
- "Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that thtye still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.
This planet has - or had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solution swere suggested for this problem, but most of themse were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.
And so the problem remained; lots of the people were mean, and most of them were unhappy, even the ones with digital watches." (p. 1) - in the interest of full disclosure, I wish I had more small green (or other colours too, here in Canada) pieces of paper... but I do have a digital watch and it makes me happy =)
- "That evening it was dark early, which was normal for this time of yea. It was cold and windy, which was normal.
It started to rain, which was particularly normal.
A spacecraft landed, which was not.
There was nobody around to see it except for some spectacularly stupid quadrupeds who hadn't the faintest idea what to make of it, or whether they were meant to make anything of it, or eat it, or what. So they did what they did to everything which was to run away from it and try to hide under each other, which never worked." (p. 3)
- "A Maxi passed on the other side of the road and flashed its lights at the slowly plodding figure, though whether this was meant to convey a 'Hello' or a 'Sorry we're going the other way' or a 'Hey look, there's someone in the rain, what a jerk' was entirely unclear." (p. 10)
- "As it chanced, the following day the driver of the Cortina went into hospital to have his appendix out, only due to a rather amsuing mix up the surgeon removed his leg in error, and before the appendectomy could be rescheduled, the appendicitis complicated into an entertainly serious case of peritonitis and justice, in its way, was served." (p. 10-11)
- "The particular way in which he was choosing to dice recklessly with death today was by trying to pay for a drinks bill the size of a small defence budget with an American Express card, which was not acceptable anywhere in the known Universe." (p. 12) - It's funny because it's true!
- "Arthur watched it go, as stunned as a man might be who, having believed himself to be totally blind for five years, suddenly discovers that he had merely been weaing too large a hat." (p. 32)
- "From another direction he felt the sensation of being a sheep startled by a flying saucer, but it was virtually indistinguishable from the feeling of being a sheep startled by anything else it even encountered, for they were creatures who learned very little on their journey through life, and would be startled to see the sun rising in the morning, and astonished by all the green stuff in the fields." (p. 42)
- "He leaning forward, screwing his face up as if he was going to say something extraordinary about the govermnment." (p. 56)
- "Grown men, he told himself, in flat contradiction of centuries of accumulated evidence about the way grown men behave, do not behave like this." (p. 59-60)
- "The problem is, or rather one of the problems, for there are many, a sizable portion of which are clogging up the civil, commercial and criminal courts in all areas of the Galaxy, and especially, where possible, the more corrupt ones, this.
The previous sentence makes sense. That is the not the problem.
Read it through again and you'll get it." (p. 100) - I love the way Douglas Adams played around with language like this. He uses considerable fewer commas than I do when he does so, however, making it difficult to transcribe.
- "In Ancient days, before the Advent of the Sorth of Bragadox, when Fragilis sang and Saxaquine of the Quenelux held sway, when the air was sweet and the nights fragrant, but everyone somehow managed to be, or so they claimed, though how on earth they could have thought that anyone was even remotely likely to believe such a proposterous claim what with all the sweet air and fragrant nights and whatnot is anyone's guess, virgins, it was not possible to heave a brick on Brequinda in the Foth of Avalars without hitting at least a half a dozen Fuolornis Fire Dragons." (p. 101)