Douglas Adams

It’s a sad day because my favourite author, Douglas Adams has died. These are some of my favour quotes from his writings:

Don't Panic
  • “What do you mean my birth certificate expired?”
  • Only one thing in life is certain. You won’t get out of it alive.
  • “I’m not afraid of dying, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”
  • The Earth is just a billion tonnes of geography rolling through the sky. People look down on stuff like geography and meteorology, and not only because they’re standing on one and being soaked by the other. Geography is only physics slowed down and with a few trees stuck on it, and meteorology is full of excitingly fashionable chaos and complexity.
  • “What’s your name?”
    “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.”
  • “How are you?”
    “I’m fine…if you like being me which I personally don’t.”
  • “If I ever met myself I’d hit myself so hard I wouldn’t know what hit me”
  • “If I told you how much I wanted this cake I wouldn’t have time to eat it.”
  • “He was tall and wiry and looked as though he had been a horse in previous lives and had only just avoided it in this one. He always gave the impression that he was looking at you with his teeth ”
  • The Kings reign was more of a light shower than a reign of terror.
  • “Time passed.” Well good that’s it’s job.
  • She didn’t know where she was going but she had to get there fast.
  • Chaos is found in greatest abundance wherever order is being sought, but it always defeats order because it is better organised.
  • “Life is like a grapefruit. It’s sort of orangey-yellow and dimpled on the outside, wet and squidgy in the middle. It’s got pips inside too. Ah and some people have half a one for breakfast.”
  • The moon looked pale and wane, as if it shouldn’t be up on a night like this.
  • Sunlight played over the river Cam. People in punts happily shouted at each other to fuck off. Thin natural scientists who had spent months locked away in their rooms growing white and fishlike, emerged blinking into the sunlight. Couples walking along the bank got so excited about the general wonderfulness of it all that they had to pop inside for an Hour.
  • There really wasn’t a lot this machine could do that you couldn’t do yourself in half the time with a lot less trouble, but it was, on the other hand, very good at being a slow and dim-witted pupil. If you really want to understand something, the best way is to try and explain it to someone else. That forces you to sort it out in your own mind. And the more slow and dit-witted your pupil, the more you have to break things down into more and more simple ideas. Ands that’s the essense of programming. By the time you’ve sorted out a complicated idea into little steps that even a stupid machine can deal with, you’ve certainly learnt something about it yourself.
  • He had extracted himself from the Cambridge one-way system by the usual method, which involves going round and round it faster and faster until he achieved a sort of escape velocity and flew off at a target in a random direction, which he was now trying to identify and correct for.
  • After a shock, the body floods itself with adrenaline, which then hangs around your system turning sour.
  • The room was not a room to elevate the soul. Michelangelo, to pick a name at random, would have been distressed by it’s proportions, which were neither lofty nor shaped by any noticeable inner harmony or symmetry, other than that all parts of the room were pretty much equally full of old coffee mugs, shoes and brimming ashtrays, most of which were now sharing their tasks with each other. Hercules, to pick another name would probably have returned half an hour later armed with a navigable river. In short it was a dump.
  • There were three of them, three police cars left askew across the road in a way that transcended mere parking. It sent out a massive signal to the world saying that the law was here now taking charge of things, and that anyone who just had normal, good and cheerful business to conduct could just fuck off.
  • “I’m a private detective.”
    “Oh” said Kate in surprise and then looked puzzled.
    “Does that bother you?”
    “It’s just that I have this friend that plays the double bass.”
    “I see.” said Dirk.
    “Whenever people meet him and he’s struggling around with it, they all say the
    same thing, and it drives him crazy. They all say I bet you wished you played the piccolo. Nobody ever works out that that’s what everybody else says. I was just trying to work out if there was something that everybody would say to a private detective, so that I could avoid saying it.”
    “No, what happens is that everybody looks very shifty for a few moments, and you got that very well.”
    “I see.” Kate looked disappointed.
  • She climbed out of the car and carefully omitted to lock it. She never left anything of value in it, and she found that it was to her advantage if people didn’t have to break anything in order to find that out. The car had been stolen twice but on each occasion it had been found abandoned twenty yards away.
  • Dirk was caught in the middle of a rush hour traffic jam that had started in the late nineteen seventies.
  • “Do you have a lawyer?”
    “Yes I do as a matter of fact,” said Kate.
    “Is he any good? I’m going to need one. Mines popped into prison for a while.”
    “Well you certainly can’t have mine!”
    “Why not?”
    “Don’t be absurd, we just crashed into each other. It would be a clear conflict of interest.”
  • In the past the whales had been able to sing to each other across whole oceans, even one ocean to another because of the way sound travels such huge distances underwater. But now, again because of the way in which sound travels, there is no part of the ocean that is not constantly jangling with the hubbub of ships motors, through which it is now virtually impossible for the whales to hear each other’s songs or messages.
    So fucking what, is pretty much the way that people tend to view this problem. After all who wants to hear a bunch of fat fish burping at each other?
  • He sat back in his seat, disgruntled and thwarted, and reached for a cigarette, but the packet in his coat was now empty. He picked up a pencil and tapped it in a cigarette-like way, but it wasn’t able to produce the same effect. He frowned and took a long, slow thoughtful drag.
    This was ridiculous. He had to get more cigarettes!
  • He had a good mind to go home, go to bed and wake up in the grocery business.
  • “Do you listen to anything you say?”
  • Obviously somebody had been appallingly incompetent and he hoped to God it wasn’t him.
  • “I’m game” he said, “lets see who rusts first.”
  • It hung it the sky in much the same way, as bricks don’t.
  • “Your wizards!” she screamed “Bloody well wiz!”
  • “What’s so bad about being drunk?” “Ask a glass of water.”
  • “I don’t want to die now, I’ve still got a headache, I don’t want to go to heaven with a headache. I’d be all cross and I wouldn’t enjoy it.”
  • “Anyone got a bottle opener? Anyone got a glass? Anyone got a bottle of beer?”
  • I’m a businessman; the only art I care about is that little inky sketch on certain notes.
  • He simply couldn’t get bored, he didn’t have the imagination.
  • “You barbarians, I’ll sue the council for every penny it’s got! I’ll have you hung, drawn and quartered! And whipped! And boiled…until…until…. until you’ve had enough. And then I will do it again! And when I’ve finished I will take all the little bits, and I will jump on them! And I will carry on jumping on them until I get blisters, or I can think of anything even more unpleasant to do.”
  • Light travels so fast that it takes most races thousands of years to realise it travels at all.
  • “Hey do you know something?” “More than you could possibly imagine.” [Marvin]
  • “……He had a shock which nearly caused him to spill his drink. He drained it quickly before anything serious happened to it. He then had another quick one to follow the first one down and check it was alright. He then had a third to see why the second hadn’t yet reported on the condition of the first. His forth had the plan of racing ahead, catching the third, joining forces and together they would get the second to pull itself together then all three would go in search of the first, give it a good talking to and maybe have a bit of a sing as well, He felt uncertain as to whether the forth understood everything, so he sent down a fifth to explain the plan more fully and a sixth for moral support. He imagined he had two heads and fainted at the sheer prospect of the amount of stars that could be seen.”
  • “Ok” Zaphod said “where’s Zaruniwoop? Get me Zarniwoop”
    “Excuse me sir?” said the receptionist. She did not care to be addressed in this manner.
    “Zarniwoop. Get him, right? Get him now”
    “Well sir” snapped the receptionist “if you could be a little cool about it”
    “Look” said Zaphod “I’m up to here with cool, ok? I am so amazingly cool you could keep a side of meat in me for a month. I am so hip I have difficulty seeing over my pelvis. Now will you move before I blow it.”
    “Well the problem is Mr Zarniwoop is on an intergalactic cruse.”
    Hell thought Zaphod “When’s he going to be back?”
    “Back sir? He’s in his office”
    Zaphos paused whilst he tried to sort this particular thought out in his mind. He didn’t succeed.
    “This cats on an intergalactic cruise in his office. Listen two eyes” he said “Don’t you try and out weird me, I get stranger things than you free with my breakfast cereal.”
    “Well just who do you think you are Honey?” said the receptionist with rage “Zaphod Beeblebrox or something.”
    “Count the heads” said Zaphod in a low rasp.
    The receptionist blinked “You are Zaphod Beeblebrox?”
    “Yeah” said Zaphod “but don’t shout it out or they’ll all want one.”
    “The Zaphod Beeblebrox?”
    “No, just a Zaphod Beeblebrox, didn’t you hear I come in six-packs?”
    “But sir, they said you were dead.”
    “yeah, that’s right” said Zaphod “I just haven’t stopped moving yet.”
    “Well Zarniwoops office is on the first floor, why do you want to see him?”
    “Well” said Zaphod “I told myself I had to.”
    “come again sir”
    “I just materialised out of thin air in one of your cafes” he said “as a result of an argument with a ghost of my great-grandfather. No sooner had I got there than my former self, the one that operated on my brain, popped into my head and said go see Zarniwoop. I have never heard of the cat. That is all I know.” He winked
    “Mr Beeblebrox sir” said the receptionist in awed wonder “your so weird you should be in movies.”
    “yeah and you baby should be in real life”
  • “And when we were hungry we’d pose as public health inspectors, you
    remember that? And go round confiscating food and drinks, right? Till we got
    food poisoning.”
  • Anatomical analysis revealed his brain was originally a badly deformed, mis-placed and dyspeptic liver.
  • Arthur looked at him as if he’d gone mad and, seeing nothing to indicate the contrary, realised that it would be perfectly reasonable to assume that this in fact had happened.
  • “we’re in trouble!” said Ford.
    “oh” said Arthur. This seemed like month old news to him.

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