random Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans.
random It begins with a house.
random Mr L. Prosser was, as they say, only human. In other words he was a carbon-based life form descended from an ape.
random "What do you mean, why's it got to be built?" he said. "It's a bypass. You've got to build bypasses."
random Ford Prefect was desperate that any flying saucer at all would arrive soon because fifteen years was a long time to get stranded anywhere, particularly somewhere as mindboggingly dull as the Earth.
random "Oh don't give me none more of that Old Janx Spirit
No, don't you give me none more of that Old Janx Spirit
For my head will fly, my tongue will lie, my eyes will fry and I may die
Won't you pour me one more of that sinful Old Janx Spirit"
random As soon as Mr Prosser realized that he was substantially the loser after all, it was as if a weight lifted itself off his shoulders: this was more like the world as he knew it. He sighed.
random He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.
random "The mere thought," growled Mr Prosser, "hadn't even begun to speculate," he continued, settling himself back, "about the merest possibility of crossing my mind."
random The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy also mentions alcohol. It says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. It says that the effect of a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick.
random Oh that Santraginean sea water. Oh those Santraginean fish!!!
random Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.
random "Drink up." He added, perfectly factually: "The world's about to end."
random "This must be Thursday," said Arthur musing to himself, sinking low over his beer, "I never could get the hang of Thursdays."
random "Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There's a frood who really knows where his towel is." (Sass: know, be aware of, meet, have sex with; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy.)
random In moments of great stress, every life form that exists gives out a tiny sublimal signal. This signal simply communicates an exact and almost pathetic sense of how far that being is from the place of his birth.
random He threw away a copy of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, he threw away a copy of Godspell: He wouldn't need them where he was going.
random Everything was ready, everything was prepared. He knew where his towel was.
random The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't.
random There was a terrible ghastly silence. There was a terrible ghastly noise. There was a terrible ghastly silence. The Vogon Constructor fleet coasted away into the inky starry void.
random Zaphod Beeblebrox, adventurer, ex-hippy, good timer, (crook? quite possibly), manic self-publicist, terribly bad at personal relationships, often thought to be completely out to lunch. President?
random A Hooloovoo is a super-intelligent shade of the color blue.
random Only six people in the Galaxy knew that the job of the Galactic President was not to wield power but to attract attention away from it. Zaphod Beeblebrox was amazingly good at his job.
random Zaphod loved effect: it was what he was best at.
random Evolution? they said to themselves, Who needs it?, and what nature refused to do for them they simply did without until such time as they were able to rectify the grosser anatomical inconveniences with surgery.
random One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about human beings was their habit of continually stating and repeating the obvious, as in It's a nice day, or You're very tall, or Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you alright?
random Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz heaved his unpleasant green body round the control bridge. He always felt vaguely irritable after demolishing populated planets. He wished that someone would come and tell him that it was all wrong so that he could shout at them and feel better.
random "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It's a sort of electronic book. It tells you everything you need to know about anything. That's its job."
random "I like the cover," he said. "Don't Panic. It's the first helpful or intelligible thing anybody's said to me all day."
random "On no account allow a Vogon to read poetry at you."
random "You just come along with me and have a good time. The Galaxy's a fun place. You'll need to have this fish in your ear."
random "You'd better be prepared for the jump into hyperspace. It's unpleasantly like being drunk."
"What's so unpleasant about being drunk?"
"You ask a glass of water."
random "Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation."
random Vogons suffered no illusions as to the regard their poetry was generally held in. Their early attempts at composition had been part of bludgeoning insistence that they be accepted as a properly evolved and cultured race, but now the only thing that kept them going was sheer bloodymindedness.
random He had no idea what he was in for, but he knew that he hadn't liked anything that had happened so far and didn't think things were likely to change.
random "Oh frettled gruntbuggly ..." he began. "... thy micturations are to me ... as plurdled gabbleblotchits on a lurgid bee."
random "Either die in the vacuum of space, or ..." he paused for melodramatic effect, "tell me how good you thought my poem was!"
random "Ford," he said, "you're turning into a penguin. Stop it."
random "Ford!" he said, "there's an infinite number of monkeys outside who want to talk to us about this script for Hamlet they've worked out."
random "Four to one against and falling ... three to one ... two ... one ... probability factor of one to one ... we have normality, I repeat we have normality." She turned her microphone off - then turned it back on, with a slight smile and continued: "Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem."
random "Life," said Marvin, "don't talk to me about life."
random "Here I am, brain the size of a planet and they ask me to take you down to the bridge. Call that job satisfaction? 'Cos I don't."
random "Thank you," it said, "for making a simple door very happy."
random "Funny," he intoned funerally, "how just when you think life can't possibly get any worse it suddenly does."
random "Do you want me to sit in a corner and rust, or just fall apart where I'm standing?"
random "You'll have to remind me," said Zaphod. "I've a terrible memory for species."
random "Hey doll, is this guy boring you? Why don't you talk to me instead? I'm from a different planet."
random She wished she knew what it was she was trying not to think about.
random Zaphod attacked everything in life with a mixture of extraordinary genius and naive incompetence and it was often difficult to tell which was which.
random All dared to brave unknown terrors, to do mighty deeds, to boldly split infinitives that no man had split before - and thus was the Empire forged.
random Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was, Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now.
random "You think you've got problems," said Marvin as if he was addressing a newly occupied coffin.
random "No, don't bother to answer that, I'm fifty thousand times more intelligent than you and even I don't know the answer. It gives me a headache just trying to think down to your level."
random An expression of deep worry and concern failed to cross either of Zaphod's faces.
random "Oh God," muttered Ford, slumped against a bulkhead and started to count to ten. He was desperately worried that one day sentinent life forms would forget how to do this. Only by counting could humans demonstrate their independence of computers.
random Ford carried on counting quietly. This is about the most aggressive thing you can do to a computer, the equivalent of going up to a human being and saying Blood ... blood ... blood ... blood ...
random "No," insisted Arthur, "don't you understand, this is the first time I've actually stood on the surface of another planet ... a whole alien world...! Pity it's such a dump though."
random "Life," said Marvin dolefully, "loathe it or ignore it, you can't like it."
random The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a very unevenly edited book and contains many passages that simply seemed to its editors like a good idea at the time.
random So long and thanks for all the fish.
random In fact there was only one species on the planet more intelligent than dolphins, and they spent a lot of their time in behavioural research laboratories running round inside wheels and conducting frighteningly elegant and subtle experiments on man. The fact that once again man completely misinterpreted this relationship was entirely according to these creatures' plans.
random "Earthman, the planet you lived on was commissioned, paid for, and run by mice. It was destroyed five minutes before the completion of the purpose for which it was built, and we've got to build another one."
random These creatures you call mice, you see, they are not quite as they appear. They are merely the protrusion into our dimension of vast hyperintelligent pandimensional beings. The whole business with the cheese and the squeaking is just a front."
random Brockian Ultra Cricket: a curious game which involved suddenly hitting people for no readily apparent reason and then running away
random "The Milliard Gargantubrain?" said Deep Thought with unconcealed contempt. "A mere abacus - mention it not."
random Deep Thought said haughtily, "Molest me not with this pocket calculator stuff."
random Contemptuous lights flashed across the computer's console.
random "You know nothing of future time," pronounced Deep Thought, "and yet in my teeming circuitry I can navigate the infinite delta streams of future probability and see that there must one day come a computer whose merest operational parameters I am not worthy to calculate, but which it will be my fate eventually to design."
random "The answer?" said Deep Thought. "The answer to what?"
"Life!" urged Fook.
"The Universe!" said Lunkwill.
"Everything!" they said in chorus.
random "We," said Majikthise, "are Philosophers."
random "You just let the machines get on with the adding up," warned Majikthise, "and we'll take care of the eternal verities thank you very much."
random "Forty-two," said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.
random Whatever your tastes, Magrathea can cater for you. We are not proud.
random "The mice will see you now," he said.
random Slartibartfast said, "Deep Thought designed the Earth, we built it and you lived on it."
random Look at me: I design coastlines. I got an award for Norway."
random For thousands more years the mighty ships tore across the empty wastes of space and finally dived screaming on to the first planet they came across - which happened to be the Earth - where due to a terrible miscalculation of scale the entire battle fleet was accidentally swallowed by a small dog.
random Here," he said hoiking out a lump of evil smelling meat from a bowl, "have some Vegan Rhino's cutlet. It's delicious if you happen to like that sort of thing."
random A small voice said, "Welcome to lunch, Earth creature."
random "There's a good chance that the structure of the question is encoded in the structure of your brain - so we want to buy it off you."
random "Yes," he said, "that's excellent! Sounds very significant without actually tying you down to meaning anything at all. How many roads must a man walk down? Forty-two. Excellent, excellent."
random It had a note from him pinned to part of its sparse instrument panel. The note had an arrow drawn on it, pointing at one of the controls. It said, This is probably the best button to press.
random

"Don't pretend you want to talk to me, I know you hate me."
"No I don't."
"Yes you do, everybody does. It's part of the shape of the Universe."

random 'The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through three distinct and recognizable phases, those of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why and Where phases. "For instance, the first phase is characterized by the question How can we eat? the second by the question Why do we eat? and the third by the question Where shall we have lunch?"
random There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
random Like all Vogon ships it looked as if it had been not so much designed as congealed. In fact to see anything much uglier than a Vogon ship you would have to go inside and look at a Vogon.
random The average Vogon will not think twice before doing something so pointlessly hideous to you that you will wish you had never been born - or (if you are a clearer minded thinker) that the Vogon had never been born.
random The Vogons are simple-minded, thick-willed, slug-brained creatures, and thinking is not really something they are cut out for.
random Anatomical analysis of the Vogon reveals that its brain was originally a badly deformed, misplaced and dyspeptic liver.
random The fairest thing you can say about Vogons is that they know what they like, and what they like generally involves hurting people and, wherever possible, getting very angry.
random It has been said that Vogons are not above a little bribery and corruption in the same way that the sea is not above the clouds.
random Marvin the Paranoid Android sat slumped, ignoring all and ignored by all, in a private and rather unpleasant world of his own.
random Zaphod felt he was teetering on the edge of madness and wondered if he shouldn't just jump over and have done with it.
random "Conceited little megapuppy."
random "We have a saying up here. `Life is wasted on the living.'"
random "Yeah," said Zaphod bitterly, "very good. Very deep. Right now I need aphorisms like I need holes in my heads."
random "When you are tired of Ursa Minor Beta you are tired of life"
random "Yes, I passed on your message to Mr Zarniwoop, but I'm afraid he's too cool to see you right now."
random "The Guide is definitive. Reality is frequently inaccurate."
random "Listen, three eyes," he said, "don't you try to outweird me. I get stranger things than you free with my breakfast cereal."
random "Mr Beeblebrox, sir," said the insect in awed wonder, "you're so weird you should be in movies."
"Yeah," said Zaphod patting the thing on a glittering pink wing, "and you, baby, should be in real life."
random "Yes, sir," it snapped, "can I help you?"
"I doubt it," said Marvin.
random "Listen, you miserable heap of maladjusted metal ..."
random "Holy Zarquon," muttered Zaphod, "did I ask for an existentialist elevator?" He beat his fists against the wall.
random Not unnaturally, many elevators imbued with intelligence and precognition became terribly frustrated with the mindless business of going up and down, up and down, experimented briefly with the notion of going sideways, as a sort of existential protest, demanded participation in the decision-making process and finally took to squatting in basements sulking.
random "You know something?" said Zaphod to Marvin.
"More that you can possibly imagine," said Marvin.
random "Holy photon, what's that?"
random For when you are put into the Vortex you are given just one momentary glimpse of the entire unimaginable infinity of creation, and somewhere in it a tiny little marker, a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot, which says "You are here."
random We always had the greatest arguments over sex and fishing. Eventually we tried to combine the two, but that only led to disaster, as you can probably imagine.
random The shops proliferated, until the whole economy of the place passed what I believe is termed the Shoe Event Horizon, and it became no longer economically possible to build anything other than shoe shops. Result - collapse, ruin and famine. Most of the population died out.
random Zaphod Beeblebrox was clearly a man of many qualities, even if they were mostly bad ones.
random "The statistical likelihood," continued the autopilot primly, "is that other civilizations will arise. There will one day be lemon-soaked paper napkins. Till then there will be a short delay. Please return to your seat."
random "Hi, guys," Zaphod said, "you must be so amazingly glad to see me you don't even find words to tell me what a cool frood I am."
random "I know how you feel," said Zaphod, "I'm so great even I get tongue-tied talking to myself."
random "... and the Universe," concluded the waiter, determined not to be deflected on his home stretch, "will explode later for your pleasure."
random The fronting for the eighty-yard long marble-topped bar had been made by stitching together nearly twenty thousand Antarean Mosaic Lizard skins, despite the fact that the twenty thousand lizards concerned had needed them to keep their insides in.
random "Wowee," said Zaphod, "Zappo."
random "Incredible!" breathed Arthur, "the people ... ! The things ... !"
"The things," said Ford Prefect quietly, "are also people."
random "He's spending a year dead for tax reasons."
random "Good evening," it lowed and sat back heavily on its haunches, "I am the main Dish of the Day. May I interest you in parts of my body?"
random "Harrods was destroyed by the Vogons."
random "Listen you semi-evolved simian," cut in Zaphod, "go climb a tree will you?"
random "Go bang your heads together four-eyes," he advised Zaphod.
random "'Marvin, can you pick up that piece of paper?' Can I pick up that piece of paper! Here I am, brain the size of a planet and they ask me to ..."
random Come on, let's get zappy.
random "The first ten million years were the worst," said Marvin, "and the second ten million years, they were the worst too. The third million years I didn't enjoy at all. After that I went into a bit of decline."
random "The best conversation I had was over forty million years ago," continued Marvin.
random "Well I wish you'd just tell me rather than try to engage my enthusiasm," said Marvin, "because I haven't got one."
random "A big hand please, ladies and gentlemen," he hollered, "for the Great Prophet Zarquon! He has come! Zarquon has come again!"
random Zaphod's faces fell.
random "Stay out of this, Marvin," he said, "this is organism talk."
random "Making it up?" said Marvin, swivelling his head in a parody of astonishment, "Why should I want to make anything up? Life's bad enough as it is without wanting to invent any more of it."
random "Hell's donkeys," muttered Zaphod.
random Arthur woke up and instantly regretted it.
random Aldebaran's great, OK, Algol's pretty neat,
Betelgeuse's pretty girls, will knock you off your feet.
They'll do anything you like, real fast and then real slow,
But if you have to take me apart to get me there, then I don't want to go.
random Take me apart, take me apart, what a way to roam,
And if you have to take me apart to get me there, I'd rather stay at home.
random I'll gladly take the high road or even take the low,
But if you have to take me apart to get me there, then I, for one, won't go.
random Take me apart, take me apart, you must be off your head,
And if you try to take me apart to get me there, I'll stay right here in bed.
random I teleported home one night, with Ron and Sid and Meg,
Ron stole Meggie's heart away, and I got Sidney's leg.
random "Turn around slowly," barked the voice, "and put your hands up. Any other move and I blast you into tiny tiny bits."
"Why," said Arthur Dent, "isn't anyone ever pleased to see us?"
random "Captain, sir!" he shouted through clenched teeth - a difficult trick but he'd had years during which to perfect it.
random "That's not what I was told!" he hissed. "My commanding officer told me that the entire planet was in imminent danger of being eaten by an enormous mutant star goat!"
random "Why can't people just learn to live together in peace and harmony?" said Arthur. Ford gave a loud, very hollow laugh. "Forty-two!" he said with a malicious grin, "No, doesn't work. Never mind."
random "I think fish is nice, but then I think that rain is wet, so who am I to judge?"
random He tried holding the pencil under the paper, then over the paper, then next to the paper. He tried wrapping the paper round the pencil, he tried rubbing the stubby end of the pencil against the paper and then he tried rubbing the sharp end of the pencil against the paper. It made a mark, and he was delighted with the discovery, as he was every day.
random "Hey, er ..." said Zaphod, "what's your name?" The man looked at him doubtfully. "I don't know. Why, do you think I should have one? It seems very odd to give a bundle of vague sensory perceptions a name."
random "How can I tell," said the man, "that the past isn't a fiction designed to account for the discrepancy between my immediate physical sensations and my state of mind?"
random "I don't know. I've never met all these people you speak of. And neither, I suspect, have you. They only exist in words we hear. It is folly to say you know what is happening to other people. Only they know, if they exist. They have their own Universes of their own eyes and ears."
random The ruler of the Universe dozed lightly in his chair. After a while he played with the pencil and the paper again and was delighted when he discovered how to make a mark with the one on the other. Various noises continued outside, but he didn't know whether they were real or not. He then talked to his table for a week to see how it would react.
random "Never mind," said Ford, "Rome wasn't burnt in a day."
random "Put the Scrabble away, Arthur," he said, "it won't save the human race, because this lot aren't going to be the human race. The human race is currently sitting round a rock on the other side of this hill making documentaries about themselves."
random The trees seemed pointless, the rolling hills seemed to be rolling to nowhere and the future seemed just a tunnel to be crawled through.
random "Totally mad," he said, "utter nonsense. But we'll do it because it's brilliant nonsense. Come on, come on."
random It wasn't just that the cave was cold, it wasn't just that it was damp and smelly. It was the fact that the cave was in the middle of Islington and there wasn't a bus due for two million years.
random Time is the worst place, so to speak, to get lost in, as Arthur Dent could testify, having been lost in both time and space a good deal. At least being lost in space kept you busy.
random He was stranded in prehistoric Earth as the result of a complex sequence of events which had involved him being alternately blown up and insulted in more bizarre regions of the Galaxy than he ever dreamt existed.
random The alien ship was already thundering towards the upper reaches of the atmosphere, on its way out into the appalling void which separates the very few things there are in the Universe from each other.
random He would insult the Universe. That is, he would insult everybody in it. Individually, personally, one by one, and (this was the thing he really decided to grit his teeth over) in alphabetical order.
random "The point is, you see," said Ford, "that there is no point in driving yourself mad trying to stop yourself going mad. You might just as well give in and save your sanity for later."
random "The Guide says there is an art to flying," said Ford, "or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss."
random Arthur felt happy. He was terribly pleased that the day was for once working out so much according to plan. Only twenty minutes ago he had decided he would go mad, and now he was already chasing a Chesterfield sofa across the fields of prehistoric Earth.
random "It's all right, officer," he said. "I've been dreaming for the last five years. Ask him," he added, pointing at Ford, "he was in it."
random "An SEP," he said, "is something that we can't see, or don't see, or our brain doesn't let us see, because we think that it's somebody else's problem. That's what SEP means. Somebody Else's Problem."
random Zarking fardwarks.
random "Eccentrica Gallumbits, did you ever meet her? The triple-breasted whore of Eroticon Six. Some people say her erogenous zones start some four miles from her actual body. Me, I disagree, I say five."
random "My doctor says that I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fibre," he muttered to himself, "and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes."
random "Bistromathics," he said. "The most powerful computational force known to parascience."
random Numbers written on restaurant bills within the confines of restaurants do not follow the same mathematical laws as numbers written on any other pieces of paper in any other parts of the Universe.
random "On a waiter's bill pad," said Slartibartfast, "reality and unreality collide on such a fundamental level that each becomes the other and anything is possible, within certain parameters."
random Fourteen hours later the sun sank hopelessly beneath the opposite horizon with a sense of totally wasted effort.
random The mattress flolloped around. This is a thing that only live mattresses in swamps are able to do, which is why the word is not in more common usage.
random "You have something on your mind, I think," said the mattress floopily.
"More than you can possibly imagine," said Marvin.
random "My capacity for mental activity of all kinds is as boundless as the infinite reaches of space itself. Except of course for my capacity for happiness."
random "My capacity for happiness, you could fit into a matchbox without taking out the matches first."
random The mattress globbered. This is the noise made by a live, swamp-dwelling mattress that is deeply moved by a story of personal tragedy.
random You should be more mattresslike. We live quiet retired lives in the swamp, where we are content to flollop and vollue and regard the wetness in a fairly floopy manner. Some of us are killed, but all of us are called Zem, so we never know which and globbering is thus kept to a minimum.
random "Ask me if I ever get bored," said Marvin airily, "go on, ask me."
random `Give us a grin, little robot,' they would shout at me, `give us a little chuckle.' I would explain to them that to get my face to grin wold take a good couple of hours in a workshop with a wrench.
random Before the Krikkit Wars, the Galaxy was that rare and wonderful thing a happy Galaxy! A Happy Galaxy, my friends, as represented by the symbol of the Wikkit Gate!
random It was deadly - not like a bullet or a knife is deadly, but like a brick wall across a motorway is deadly.
random "Thank you for making a simple door very happy."
random "Zark off."
random "Excitement and adventure and really wild things," he muttered.
random Do not listen to what anybody says to you at this point because they are unlikely to say anything helpful. They are most likely to say something along the lines of, "Good God, you can't possibly be flying!" It is vitally important not to believe them or they will suddenly be right.
random He decided that there must be someone in the Universe feeling more wretched, miserable and forsaken than himself, and he determined to set out and find him.
random He leant tensely against the corridor wall and frowned like a man trying to unbend a corkscrew by telekinesis.
random Of all the races on the Galaxy, only the English could possibly revive the memory of the most horrific wars ever to sunder the Universe and transform it into what I'm afraid is generally regarded as an incomprehensibly dull and pointless game.
random "You see, the reason why they have never thought `We are alone in the Universe' is that until tonight they don't know about the Universe. Until tonight."
random "Imagine," he said, "never even thinking `We are alone' simply because it has never occurred to you to think that there's any other way to be."
random I don't believe it. Prove it to me and I still won't believe it.
random On the way back the men of Krikkit sang a number of tuneful and reflective songs on the subjects of peace, justice, morality, culture, sport, family life and the obliteration of all other life forms.
random "The people of Krikkit are, well, you know, they're just a bunch of real sweet guys, you know, who just happen to want to kill everybody. Hell, I feel the same way some mornings."
random The Galaxy, which had been enjoying a period of unusual peace and prosperity at the time, reeled like a man getting mugged in a meadow.
random "They believe in `peace, justice, morality, culture, sport, family life, and the obliteration of all other life forms'."
random We don't stand a whelk's chance in a supernova.
random So a lot of history is now gone for ever. The Campaign for Real Timers claim that just as easy travel eroded the differences between one country and another, and between one world and another, so time travel is now eroding the differences between one age and another.
random He looked around for the others. They obstinately persisted in their absence.
random BE VERY VERY FRIGHTENED, ARTHUR DENT.
random "Born in darkness," rumbled the voice, "raised in darkness. One morning I poked my head for the first time into the bright new world and got it split open by what felt suspiciously like some primitive instrument made of flint. Made by you, Arthur Dent."
random "You turned my skin into a bag for keeping interesting stones in. I happen to know that because in my next life I came back as a fly again and you swatted me. Again. Only this time you swatted me with the bag you'd made of my previous skin. Arthur Dent, you are not merely a cruel and heartless man, you are also staggeringly tactless."
random "Meet the newt you trod on," said the voice. And there was, standing in the corridor with Arthur, a giant green scaly newt.
random Every life I ever lived, I got killed by Arthur Dent. Any world, any body, any time, I'm just getting settled down, along comes Arthur Dent - pow, he kills me.
random It was a huge palpitating wet cave with a vast, slimy, rough, whale-like creature rolling around it and sliding over monstrous white tombstones. High above the cave rose a vast promontory in which could be seen the dark recesses of two further fearful caves, which ... Arthur Dent suddenly realized that he was looking at his own mouth.
random He was alone with his thoughts. They were extremely unpleasant thoughts and would rather have had a chaperone.
random In fact it would be fair to say that he had reached a level of annoyance the like of which had never been seen in the Universe. It was an annoyance of epic proportions, a burning searing flame of annoyance, an annoyance which now spanned the whole of time and space in its infinite umbrage.
random Arthur appeared as a gorgon, an evil, rapacious, ravenning, bloodied ogre, slaughtering his way through an innocent one-man Universe.
random With each of the thirty arms which the sculptor in a fit of artistic fervour had decided to give him, he was either braining a rabbit, swatting a fly, pulling a wishbone, picking a flea out of his hair, or doing something which Arthur at first looking couldn't quite identify. His many feet were mostly stamping on ants.
random "HhhhhhrrrrrraaaaaaHHHHHH!" said Agrajag.
random He had the most astounding collection of teeth. They looked as if they each came from a completely different animal, and they were ranged around his mouth at such bizarre angles it seemed that if he ever actually tried to chew anything he'd lacerate half his own face along with it, and possibly put an eye out as well.
random Each of his three eyes was small and intense and looked about as sane as a fish in a privet bush.
random "Oh zark!" he tottered, and stared wildly about him at his huge Cathedral of Hate. "I've brought you here too soon! I've brought you here too zarking soon!"
random The history of The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy is one of idealism, struggle, despair, passion, success, failure, and enormously long lunchbreaks.
random None of these facts, however strange or inexplicable, is as strange or inexplicable as the rules of the game of Brockian Ultra-Cricket, as played in the higher dimensions. A full set of rules is so massively complicated that the only time they were all bound together in a single volume, they underwent gravitational collapse and became a Black Hole.
random Stones, then rocks, then boulders which pranced past him like clumsy puppies, only much, much bigger, much, much harder and heavier, and almost infinitely more likely to kill you if they fell on you.
random He felt the way he imagined an angel must feel during its celebrated dance on the head of a pin whilst being counted by philosophers.
random He lay, panting heavily in the wet air, and tried feeling bits of himself to see where he might be hurt. Wherever he touched himself, he encountered a pain. After a short while he worked out that this was because it was his hand that was hurting.
random After a short while he took the towel from out of his hold-all and did something with it which once again justified its supreme position in the list of useful things to take with you when you hitch-hike round the Galaxy. He put it over his head so he wouldn't have to see what he was doing.
random "Where the zarking photon have you been?" hissed Ford.
random "Have you met Thor? He makes thunder."
random Arthur had learnt never to make assumptions about the anatomies of the sort of people he tended to meet these days.
random For some time it had occurred to the partygoers as they had looked out at their own world beneath them, with its wrecked cities, its ravaged avocado farms and blighted vineyards, its vast tracts of new desert, its seas full of biscuit crumbs and worse, that their world was in some tiny and almost imperceptible ways not quite as much fun as it had been.
random Very soon it would be time to gather up hats and coats and stagger blearily outside to find out what time of day it was, what time of year it was, and whether in any of this burnt and ravaged land there was a taxi going anywhere.
random The party blundered helplessly across the sky like a man leaning against an unexpectedly open door.
random Thor looked at him with slowly smouldering eyes. He was making some point about godliness and it had nothing to do with being clean.
random "Want to make something of it?" Arthur said.
"I beg your minuscule pardon?" roared Thor.
random "All right!" bellowed Thor, like an enraged bull (or in fact like an enraged Thunder God, which is a great deal more impressive).
random "All right," shouted Ford at Arthur, "so I'm a coward, the point is I'm still alive."
random It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.
random And fighting was what the Silastic Armorfiends of Striterax were good at, and being good at it, they did a lot. They fought their enemies (i.e. everybody else), they fought each other. Their planet was a complete wreck. The surface was littered with abandoned cities which were surrounded by abandoned war machines, which were in turn surrounded by deep bunkers in which the Silastic Armorfiends lived and squabbled with each other.
random The best way to pick a fight with a Silastic Armorfiend was just to be born. They didn't like it, they got resentful. And when an Armorfiend got resentful, someone got hurt. An exhausting way of life, one might think, but they did seem to have an awful lot of energy.
random The best way of dealing with a Silastic Armorfiend was to put him into a room of his own, because sooner or later he would simply beat himself up.
random He furrowed his brow until you could grow some of the smaller root vegetables in it.
random "I'd love to stay and help you save the Galaxy," insisted Zaphod, rising himself up on to his shoulders, "but I have the mother and father of a pair of headaches, and I feel a lot of little headaches coming on. But next time it needs saving, I'm your guy."
random From somewhere at the back of the crowd a single voice started to sing a tune which would have enabled Paul McCartney, had he written it, to buy the world.
random Zaphod Beeblebrox crawled bravely along a tunnel, like the hell of a guy he was. He was very confused, but continued crawling doggedly anyway because he was that brave.
random Zaphod did not want to tangle with them and, deciding that just as discretion was the better part of valour so was cowardice the better part of discretion, he valiantly hid himself in a cupboard.
random "Well, in the few skirmishes they've had recently, it seems that they go into battle, raise their weapons to fire and suddenly think, why bother? What, cosmically speaking, is it all about?"
random Now the world has gone to bed
Darkness won't engulf my head,
I can see by infra-red,
How I hate the night.
random Now I lay me down to sleep,
Try to count electric sheep,
Sweet dream wishes you can keep,
How I hate the night.
random "Wearily I sit here," said Marvin, "pain and misery my only companions. And vast intelligence of course. And infinite sorrow. And ..."
random "Why stop now," said Marvin, "just when I'm hating it?"
random "That young girl," Marvin added unexpectedly, "is one of the least benightedly unintelligent life forms it has been my profound lack of pleasure not to be able to avoid meeting."
random "All I can do in my ... particle state, you see, is encourage and suggest. Encourage and suggest. And suggest ..."
random The sun was shining calmly on a scene of complete havoc.
random He remembered Hactar saying, "Have I failed? Failure doesn't bother me."
random He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife. He would feel very, very embarrassed meeting everybody.
random He hoped, he hoped, he hoped that his bowling was as bad as he remembered it to be, because that seemed to be the only thing now standing between this moment and universal oblivion.
random And at the end they travelled again.
random "Think of a number," said the computer, " any number."
random "Think of a number, any number."
"Er, five," said the mattress.
"Wrong," said Marvin.
random If a sunbeam had ever managed to slink this far into the Justice complex of Argabuthon it would have turned around and slunk straight back out again.
random "We thought," he said, "that you were meant to be telling the Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth."
"Oh, that," said Prak. "Yeah. I was. I finished. There's not nearly as much of it as people imagine. Some of it's pretty funny, though."
random There was a long silence, during which they thought they could feel the Universe age a little.
random The Question I would like to know is the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. All we know is that the Answer is Forty-Two, which is a little aggravating.
random "I'm afraid," he said at last, "that the Question and the Answer are mutually exclusive. Knowledge of one logically precludes knowledge of the other. It is impossible that both can ever be known about the same universe."
random When the rains departed, it was a sign. When the winds rose, it was a sign. When the winds fell, it was a sign. When in the land there was born at midnight of a full moon a goat with three heads, that was a sign.
random And each new sign signified the same thing - that the Princes of the Plains and the Tribesmen of the Cold Hillsides were about to beat the hell out of each other again.
random This in itself wouldn't be so bad, except that the Princes of the Plains and the Tribesmen of the Cold Hillsides always elected to beat the hell out of each other in the Forest, and it was always the Dwellers in the Forest who came off worst in these exchanges, though as far as they could see it never had anything to do with them.
random It is written in thirty-foot-high letters of fire on top of the Quentulus Quazgar Mountains in the land of Sevorbeupstry on the planet Preliumtarn, third out from the sun Zarss in Galactic Sector QQ7 Active J Gamma. It is guarded by the Lajestic Vantrashell of Lob.
random Having saved the Universe twice in one day he thought that he could take things a little easier from now on.
random He learnt to communicate with birds and discovered that their conversation was fantastically boring. It was all to do with wind speed, wing spans, power-to-weight ratios and a fair bit about berries.
random "My other car is also a Porsche."
random Rob McKeena was a miserable bastard and he knew it because he'd had a lot of people point it out to him over the years and he saw no reason to disagree with them except the obvious one which was that he liked disagreeing with people, particularly people he disliked, which included, at the last count, everyone.
random He pounded his steering wheel, kicked the floor, thumped his cassette player till it suddenly started playing Barry Manilow, thumped it again till it stopped, and swore and swore and swore and swore and swore.
random And as he drove on, the rainclouds dragged down the sky after him, for, though he did not know it, Rob McKeena was a Rain God. All he knew was that his working days were miserable and he had a succession of lousy holidays. All the clouds knew was that they loved him and wanted to be near him, to cherish him, and to water him.
random The storm had now definitely abated, and what thunder there was now grumbled over more distant hills, like a man saying "And another thing ..." twenty minutes after admitting he's lost the argument.
random Earth: a world whose entire entry in the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy comprised the two words "Mostly harmless".
random Even the evil-looking bird perched on a rod in the bar had stopped screeching out the names and addresses of local contract killers, which was a service it provided for free. All eyes were on Ford Prefect. Some of them were on stalks.
random The particular way in which he was choosing to dice recklessly with death today was by trying to pay for a drinks bill the size of a small defence budget with an American Express Card, which was not acceptable anywhere in the known Universe.
random Ford was walking north. He thought he was probably on his way to the spaceport, but he had thought that before. He knew he was going through that part of the city where people's plans often changed quite abruptly.
random "Goosnargh," said Ford Prefect, which was a special Betelgeusian word he used when he knew he should say something but didn't know what it should be.
random The Ol' Janx Spirit instantly killed off millions of the germs which had been slowly building up quite a complex and enlightened civilization on the smellier patches of the towel.
random "Earth: Mostly harmless."
random "Tips for aliens in New York: Land anywhere, Central Park, anywhere. No one will care, or indeed even notice.
random "Surviving: get a job as cab driver immediately. Believe me, this is the best way of staying inconspicuous. If your body is really weird try showing it to people in the streets for money.
random Something very weird was happening; and if something very weird was happening, he thought, he wanted it to be happening to him.
random "It's OK, honey, it's really OK, you got to learn to feel good about it. Look at the way the whole economy is structured ..."
random "She's loopy, completely bananas. I'm taking her back to the hospital and telling them to have another go. They let her out while she still thought she was a hedgehog."
random If somebody thinks they're a hedgehog, presumably you just give 'em a mirror and a few pictures of hedgehogs and tell them to sort it out for themselves, come down again when they feel better.
random You'll have to excuse me. I just hitched from the other side of the Horsehead Nebula.
random I was all for suing the CIA, but a lawyer friend of mine said it would be like trying to attack a lunatic asylum with a banana, so ...
random Arthur watched it go, as stunned as a man might be who, having believed himself to be totally blind for five years, suddenly discovers that he had merely been wearing too large a hat.
random The dog was called Know-Nothing-Bozo because the way its hair stood up on its head it reminded people of the President of the United States.
random Since the Electricity Board cut him off without fail every time he paid his bill, it seemed only reasonable that they should leave him connected when he didn't. Sending them money obviously only drew attention to yourself.
random He shook the little Babel fish from his ear and dropped it, wriggling, into the bowl. He wouldn't be needing it any more, except for watching foreign movies.
random Only the eyes still said that whatever it was the Universe thought it was doing to him, he would still like it please to stop. They were not the same eyes with which he had last looked out at this particular scene, and the brain which interpreted the images the eyes resolved was not the same brain. There had been no surgery involved, just the continual wrenching of experience.
random He could sense, too, the thrill of being a tree, which was something he hadn't expected. He knew that it felt good to curl your toes in the earth, but he'd never realized it could feel quite as good as that.
random From another direction he felt the sensation of being a sheep startled by a flying saucer, but it was virtually indistinguishable from the feeling of being a sheep startled by anything else it ever encountered, for they were creatures who learned very little on their journey through life, and would be startled to see the sun rising in the morning, and astonished by all the green stuff in the fields.
random He phoned the BBC and asked to be put through to his department head. "Oh, hello, Arthur Dent here. Look, sorry I haven't been in for six months but I've gone mad."
random Someone is trying to thank me, he thought to himself. He wondered who, and for what.
random Eight years of crazed wanderings round the Galaxy now seemed to him not so much like a bad dream as like a film he had videotaped from the tv and now kept in the back of a cupboard without bothering to watch.
random He was wrong to think he could now forget that the big, hard, oily, dirty, rainbow-hung Earth on which he lived was a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot lost in the unimaginable infinity of the Universe.
random There is a feeling which persists in England that making a sandwich interesting, attractive, or in any way pleasant to eat is something sinful that only foreigners do.
random It is by eating sandwiches in pubs on Saturday lunchtimes that the British seek to atone for whatever their national sins have been. They're not altogether clear what those sins are, and don't want to know either. Sins are not the sort of things one wants to know about. But whatever their sins are they are amply atoned for by the sandwiches they make themselves eat. The sausages are for the ones who know what their sins are and wish to atone for something specific.
random He could only think of his loss in little packets of grief at a time, because the whole thing was too great to be borne.
random Los Angeles: like several thousand square miles of American Express junk mail, but without the same sense of moral depth.
random San Francisco: A good place to go. It's very easy to believe that everyone you meet there is also a space traveller. Starting a new religion for you is just their way of saying `hi'.
random He had lost everything he cared for, and was now simply waiting for the end of the world - little realizing that it had already been and gone.
random The more he tried to ignore him, the more he found himself being dragged back into the gravitic whirlpool of the man's exasperating conversation.
random It was simply decorated, furnished with things made out of cushions and also a stereo set with speakers which would have impressed the guys who put up Stonehenge.
random Anyone who can go through Hyde Park on a summer's evening and not feel moved by it is probably going through in an ambulance with the sheet pulled over their face.
random "Here is the world," he had told himself. "Here, for whatever reason, is the world, and here it stays. With me on it."
random The editor, like all the editors of the Guide has ever had, has no real grasp of the meanings of the words "scrupulous", "conscientious" or "diligent", and tends to get his nightmares through a straw.
random The Fuolornis Fire Dragons were revered throughout the lands of Brequinda in the Foth of valors for their savage beauty, their noble ways and their habit of biting people who didn't revere them.
random "Life," he said, "is like a grapefruit."
random She was mostly immensely relieved to think that virtually everything that anybody had ever told her was wrong.
random "Arthur my old soup spoon, my old silver turreen, how particularly stunning to hear from you. Someone told me you'd gone off into space or something."
random This man is the bee's knees, he is the wasp's nipples. He is, I would go so far as to say, the entire set of erogenous zones of every major flying insect of the Western world.
random "I have had a day," said Arthur, "of extreme telephonic exhaustion."
random "I spoke to his wife. She said he was too weird to come to the phone right now and could I call back."
random "This is an important announcement. This is flight 121 to Los Angeles. If your travel plans today do not include Los Angeles, now would be the perfect time to disembark."
random "It seemed to me," said Wonko the Sane, "that any civilization that had so far lost its head as to need to include a set of detailed instructions for use in a packet of toothpicks, was no longer a civilization in which I could live and stay sane."
random A scientist must also be absolutely like a child. If he sees a thing, he must say that he sees it, whether it was what he thought he was going to see or not. See first, think later, then test. But always see first. Otherwise you will only see what you were expecting. Most scientists forget that.
random "I said "dear lady"," explained Ford Prefect, "because I didn't want her to be offended by my implication that she was an ignorant cretin ..."
random "In other words - and this is the rock solid principle on which the whole of the Corporation's Galaxy-wide success is founded - their fundamental design flaws are completely hidden by their superficial design flaws."
random After a long, heart-stopping moment of internal crashes and grumbles of rending machinery, there marched from it, down the ramp, an immense silver robot, a hundred feet tall. It held up a hand. "I come in peace," it said, adding after a long moment of further grinding, "take me to your Lizard."
random Much had been heard - more grindings and rumblings from deep within the craft, the music of a million hideous malfunctions.
random "How reliable is he?" asked Fenchurch in a sinking voice.
"How reliable?" said Arthur. He gave a hollow laugh. "How shallow is the ocean?" he said. "How cold is the sun?"
random Arthur Dent was irritated to be continually wakened by the sound of gunfire.
random According to Prak, the place was guarded by the Lajestic Vantrashell of Lob, and so, after a manner, it proved to be. He was a little man in a strange hat and he sold them a ticket.
random "The scooters," said the little lady who was serving at an ice cream bar, "are not for the devout."
random "What do you know of always?" Marvin repeated. "You say "always" to me, who, because of the silly little errands your organic lifeforms keep on sending me through time on, am now thirty-seven times older than the Universe itself?"
random We apologise for the inconvenience.
random There was a point to this story, but it has temporarily escaped the chronicler's mind.
random The history of the Galaxy has got a little muddled, for a number of reasons: partly because those who are trying to keep track of it have got a little muddled, but also because some very muddling things have been happening anyway.
random One of the problems has to do with the speed of light and the difficulties involved in trying to exceed it. You can't. Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws. The Hingefreel people of Arkintoofle Minor did try to build spaceships that were powered by bad news but they didn't work particularly well and were so extremely unwelcome whenever they arrived anywhere that there wasn't really any point in being there.
random These muddles were as nothing to the ones which historians had to try and unravel once time-travel was discovered and battles started pre-erupting hundreds of years before the issues even arose.
random When the Infinite Improbability Drive arrived and whole planets started turning unexpectedly into banana fruitcake, the great history faculty of the University of MaxiMegalon finally gave up, closed itself down and surrendered its buildings to the rapidly growing joint faculty of Divinity and Water Polo, which had been after them for years.
random One of the extraordinary things about life is the sort of places it's prepared to put up with living. Anywhere it can get some kind of a grip, whether it's the intoxicating seas of Santraginus V, where the fish never seem to care whatever the heck kind of direction they swim in, the fire storms of Frastra where, they say, life begins at 40,000 degrees, or just burrowing around in the lower intestine of a rat for the sheer unadulterated hell of it, life will always find a way of hanging on in somewhere.
random She was a rapidly rising anchor. She had what it took: great hair, a profound understanding of strategic lip gloss, the intelligence to understand the world and a tiny secret interior deadness which meant she didn't care.
random She was an astrologer - a famous and, if rumour were true, influential astrologer, having allegedly influenced a number of decisions made by the late President Hudson, including everything from which flavour of cream whip to have on which day of the week, to whether or not to bomb Damascus.
random She had a look at herself in the mirror in the elevator lobby while she was waiting. She looked cool and in charge, and if she could fool herself she could fool anybody. If life had taught her anything it was this: Never go back for your bag.
random "It's just an arbitrary set of rules like chess or tennis or, what's that strange thing you British play?"
"Er," said Tricia, "cricket? Self-loathing?"
"Parliamentary democracy," said Gail. "The rules just kind of got there. They don't make any kind of sense except in terms of themselves."
random It's just a way of thinking about a problem which lets the shape of that problem begin to emerge. The more rules, the tinier the rules, the more arbitrary they are, the better. It's like throwing a handful of fine graphite dust on a piece of paper to see where the hidden indentations are. It lets you see the words that were written on the piece of paper above it that's now been taken away and hidden. The graphite's not important. It's just the means of revealing their indentations.
random "You really think this... person was from another planet?" asked Gail.
"Oh, certainly. There was the spacecraft. Oh, and also he had two heads."
"Two? Didn't anybody else notice?"
"It was a fancy dress party."
random I couldn't carry on doing what I was doing either. I was an astrophysicist, you see. You can't be an astrophysicist properly if you've actually met someone from another planet who's got a second head that pretends to be a parrot.
random If there was one thing life had taught her it was that there are times when you do not go back for your bag and other times when you do. It had yet to teach her to distinguish between the two types of occasion.
random The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy has, in what we laughingly call the past, had a great deal to say on the subject of parallel universes.
random The chances of a neutrino actually hitting something as it travels through all this howling emptiness are roughly comparable to that of dropping a ball bearing at random from a cruising 747 and hitting, say, an egg sandwich.
random The plant was a clover. It threw its weight, or rather its seed, around extremely effectively and rapidly became the world's dominant type of clover.
random "They come down here, land on your lawn, and then buzz off again, sometimes with your cat. Mrs. Williams at the Post Office, her cat - you know the ginger one? - it got abducted by space aliens."
random "There," he said. "Three-leaf clover. Good luck you see." He peered at it closely to check that it was a real three-leaf clover and not just a regular four-leaf one that one of the leaves had fallen off.
random You get one of those supermarket trolleys which simply will not go in the direction you push it and end up just having to buy completely different stuff.
random He had discovered that the reason for the carnival atmosphere on SaquoPilia Hensha was that the local people were celebrating the annual feast of the Assumption of St Antwelm. What King Antwelm had assumed was that what everybody wanted, all other things being equal, was to be happy and enjoy themselves and have the best possible time together. His Assumption had been such a brilliantly good one that he was made into a saint for it.
random Anything that thinks logically can be fooled by something else which thinks at least as logically as it does.
random MISPWOSO: The MaxiMegalon Institute of Slowly and Painfully Working Out the Surprisingly Obvious.
random The scientists at the Institute thus discovered the driving force behind all change, development and innovation in life, which was this: herring sandwiches.
random This was the biggest breakthrough of all. Vast wodges of complex computer code governing robot behaviour in all possible contingencies could be replaced very simply. All that robots needed was the capacity to be either bored or happy, and a few conditions that needed to be satisfied in order to bring those states about. They would then work the rest out for themselves.
random Insanely painted grand pianos hung from ceilings, vicious sea creatures from the planet Viv reared up out of pools in tree-filled atria, robot butlers in stupid shirts roamed the corridors seeking whose hands they might press frothing drinks into. People knew how to have a good time, and if they didn't there were courses they could sign up for which would put that right.
random "I like everything," moaned the robot. "Especially when you shout at me like that. Do it again, please."
random Under-structured, over-resourced, under-managed, over-inebriated. And that was just the editor."
random "Don't tell me about the future," said Ford. "I've been all over the future. Spend half my time there. It's the same as anywhere else. Anywhen else. Whatever."
random Photos of someone's wife and family - presumably Harl's, but it was hard to be sure these days. Busy executives often didn't have time for a full-time wife and family and would just rent them for weekends.
random "One of the joys of true happiness," trilled the robot, "is sharing. I brim, I froth, I overflow with..."
"OK," said Ford. "Just spread a little happiness around the security network. Don't give it any information. Just make it feel good so it doesn't feel the need to ask for any."
random Ford picked up his towel and ran cheerfully for the door. Life had been a little dull of late. It showed every sign now of becoming extremely froody.
random No one had had the slightest desire to learn the language of the boghogs for the simple reason that these creatures communicated by biting each other very hard on the thigh. Life on NowWhat being what it was, most of what a boghog might have to say about it could easily be signified by these means.
random This was definitely the Earth. Or rather, it most definitely was not. It merely looked a lot like the Earth and occupied the same co-ordinates in space-time. What co-ordinates it occupied in Probability was anybody's guess.
random The more time he spent away out in the Galaxy the more it seemed that the number of things he didn't know anything about actually increased.
random "Yes, it's the right planet, all right. Right planet, wrong universe."
random NO ADMITTANCE. NOT EVEN TO AUTHORISED PERSONNEL. YOU ARE WASTING YOUR TIME HERE. GO AWAY.
random If you are reading this on planet Earth then: a) Good luck to you. There is an awful lot of stuff you don't know anything about, but you are not alone in this.
b) Don't imagine you know what a computer terminal is.
random A computer terminal is not some clunky old television with a typewriter in front of it. It is an interface where the mind and body can connect with the universe and move bits of it about.
random He headed to the outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy where, it was said, wisdom and truth were to be found, most particularly on the planet Hawalius, which was a planet of oracles and seers and soothsayers and also take-away pizza shops, because most mystics were completely incapable of cooking for themselves.
random "Princess Hooli? If I had to stand around saying hello to everybody who's known Princess Hooli I'd need a new set of lungs."
random "A beach house isn't just real estate. It's a state of mind."
random "We all like to congregate At boundary conditions. Where land meets water. Where earth meets air. Where body meets mind. Where space meets time. We like to be on one side, and look at the other."
random "You come to me for advice, but you can't cope with anything you don't recognise. Hmmm. So we'll have to tell you something you already know but make it sound like news, eh?"
random "You cannot see what I see because you see what you see. You cannot know what I know because you know what you know."
random "Everything you see or hear or experience in any way at all is specific to you. You create a universe by perceiving it, so everything in the universe you perceive is specific to you."
random "Protect me from knowing what I don't need to know. Protect me from even knowing that there are things to know that I don't know. Protect me from knowing that I decided not to know about the things that I decided not to know about. Amen." That's it. It's what you pray silently inside yourself anyway, so you may as well have it out in the open.
random The first thing Arthur Dent had to do, he realised resignedly, was to get himself a life. This meant he had to find a planet he could have one on. It had to be a planet he could breathe on, where he could stand up and sit down without experiencing gravitational discomfort.
random "I hate to be anthropic about this," he said to the strange thing behind the desk at the Resettlement Advice Centre on Pintleton Alpha, "but I'd quite like to live somewhere where the people look vaguely like me as well. You know. Sort of human."
random It oozed and glopped off its seat, thrashed its way slowly across the floor, ingested the old metal filing cabinet and then, with a great belch, excreted the appropriate drawer. It popped out a couple of glistening tentacles from its ear, removed some files from the drawer, sucked the drawer back in and vomited up the cabinet again. It thrashed its way back across the floor, slimed its way back up on to the seat and slapped the files on the table. "See anything you fancy?" it asked.
random The available worlds looked pretty grim. They had little to offer him because he had little to offer them. He had been extremely chastened to realise that although he originally came from a world which had cars and computers and ballet and armagnac he didn't, by himself, know how any of it worked. He couldn't do it. Left to his own devices he couldn't build a toaster. He could just about make a sandwich and that was it. There was not a lot of demand for his services.
random The people of Bartledan were remarkably like human beings to look at, but when you said "Good evening" to one, he would tend to look around with a slight sense of surprise, sniff the air and say that, yes, he supposed that it probably was a goodish evening now that Arthur came to mention it.
random On the one hand he could only recognise and respect what he learnt about the Bartledanian view of the universe, which was that the universe was what the universe was, take it or leave it. On the other hand he could not help but feel that not to desire anything, not ever to. wish or to hope, was just not natural. Natural. There was a tricky word.
random Breathing was another thing that the Bartledanians didn't do, despite all the oxygen in the atmosphere. They just stood there. Occasionally they ran around and played netball and stuff (without ever wishing to win though, of course - they would just play, and whoever won, won), but they never actually breathed. It was, for some reason, unnecessary.
random Though the Bartledanians looked like humans, and even moved and sounded like humans, they didn't breathe and they didn't wish for things. Breathing and wishing for things, on the other hand, was just about all that Arthur seemed to do all day.
random And that was it. So the guy dies. It just happens. It wasn't even the climax of the book, because there wasn't one. The character died about a third of the way through the penultimate chapter of the book, and the rest of it was just more stuff about road-mending. The book just finished dead at the one hundred thousandth word, because that was how long books were on Bartledan.
random Arthur Dent, because of the sheer boredom of endless interstellar flight, was the only one on board who had actually familiarised himself with the ship's safety procedures in case of an unscheduled landing, and was therefore the sole survivor. He lay dazed, broken and bleeding in a sort of fluffy pink plastic cocoon with "Have a nice day" printed in over three thousand different languages all over it.
random He stared in woozily through the darkened glass. It was as dark and silent as the tomb. No. That was a ridiculous thing to think. He'd been to some great parties in tombs.
random A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
random "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair."
random All it said, in small, alarming letters was a single word: PANIC
random The celebrations would last for three days of sheer exuberance, dancing and stories that Old Thrashbarg would tell of how the hunt had gone, stories that he would have been busy sitting making up in his hut while the rest of the village was out doing the actual hunting.
random A few villagers wondered why Almighty Bob would send his only begotten Sandwich Maker in a burning fiery chariot rather than perhaps in one that might have landed quietly without destroying half the forest, filling it with ghosts and also injuring the Sandwich Maker quite badly. Old Thrashbarg said that it was the ineffable will of Bob, and when they asked him what ineffable meant he said look it up.
random One day Old Thrashbarg said that Almighty Bob had decreed that he, Thrashbarg, was to have first pick of the sandwiches. The villagers asked him when this had happened, exactly, and Thrashbarg said it had happened yesterday, when they weren't looking. "Have faith," Old Thrashbarg said, "or burn!" They let him have first pick of the sandwiches. It seemed easiest.
random "I gurgle with pleasure," said Colin.
random In a spirit of scientific enquiry he hurled himself out of the window again.
random Random thought she was trapped in a recurring nightmare. She would have crying fits and think the moon was out to get her. Every night it was there, and then, when it went, the sun came out and followed her. Over and over again.
random We live in strange times. We also live in strange places: each in a universe of our own. The people with whom we populate our universes are the shadows of whole other universes intersecting with our own.
random The common ground between them, apart from the fact that they had almost identical genes, was about the size of a pebble. Or rather, it was about the size of Trillian and of her they had slightly differing views.
random Her mood swings were very unpredictable but so far they'd all been between different types of bad ones.
random The villagers were absolutely hypnotised by all these wonderful magic images flashing over her wrist. They had only ever seen one spaceship crash, and it had been so frightening, violent and shocking and had caused so much horrible devastation, fire and death that, stupidly, they had never realised it was entertainment.
random He didn't suppose, of course, that the warranty had especially mentioned that the watch was guaranteed to be accurate only within the very particular gravitational and magnetic fields of the Earth, and so long as the day was twenty-four hours long and the planet didn't explode and so on. These were such basic assumptions that even the lawyers would have missed them.
random She'd been born in a spaceship that had been going from somewhere to somewhere else, and when it had got to somewhere else, somewhere else had only turned out to be another somewhere that you had to get to somewhere else again from, and so on. It was her normal expectation that she was supposed to be somewhere else. It was normal for her to feel that she was in the wrong place.
random She didn't notice that she felt this, because it was the only way she ever felt, just as it never seemed odd to her that nearly everywhere she went she needed either to wear weights or anti-gravity suits and usually special apparatus for breathing as well. It had never occurred to her that the real Universe was something you could actually fit into.
random You live and learn. At any rate, you live. You also panic.
random If they had been vicious snarling slavering beasts with glistening fangs she would have pitched into them with a will, but squirrels behaving like this she couldn't quite handle.
random "Am I still infinite?" it asked, ballooning this way and that in space. "Am I infinite now? How yellow am I?"
random "If you'd like to know, I can tell you that in your universe you move freely in three dimensions that you call space. You move in a straight line in a fourth, which you call time, and stay rooted to one place in a fifth, which is the first fundamental of probability. After that it gets a bit complicated, and there's all sorts of stuff going on in dimensions 13 to 22 that you really wouldn't want to know about."
random "Now you see it," said the bird. "Now you don't."
random "Your universe is vast to you. Vast in time, vast in space. That's because of the filters through which you perceive it. But I was built with no filters at all, which means I perceive the mish mash which contains all possible universes but which has, itself, no size at all. For me, anything is possible. I am omniscient and omnipotent, extremely vain, and, what is more, I come in a handy self-carrying package. You have to work out how much of the above is true."
random "Reverse engineering. To me the flow of time is irrelevant. You decide what you want. I then merely make sure that it has already happened."
random He could not conceive that he could feel more wretched and awful than this, but he was wrong.
random He sat on a rock to have a look through the old Guide, and then discovered it wasn't a rock, it was a person.
random Arthur leapt to his feet with a start of fear. It would be hard to say which he was more frightened of: that he might have hurt the person he had inadvertently sat on or that the person he had inadvertently sat on would hurt him back.
random Despite the fact that he had been thinking he was feeling about as low as he possibly could, he experienced a terrible sinking feeling.
random "Why are we surrounded by squirrels, and what do they want?"
random "Ship's cabin robots get destroyed. The cyberminds that control them survive and start infesting the local wildlife. Can turn a whole ecosystem into some kind of helpless thrashing service industry, handing out hot towels and drinks to passers-by."
random "You have to get to know her," said Arthur.
"She eases up does she?"
"No," said Arthur, "but you get a better sense of when to duck."
random "I don't know, you tell me. You live here! There must be some way off this zarking planet."
random "Can we feel sorry for the Galaxy later?" said Ford.
random Ford narrowed his eyes. "This is that thing you call sarcasm, isn't it?"
random "Ford, I have had a fucking bad night! Will you please try and take that into account while you consider what fascinating bits of badger-sputumly inconsequential trivia to assail me with next?"
random "We assume that every time we do anything we know what the consequences will be, i.e., more or less what we intend them to be. This is not only not always correct. It is wildly, crazily, stupidly cross-eyed-blithering-insectly wrong!"
random "I fell straight into the open cockpit of a passing jet towncar whose pilot had just accidentally pushed the eject button when he meant only to change tracks on the stereo. Now, even I couldn't think that that was particularly clever of me."
random No one knew where they came from, no one knew where they went. They were so important to the lives of the Lamuellans, it was almost as if nobody liked to ask.
random Old Thrashbarg had said on one occasion that some times if you received an answer, the question might be taken away. Some of the villagers had privately said that this was the only properly wise thing they'd ever heard Thrashbarg say, and after a short debate on the matter, had put it down to chance.
random Leaping on to the back of a one-and-a-half-ton Perfectly Normal Beast migrating through your world at a thundering thirty miles an hour is not as easy as it might at first seem.
random "I don't want a zarking recipe," said Ford. "I just want to be sure it's a real bird and not some kind of multi-dimensional cybernightmare."
random "Life," he said, "will be a very great deal less weird without you!"
random "Go!" shouted Thrashbarg. "Go and meet your destiny, Sandwich Maker!"
random The ship had come sweeping in over a dark and sombre landscape, a terrain so desperately far removed from the heat and light of its parent sun that it seemed like a map of the psychological scars on the mind of an abandoned child.
random Tricia began to feel very scared, suddenly. She was further from Earth than any human being, to her knowledge, had ever been, and she was with an alien creature, who was lounging against a brown corduroy bean bag and squirting breath-freshener into his mouth.
random An alien race of people dispossessed of their own lives and histories, stuck on a remote outpost of our solar system and filling their cultural vacuum with our cultural junk. Ha! It was nature's way of telling her to check into an expensive medical establishment very quickly.
random "Please," he said, gesturing her forward to sit at the computer's console, "be skilful for us."
random "Regent's Park. Big silver job. Some girl with a bird. She speaks English and throws rocks at people and wants someone to repair her watch. Just get there."
random "What can I tell you? Busk it. Ask her what it feels like to be from outer space."
random What a day, he thought, as he started furiously coughing dust up out of his lungs. He hadn't had a day as bad as this since the Earth had been blown up.
random "Is there stuff going on here that I don't know about?" said Arthur to Ford.
"Isn't there usually?" said Ford.
random Arthur nodded intelligently. There were times when he wished he understood what on earth Ford was talking about, and other times, like now, when he felt it was probably safer not even to try.
random The news networks don't like this kind of thing. They regard it as a waste. An incontrovertible spaceship arrives out of nowhere in the middle of London and it is sensational news of the highest magnitude. Another completely different one arrives three and a half hours later and somehow it isn't.
random "ANOTHER SPACECRAFT!" said the headlines and news stand billboards. "THIS ONE'S PINK." A couple of months later they could have made a lot more of it. The third spacecraft, half an hour after that, the little four berth Hrundi runabout, only made it on to the local news.
random "It's the zoo just up the road from here. I don't care if it's closed this evening. I don't want to buy a ticket, I just want to buy the zoo. I don't care if you're busy. This is room service, I' in a room and I want some service."
random It wasn't his job to worry about that, though. It was his job to do his job, which was to do his job. If that led to a certain narrowness of vision and circularity of thought then it wasn't his job to worry about such things.
random One of the troublesome circumstances was the Plural nature of this Galactic sector, where the possible continually interfered with the probable. Simple demolition didn't get you any further than pushing down a bubble under a badly hung strip of wallpaper. Anything you demolished kept on popping up again.
random Arthur took it. It was the book of matches which the dead man had dropped. It had the name of the club on it. It had the name of the proprietor of the club on it. It looked like this: STAVRO MUELLER BETA.