May 25 is Towel Day, when fans of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy jokingly adorn a towel and praise the household item as if it prepares the owner for any sticky situation. Author Douglas Adams was a master of these tongue-in-cheek references to our modern existence, helping the reader (and listener) feel as if they might one day walk across their livingroom and into a silly, star-spanning adventure.
As The Guide says, “A towel is just about the most massively useful thing any interstellar Hitchhiker can carry. Partly it has great practical value.” But the true power of a towel is its role as a symbol: “More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value… 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.”
Possession of a towel is a calming force, a reification of the mantra printed across the cover of The Guide in big letters: “DON’T PANIC”.
(Via Boing Boing)
Stupid GDPR, distracting me on Towel Day.