Oh Douglas, why did you up and leave us?
I had the occasion, albeit under the very heavy influence of a bottle or three of an extremely pleasant Shiraz, to stumble upon a rather tall gentleman with an odd outlook on life. Well, odd in the fact that he was rumoured to be dead, but we’ll come to that shortly. Although unsure at first, the presence of a towel slung casually over his left shoulder, a large open and half eaten packet of salted peanuts in his right hand and his asking if I had any beer gave me a clue. When I casually said, ‘Hey, you’re supposed to be dead!’, he just smiled and said, ‘Oh don’t panic.’
Now I was sure it was him. If I had any lingering doubts, they were brushed aside in an instant when I said, ‘It’s you, isn’t it?’ He told me that it was my drunken stupor, so he would happily be anyone at all.
‘So, this disappearing act in 2001? What was that all about? You didn’t even say goodbye or anything,’ I remonstrated. ‘Look,’ he said. ‘Ok, I meant to at the time, but just got carried away with things and, well, you know, the fish, dolphins and mice were having a bash on Earth Two. So, off I went. Not often one gets such an invite.’
‘So you just up and died to get there?’
‘No. I hitchhiked.’
‘To Earth Two?’
‘Weren’t you listening?’
‘Sorry. Um, so you didn’t die then.’
‘Um, can I ask you something?’
‘Will it be silly?’
‘All right then, ask away.’
‘This 42 business. Did you think of it yourself, or did you steal the idea from Lewis Carroll?’
‘I refuse to answer that! How dare you!’
‘So you did then.’
‘Well, er, yes. I did have 73 in mind at the time but it just didn’t have a nice ring to it. So I deleted 73 and got lazy and just popped in 42.’
‘But that’s plagiarism!’
‘No it’s not! You can’t plagiarise a number. How silly.’
‘Oh yeah. Sorry.’
‘Accepted. Now, any more stupid questions?’
‘Er, yes. Just one if you don’t mind.’
‘Ok, only one.’
‘Why are you back here?’
‘Oh, good question. I just popped back to pick up my Macintosh. Really have missed it. I’ve been having to write on a stupid holographic slate on Earth Two and it really gives me the pips. Things keep popping in and out and up and down. Most disconcerting.’
‘Why don’t you get a new Mac? A Macbook Pro. There’ve improved a lot since 2001.’
‘Can I have that beer now?’ he asked as he picked up his Macintosh and slung it under his arm. Keyboard dangling by its cord.
‘Sure. Here you go.’
‘Ta! Well, so long and thanks for the beer,’ was all he said as he disappeared from right in front of my very eyes.
I took another sip of my Shiraz. And wondered.
13 thoughts on “A Drunken Meeting With a Dead Author”
I miss him, too! Guess I need to find me some Shiraz…
Any passing Vogons headed for Earth Two?
I was keeping my drunken eyes peeled Cyndi. But I didn’t see anything that floated through the air like a brick doesn’t. But then again, they are invisible to us Earthlings, aren’t they? lol
I’m jealous! Having a drink with Douglas – you luck devil. lol :D
A glass of Shiraz is a fitting way to toast a legend I think Jack.
I miss him, too. He was taken from us way too young.
The number 42 also appears on the first page of The Zohar,
Two or three bottles of Shiraz, and I’ll meet Douglas Adams? I’m there, dude!
Well Jannet, get your towel and peanuts ready! Cheers, hic!
I’m clearly drinking inferior Shiraz. The best I can ever get after 2 or 3 bottles is to fall down gracefully. And most times I skip the gracefully bit.
Well Steve, clearly you’re doing this all wrong. Never assume a standing position after starting the second bottle. Stay seated, and wait patiently for the dead authors to arrive. Normally happens about the time you enter the second half of the third bottle. :)
Jeez! When I’m drunk I only ever get to see Beeblebrox! You lucky guy.
Hey! Don’t complain Deb. Beeblebrox is twice the value to meet. Much more fun than DA! I’m gonna go to the 4th bottle next time and see if I can meet Trillian as well :)
Damn ninjas cutting onions. I really really wish I could have met him. Gotta try some Shiraz now!
Oh, Shiraz is enough?
I’m hooked on pangalactic gargleblasters
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