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Fourty-two - cellophane
the story of an invisible girl
renniekins
renniekins
Fourty-two
I stole this link from cpip, because I thought it was pretty cool. Check it out.... this is what you get when you google "answer to life the universe and everything".

Also, the current top link provided an interesting summary of the role 42 plays in Douglas Adams's novels. It even links to an post allegedly written by the author himself, explaining where 42 came from!

I first became addicted to the Hitchhikers trilogy in early high school. I could always tell if a person would understand my sense of humor by whether they enjoyed the books or not. To me, they were hilariously funny, and I could read them and laugh at them again and again. I remember once sitting in a library, reading passages from So Long and Thanks For All the Fish to a friend.

I was trying to read without giggling, so she could truly appreciate his witty word-play. She was staring at me blankly. It was clear that not only did she not find it funny, but she couldn't even see a reason they might be funny!

I tried another passage that amused me. It was this one:
"He had read somewhere that the Eskimos had over two hundred different words for snow, without which their conversation would probably have got very monotonous. So they would distinguish between thin snow and thick snow, light snow and heavy snow, sludgy snow, brittle snow, snow that came in flurries, snow that came in drifts, snow that came in on the bottom of your neighbor's boots all over your nice clean igloo floor, the snows of winter, the snows of spring, the snows you remember from your childhood that were so much better than any of your modern snow, fine snow, feathery snow, hill snow, valley snow, snow that falls in the morning, snow that falls at night, snow that falls all of a sudden just when you were going out fishing, and snow that despite all your efforts to train them, the huskies have pissed on. "

She remained completely unimpressed until I got to the last phrase, then she laughed. "Snow that the huskies pissed on!", she chuckled. "Haha! Dog pee!"

I gave up trying to share...it was clearly hopeless.
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Comments
cpip From: cpip Date: September 8th, 2003 08:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Hee.

Some folks just can't appreciate Douglas Adams... which is a shame.

If we all read the Guide and laughed together as one, we'd have world peace.

And human flight.

And possibly airborne sex with walkmans.

And more dolphins.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: September 8th, 2003 09:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, that is so true! The world would be a beautiful and entertaining place.
mrdisco99 From: mrdisco99 Date: September 8th, 2003 08:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Haha! I love Google.
anderale From: anderale Date: September 8th, 2003 12:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
For some reason, I have not yet read any of his writings. I have purchased Douglas Adams books for my Mother, but not for myself. I have however, listened to the radio shows and enjoyed them immensely.

What a disappointing experience with your friend. I had that same disappointment when watching Black Adder with Mark. He usually likes dry humor...>sigh
renniekins From: renniekins Date: September 9th, 2003 03:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, you should definitely read one, if you liked the radio shows! They are great fun. Light and entertaining.
swerve From: swerve Date: September 8th, 2003 12:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

bwah!

I love Douglas Adams. Thanks for the links.

I used to use Grosse Pointe Blank as a humor tester. Sometime in the late 1990s, I dated a guy who didn't get it. He didn't think it was funny and I had to explain the part about the dog. We didn't last very long.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: September 9th, 2003 03:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: bwah!

Wow, I haven't seen that movie since it came out! It was good...I should watch it again. I live near Grosse Pointe, which made it extra-interesting for me.
fjarlq From: fjarlq Date: September 8th, 2003 02:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love the link to his explanation of 42 -- thanks! I know he was an active poster to his own newsgroup back then, so I expect it's authentic.

Google totally rules for bringing those Usenet archives together. I've had a lot of fun pawing through them...
renniekins From: renniekins Date: September 9th, 2003 03:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's so cool, that he read and posted to his own newsgroup.
fjarlq From: fjarlq Date: September 9th, 2003 05:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Totally. Here's a link to his first post there, and you can read some his other posts if you click on his name in the From: header there, but only the ones he posted from that email address... I know he had other email addresses over the years.

I was going to speculate that his posting to his own fan group was something of a Usenet first, but then I saw on Google's 20 Year Usenet Timeline that Terry Pratchett beat him by over a year. Maybe it was a Usenet second, though. :)
zenmondo From: zenmondo Date: September 8th, 2003 02:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the link. I am still working on my electronic thumb, but no one has stopped to pick me up yet. Didn't stop me from being a researcher (U115588) for the guide, earth edition.

I'm reading Salmon of Doubt, DNA's printed tribute. I miss researcher U42, I hope whereever he is, he has his towel with him.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: September 9th, 2003 03:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glad you enjoyed! I'm sure if you leave the thumb on, eventually somebody will give you a lift. (:

I haven't read Salmon of Doubt...what do you think of it?
retepsnave From: retepsnave Date: September 9th, 2003 11:37 am (UTC) (Link)

42!

earth as a computer.... Adams was great at screwing with reality and then adding yet another twist on top....
I'll certainly agree that it takes special people to enjoy him.... although saddly there are too few...
great stuff.... and yes I could not stop laughing at the mere mention of the snow bit.... without wich their conversation would probably have got very monotonus... that line itself is a hoot!
thanks for sharing!
renniekins From: renniekins Date: September 9th, 2003 03:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: 42!

Yep, he has a very fun and twisted way of looking at the world...I've always loved it.

Glad it made you laugh too!
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