“A towel, [The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy] 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 vapors; 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-boggingly 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 Adams – Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
Towel day is the 25th of May and it celebrates Douglas Adam’s life and works, in particular the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy which is a literary masterpiece in my own opinion. It paints a picture of the idiosyncrasies of life on earth and gives us an insight in to the authors perception of living and travelling in space. I would like to think that at least some of it is true or at least on the same wave length, its hilarious to think that there are inter-galactic planning committees (which is totally believable in my opinion) and that we will probably get mowed down by a interstellar highway at some point. Although I still question the idea that this is all a simulation in order to find the question to which the answer is 42 but no one actually knows why.
Putting your towel down traditionally means you are protecting your lounger from the impending other tourists at your resort on holiday, much the same as saving a chair, it has become a ritual for some. Some nations getting out of bed much earlier than others so they can reserve their prime spots by the swimming pool or on the beach much to the annoyance of others but it has become expected behaviour from some. Much in the same way that the British have developed the act of queuing into an art (although recently that has not been the case in some areas during the pandemic. Some peoples sensibilities seem to have left them and their manners have been consigned to a box under the bed).
The changing world we live in means that our need for knowing where our towel is probably much greater than ever, its a metaphor for the organisation and discipline required in our lives. It is important to stay up to date with current affairs through neutral sources (difficult with all the propaganda flying around at the moment I know) and keep ourselves aware and organised. I am still in the process of learning to be disciplined and organised in this confusing world, the routine we had before is now forever changed, no longer can we shop in the same way or interact with people in the same way and it will remain that way for the foreseeable future. This means making sure you have everything on the list, not deciding to give up halfway through shopping and thinking I can come back again tomorrow because yes you can but you are likely to put yourself and others at unnecessary risk. So think carefully about your actions, remember that once you are organised its easy to maintain, the metaphorical pile of newspapers are no longer causing an avalanche and its stopped blocking the door so you aren’t wading through them every time you need to do something.
So when things start to seem overwhelming remember as long as you know where your towel is you will be OK.
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