I’m a little bit surprised that I missed this yesterday. And that, in fact, I’d never heard of Towel Day until late yesterday. Not that I would have been inclined to take a towel and bathrobe to work — I’m not much for costumes, not to mention a day job that would frown on such things anyway. But I still think it’s cool that people are remembering Douglas Adams.
The original BBC radio productions of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy are my favorite thing to listen to on long, cross-country road trips. I have a great fondness for the early-80s BBC television series, too, even though I know in my adult brain it probably isn’t all that great. But I saw it at the same time I was devouring Dr. Who at 5:30 every day, so the whole thing made perfect sense at the time.
I was very, very lucky to have a chance to see Douglas Adams do a live reading once, maybe 17 years ago. It was part of his US signing tour when Mostly Harmless came out. I remember that the woman in front of me in line had ticket number 42, which as you can imagine was a big deal (more to those of us in line than to Mr. Adams, who I’m sure had heard the same jokes at a thousand other signings). I can honestly say it was the best reading I’ve ever attended. He performed the scenes he read, and the story’s roots as a radio drama were plain to see. He also read excerpts from Last Chance to See, which I hadn’t read and still haven’t, and those were touching and hilarious and moving.
Speaking of Douglas Adams and Dr. Who (between which there are several relationships, of course) here is some trivia: Richard Dawkins and his wife, Lalla Ward, were introduced by Douglas Adams. Ward played Romana #2 during the Tom Baker years of Dr. Who.