Mark and Jon Bounds are joined by Danny Smith to continue pawing through the H section of the Hitchhiker’s Guide.
One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about human beings was their habit of continually stating and repeating the obvious, as in “It’s a nice day”, or “You’re very tall”, or “Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you alright?”
Hunt the Wocket
A game played on one of the worlds the Guide settles on, in Mostly Harmless. h2g2.com actually has a ruleset for a game devised by a Canadian teenager in the year 2000.
The players are divided into red and green teams. Each team takes twenty wickets of the same colour as their team and pounds them into the field more or less randomly. They must make sure that the wickets of both colours are mixed up and not too close together. When this is done, each team goes to the opposite side of the field. Someone places the ball in the centre and so on.
The fouinder of the Guide, establishing its fundamental principles of honesty and idealism, and went bust.
There followed many years of penury and heart-searching during which he consulted friends, sat in darkened rooms in illegal states of mind, thought about this and that, fooled about with weights, and then, after a chance encounter with the Holy Lunching Friars of Voondon (who claimed that just as lunch was at the centre of a man’s temporal day, and man’s temporal day could be seen as an analogy for his spiritual life, so Lunch should
(a) be seen as the centre of a man’s spiritual life, and (b) be held in jolly nice restaurants),
he refounded the Guide, laid down its fundamental principles of honesty and idealism and where you could stuff them both, and led the Guide on to its first major commercial success.
This park gets a couple of mentions in Adams’ work, as a place in which Trillian does a rather startling manoeuvre with a motorbike, and where Arthur and Fenchurch have a nice picnic. Arthur - and thus, I imagine - Adams describes Hyde Park as “stunning”.
This encodes every single piece of information about you, your body and your life into one all-purpose machine-readable card that you could carry around in your wallet, and therefore represented technology’s greatest triumph to date over both itself and plain common sense. It was invented because of the many ways in which people have to prove their identity. Jon, just how prescient do you think Adams was?
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