A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.
Just before astronaut Tim Peake went into space, we had a chance to send a little something up to the ISS for him to open when he got there, as a thankyou for being involved in the 2015 CHRISTMAS LECTURES. This is what we sent.
My favorite thing is that almost every sci-fi story is like, “We’ve got to save the earth! Look at all of the amazing things on it! It’s one of the greatest planets in the universe!” and Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galay blew it up in the first five minutes.
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy sentence starters
1. "Time is an illusion. Lunchtime, doubly so."
2. "This must be a Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays."
3. "Don't panic."
4. "Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?"
5. "If there's anything more important than my ego around here, I want it caught and shot now."
6. "We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!"
7. "The answer to the Great Question... of life, the universe and everything... is... is... 42."
8. "So long, and thanks for all the fish."
9. "Did I do anything wrong today, or has the world always been like this and I've been too wrapped up in myself to notice?"
10. "____! There's an infinite number of monkeys outside that want to talk to us about this script for Hamlet they've worked out."
11. "If I asked you where the hell we were, would I regret it?"
12. "Ah. This is obviously some strange usage of the word 'safe' that I wasn't previously aware of."
13. "Life. Loathe it or ignore it, you can't like it."
14. "Is there any tea on this spaceship?"
15. "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'll be all cross and I won't enjoy it!"
16. "It's part of the shape of the universe. All I have to do is talk to someone and they begin to hate me."
17. “Very deep. You should send that in to the Reader's Digest. They've got a page for people like you.”
18. "I know as much about myself as my mind can work out under its current conditions. And its current conditions are not good.”
19. "You watch this door. It's about to open again. I can tell by the intolerable air of smugness it suddenly generates."
20. “Do you find coming to terms with the mindless tedium of it all presents an interesting challenge?”
21. "I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle."
22. "Hey, this is terrific! Someone down there is trying to kill us!"
23. “The mere thought hadn't even begun to speculate about the merest possibility of crossing my mind.”
24. "It gives me a headache just trying to think down to your level."
25. "I could have more fun in cat litter."
26. “If you ever find you need help again, you know, if you are in trouble, need a hand out of a tight corner, please, don't hesitate to get lost.”
27. "I was created to fulfill a function and I failed in it. I negated my own existence."
28. "You'll need to have this fish in your ear."
29. "They've got about as much sex appeal as a road accident."
30. "You're turning into a penguin. Stop it."
31. “Perhaps I'm old and tired, but I always think that the chances of finding out what really is going on are so absurdly remote that the only thing to do is to say hang the sense of it and just keep yourself occupied.”
32. "Ow! My brains!"
33. "If you just ignore me, I expect I shall probably go away."
34. "It's partly the curiosity, partly a sense of adventure, but mostly I think it's the fame and the money....”
35. "The old me knew. The old me cared. Fine, so far so good. Except that the old me cared so much that he actually got inside his own brain--my own brain--and locked off the bits that knew and cared, because if I knew and cared I wouldn't be able to do it."
36. "If you’ve never been through a matter transference beam before you’ve probably lost some salt and protein."
37. "Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space."
There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.
There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
The Restaurant At The End of the Universe, Douglas Adams