If it concerns travel, no matter in how much of a remote and thinly connected way, it matters to us. In 1978, a radio voice came through on BBC, which was essentially one of those endless comedy series to be aired. But this one did not stop there. It developed into a trilogy that sold over 15 million copies, was made into a television series, stage plays, computer game and even into a feature film. We are talking about Douglas Adams and his work, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy“.
The Matter with Towels
In a small alien small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse and as a researcher for an eponymous guidebook (Zaphod Beeblebrox), Arthur Dent, a hapless Englishman, who called himself Ford Prefect (to blend in with the automotive life form – don’t ask for the logic), finds in the course of his many adventures and misadventures, that a towel is by far, the most useful piece of commodity that one could carry around while on interstellar travel.
Today, the 25th of May, is Towel Day, when we, Douglas Adams and “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy”fans pay tribute to the master by carrying a towel in public.
To give you a glimpse of just how important a towel is for travel, and especially for intergalactic travel, here’s a quote:
“A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker 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 miniraft 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 avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); 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 enough.” – Douglas
About the Scottish
But not everyone had to be thrown out of the atmosphere and find themselves in an automotive inhabited planet to realize the enormous benefits of carrying a towel. The Scots had it all figured out. And that too without going on the hippie trail. Since centuries they have been wrapping an extra-long towel around their body as their traditional clothing. Arthur Dent however, came on it by sheer accident.
So how do I celebrate it?
Why, carry a towel! In public. There is an official towel too, if you prefer, Sadly, the original one is out of production. But there are many variations that you can get your hands on.
Certainly, there are less subtle ways to show your love for the garment. There are public events being carried out everywhere in the world.
In Bangalore, a good number of fans have brought out the Towel Day Bangalore event (the page on Facebook is going crazy).
From around 7.30 PM, there are quite a few resto-bars and boutique restaurants which are throwing out themed evenings. There’s The Biere Club, Loveshack, Herbs n Spice, Huckleberry, and many others. Gather yourself at 1.30 pm at the Brigade Road McDonalds to catch the events (in your towel).
In Pune, froods will meet in Pune at 20:00 (8pm) at Volare on the Baner Pashan Link Road. Towels, as expected are mandatory, digital watches are appreciated, a bit of Vogon poetry would go down well with the pan galactic gargle blaster.
There are way too many events being organized world wide to list them down here. The Towel Day website maintains a pretty good list. For instance (from towelday.org):
- In NYC, Robair is looking for interested people. He’s on Reddit.
- In Salem, MA, Mike’s Museum, LLC, will hold its second annual towel collection for the animal shelter at Front Street Coffee House on May 25. Petunias will be given to the first 100 donors, if you want to kill it go ahead but please help protect the whales.
- In Houston, TX, craft beer bar “Petrol station” will be celebrating Towel Day for the third time. Happy hour all night, as long as you have your towel!
- In Talhassee, FL, the Fermentation Lounge will be raising a pint in honour of the late Douglas Adams and collect towels for the Leon County Humane Society to help out some furry friends. Don’t Panic. Bring a Towel.
Happy Towel Day!