Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Douglas Adams Says Hello

Eddies in the space-time continuum.
©Nancy E. Banks
          So last Sunday, the dogs and I are on our usual walk in our usual park, when we happen across this highly un-usual sofa. Just sitting there, invitingly, as if any random sitter who chanced upon it would be enfolded in its velvet embrace…
          …And transported to "the middle of the pitch at Lord's Cricket Ground, St. John's Wood, London, toward the end of the last Test Match of the Australian series in the year 198-, with England needing only twenty-eight runs to win."
          Any fan of the immortal Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series will of course greet the inexplicable apparition of sofas at large in nature as a sure manifestation that Douglas Adams says hello from beyond the veil—and will remember the famous Chesterfield Scene that takes place in chapters 2 and 3 of Life, the Universe and Everything.
          If you are asking yourself, "What famous Chesterfield scene that takes place in chapters 2 and 3 of Life, the Universe and Everything? And what, by the way, is this Life, the Universe and Everything? And what does cricket have to do with any of it?"—allow me to give you a taste, and to recommend the entire Hitchhiker's series, as well as everything else Douglas Adams ever wrote (including, if any have been anthologized, his grocery lists—because the man turned everything he touched into brilliant insanity):

          "'There!' said Ford, shooting out his arm. 'There, behind that sofa!'
          "Arthur looked. Much to his surprise, there was a velvet paisley-covered Chesterfield sofa in the field in front of them. He boggled intelligently at it. Shrewd questions sprang into his mind.
          "'Why,' he said, 'is there a sofa in that field?'
          "'I told you!' Shouted Ford, leaping to his feet. 'Eddies in the space-time continuum!'
          "'And this is his sofa, is it?' asked Arthur, struggling to his feet and, he hoped, though not very optimistically, to his senses."

           As I approached the sofa, hoping that I, too, could hitch a ride on it to the pitch at Lord's Cricket Ground as Ford and Arthur had done, with such disastrous results, and wondering how the dogs would feel about hurtling through the fabric of space-time back to before they were born and if that were even possible or if I would just appear at Lord's Cricket Ground with dogless leashes and what would happen to the furry ones in that case—the sofa winked out of existence.
          So long, Mr. Adams, and thanks for all the books.

1 comment:

  1. The Douglas Adams books have one end of a shelf on my bookcase, and rarely need dusting. Should you encounter any new volumes lying around on sofas in the middle of fields, do please share.