October 2021 is the Answer


Image created by Anu Anniah in October 2021 to celebrate 42 years of HGTTG

This article is for you if you cannot get past a mention of the number 42 without thinking “Hitchhikers.”

Right? Right?

For the record, I wrote this article in October last year (2021). It was published elsewhere. But you, my website readers, must not be deprived of such important information. Therefore I am reposting it here with my own permission!

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the first part of an insane 6-part trilogy was first published on 12 October, 1979. Exactly 42 years ago!! Why are we not celebrating this month? Grab your towels folks, and let us celebrate the month that is surely the ANSWER! To life, the universe, and everything!

We should have celebrated hard on October 12th! It was THE date. But it whizzed by at the speed of the earth’s rotation around the Sun. Missed by a day. Or a whisker depending on which planet’s speed we are measuring against. Never mind. We still have several days left in October to wake up and make up.

I had the best time of my life when I turned 42. I went around telling everyone that I was the answer! Most people didn’t know what I was talking about. It was a great year. I don’t remember much of it. I am sure it was great. Since I was busy being the answer, I can’t recall what actually happened that year.

By next year, they changed all the questions. So I stopped being the answer. That’s how this thing works, apparently.

Meanwhile, some folks are so obsessed with 42 that they apply it in every possible way in their lives. Take the case of Baskerville Old Face and Susan Brearley! They clap 42 times for articles on Medium.com in honor of Douglas Adams. That’s how much they live by the principles of H2G2. I wonder if they carry a towel at all times? Folks who plan to travel with them – I hereby appoint you to secretly check their hand luggage. If you find a nicely rolled-up towel that looks like it has traveled the universe, you’ll know!

H2G2 has got to be one of the craziest books written. I wonder what Douglas Adams consumed routinely to get to that level of crazy thinking. I want some of that!

42 is such a masterstroke. A computer called Deep Thought is created to process the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. It takes 7 and a half million years and finally spits out the answer to the chosen two on the Day of the Answer. And what’s the answer? 42!!! How profound!!

Fans naturally think that there is a very deep and hidden meaning in that number. This is what Douglas had to say about how he came up with the answer according to the Hitchhikers Fandom site:

Adams explained that he was “on his way to work one morning, whilst still writing the scene, and was thinking about what the actual answer should be”. He eventually decided that it “should be something that made no sense whatsoever — a number, and a mundane one at that”. He arrived at the number 42, completely at random.

Nobody believes him. I don’t. I don’t want to. 42 is special. It is the ultimate number! The answer to the ultimate question. We don’t understand the answer. That doesn’t mean the answer is wrong!

We refuse to let 42 be trivialized as a random number. No way! Therefore we will party all through October 2021! 42 years! And October 2022 and beyond! We shall party forever!

Bring out that towel. Write a 42-line Vogon poem! Torture unsuspecting souls by reading it to them. Guzzle a few glasses of pan-galactic gargle blaster. Stick a thumb out and hitch a passing spaceship to travel the universe! Don’t panic — yet!

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