It’s International Towel Day. Do you know Where your Towel Is?

Posted: May 24, 2014 in Thoughts on Reading


It’s International Towel Day!! do you know where your towel is? I may be a bit crazy but I love this day. Douglas Adams was and still is one of my favorite authors. He did not write many books but he certainly left a impact in the literary community. Why a towel you ask well here is a brief explanation

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost.” What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

Hence a phrase that has passed into hitchhiking slang, as in “Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There’s a frood who really knows where his towel is.” (Sass: know, be aware of, meet, have sex with; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy.)[3]

A friend of mine related this story of his towel day celebrations

“A couple years ago I went down to Whyte Ave with a friend to buy some books on towel day, this served as an excuse to get out and be seen with my towel as well as getting new books (win-win). As we were on our way back it started to rain and we were standing at a bus stop with no shelter. A Transit bus displaying “Not in Service” comes down the road and stops in front of us. At first I think he is just dropping off a remaining passenger until the door opens. I see a towel tossed over the back of the drivers chair. He says to me, “I’m not supposed to pick up when I’m out of service but I see you know where your towel is. Where are you froods headed?” Proof that having your towel really does help a hitchhiker get a ride.”

International towel day is celebrated around the world with Douglas Adams fans from all backgrounds. Here is Canada there are a few events to take note of that will be happening on international towel day

  • In Toronto, the annual Towel day event is held at The Blue Goose Tavern (1 Blue Goose St., Etobicoke) from noon to midnight. Plenty of beer and peanuts for pre-Intergalactic consumption. Bring your best towel! RSVP and details on Facebook.
  • In Edmonton, the Edmonton New Technology Society is hosting an informal event. There is a not-quite-infinite improbability of tea and fairy cakes in the afternoon, as well as entertainment and/or activities of some sort. Perhaps there will be some remedial poetry lessons offered (e.g.,: “moon” does not rhyme with “May” unless a deadline has been missed), or perhaps there will be a round table discussion on the best methods of efficiently packing one’s strag-borrowed toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. whilst hitching the length and breadth of the galaxy. Attendees are encouraged to share their best DNA memories and towel hacking tips.
  • In Kingston, Ontario, something is brewing… Find out more here.
  • In Vancouver, there’s a meetup at 10am at Ron Basford Park on Granville Island, in Vancouver, BC on the hill. These froods will be reading the book THGTTG with towels in hand. Along with a snack. Anyone who enjoys Douglas Adams is welcome. This will be very informal. If its pouring rain, they will be located at the Picnic Pavillion near the Water Park.

I wish I could attend some of these events but sadly I won’t be able to make it this year but hopefully next year or I just might through my own towel day party. Looking for towel day celebrations where you are visit

And can we ever forget our friends the dolphins who left this wonderful message for us.

As always don’t forget to check out The Gospel according to Andrew

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