The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
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The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Jonny Brock and Clare Gorst
and all other Arlingtonians
for tea, sympathy, and a sofa
Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of
the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded
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 they still
think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.
This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most
of the people on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time.
Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these
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 miserable, even the ones with digital watches.
Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big
mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And
some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no
one should ever have left the oceans.
And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man
had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be
nice to people for a change, one girl sitting on her own in a
small cafe in Rickmansworth suddenly realized what it was that
had been going wrong all this time, and she finally knew how the
world could be made a good and happy place. This time it was
right, it would work, and no one would have to get nailed to
Sadly, however, before she could get to a phone to tell anyone
about it, a terribly stupid catastrophe occurred, and the idea
was lost forever.
This is not her story.
But it is the story of that terrible stupid catastrophe and some
of its consequences.
It is also the story of a book, a book called The Hitch Hiker's
Guide to the Galaxy - not an Earth book, never published on
Earth, and until the terrible catastrophe occurred, never seen or
heard of by any Earthman.
Nevertheless, a wholly remarkable book.
in fact it was probably the most remarkable book ever to come out
of the great publishing houses of Ursa Minor - of which no
Earthman had ever heard either.
Not only is it a wholly remarkable book, it is also a highly
successful one - more popular than the Celestial Home Care
Omnibus, better selling than Fifty More Things to do in Zero
Gravity, and more controversial than Oolon Colluphid's trilogy of
philosophical blockbusters Where God Went Wrong, Some More of
God's Greatest Mistakes and Who is this God Person Anyway?
In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern
Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitch Hiker's Guide has already supplanted
the great Encyclopedia Galactica as the standard repository of
all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and
contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate,
it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important
First, it is slightly cheaper; and secondly it has the words
Don't Panic inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.
But the story of this terrible, stupid Thursday, the story of its
extraordinary consequences, and the story of how these
consequences are inextricably intertwined with this remarkable
book begins very simply.
It begins with a house.
The house stood on a slight rise just on the edge of the village.
It stood on its own and looked over a broad spread of West
Country farmland. Not a remarkable house by any means - it was
about thirty years old, squattish, squarish, made of brick, and
had four windows set in the front of a size and proportion which
more or less exactly failed to please the eye.
The only person for whom the house was in any way special was
Arthur Dent, and that was only because it happened to be the one
he lived in. He had lived in it for about three years, ever since
he had moved out of London because it made him nervous and
irritable. He was about thirty as well, dark haired and never
quite at ease with himself. The thing that used to worry him most
was the fact that people always used to ask him what he was
looking so worried about. He worked in local radio which he
always used to tell his friends was a lot more interesting than
they probably thought. It was, too - most of his friends worked
It hadn't properly registered with Arthur that the council wanted
to knock down his house and build an bypass instead.
At eight o'clock on Thursday morning Arthur didn't feel very
good. He woke up blearily, got up, wandered blearily round his
room, opened a window, saw a bulldozer, found his slippers, and
stomped off to the bathroom to wash.
Toothpaste on the brush - so. Scrub.
Shaving mirror - pointing at the ceiling. He adjusted it. For a
moment it reflected a second bulldozer through the bathroom
window. Properly adjusted, it reflected Arthur Dent's bristles.
He shaved them off, washed, dried, and stomped off to the kitchen
to find something pleasant to put in his mouth.
Kettle, plug, fridge, milk, coffee. Yawn.
The word bulldozer wandered through his mind for a moment in
search of something to connect with.
The bulldozer outside the kitchen window was quite a big one.
He stared at it.
"Yellow," he thought and stomped off back to his bedroom to get
Passing the bathroom he stopped to drink a large glass of water,
and another. He began to suspect that he was hung over. Why was
he hung over? Had he been drinking the night before? He supposed
that he must have been. He caught a glint in the shaving mirror.
"Yellow," he thought and stomped on to the bedroom.
He stood and thought. The pub, he thought. Oh dear, the pub. He
vaguely remembered being angry, angry about something that seemed
important. He'd been telling people about it, telling people
about it at great length, he rather suspected: his clearest
visual recollection was of glazed looks on other people's faces.
Something about a new bypass he had just found out about. It had
been in the pipeline for months only no one seemed to have known
about it. Ridiculous. He took a swig of water. It would sort
itself out, he'd decided, no one wanted a bypass, the council
didn't have a leg to stand on. It would sort itself out.
God what a terrible hangover it had earned him though. He looked
at himself in the wardrobe mirror. He stuck out his tongue.
"Yellow," he thought. The word yellow wandered through his mind
in search of something to connect with.
Fifteen seconds later he was out of the house and lying in front
of a big yellow bulldozer that was advancing up his garden path.
Mr L Prosser was, as they say, only human. In other words he was
a carbon-based bipedal life form descended from an ape. More
specifically he was forty, fat and shabby and worked for the
local council. Curiously enough, though he didn't know it, he
was also a direct male-line descendant of Genghis Khan, though
intervening generations and racial mixing had so juggled his
genes that he had no discernible Mongoloid characteristics, and
the only vestiges left in Mr L Prosser of his mighty ancestry
were a pronounced stoutness about the tum and a predilection for
little fur hats.
He was by no means a great warrior: in fact he was a nervous
worried man. Today he was particularly nervous and worried
because something had gone seriously wrong with his job - which
was to see that Arthur Dent's house got cleared out of the way
before the day was out.
"Come off it, Mr Dent,", he said, "you can't win you know. You
can't lie in front of the bulldozer indefinitely." He tried to
make his eyes blaze fiercely but they just wouldn't do it.
Arthur lay in the mud and squelched at him.
"I'm game," he said, "we'll see who rusts first."
"I'm afraid you're going to have to accept it," said Mr Prosser
gripping his fur hat and rolling it round the top of his head,
"this bypass has got to be built and it's going to be built!"
"First I've heard of it," said Arthur, "why's it going to be
Mr Prosser shook his finger at him for a bit, then stopped and
put it away again.
"What do you mean, why's it got to be built?" he said. "It's a
bypass. You've got to build bypasses."
Bypasses are devices which allow some people to drive from point
A to point B very fast whilst other people dash from point B to
point A very fast. People living at point C, being a point
directly in between, are often given to wonder what's so great
about point A that so many people of point B are so keen to get
there, and what's so great about point B that so many people of
point A are so keen to get there. They often wish that people
would just once and for all work out where the hell they wanted
Mr Prosser wanted to be at point D. Point D wasn't anywhere in
particular, it was just any convenient point a very long way from
points A, B and C. He would have a nice little cottage at point
D, with axes over the door, and spend a pleasant amount of time
at point E, which would be the nearest pub to point D. His wife
of course wanted climbing roses, but he wanted axes. He didn't
know why - he just liked axes. He flushed hotly under the
derisive grins of the bulldozer drivers.
He shifted his weight from foot to foot, but it was equally
uncomfortable on each. Obviously somebody had been appallingly
incompetent and he hoped to God it wasn't him.
Mr Prosser said: "You were quite entitled to make any suggestions
or protests at the appropriate time you know."
"Appropriate time?" hooted Arthur. "Appropriate time? The first I
knew about it was when a workman arrived at my home yesterday. I
asked him if he'd come to clean the windows and he said no he'd
come to demolish the house. He didn't tell me straight away of
course. Oh no. First he wiped a couple of windows and charged me
a fiver. Then he told me."
"But Mr Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning
office for the last nine month."
"Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight round to see
them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn't exactly gone out of your
way to call attention to them had you? I mean like actually
telling anybody or anything."
"But the plans were on display ..."
"On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find
"That's the display department."
"With a torch."
"Ah, well the lights had probably gone."
"So had the stairs."
"But look, you found the notice didn't you?"
"Yes," said Arthur, "yes I did. It was on display in the bottom
of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a
sign on the door saying Beware of the Leopard."
A cloud passed overhead. It cast a shadow over Arthur Dent as he
lay propped up on his elbow in the cold mud. It cast a shadow
over Arthur Dent's house. Mr Prosser frowned at it.
"It's not as if it's a particularly nice house," he said.
"I'm sorry, but I happen to like it."
"You'll like the bypass."
"Oh shut up," said Arthur Dent. "Shut up and go away, and take
your bloody bypass with you. You haven't got a leg to stand on
and you know it."
Mr Prosser's mouth opened and closed a couple of times while his
mind was for a moment filled with inexplicable but terribly
attractive visions of Arthur Dent's house being consumed with
fire and Arthur himself running screaming from the blazing ruin
with at least three hefty spears protruding from his back. Mr
Prosser was often bothered with visions like these and they made
him feel very nervous. He stuttered for a moment and then pulled
"Mr Dent," he said.
"Hello? Yes?" said Arthur.
"Some factual information for you. Have you any idea how much
damage that bulldozer would suffer if I just let it roll straight
"How much?" said Arthur.
"None at all," said Mr Prosser, and stormed nervously off
wondering why his brain was filled with a thousand hairy horsemen
all shouting at him.
By a curious coincidence, None at all is exactly how much
suspicion the ape-descendant Arthur Dent had that one of his
closest friends was not descended from an ape, but was in fact
from a small planet in the vicinity of Betelgeuse and not from
Guildford as he usually claimed.
Arthur Dent had never, ever suspected this.
This friend of his had first arrived on the planet some fifteen
Earth years previously, and he had worked hard to blend himself
into Earth society - with, it must be said, some success. For
instance he had spent those fifteen years pretending to be an out
of work actor, which was plausible enough.
He had made one careless blunder though, because he had skimped a
bit on his preparatory research. The information he had gathered
had led him to choose the name "Ford Prefect" as being nicely
He was not conspicuously tall, his features were striking but not
conspicuously handsome. His hair was wiry and gingerish and
brushed backwards from the temples. His skin seemed to be pulled
backwards from the nose. There was something very slightly odd
about him, but it was difficult to say what it was. Perhaps it
was that his eyes didn't blink often enough and when you talked
to him for any length of time your eyes began involuntarily to
water on his behalf. Perhaps it was that he smiled slightly too
broadly and gave people the unnerving impression that he was
about to go for their neck.
He struck most of the friends he had made on Earth as an
eccentric, but a harmless one -- an unruly boozer with some
oddish habits. For instance he would often gatecrash university
parties, get badly drunk and start making fun of any
astrophysicist he could find till he got thrown out.
Sometimes he would get seized with oddly distracted moods and
stare into the sky as if hypnotized until someone asked him what
he was doing. Then he would start guiltily for a moment, relax
"Oh, just looking for flying saucers," he would joke and everyone
would laugh and ask him what sort of flying saucers he was
"Green ones!" he would reply with a wicked grin, laugh wildly for
a moment and then suddenly lunge for the nearest bar and buy an
enormous round of drinks.
Evenings like this usually ended badly. Ford would get out of his
skull on whisky, huddle into a corner with some girl and explain
to her in slurred phrases that honestly the colour of the flying
saucers didn't matter that much really.
Thereafter, staggering semi-paralytic down the night streets he
would often ask passing policemen if they knew the way to
Betelgeuse. The policemen would usually say something like,
"Don't you think it's about time you went off home sir?"
"I'm trying to baby, I'm trying to," is what Ford invariably
replied on these occasions.
In fact what he was really looking out for when he stared
distractedly into the night sky was any kind of flying saucer at
all. The reason he said green was that green was the traditional
space livery of the Betelgeuse trading scouts.
Ford Prefect was desperate that any flying saucer at all would
arrive soon because fifteen years was a long time to get stranded
anywhere, particularly somewhere as mindboggingly dull as the
Ford wished that a flying saucer would arrive soon because he
knew how to flag flying saucers down and get lifts from them. He
knew how to see the Marvels of the Universe for less than thirty
Altairan dollars a day.
In fact, Ford Prefect was a roving researcher for that wholly
remarkable book The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Human beings are great adaptors, and by lunchtime life in the
environs of Arthur's house had settled into a steady routine. It
was Arthur's accepted role to lie squelching in the mud making
occasional demands to see his lawyer, his mother or a good book;
it was Mr Prosser's accepted role to tackle Arthur with the
occasional new ploy such as the For the Public Good talk, the
March of Progress talk, the They Knocked My House Down Once You
Know, Never Looked Back talk and various other cajoleries and
threats; and it was the bulldozer drivers' accepted role to sit
around drinking coffee and experimenting with union regulations
to see how they could turn the situation to their financial
The Earth moved slowly in its diurnal course.
The sun was beginning to dry out the mud Arthur lay in.
A shadow moved across him again.
"Hello Arthur," said the shadow.
Arthur looked up and squinting into the sun was startled to see
Ford Prefect standing above him.
"Ford! Hello, how are you?"
"Fine," said Ford, "look, are you busy?"
"Am I busy?" exclaimed Arthur. "Well, I've just got all these
bulldozers and things to lie in front of because they'll knock my
house down if I don't, but other than that ... well, no not
They don't have sarcasm on Betelgeuse, and Ford Prefect often
failed to notice it unless he was concentrating. He said, "Good,
is there anywhere we can talk?"
"What?" said Arthur Dent.
For a few seconds Ford seemed to ignore him, and stared fixedly
into the sky like a rabbit trying to get run over by a car. Then
suddenly he squatted down beside Arthur.
"We've got to talk," he said urgently.
"Fine," said Arthur, "talk."
"And drink," said Ford. "It's vitally important that we talk and
drink. Now. We'll go to the pub in the village."
He looked into the sky again, nervous, expectant.
"Look, don't you understand?" shouted Arthur. He pointed at
Prosser. "That man wants to knock my house down!"
Ford glanced at him, puzzled.
"Well he can do it while you're away can't he?" he asked.
"But I don't want him to!"
"Look, what's the matter with you Ford?" said Arthur.
"Nothing. Nothing's the matter. Listen to me - I've got to tell
you the most important thing you've ever heard. I've got to tell
you now, and I've got to tell you in the saloon bar of the Horse
"Because you are going to need a very stiff drink."
Ford stared at Arthur, and Arthur was astonished to find that his
will was beginning to weaken. He didn't realize that this was
because of an old drinking game that Ford learned to play in the
hyperspace ports that served the madranite mining belts in the
star system of Orion Beta.
The game was not unlike the Earth game called Indian Wrestling,
and was played like this:
Two contestants would sit either side of a table, with a glass in
front of each of them.
Between them would be placed a bottle of Janx Spirit (as
immortalized in that ancient Orion mining song "Oh don't give me
none more of that Old Janx Spirit/ No, don't you give me none
more of that Old Janx Spirit/ For my head will fly, my tongue
will lie, my eyes will fry and I may die/ Won't you pour me one
more of that sinful Old Janx Spirit").
Each of the two contestants would then concentrate their will on
the bottle and attempt to tip it and pour spirit into the glass
of his opponent - who would then have to drink it.
The bottle would then be refilled. The game would be played
again. And again.
Once you started to lose you would probably keep losing, because
one of the effects of Janx spirit is to depress telepsychic
As soon as a predetermined quantity had been consumed, the final
loser would have to perform a forfeit, which was usually
Ford Prefect usually played to lose.
Ford stared at Arthur, who began to think that perhaps he did
want to go to the Horse and Groom after all.
"But what about my house ...?" he asked plaintively.
Ford looked across to Mr Prosser, and suddenly a wicked thought
"He wants to knock your house down?"
"Yes, he wants to build ..."
"And he can't because you're lying in front of the bulldozers?"
"Yes, and ..."
"I'm sure we can come to some arrangement," said Ford. "Excuse
me!" he shouted.
Mr Prosser (who was arguing with a spokesman for the bulldozer
drivers about whether or not Arthur Dent constituted a mental
health hazard, and how much they should get paid if he did)
looked around. He was surprised and slightly alarmed to find that
Arthur had company.
"Yes? Hello?" he called. "Has Mr Dent come to his senses yet?"
"Can we for the moment," called Ford, "assume that he hasn't?"
"Well?" sighed Mr Prosser.
"And can we also assume," said Ford, "that he's going to be
staying here all day?"
"So all your men are going to be standing around all day doing
"Could be, could be ..."
"Well, if you're resigned to doing that anyway, you don't
actually need him to lie here all the time do you?"
"You don't," said Ford patiently, "actually need him here."
Mr Prosser thought about this.
"Well no, not as such...", he said, "not exactly need ..."
Prosser was worried. He thought that one of them wasn't making a
lot of sense.
Ford said, "So if you would just like to take it as read that
he's actually here, then he and I could slip off down to the pub
for half an hour. How does that sound?"
Mr Prosser thought it sounded perfectly potty.
"That sounds perfectly reasonable," he said in a reassuring tone
of voice, wondering who he was trying to reassure.
"And if you want to pop off for a quick one yourself later on,"
said Ford, "we can always cover up for you in return."
"Thank you very much," said Mr Prosser who no longer knew how to
play this at all, "thank you very much, yes, that's very kind
..." He frowned, then smiled, then tried to do both at once,
failed, grasped hold of his fur hat and rolled it fitfully round
the top of his head. He could only assume that he had just won.
"So," continued Ford Prefect, "if you would just like to come
over here and lie down ..."
"What?" said Mr Prosser.
"Ah, I'm sorry," said Ford, "perhaps I hadn't made myself fully
clear. Somebody's got to lie in front of the bulldozers haven't
they? Or there won't be anything to stop them driving into Mr
Dent's house will there?"
"What?" said Mr Prosser again.
"It's very simple," said Ford, "my client, Mr Dent, says that he
will stop lying here in the mud on the sole condition that you
come and take over from him."
"What are you talking about?" said Arthur, but Ford nudged him
with his shoe to be quiet.
"You want me," said Mr Prosser, spelling out this new thought to
himself, "to come and lie there ..."
"In front of the bulldozer?"
"Instead of Mr Dent."
"In the mud."
"In, as you say it, the mud."
As soon as Mr Prosser realized that he was substantially the
loser after all, it was as if a weight lifted itself off his
shoulders: this was more like the world as he knew it. He sighed.
"In return for which you will take Mr Dent with you down to the
"That's it," said Ford. "That's it exactly."
Mr Prosser took a few nervous steps forward and stopped.
"Promise," said Ford. He turned to Arthur.
"Come on," he said to him, "get up and let the man lie down."
Arthur stood up, feeling as if he was in a dream.
Ford beckoned to Prosser who sadly, awkwardly, sat down in the
mud. He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he
sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying
it. The mud folded itself round his bottom and his arms and oozed
into his shoes.
Ford looked at him severely.
"And no sneaky knocking down Mr Dent's house whilst he's away,
alright?" he said.
"The mere thought," growled Mr Prosser, "hadn't even begun to
speculate," he continued, settling himself back, "about the
merest possibility of crossing my mind."
He saw the bulldozer driver's union representative approaching
and let his head sink back and closed his eyes. He was trying to
marshal his arguments for proving that he did not now constitute
a mental health hazard himself. He was far from certain about
this - his mind seemed to be full of noise, horses, smoke, and
the stench of blood. This always happened when he felt miserable
and put upon, and he had never been able to explain it to
himself. In a high dimension of which we know nothing the mighty
Khan bellowed with rage, but Mr Prosser only trembled slightly
and whimpered. He began to fell little pricks of water behind the
eyelids. Bureaucratic cock-ups, angry men lying in the mud,
indecipherable strangers handing out inexplicable humiliations
and an unidentified army of horsemen laughing at him in his head
- what a day.
What a day. Ford Prefect knew that it didn't matter a pair of
dingo's kidneys whether Arthur's house got knocked down or not
Arthur remained very worried.
"But can we trust him?" he said.
"Myself I'd trust him to the end of the Earth," said Ford.
"Oh yes," said Arthur, "and how far's that?"
"About twelve minutes away," said Ford, "come on, I need a
Here's what the Encyclopedia Galactica has to say about alcohol.
It says that alcohol is a colourless volatile liquid formed by
the fermentation of sugars and also notes its intoxicating effect
on certain carbon-based life forms.
The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy also mentions alcohol. It
says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle
It says that the effect of a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is like
having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round
a large gold brick.
The Guide also tells you on which planets the best Pan Galactic
Gargle Blasters are mixed, how much you can expect to pay for one
and what voluntary organizations exist to help you rehabilitate
The Guide even tells you how you can mix one yourself.
Take the juice from one bottle of that Ol' Janx Spirit, it says.
Pour into it one measure of water from the seas of Santraginus V
- Oh that Santraginean sea water, it says. Oh those Santraginean
Allow three cubes of Arcturan Mega-gin to melt into the mixture
(it must be properly iced or the benzine is lost).
Allow four litres of Fallian marsh gas to bubble through it, in
memory of all those happy Hikers who have died of pleasure in the
Marshes of Fallia.
Over the back of a silver spoon float a measure of Qualactin
Hypermint extract, redolent of all the heady odours of the dark
Qualactin Zones, subtle sweet and mystic.
Drop in the tooth of an Algolian Suntiger. Watch it dissolve,
spreading the fires of the Algolian Suns deep into the heart of
Add an olive.
Drink ... but ... very carefully ...
The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy sells rather better than
the Encyclopedia Galactica.
"Six pints of bitter," said Ford Prefect to the barman of the
Horse and Groom. "And quickly please, the world's about to end."
The barman of the Horse and Groom didn't deserve this sort of
treatment, he was a dignified old man. He pushed his glasses up
his nose and blinked at Ford Prefect. Ford ignored him and stared
out of the window, so the barman looked instead at Arthur who
shrugged helplessly and said nothing.
So the barman said, "Oh yes sir? Nice weather for it," and
started pulling pints.
He tried again.
"Going to watch the match this afternoon then?"
Ford glanced round at him.
"No, no point," he said, and looked back out of the window.
"What's that, foregone conclusion then you reckon sir?" said the
barman. "Arsenal without a chance?"
"No, no," said Ford, "it's just that the world's about to end."
"Oh yes sir, so you said," said the barman, looking over his
glasses this time at Arthur. "Lucky escape for Arsenal if it
Ford looked back at him, genuinely surprised.
"No, not really," he said. He frowned.
The barman breathed in heavily. "There you are sir, six pints,"
Arthur smiled at him wanly and shrugged again. He turned and
smiled wanly at the rest of the pub just in case any of them had
heard what was going on.
None of them had, and none of them could understand what he was
smiling at them for.
A man sitting next to Ford at the bar looked at the two men,
looked at the six pints, did a swift burst of mental arithmetic,
arrived at an answer he liked and grinned a stupid hopeful grin
"Get off," said Ford, "They're ours," giving him a look that
would have an Algolian Suntiger get on with what it was doing.
Ford slapped a five-pound note on the bar. He said, "Keep the
"What, from a fiver? Thank you sir."
"You've got ten minutes left to spend it."
The barman simply decided to walk away for a bit.
"Ford," said Arthur, "would you please tell me what the hell is
"Drink up," said Ford, "you've got three pints to get through."
"Three pints?" said Arthur. "At lunchtime?"
The man next to ford grinned and nodded happily. Ford ignored
him. He said, "Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."
"Very deep," said Arthur, "you should send that in to the
Reader's Digest. They've got a page for people like you."
"Why three pints all of a sudden?"
"Muscle relaxant, you'll need it."
Arthur stared into his beer.
"Did I do anything wrong today," he said, "or has the world
always been like this and I've been too wrapped up in myself to
"Alright," said Ford, "I'll try to explain. How long have we
known each other?"
"How long?" Arthur thought. "Er, about five years, maybe six," he
said. "Most of it seemed to make some sense at the time."
"Alright," said Ford. "How would you react if I said that I'm not
from Guildford after all, but from a small planet somewhere in
the vicinity of Betelgeuse?"
Arthur shrugged in a so-so sort of way.
"I don't know," he said, taking a pull of beer. "Why - do you
think it's the sort of thing you're likely to say?"
Ford gave up. It really wasn't worth bothering at the moment,
what with the world being about to end. He just said:
He added, perfectly factually:
"The world's about to end."
Arthur gave the rest of the pub another wan smile. The rest of
the pub frowned at him. A man waved at him to stop smiling at
them and mind his own business.
"This must be Thursday," said Arthur musing to himself, sinking
low over his beer, "I never could get the hang of Thursdays."
On this particular Thursday, something was moving quietly through
the ionosphere many miles above the surface of the planet;
several somethings in fact, several dozen huge yellow chunky
slablike somethings, huge as office buildings, silent as birds.
They soared with ease, basking in electromagnetic rays from the
star Sol, biding their time, grouping, preparing.
The planet beneath them was almost perfectly oblivious of their
presence, which was just how they wanted it for the moment. The
huge yellow somethings went unnoticed at Goonhilly, they passed
over Cape Canaveral without a blip, Woomera and Jodrell Bank
looked straight through them - which was a pity because it was
exactly the sort of thing they'd been looking for all these
The only place they registered at all was on a small black device
called a Sub-Etha Sens-O-Matic which winked away quietly to
itself. It nestled in the darkness inside a leather satchel which
Ford Prefect wore habitually round his neck. The contents of Ford
Prefect's satchel were quite interesting in fact and would have
made any Earth physicist's eyes pop out of his head, which is why
he always concealed them by keeping a couple of dog-eared scripts
for plays he pretended he was auditioning for stuffed in the top.
Besides the Sub-Etha Sens-O-Matic and the scripts he had an
Electronic Thumb - a short squat black rod, smooth and matt with
a couple of flat switches and dials at one end; he also had a
device which looked rather like a largish electronic calculator.
This had about a hundred tiny flat press buttons and a screen
about four inches square on which any one of a million "pages"
could be summoned at a moment's notice. It looked insanely
complicated, and this was one of the reasons why the snug plastic
cover it fitted into had the words Don't Panic printed on it in
large friendly letters. The other reason was that this device was
in fact that most remarkable of all books ever to come out of the
great publishing corporations of Ursa Minor - The Hitch Hiker's
Guide to the Galaxy. The reason why it was published in the form
of a micro sub meson electronic component is that if it were
printed in normal book form, an interstellar hitch hiker would
require several inconveniently large buildings to carry it around
Beneath that in Ford Prefect's satchel were a few biros, a
notepad, and a largish bath towel from Marks and Spencer.
The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say on
the subject of towels.
A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an
interstellar hitch hiker can have. Partly it has great practical
value - you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across
the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant
marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea
vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so
redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini
raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-
hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or
to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a
mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it,
it can't see you - daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can
wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of
course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean
More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For
some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a
hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume
that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel,
soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat
spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the
strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a
dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have
"lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch
the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle
against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his
towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.
Hence a phrase which has passed into hitch hiking slang, as in
"Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There's a frood who
really knows where his towel is." (Sass: know, be aware of, meet,
have sex with; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really
amazingly together guy.)
Nestling quietly on top of the towel in Ford Prefect's satchel,
the Sub-Etha Sens-O-Matic began to wink more quickly. Miles above
the surface of the planet the huge yellow somethings began to fan
out. At Jodrell Bank, someone decided it was time for a nice
relaxing cup of tea.
"You got a towel with you?" said Ford Prefect suddenly to Arthur.
Arthur, struggling through his third pint, looked round at him.
"Why? What, no ... should I have?" He had given up being
surprised, there didn't seem to be any point any longer.
Ford clicked his tongue in irritation.
"Drink up," he urged.
At that moment the dull sound of a rumbling crash from outside
filtered through the low murmur of the pub, through the sound of
the jukebox, through the sound of the man next to Ford hiccupping
over the whisky Ford had eventually bought him.
Arthur choked on his beer, leapt to his feet.
"What's that?" he yelped.
"Don't worry," said Ford, "they haven't started yet."
"Thank God for that," said Arthur and relaxed.
"It's probably just your house being knocked down," said Ford,
drowning his last pint.
"What?" shouted Arthur. Suddenly Ford's spell was broken. Arthur
looked wildly around him and ran to the window.
"My God they are! They're knocking my house down. What the hell
am I doing in the pub, Ford?"
"It hardly makes any difference at this stage," said Ford, "let
them have their fun."
"Fun?" yelped Arthur. "Fun!" He quickly checked out of the window
again that they were talking about the same thing.
"Damn their fun!" he hooted and ran out of the pub furiously
waving a nearly empty beer glass. He made no friends at all in
the pub that lunchtime.
"Stop, you vandals! You home wreckers!" bawled Arthur. "You half
crazed Visigoths, stop will you!"
Ford would have to go after him. Turning quickly to the barman he
asked for four packets of peanuts.
"There you are sir," said the barman, slapping the packets on the
bar, "twenty-eight pence if you'd be so kind."
Ford was very kind - he gave the barman another five-pound note
and told him to keep the change. The barman looked at it and then
looked at Ford. He suddenly shivered: he experienced a momentary
sensation that he didn't understand because no one on Earth had
ever experienced it before. In moments of great stress, every
life form that exists gives out a tiny sublimal signal. This
signal simply communicates an exact and almost pathetic sense of
how far that being is from the place of his birth. On Earth it is
never possible to be further than sixteen thousand miles from
your birthplace, which really isn't very far, so such signals are
too minute to be noticed. Ford Prefect was at this moment under
great stress, and he was born 600 light years away in the near
vicinity of Betelgeuse.
The barman reeled for a moment, hit by a shocking,
incomprehensible sense of distance. He didn't know what it meant,
but he looked at Ford Prefect with a new sense of respect, almost
"Are you serious, sir?" he said in a small whisper which had the
effect of silencing the pub. "You think the world's going to
"Yes," said Ford.
"But, this afternoon?"
Ford had recovered himself. He was at his flippest.
"Yes," he said gaily, "in less than two minutes I would
The barman couldn't believe the conversation he was having, but
he couldn't believe the sensation he had just had either.
"Isn't there anything we can do about it then?" he said.
"No, nothing," said Ford, stuffing the peanuts into his pockets.
Someone in the hushed bar suddenly laughed raucously at how
stupid everyone had become.
The man sitting next to Ford was a bit sozzled by now. His eyes
waved their way up to Ford.
"I thought," he said, "that if the world was going to end we were
meant to lie down or put a paper bag over our head or something."
"If you like, yes," said Ford.
"That's what they told us in the army," said the man, and his
eyes began the long trek back down to his whisky.
"Will that help?" asked the barman.
"No," said Ford and gave him a friendly smile. "Excuse me," he
said, "I've got to go." With a wave, he left.
The pub was silent for a moment longer, and then, embarrassingly
enough, the man with the raucous laugh did it again. The girl he
had dragged along to the pub with him had grown to loathe him
dearly over the last hour or so, and it would probably have been
a great satisfaction to her to know that in a minute and a half
or so he would suddenly evaporate into a whiff of hydrogen, ozone
and carbon monoxide. However, when the moment came she would be
too busy evaporating herself to notice it.
The barman cleared his throat. He heard himself say:
"Last orders, please."
The huge yellow machines began to sink downward and to move
Ford knew they were there. This wasn't the way he had wanted it.
Running up the lane, Arthur had nearly reached his house. He
didn't notice how cold it had suddenly become, he didn't notice
the wind, he didn't notice the sudden irrational squall of rain.
He didn't notice anything but the caterpillar bulldozers crawling
over the rubble that had been his home.
"You barbarians!" he yelled. "I'll sue the council for every
penny it's got! I'll have you hung, drawn and quartered! And
whipped! And boiled ... until ... until ... until you've had
Ford was running after him very fast. Very very fast.
"And then I'll do it again!" yelled Arthur. "And when I've
finished I will take all the little bits, and I will jump on
Arthur didn't notice that the men were running from the
bulldozers; he didn't notice that Mr Prosser was staring
hectically into the sky. What Mr Prosser had noticed was that
huge yellow somethings were screaming through the clouds.
Impossibly huge yellow somethings.
"And I will carry on jumping on them," yelled Arthur, still
running, "until I get blisters, or I can think of anything even
more unpleasant to do, and then ..."
Arthur tripped, and fell headlong, rolled and landed flat on his
back. At last he noticed that something was going on. His finger
"What the hell's that?" he shrieked.
Whatever it was raced across the sky in monstrous yellowness,
tore the sky apart with mind-buggering noise and leapt off into
the distance leaving the gaping air to shut behind it with a bang
that drove your ears six feet into your skull.
Another one followed and did the same thing only louder.
It's difficult to say exactly what the people on the surface of
the planet were doing now, because they didn't really know what
they were doing themselves. None of it made a lot of sense -
running into houses, running out of houses, howling noiselessly
at the noise. All around the world city streets exploded with
people, cars slewed into each other as the noise fell on them and
then rolled off like a tidal wave over hills and valleys, deserts
and oceans, seeming to flatten everything it hit.
Only one man stood and watched the sky, stood with terrible
sadness in his eyes and rubber bungs in his ears. He knew exactly
what was happening and had known ever since his Sub-Etha Sens-O-
Matic had started winking in the dead of night beside his pillar
and woken him with a start. It was what he had waited for all
these years, but when he had deciphered the signal pattern
sitting alone in his small dark room a coldness had gripped him
and squeezed his heart. Of all the races in all of the Galaxy who
could have come and said a big hello to planet Earth, he thought,
didn't it just have to be the Vogons.
Still he knew what he had to do. As the Vogon craft screamed
through the air high above him he opened his satchel. He threw
away a copy of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, he
threw away a copy of Godspell: He wouldn't need them where he was
going. Everything was ready, everything was prepared.
He knew where his towel was.
A sudden silence hit the Earth. If anything it was worse than the
noise. For a while nothing happened.
The great ships hung motionless in the air, over every nation on
Earth. Motionless they hung, huge, heavy, steady in the sky, a
blasphemy against nature. Many people went straight into shock as
their minds tried to encompass what they were looking at. The
ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't.
And still nothing happened.
Then there was a slight whisper, a sudden spacious whisper of
open ambient sound. Every hi fi set in the world, every radio,
every television, every cassette recorder, every woofer, every
tweeter, every mid-range driver in the world quietly turned
Every tin can, every dust bin, every window, every car, every
wine glass, every sheet of rusty metal became activated as an
acoustically perfect sounding board.
Before the Earth passed away it was going to be treated to the
very ultimate in sound reproduction, the greatest public address
system ever built. But there was no concert, no music, no
fanfare, just a simple message.
"People of Earth, your attention please," a voice said, and it
was wonderful. Wonderful perfect quadrophonic sound with
distortion levels so low as to make a brave man weep.
"This is Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz of the Galactic Hyperspace
Planning Council," the voice continued. "As you will no doubt be
aware, the plans for development of the outlying regions of the
Galaxy require the building of a hyperspatial express route
through your star system, and regrettably your planet is one of
those scheduled for demolition. The process will take slightly
less that two of your Earth minutes. Thank you."
The PA died away.
Uncomprehending terror settled on the watching people of Earth.
The terror moved slowly through the gathered crowds as if they
were iron fillings on a sheet of board and a magnet was moving
beneath them. Panic sprouted again, desperate fleeing panic, but
there was nowhere to flee to.
Observing this, the Vogons turned on their PA again. It said:
"There's no point in acting all surprised about it. All the
planning charts and demolition orders have been on display in
your local planning department on Alpha Centauri for fifty of
your Earth years, so you've had plenty of time to lodge any
formal complaint and it's far too late to start making a fuss
about it now."
The PA fell silent again and its echo drifted off across the
land. The huge ships turned slowly in the sky with easy power. On
the underside of each a hatchway opened, an empty black space.
By this time somebody somewhere must have manned a radio
transmitter, located a wavelength and broadcasted a message back
to the Vogon ships, to plead on behalf of the planet. Nobody ever
heard what they said, they only heard the reply. The PA slammed
back into life again. The voice was annoyed. It said:
"What do you mean you've never been to Alpha Centauri? For
heaven's sake mankind, it's only four light years away you know.
I'm sorry, but if you can't be bothered to take an interest in
local affairs that's your own lookout.
"Energize the demolition beams."
Light poured out into the hatchways.
"I don't know," said the voice on the PA, "apathetic bloody
planet, I've no sympathy at all." It cut off.
There was a terrible ghastly silence.
There was a terrible ghastly noise.
There was a terrible ghastly silence.
The Vogon Constructor fleet coasted away into the inky starry
Far away on the opposite spiral arm of the Galaxy, five hundred
thousand light years from the star Sol, Zaphod Beeblebrox,
President of the Imperial Galactic Government, sped across the
seas of Damogran, his ion drive delta boat winking and flashing
in the Damogran sun.
Damogran the hot; Damogran the remote; Damogran the almost
totally unheard of.
Damogran, secret home of the Heart of Gold.
The boat sped on across the water. It would be some time before
it reached its destination because Damogran is such an
inconveniently arranged planet. It consists of nothing but
middling to large desert islands separated by very pretty but
annoyingly wide stretches of ocean.
The boat sped on.
Because of this topological awkwardness Damogran has always
remained a deserted planet. This is why the Imperial Galactic
Government chose Damogran for the Heart of Gold project, because
it was so deserted and the Heart of Gold was so secret.
The boat zipped and skipped across the sea, the sea that lay
between the main islands of the only archipelago of any useful
size on the whole planet. Zaphod Beeblebrox was on his way from
the tiny spaceport on Easter Island (the name was an entirely
meaningless coincidence - in Galacticspeke, easter means small
flat and light brown) to the Heart of Gold island, which by
another meaningless coincidence was called France.
One of the side effects of work on the Heart of Gold was a whole
string of pretty meaningless coincidences.
But it was not in any way a coincidence that today, the day of
culmination of the project, the great day of unveiling, the day
that the Heart of Gold was finally to be introduced to a
marvelling Galaxy, was also a great day of culmination for Zaphod
Beeblebrox. It was for the sake of this day that he had first
decided to run for the Presidency, a decision which had sent
waves of astonishment throughout the Imperial Galaxy - Zaphod
Beeblebrox? President? Not the Zaphod Beeblebrox? Not the
President? Many had seen it as a clinching proof that the whole
of known creation had finally gone bananas.
Zaphod grinned and gave the boat an extra kick of speed.
Zaphod Beeblebrox, adventurer, ex-hippy, good timer, (crook?
quite possibly), manic self-publicist, terribly bad at personal
relationships, often thought to be completely out to lunch.
No one had gone bananas, not in that way at least.
Only six people in the entire Galaxy understood the principle on
which the Galaxy was governed, and they knew that once Zaphod
Beeblebrox had announced his intention to run as President it was
more or less a fait accompli: he was the ideal Presidency
What they completely failed to understand was why Zaphod was
He banked sharply, shooting a wild wall of water at the sun.
Today was the day; today was the day when they would realize what
Zaphod had been up to. Today was what Zaphod Beeblebrox's
Presidency was all about. Today was also his two hundredth
birthday, but that was just another meaningless coincidence.
As he skipped his boat across the seas of Damogran he smiled
quietly to himself about what a wonderful exciting day it was
going to be. He relaxed and spread his two arms lazily across the
seat back. He steered with an extra arm he'd recently fitted just
beneath his right one to help improve his ski-boxing.
"Hey," he cooed to himself, "you're a real cool boy you." But his
nerves sang a song shriller than a dog whistle.
The island of France was about twenty miles long, five miles
across the middle, sandy and crescent shaped. In fact it seemed
to exist not so much as an island in its own right as simply a
means of defining the sweep and curve of a huge bay. This
impression was heightened by the fact that the inner coastline of
the crescent consisted almost entirely of steep cliffs. From the
top of the cliff the land sloped slowly down five miles to the
On top of the cliffs stood a reception committee.
It consisted in large part of the engineers and researchers who
had built the Heart of Gold - mostly humanoid, but here and there
were a few reptiloid atomineers, two or three green slyph-like
maximegalacticans, an octopoid physucturalist or two and a
Hooloovoo (a Hooloovoo is a super-intelligent shade of the color
blue). All except the Hooloovoo were resplendent in their multi-
colored ceremonial lab coats; the Hooloovoo had been temporarily
refracted into a free standing prism for the occasion.
There was a mood of immense excitement thrilling through all of
them. Together and between them they had gone to and beyond the
furthest limits of physical laws, restructured the fundamental
fabric of matter, strained, twisted and broken the laws of
possibility and impossibility, but still the greatest excitement
of all seemed to be to meet a man with an orange sash round his
neck. (An orange sash was what the President of the Galaxy
traditionally wore.) It might not even have made much difference
to them if they'd known exactly how much power the President of
the Galaxy actually wielded: none at all. Only six people in the
Galaxy knew that the job of the Galactic President was not to
wield power but to attract attention away from it.
Zaphod Beeblebrox was amazingly good at his job.
The crowd gasped, dazzled by sun and seemanship, as the
Presidential speedboat zipped round the headland into the bay. It
flashed and shone as it came skating over the sea in wide
In fact it didn't need to touch the water at all, because it was
supported on a hazy cushion of ionized atoms - but just for
effect it was fitted with thin finblades which could be lowered
into the water. They slashed sheets of water hissing into the
air, carved deep gashes into the sea which swayed crazily and
sank back foaming into the boat's wake as it careered across the
Zaphod loved effect: it was what he was best at.
He twisted the wheel sharply, the boat slewed round in a wild
scything skid beneath the cliff face and dropped to rest lightly
on the rocking waves.
Within seconds he ran out onto the deck and waved and grinned at
over three billion people. The three billion people weren't
actually there, but they watched his every gesture through the
eyes of a small robot tri-D camera which hovered obsequiously in
the air nearby. The antics of the President always made amazingly
popular tri-D; that's what they were for.
He grinned again. Three billion and six people didn't know it,
but today would be a bigger antic than anyone had bargained for.
The robot camera homed in for a close up on the more popular of
his two heads and he waved again. He was roughly humanoid in
appearance except for the extra head and third arm. His fair
tousled hair stuck out in random directions, his blue eyes
glinted with something completely unidentifiable, and his chins
were almost always unshaven.
A twenty-foot-high transparent globe floated next to his boat,
rolling and bobbing, glistening in the brilliant sun. Inside it
floated a wide semi-circular sofa upholstered in glorious red
leather: the more the globe bobbed and rolled, the more the sofa
stayed perfectly still, steady as an upholstered rock. Again, all
done for effect as much as anything.
Zaphod stepped through the wall of the globe and relaxed on the
sofa. He spread his two arms lazily along the back and with the
third brushed some dust off his knee. His heads looked about,
smiling; he put his feet up. At any moment, he thought, he might
Water boiled up beneath the bubble, it seethed and spouted. The
bubble surged into the air, bobbing and rolling on the water
spout. Up, up it climbed, throwing stilts of light at the cliff.
Up it surged on the jet, the water falling from beneath it,
crashing back into the sea hundreds of feet below.
Zaphod smiled, picturing himself.
A thoroughly ridiculous form of transport, but a thoroughly
At the top of the cliff the globe wavered for a moment, tipped on
to a railed ramp, rolled down it to a small concave platform and
riddled to a halt.
To tremendous applause Zaphod Beeblebrox stepped out of the
bubble, his orange sash blazing in the light.
The President of the Galaxy had arrived.
He waited for the applause to die down, then raised his hands in
"Hi," he said.
A government spider sidled up to him and attempted to press a
copy of his prepared speech into his hands. Pages three to seven
of the original version were at the moment floating soggily on
the Damogran sea some five miles out from the bay. Pages one and
two had been salvaged by a Damogran Frond Crested Eagle and had
already become incorporated into an extraordinary new form of
nest which the eagle had invented. It was constructed largely of
papier m@ch@ and it was virtually impossible for a newly hatched
baby eagle to break out of it. The Damogran Frond Crested Eagle
had heard of the notion of survival of the species but wanted no
truck with it.
Zaphod Beeblebrox would not be needing his set speech and he
gently deflected the one being offered him by the spider.
"Hi," he said again.
Everyone beamed at him, or, at least, nearly everyone. He singled
out Trillian from the crowd. Trillian was a gird that Zaphod had
picked up recently whilst visiting a planet, just for fun,
incognito. She was slim, darkish, humanoid, with long waves of
black hair, a full mouth, an odd little nob of a nose and
ridiculously brown eyes. With her red head scarf knotted in that
particular way and her long flowing silky brown dress she looked
vaguely Arabic. Not that anyone there had ever heard of an Arab
of course. The Arabs had very recently ceased to exist, and even
when they had existed they were five hundred thousand light years
from Damogran. Trillian wasn't anybody in particular, or so
Zaphod claimed. She just went around with him rather a lot and
told him what she thought of him.
"Hi honey," he said to her.
She flashed him a quick tight smile and looked away. Then she
looked back for a moment and smiled more warmly - but by this
time he was looking at something else.
"Hi," he said to a small knot of creatures from the press who
were standing nearby wishing that he would stop saying Hi and get
on with the quotes. He grinned at them particularly because he
knew that in a few moments he would be giving them one hell of a
The next thing he said though was not a lot of use to them. One
of the officials of the party had irritably decided that the
President was clearly not in a mood to read the deliciously
turned speech that had been written for him, and had flipped the
switch on the remote control device in his pocket. Away in front
of them a huge white dome that bulged against the sky cracked
down in the middle, split, and slowly folded itself down into the
ground. Everyone gasped although they had known perfectly well it
was going to do that because they had built it that way.
Beneath it lay uncovered a huge starship, one hundred and fifty
metres long, shaped like a sleek running shoe, perfectly white
and mindboggingly beautiful. At the heart of it, unseen, lay a
small gold box which carried within it the most brain-wretching
device ever conceived, a device which made this starship unique
in the history of the galaxy, a device after which the ship had
been named - The Heart of Gold.
"Wow", said Zaphod Beeblebrox to the Heart of Gold. There wasn't
much else he could say.
He said it again because he knew it would annoy the press.
The crowd turned their faces back towards him expectantly. He
winked at Trillian who raised her eyebrows and widened her eyes
at him. She knew what he was about to say and thought him a
"That is really amazing," he said. "That really is truly amazing.
That is so amazingly amazing I think I'd like to steal it."
A marvellous Presidential quote, absolutely true to form. The
crowd laughed appreciatively, the newsmen gleefully punched
shouldn't we make a distinction between what is predictable and what we can predict?
take a coin flip for instance. if one knew all the information going in, could one know the way the flip would turn out? i mean the factors we are able to track seem negligible. it's the factors we can't that affect the outcome in two possible ways at even rates over a number of flips. but since we can't track the information that happens to affect the coin flip in two ways at even rates, we track those even rates.
god may not play dice with the universe, but that doesn't mean it doesn't seem like dice to us.
now subatomic particles...whew...they bring into account how the observer influences the outcome, and thereby validate the observer's role. and since we are not the universe, since we are a microcosm of it and cannot possibly subsume all of its information, we must rely on probabilities. we cannot know about a blade of grass but we can know about a field. we learn things that may not end up mattering in the moment, but matter in the long run.
our lives are a constant wager. we have to remind ourselves that it only feels like anything is possible. even when anything happens. maybe even twice in a row. it's using the patterns of chance. it's a beautiful way to think and a boring way to live.
M_Species of 0 & 1...
M_Species of 0 & 1..., given that a coin without an edge...
just a question
questions defeat themselves.
bring more questions.
questions not related to original question.
not even a little. proof of the random?
or rather of systematic confusion?
pooky pooky pook pook.
marlboro man in drag clothing?
which is truer?
equations from two incompatible sytems. new math? self destruction?
get out of the house more
what's it to you?