“Oh no, not again.”
Yes, bowl of petunias from chapter 18, yes! I read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy again! But that probably wasn’t what you were talking about, was it?
The problem with reading something that I’ve read over and over again is that the words have become such a part of me through the years that I don’t know where the book ends and my own thoughts begin. We all have that show or movie or book that shapes the way we view other shows or movies or books (or even the world) for the rest of our lives. But I get the feeling Douglas Adams may have set out specifically to do this.
It takes some skill to create a simile that can get your message across. It takes even more to create a simile based on the opposite of the message you are trying to convey. On the podcast, I brought up the description in Chapter 3 of the Vogon ships. “The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.” We all got a crazy kick out of this. Megan was so amused by our gigglefest (listen for it at about the 10 minute mark) that she sent the rest of the Geek Hosts this message when she was editing the podcast: “You guys – THE WAY BRICKS DON’T!! AHAHAHAHAHAHAAA.”
And then there are the descriptions of other worlds and other beings that make you wish that there were a real Hitchhiker’s Guide. Among my favorites is the description of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (which is merely a side note in the entry about towels): “A mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you — daft as a bush, but very ravenous.” Am I the only one who closed her eyes after reading that line trying to figure out exactly what that meant? Once I did get it, I cracked up and promptly told my inner scientist to shut up. “But what kind of evolutionary pressures have to exist for an animal with that trait to be naturally selected?” she was trying to ask. But that line was funny enough that I could suspend my disbelief and keep laughing. Which is rare, because my inner scientist LOVES her a plot hole and is not used to being overruled.
But we don’t have to really go far to meet all the animals that are described brilliantly by Douglas Adams. Or maybe you do if you’re reading this from a location that is land-locked or does not have an aquarium within a close radius. “It is an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem. For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much — the wheel, New York, wars and so on — whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man — for precisely the same reasons.” In your best Keanu Reeves voice, I want you all to say it with me: “Whoa.”
The hilarious profundity of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, though, always brings me back to that bowl of petunias. “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.” And with that, dear readers, I leave you with my hope that you will never look at a bowl of petunias (or the world) the same way again.
 Which reminds me, have you seen the IMDB photo of the lady that played the praying mantis teacher in the 4th episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Seriously. Look it up. Musetta Vander is her name.
 My inner scientist is also the one who gets mad at Fringe when they don’t insert intravenous needles correctly.
 Click “like” if you’re reading this from a square state or Siberia! What up, y’all!
 Alternate reaction: “You guys! The way dolphins don’t!”