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H2G2 Quotes and Other Irrelevant But Ultimately Enlightening Ideas



Ok, these are quotes from the first book, conviently entitled The Hickhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. These are my favorites, so of course there are others which may be just as funny or insightful that do not appear here (and never will if I have my way. WaHaHa ::evil laugh::...) Just kidding. If you have any good quotes, feel free to email me. But now, onwards...
This planet [Earth] has -- or rather had -- a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green piece of paper, which is odd because on the on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

And so the problem remained; lots of people were mean, and most of them were miserable, even the ones with digital watches.

And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change, a girl... suddenly realized what it was that had been going wrong all this time, and she finally knew how the world could be made a good and happy place. This time it was right, it would work, and no one would have to get nailed to anything.

Sadly, however, before she could get to a phone to tell anyone about it, a terrible, stupid catstrophe occured, and the idea was lost forever.

This is not her story.

Mr. L. Prosser was, as they say, only human.

Bypasses are devices that allow some people to dash from point A to point B very fast while other people dash from point B to point A very fast...

Mr. Prosser wanted to be at point D. Point D ewasn't anywhere in particular, it was just any convenient point a very long way from points A, B, and C. He would have a nice little cottage at point D, with axes over the door, and spend a pleasent amount of time at point E, which would be the nearest pub to point D.

"This must be Thursday," said Arthur to himself, sinking low over his beer. "I never could get the hang of Thursdays."

One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious, as in It's a nice day, or You're very tall, or Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thiry-foot well, are you all right?

On no account allow a Vogon to read poetry at you.

"You'd better prepare for the jump into hyperspace. It's unpleasantly like being drunk."

"What's so unpleasant about being drunk?"

"You ask a glass of water."

"Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful [as the Babel fish] could have been evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the nonexistence of God.

"The arguement goes something like this: 'I refuse to prove I exist,' says God, 'for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.'

"'But,' says Man, 'the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED.'

"'Oh dear,' says God, 'I hadn't thought of that,' and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.

"'Oh, that was easy,' says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing."

Stress and nervous tension are now serious social problems in all parts of the Galaxy, and it is in order that this situation should not be in any way exacerbated that the following facts will now be revealed in advanced.

The planet in question is in fact the legendary Magrathea.

The deadly missile attack shortly to be launched by an ancient automatic defense system will result merely in the breakage of three coffee cups and a mouse cage, the bruising of somebody' upper arm, and the untimely creation and sudden demise of a bopl of petunias and an innocent sperm whale.

In order that some sense of mystery should still be preserved, no revelation will yet be made concerning whose upper arm sustains the bruise. This fact may safely be made the subject of suspense since it is of no significance whatsoever.

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.

Ford carried on counting quietly. This is about the most agressive thing you can do to a computer, the equivalent of going up to a human being and saying Blood... blood... blood... blood... had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had acheived so much -- the wheel, New York, wars and so on -- while all the dolphins had ever done was muck around in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that htey were far more intelligent than man -- for precisely the same reasons...

The last ever dolphin message was misinterpreted as a surprisingly sophisticated attempt to do a double-backward somersault through a hoop while whistling the "Star Spangled Banner," but in fact the message was this: So long and thanks for all the fish.

"We demand that you can't keep us out!" bawled the younger one [of the two men who barged in], though he was now firmly inside the room and no further attempts were being made to stop him.

"Who are you?" said Lunkwill, rising angrily from his seat. "What do you want?"

"I am Majikthise!" announced the older one.

"And I demand that I am Vroomfondel!" shouted the younder one.

Majikthise turned on Vroomfondel. "It's all right," he explained angrily, "you don't need to demand that."

"All right!"bawled Vroomfondel, banging on a nearby desk. "I am Vroomfondel, and that is not a deman, that is a solid fact! What we demand is solid facts!"

"No, we don't!" exclaimed Majikthise in irritation. "That is precisely what we don't demand!"

Scarcely pausing for breath, Vroomfondel shouted, "We don't demand solid facts. What we demand is a total absence of solid facts. I demand that I may or may not be Vroomfondel!"

""But who the devil are you?" exclaimed an outraged Fook.

"We," said Majikthise, "are Philosophers."

"Though we may not be," said Vroomfondel, waving a warning finger at the programmers...

"What's the problem?" said Lunkwill.

"I'll tell you what the problem is, mate," said Majikthise, "demarcation, that's the problem!"

"We demand," yelled Vroomfondel, "that demarcation may or may not be the problem!"

"Now," said Benjy mouse, "to business."

Ford and Zaphon clinked their glasses together.

"To business!" they said.

"I beg your pardon?" said Benjy.

Ford looked round.

"Sorry, I thought you were proposing a toast," he said.

"Ah!" said Benjy. "Aha, now that does sound promising!" He rolled the phrase around a little. "yes," he said, "that's excellent! Sounds very significant without actually tying you down to mean anything at all. How many roads must a man walk down? Forty-two. Excellent, excellent, that'll foz 'em..."

For a moment, nothing happened.

Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.

"It hated me because I talked to it." [said Marvin the Paranoid Andriod.]

"You talked to it?" exclaimed Ford. "What do you mean you talked to it?"

"Simple. I got very bored and depressed, so I went and plugged myself in to its external computer feed. I talked to the computer at great length and explained my view of the Universe to it," said Marvin.

"And what happened?" pressed Ford.

"It committed suicide," said Marvin, and stalked off...

Ok, now here are quotes from the second book in the trilogy, entitled The Restaurant at The End of The Universe. Continue to enjoy...
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 which states that this has already happened.

..."look it's very simple... all I want... is a cup of tea. You are going to make one for me. Keep quiet and listen." [said Arthur.]

And he sat. He told the Nutri-Matic about India, he told it about China, he told it about Ceylon. He told it about broad leaves drying in the sun. He told it about silver teapots...

"So, that's it, is it?" said the Nutir-Matic when he had finished.

"Yes," said Arthur, "that is what I want."

"You want the taste of dried leaves boiled in water?"

"Er, yes. With milk."

"Squirted out of a cow?"

"Well, in a manner of speaking I suppose..."

"I'm going to need some help with this one," said the machine tersely.

The ship shook, the ship thundered. Outside, the inch thick force shield around blistered... Four minutes is how long Ford Prefect gave it.

"Three minutes and fifty seconds," he said a short while later.

"Forty-five seconds," he added at the apropriate time. He... gave Arthur an unfriendly look.

"Dying for a cup of tea, eh?" he said. "Three minutes and forty seconds."

"Will you stop counting!" snarled Zaphon.

"yes," said Ford Prefect, "in three minutes and thirty-five seconds."

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is an indispensible companion to all those who are keen to make sense of life in an infinitely complex and confusing Universe, for though it cannot hope to be useful or informative on all matters, it does at least make the reassuring claim, that where it is inaccurate it is at least definitively inaccurate. In cases of major discrepancy it's always reality that's got it wrong.

"I go up," said the elevator, "or down."

"Good," said Zaphod, "we're going up."

"Or down," the elevator reminded him.

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe... has been built on the fragmented remains of... it will be built on the fragmented... that is to say it will have been built by this time, and indeed has been--

One of the major problems encountered in time travel is not that of accidently becoming your own father or mother. There is no problem involved in becoming your own father or mother that a broad-minded and well-adjusted family can't cope with. There is no problem about changing the course of history -- the course of history does not change because it all fits together like a jigsaw. All the important changes have happened before the things they were supposed to change and it all sorts itself out in the end.

The major problem is quite simply one of grammar...

"I think someone's drunk," muttered a purple bushlike being into his wineglass.

"You know what I'm thinking?" [Zaphod] said.

"I think so," said Ford.

"Tell me what you think I'm thinking."

"I think you're thinking it's time we got off this ship."

"I think you're right," said Zaphod.

"I think you're right," said Ford.

"How?" said Arthur.

"Quiet," said Ford and Zaphod, "we're thinking."

"How many escape capsules are there?"

"None," siad Ford.

"Did you count them?" he yelled.


[Short song chanted outside the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Teleport Systems factory in protest:]

I teleported home one night

With Ron and Sid and Meg.

Ron stole Meggie's heart away

And I got Sidney's leg.

The major problem... with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them. To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem.

"So you answer all questions like this?"

"I say what it occurs to me to say when I think I hear people say things. More I cannot say."

The Galaxy is littered with ex-Pralite monks, all on the make, because the mental control techniques the Order have evolved as a form of devotional discipline are, frankly, sensational -- and extraordinary numbers of monks leave the Order just after they have finished their devotional training and just before they take their vows to stay locked in small metal boxes for the rest of their lives.

Ok, alright, I know you're getting rather bored by now. But look at it this way, only three more books. :-) And now for quotes from the book Life, the Universe, and Everything. As always, enjoy...
"I thought you must be dead..." [Arthur] said simply.

"So did I for a while," said Ford, "and then I decided I was a lemon for a couple of weeks. I kept myself amused all that time jumping in and out of a gin and tonic."

"Where," [Arthur] said, "did you...?"

"Find a gin and tonic?" said Ford brightly. "I found a small lake that thought it was a gin and tonic, and jumped in and out of that. At least, I think it thought it was a gin and tonic. I may," he added with a grin that would have sent sane men scampering into trees, "have been imagining."

"The Guide says that 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."

Ford was humming something. It was just one note repeated at intervals. He was hoping that somebody would ask him what he was humming, but nobody did. If anybody had asked him he would have said he was humming the first line of a Noel Coward song called "Mad About the Boy" over and over again. It would then have been pointed out to him that he was only singing one note, to which he would replied that for reasons he hoped would be apparent, he was omitting the "about the boy" bit. He was annoyed that nobody asked.

"And then we must go," said the robot, in all seriousness, "to a party."

"Oh," said Zaphod, startled, "can I come?"

"No," said the robot, "we are going to shoot you."

"Oh, yeah?" said Zaphod.

"Yes," said the robot, and they shot him.

Zaphod was so surprised that they had to shoot him again before he fell down.

On the way back they 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.

"...then we don't stand a whelk's chance in a supernova."

"The point is," he said, "that people like you and me, Slartibartfast, and Arthur -- particularly and especially Arthur -- are just dilettantes, eccentrics, layabouts if you like...We're not obsessed with anything, you see... And that's the deciding factor. We can't win against obsession. They care, we don't. They win."

[Arthur] looked around for the others.

They weren't there.

He looked around for the others again.

They still weren't there.

He closed his eyes.

He opened them.

He looked around for the others.

They obstinately persisted in their absence.

"If it was a coincidence, then my name," roared the voice, "is not Agrajag!!!"

"And presumably," said Arthur, "you would claim that that was your name."

"Yes!" hissed Agrajag...

"At one point," [Agrajag] hissed, "at one point, I decided to give up. Yes. I would not come back. I would stay in the netherworld. And what happened?...I got yanked involuntarily back into the physical world," pursued Agrajag, "as a bunch of petunias. In, I might add, a bowl."

Rule Six [of Brockian Ultra Cricket]: The winning team shall be the first team that wins.

"Zark off!"

The party and the Krikkit warship looked, in their writhings, a little like two ducks, one of which is trying to make a third duck inside the second duck, while the second duck is trying very hard to explain that it doesn't feel ready for a third duck right now, is uncertain that it would want any putative third duck to be made by this particular first duck anyway, and certainly not while it, the second duck, was busy flying.

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

"Hi there," said the computer brightly... "you have scored three points. Previous best score, seven million five hundred and ninety-seven thousand, two hundred and..."

Hang in there, we're almost almost-done. If this gets overwhelmingly boring, you may want to try reading it upside-down, or backwards, and see if you can find any intriguing meaning (though I doubt you will). Here is the next book, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish. Enjoy! That's an order!
He had kept [the American Express card] ever since because he found it useful to carry a form of currency that no one would accept.

Tips for aliens in New York: Land anywhere, Central Park, anywhere. No one will care or indeed even notice... If your body is really weird, try showing it to people in the streets for money.

"Life," he said, "is like a grapfruit."

"Er, how so?"

"Well, it's sort of orangy-yellow and dimpled on the outside, wet and squidgy in the middle. It's got pips inside, too. Oh, and some people have half a one for breakfast."

"Your wife," said Arthur, looking around, "mentioned some toothpicks." He said it with a hunted look, as if he was worried that she might suddenly leap out from behind a door and mention them again.

The sign read: "Hold stick near center of its length. Moisten pointed end in mouth. Insert in tooth space, blunt end new to gum. Use gentle in-out motion."

"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 package of toothpicks, was no longer a civilization in which I could live and stay sane."

"My wife kept wheat germ in ours," resumed Wonko, with some new tone in his voice, "until last night..."

"What," said Arthur slowly and hushedly, "happened last night?"

"We ran out of wheat germ," said Wonko, evenly.

"I'm afraid I can't comment on the name Rain God at this present time, and we are calling him an example of a Spontaneous Para-Casual Meteorological Phenomenon."

"Can you tell us what that means?"

"I'm not altogether sure. Let's be straight here. If we find something we can't understand we like to call it something you can't understand, or indeed pronounce. I mean if we just let you go around calling him a Rain God, then that suggests that you know something we don't, and I'm afriad we couldn't have that. No, first we have to call it something which says it's ours, not yours, then we set about finding some way of proving it's not what you said it is, but something we say it is. And if it turns out that you're right, you'll still be wrong, because we will simply call him a... er, 'Supernormal' -- not paranormal or supernatural because you think you know what those mean no, no, a 'Supernormal Incremental Precipitation Inducer'. We'll probably want to shove a 'Quasi' in there somewhere to protect ourselves. Rain God! Huh, never heard such nonsense in my life."

"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--"

"Tactful," said Arthur Dent.

"[The saying] comes from a very ancient democracy, you see... On its world, the people are pople. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people."

"odd," said Arthur, "I thought you said it was a democracy."

"I did," said Ford. "It is."

"So," said Arthur, "why don't the people get rid of the lizards?"

"It honestly doesn't occur to them," said Ford. "They've all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they've voted for in more or less approximates the government they want."

"You mean they actually vote for the lizards?"

"Oh yes," said Ford, "of course."

"But why?"

""Because if they didn't vote for a lizard," said Ford, "the wrong lizard might get in."

"There was a point to this story, but it has temporarily escaped the chronicler's mind.

Aren't you excited?! Last book, Mostly Harmless! This is it! This is the last book of the series! This is the one where all the unanswered questions are answered! This is the one when everyone finds out why these absurd things always seem to happen to the same people! This is the one when everyone finds out what that icky stuff is that collects on the bottom of fridge shelves after four months! Or not...
Anything that, happens.

Anything that, in happening, causes something else to happen, causes something else to happen.

Anything that, in happening, causes itself to happen again, happens again.

It doesn't necessarily do it in chronological order, though.

Once something actually happens somewhere in something as wildly complicated as the Universe, Kevin knows where it will all end up -- where "Kevin" is any random entity that doesn't know nothin' about nothin'.

She thought that trying to live life according to any plan you actually work out is like trying to buy ingredients for a recipe from the supermarket. You get one of those carts, which simply will not go in the direction you push it, and end up just having to buy completely different stuff. What do you do with it? What do you do with the recipe? She didn't know.

Anyway, that night an alien spacecraft landed on her lawn.

The robot said that it was quite happy where it was up on the ceiling thank you very much. It had never realized before how much sheer titilation there was to be got from a good ceiling and it wanted to explore its feelings about ceilings in greater depth.

But actually stealing was another thing. That was biting the hand that feeds you. Sucking very hard on it, even nibbling it in an affectionate kind of way was okay, but you didn't actually bite it.

He looked up "guidance" and it said, "See under ADVICE." He looked up "advice" and it said, "See under GUIDANCE."

[The prayer the old man who sat on the pole writes specifically for Arthur:]

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.

[The old man added: "That's it. It's what you pray silently inside yourself anyway, so you may as well have it out in the open."]

[This is the second the old man gave to Arthur:]

Lord, lord, lord. Protect me from the consequences of the above prayer. Amen.

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.

In a spirit of scientific inquiry he hurled himself out of the window again.

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 universe are the shadows of whole other universes intersecting with our own. Being able to glance out into this bewildering complexity of infinite recursion and say things like, "Oh, hi, Ed! Nice tan. How's Carol?" involves a great deal of filtering skill for which all conscious entities have eventually to develope a capacity in order to protect themselves from the contemplation of the chaos through which they seethe and tumble. So give your kid a break, ok?

"O Sandwich Maker from Bob!" he pronounced. He paused, furrowed his brow and sighed as he closed his eyes in pious contemplation. "Life," he said, "will be a very great deal less weird without you!"

Arthur was stunned. "Do you know," he said, "I think that's the nicest thing anybody's ever said to me?"

"Don't you think we should be going?" he said, insistently.

"Shhh!" said Ford. "I paid to hear this song." He seemed to have tears in his eyes, which Arthur found a bit disturbing. He'd never seen Ford moved by anything other than very, very strong drink.

"This is not your home," said Trillian, still keeping her voice calm. "You don't have one. None of us have one. Hardly anybody has one anymore."

That's it. It's over, you've reached the end. I only have one recomendation for anyone interested in reading these books and hasn't already done so... do not, I repeat, do NOT read them all in one week. Also notice that the number of great one-liners went down in the later books. I can assure you that this is only because the number of great complete scenes went up. And above all, be prepared for an equal amount of silly nonsense and very serious nonsense. All in all, I think everyone should read them at least once. Hope you enjoyed this...

Incase you're not quite sick of H2G2 by now, here are some ideas having almost, but not quite, entirely nothing to do with the Guide (all written by yours truly...):

Rules to Living in Impossibility

The Wonderful World of WD-40


If you want to email me...