There's a Frood Who Really Knows Where His Towel Is

The earliest memory I have of reading Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was actually through the text-based computer game. My dad got it for the ASCII-only computer we had at the time, and it came with a "Don't Panic" button and a piece of fluff, which I would much later learn was called a "feelie" inserted into Infocom games of that era. I didn't get far in the game, but I would subsequently read all 5 of Douglas Adam's increasingly inaccurately named trilogy, plus the Dirk Gently books, plus Starship Titanic, plus Last Chance to See, including the later TV series where Stephen Fry plays the role opposite Mark Carwardine that Adams played in the book and radio series. I was only really a few years into being "very online" when Douglas died. (I was just starting to recover when Aaliyah, my favourite R&B singer of all time, died as well.) In the passing years, I accepted that he might have ceased writing had he not died then, because he had notorious bouts of writers' block, but it still hit hard because he was someone, as a person who could be intelligent and silly at the same time, I admired greatly.

In 2010, somewhat controversially, the Vancouver Public Library chose Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as the book to read in a city-wide book club. (It was unclear to many why a Vancouver author was not chosen.) For me, it was not only a chance to read the book again, but to get cool swag in the form of a white towel with the whale from the novel and "DON'T PANIC" in big letters. Every May 25th, a celebration of Adams' work takes place online, marking two weeks after the anniversary of his passing. On that day, I take my towel with me, hoping to see someone else on the street with a towel on their shoulder. The last couple of years have been mired in the COVID-19 pandemic, so I've only been able to celebrate at home and send out a tweet.

This time, the day before, I had a mild panic because I didn't know where I had stored it. After searching through every box in my storage area, and rustling through every nook and cranny in my apartment (with a pleasant side effect of tidying up as I went), I went back into storage and did a closer inspection of the boxes and found it in the "Whale Stuff" box. So, going forward, that is its spot. That means I'm now a frood who really knows where his towel is.