In an otherwise perfectly ordinary parallel universe, Douglas Adams turned 60 today. And it saddens me to realize that we’re not sharing that universe with him.

I like to picture Douglas somewhere in an unremarkable corner of the manifold that just happens to overlook a beach, sipping at a fruit cocktail whilst tapping out uncannily insightful and amusing prose - most likely on an iPad, which he would have taken to instantly and lampooned mercilessly.

His books made an indelible impression on me - I still have the Pan paperback edition of the HHGTTG that Dad brought from London when I was at highschool, which I blame (along with the ensuing works1) not merely for my somewhat cynical and flippant writing style, but also for the ability to look out onto the world and take all its madness in stride2.

He also gave us the answer, which has amused, bewildered and enlightened us all for the better part of my life - and for which I will always be grateful.

  1. Except for Eoin Colfer’s attempt, which I found somewhat lacking, even if well-meaning. ↩︎

  2. Most especially while wearing a dressing gown3 and blearily looking into the fridge, vaguely hoping I won’t catch something yellow out of the corner of my eye. ↩︎

  3. Incidentally, this post was crafted while wearing one. Sadly, no Vogons were harmed while doing so. ↩︎