Towel Day -- tribute to Douglas Adams
May 16, 2001 10:26 AM   Subscribe

Towel Day -- tribute to Douglas Adams Here's an idea for those of you who want to show some sort of public sympathy for Douglas Adams. This site is proposing May 25th be "Towel Day" - carry a towel prominently and use it as a talking point for discussing Adams with people. I can't decide if this is lame or cool, so you tell me. (via FARK)
posted by briank (30 comments total)
I'm going to go with
Today : cool
In 6 months : lame
posted by jragon at 10:28 AM on May 16, 2001

As much as I love Adams' work, I'll have to go with lame.

I think it would be better if we all had no tea on that day.
posted by bondcliff at 10:37 AM on May 16, 2001

Ways to honor the memory of Douglas Adams:

1) Give to causes for which he gave so much of himself. Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, Save the Rhino, and Amnesty International are a couple of examples. Adams often said that despite the success of HitchHiker and his other efforts, it was his work on Last Chance To See of which he was most proud.

2) If giving to big international organizations is not your style, consider volunteering time or donating money to an animal shelter in your area. Or help a stray find a new home.

3) Delve into the legacy he left behind. If you are a fan of his work, pick up your favorite of his and rekindle that happy spirit. Or maybe you've read all his books but haven't picked up his CD Rom game. Starship Titanic is frustrating, but a lot of fun. If you're not a fan of his work, try something of his you haven't tried before. Even if you don't like it, I'm sure he'd ask no more of you than to give his art a chance. I reread Young Zaphod Plays It Safe yesterday. I didn't appreciate it the first time I read it but somehow this latest reading just took on a whole new meaning to me.

4) Try to tone down the usage of obvious quotes from his work. He was appreciative of what HitchHiker did for him because the wealth allowed him to persue other interests, but I think if he knew just how much people are repeating "So Long And Thanks For All The Fish," he'd gag. I mean he'd be honored but embarrassed at the same time. Don't stop doing it, but just don't go overboard. Maybe look for more obscure references.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:47 AM on May 16, 2001

Why don't they do it on a Thursday?
posted by DiplomaticImmunity at 10:47 AM on May 16, 2001

I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
posted by allaboutgeorge at 10:50 AM on May 16, 2001

Excellent suggestions, Zach. You're one hoopy frood. (is that sufficiently obscure?)
posted by briank at 10:55 AM on May 16, 2001

What about using only Zen Navigation on that day? Oh, wait. That's how I normally navigate.

Perhaps it would save time if he went back to get his car, but then again it was only a short distance, and he had a tremendous propensity for getting lost when driving. This was largely because of his method of ‘Zen’ navigation, which was simply to find any car that looked as if it knew where it was going and follow it. The results were more often surprising than successful, but he felt it was worth it for the sake of the few occasions when it was both.
-The Long Dark Teatime of The Soul

I often wonder if passengers in my vehicle are frightened when I state, "Well, I don't know where to go from here. I guess I'll just use Zen Navigation." Oddly enough, I've found three Whaling Walls this way (Detroit, Chicago, and one somewhere in Washington State).
posted by iceberg273 at 11:02 AM on May 16, 2001

On the cool vs. lame question, I have to go with a cool thought, but lame if you actually did it.
posted by kindall at 11:10 AM on May 16, 2001

Among others, I'm sure, there are also Whaling Walls in Victoria, BC & Vancouver, BC.
posted by skwm at 11:13 AM on May 16, 2001

[skwm] Among others, I'm sure, there are also Whaling Walls in Victoria, BC & Vancouver, BC.

Yeah, I've seen them several other places, including Vancouver, BC and Philly. Wyland said that he would paint 100 of them world wide, and he's done 80-odd now. What was neat about the three I mentioned above is that I found them using Zen Navigation and that Wyland, like Adams, has a gift, and uses it for good.
posted by iceberg273 at 11:25 AM on May 16, 2001

I think I agree with you, kindall. ZachsMind has some more meaningful suggestions.

GEEK ALERT When Gene Roddenberry died I wore a small and tasteful Star Trek arrowhead logo tie tack to work the next day.
posted by briank at 11:30 AM on May 16, 2001

i'm celebrating by tossing a potted plant out of the top floor of my building.
posted by jcterminal at 11:42 AM on May 16, 2001

You can find other of Wyland's Whaling Walls in the US here.
posted by kindall at 11:45 AM on May 16, 2001

Whomever came up with this idea is a jerk and complete knee-biter and will be one of the first against the wall when the Revolution breaks out...but I can't escape the fact that there is ALWAYS a towel laying between the bucket seats of my truck and I never actually thought about it until today...go out and drink some gin and tonics to his memory or even a Pan-Galactic Gargleblaster (no more than two unless you are a thirty ton megaelephant with bronchial pneumonia.)
posted by RevGreg at 1:06 PM on May 16, 2001

Erm . . . I usually carry a towel with me anyway in my satchel - just in case it rains you understand . . .
posted by feelinglistless at 1:40 PM on May 16, 2001

The closest thing to a pan-galactic gargle blaster, I've found, is a good strong Long Island Ice Tea. I suggest sipping one of the twenty-fifth (instead of the lame towel-thing) and following one of Zachsmind's suggestions (great ones by the way).

Here's to humor, civility, and intelligence. To me, Douglas Adams had one of the best combinations of all three.
posted by LAM at 1:51 PM on May 16, 2001

LAM, you might want to check out the Terran version of the PGGB.
posted by jammer at 2:00 PM on May 16, 2001

And now we've come to the part where sudama recalls that he used to carry a towel around with him in elementary and middle school, partly as an excuse to introduce people to the work of Douglas Adams and partly because he didn't think it was a bad idea to have a towel handy.
posted by sudama at 2:04 PM on May 16, 2001

The closest thing to a pan-galactic gargle blaster, I've found, is a good strong Long Island Ice Tea.

Hmmm, I prefer a nice, stiff Red Death or maybe a Singapore Sling. Anything that's going to be THAT debilitating just has to have gin in it!
posted by RevGreg at 2:51 PM on May 16, 2001

ARGH. The so-called 'Terran version' of the PGGB sucks arse, as do all the other 'chuck a shot of every standard spirit you can get your hands on in a glass' Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster recipes. If you're gonna do it, do it my way.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 3:48 PM on May 16, 2001

an ex-girlfriend of mine used My towel to clean up cat-piss and then threw it away. my towel i had had for 12 years thru summer camps and boyscouts and living in a tent in alaska, numerous apartments in washington & idaho, roadtrips and nights where i crashed at someones house and used it as a blanket. Sure, it had holes in it, and it didn't always smell great, and i think originally it had been a solid blue color and not the strange pattern it developed later on in life. And i always chose the wrong people to introduce it to...very rarely would anyone know that meeting someones towel was a special moment.

with that said--i am a towel fan--i think such a contrived day is pretty lame. We should live the towel lifestyle everyday.
posted by th3ph17 at 5:06 PM on May 16, 2001

JC, you're not going to BE there to throw the potted plant... I'll see if Chris'll let me up on the roof. :)
posted by SpecialK at 7:28 PM on May 16, 2001

"with that said--i am a towel fan--i think such a contrived day is pretty lame. We should live the towel lifestyle everyday."

From this day forward, I intend to do just that. Perhaps just after showering, and before breakfast would do the trick. There's an idle moment just after exiting the shower when I am usually just standing stock still, dripping wet.

"Carry a towel day?" I think it's kind of lame.

But, but, what about "insert a fish in your ear day?"

That would be *cool, yeah?


*Insert 'cruel' perhaps.

On a slightly more obtuse note (I consider it possible, yes.... quite) it would put a little delight back in your day, if you carried a towel around to towel-slap those towel-carrying Adams fans. Salinger style, perhaps.
posted by lucien at 10:32 PM on May 16, 2001

I was trying to offer some helpful suggestions, and [some of] y'all respond by being lame. Here I am, brain the size of a planet. I can feel pain in all the neurons down my left side every time I have to talk down to you people. *shrug* I noticed this evening there's a bra and panties from some ex-girlfriend in the trunk of my car. I don't see why I couldn't throw a towel in there too. Just so I know where my towel is from now on. Why I have her bra and panties in the trunk of my car though? I have no idea.. I'm sure putting them there was a good idea at one time. That was several Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters ago.

By the way, I haven't given to an Adams' charity yet, and I do regularly quote from Adams' work. I was doing that before he died. I'll probably continue. However, the thing is I'm a self-admitted loser and have absolutely no interest in being "kewl" because I think people who try to be "kewl" are "lame." So if you wanna be like me go ahead and continue waving up at the sky and saying "So long and thanks for all the Fish, Dougie!" I hear they're going to cremate him, so we won't have to worry about him spinning in his grave anyway. Not that we would worry. In fact I'm sure there's some people out there who would go out of their way to quote Douglas Adams in ways that would make him spin in his grave if they knew he'd actually spin in his grave. Just to tick him off.

Oh forget it. I'm a rain god. Heck with the lot of you. *thpblbbt!*
posted by ZachsMind at 12:46 AM on May 17, 2001

From your ex-girlfriend. Suuuuuuuuuure.
posted by lia at 1:32 AM on May 17, 2001

Yeah I know what ya mean, Lia. It's even hard for me to believe a woman woulda dated me, much less leave her clothing in my car. I understood why she left though. Heck, I woulda left me. Anyway the king is dead long live the king yadda yadda where's the gin?
posted by ZachsMind at 3:30 AM on May 17, 2001

There's a bar in Ottawa called Zaphod Beeblebrox's, where it's possible to buy an actual Pan-Galactic Gargleblaster.
posted by cCranium at 6:21 AM on May 17, 2001

What in the world are you raving about, Zach? You posted several very thoughtful alternatives to this Towel Day notion, several people (including me) go out of the way to tell you that they're good ideas, and you're responding by going *thpblbbt!* and wallowing in self-pity?
posted by briank at 8:18 AM on May 17, 2001

Self-pity *comedy*. Not the same thing.
posted by rodii at 8:43 AM on May 17, 2001

"Self-pity *comedy*. Not the same thing." Tell that to Marvin.

Besides Towel Day there's also some people who want to celebrate Douglas Adams every 42nd Day aka February 11th. Two holidays for the price of one. I'll drink to that.

BrianK don't take it personally. I was responding to the fact that I suggested we back off a bit on the obvious DNA quotes and what did people do? Exactly the opposite. But I took it in stride by quoting from and paraphrasing Marvin. I can't help it if you took it negatively. Pardon me for breathing which I don't do anyway so I don't even know why I bothered to say it oh gawd I'm so depressed.

Zach = wallowing in selfpity + knee deep in doubt + annoying little creep
posted by ZachsMind at 5:10 AM on May 19, 2001

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