Today is Towel Day, a yearly tribute to the author Douglas Adams and his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books/radio series/album/TV series/film…
To commemorate this day here is an excerpt from one of his works:
A short while before this, Arthur Dent had set out from his cabin in search of a cup of tea. It was not a quest he embarked upon with a great deal of optimism, because he knew that the only source of hot drinks on the entire ship was a benighted piece of equipment produced by the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation. It was called a Nutri-Matic Drinks Synthesizer, and he had encountered it before.
It claimed to produce the widest possible range of drinks personally matched to the tastes and metabolism of whoever cared to use it. When put to the test, however, it invariably produced a plastic cup filled with a liquid which was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.
He attempted to reason with the thing.
“Tea,” he said.
“Share and Enjoy,” the machine replied and provided him with yet another cup of the sickly liquid.
He threw it away.
“Share and Enjoy,” the machine repeated and produced another one.
“Share and Enjoy” is the company motto of the hugely successful Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Complaints division, which now covers the major land masses of three medium sized planets and is the only part of the Corporation to have shown a consistent profit in recent years.
The motto stands – or rather stood – in three mile high illuminated letters near the Complaints Department spaceport on Eadrax. Unfortunately its weight was such that shortly after it was erected, the ground beneath the letters caved in and they dropped for nearly half their length through the offices of many talented young complaints executives – now deceased.
The protruding upper halves of the letters now appear, in the local language, to read “Go stick your head in a pig”, and are no longer illuminated, except at times of special celebration.
Arthur threw away a sixth cup of the liquid.
“Listen, you machine,” he said, “you claim you can synthesize any drink in existence, so why do you keep giving me the same undrinkable stuff?”
“Nutrition and pleasurable sense data,” burbled the machine, “Share and Enjoy.”
“It tastes filthy!”
“If you have enjoyed the experience of this drink,” continued the machine, “why not share it with your friends?”
“Because,” said Arthur tartly, “I want to keep them. Will you try to comprehend what I’m telling you? That drink…”
“That drink,” said the machine sweetly, “was individually tailored to meet your personal requirements for nutrition and pleasure.”
“Ah,” said Arthur, “so I’m a masochist on a diet am I?”
“Share and Enjoy.”
“Oh shut up.”
That was an excerpt from The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams.
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