Hey, you sass that hoopy Douglas Adams. He was a frood who really knew where his towel was. And what the answer to the ultimate question was.
Yes, it’s the end of the day, but I’m getting in on time! 10/10/10 (today’s date) is 42 in binary, and any good geek knows that 42 is the answer to the ultimate question, the question of life, the universe, and everything.
Douglas Adams died far too early in 2001, and ever since there have been days to commemorate him, including National Towel Day (May 25). If, by odd chance you don’t know Adams’ work, starting with the classic Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, or, if you’re a fan of Norse gods or time travel, the Dirk Gently series is bizarre and wonderful.
Douglas became the symbolic pillar of seizing the day to me and my husband. Around 1998, we were at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Atlanta, GA, and he was there promoting Starship Titanic. As shy geeks, we huddled together whispering, “oh look it’s Douglas Adams, oh man, let’s go talk to him, he’s tall! I don’t know what to say, I’m too shy!” We walked through the convention center until we decided no, we were wusses, we had to turn around and go back and say hi. Who knew when we’d get a chance to see him again?
By the time we got back to the booth, he was gone, headed to the airport to go back to England. We expressed dismay, and the woman at the booth was incredibly kind and actually gave us a copy of the game to make it up to us. Three short years later, he was dead of a sudden heart attack, and to this day we kick ourselves for being too shy to even say hi to the man whose writing touched so many geeks of our generation.
We miss you, Douglas.