An Old Friend
Douglas Adams, creator of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, stated in his tome, "Never go anywhere without your towel." On May 14, 2001, one of his fans, D. Clyde Williamson, posted a tribute to Mr. Adams including a proposal that a date two weeks after his passing should be observed as Towel Day. May 25th continues to be observed annually as Towel Day as an ongoing tribute to Adams, who passed away on May 11 of that year.
On May 25, carry a bath towel conspicuously with you for the day. Choose a towel that you like, and preferably isn't tatty. Make sure it's clean! Carry it everywhere. Be sure to take a photo of you with the towel and upload it to Flickr, a video uploaded to YouTube, so that you can show everyone else how you celebrated Towel Day. There is a Flickr Towel Day group you can join at: http://www.flickr.com/group/towelday And be sure to tag your photos "towelday".
- You might even consider having a competition with friends for the "best towel". Take photos of everyone, including the winners.
- For people who don't get the significance of your towel, let them know why you have it. You might also explain that a towel is a significant psychological tool, as outlined in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Visit the Towel Day website to see what others are doing on Towel Day. It's quite possible that there's a fun event near you that you can be a part of. You'll also find other ideas and inspiration for celebrating Towel Day. The site can be found at: http://www.towelday.org.
- If a celebration is being organized in your country or area, consider joining in. If there isn't, consider organizing one yourself and posting it on the website.
Answer all questions, "42." Give a wise and knowing look every time you respond in this way. And remember that sometimes knowing the answer doesn't mean you know the question... When you can't use "42" fruitfully, try another famous line from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy or a Douglas Adams' quote instead, such as:
- "Mostly harmless"
- "Life, the Universe, and Everything"
- "Almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea."; "not entirely unlike"
- "Share and Enjoy"
- "So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish"
- "I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by."
- "Humans are not proud of their ancestors, and rarely invite them around to dinner."
- "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be."
- "It is no coincidence that in no known language does the phrase 'As pretty as an airport' appear."
- "Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."
If you're really organized, your towel will express the sentiment!
Hang up a banner that reads, "DON'T PANIC." This could be on your cubicle, over or on a computer screen, or on a wall. Even better, wear a t-shirt or badge with these words.
- Remember that DON'T PANIC is always written in upper case. It was originally written on the cover of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Use names from Adams' writings as nicknames for your friends and coworkers. Here are some of them:
- Arthur (Dent)
- Ford (Prefect)
- Great Green Arkleseizure
- Grunthos the Flatulent
- Humma Kavula
- Random (Dent)
- Zaphod (Beeblebrox)
- Vogon (This is not an individual's name. Use it to refer to a class of people, as in, "The Vogons from a corporation want you to return their call.")
- The Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal.
Use social media to spread the message about Towel Day. There are several ways you can involved via social media for Towel Day:
- Follow Towel Day happenings on Twitter; use the #towelday hashtag.
- Tell others about Towel Day on Twitter. Give updates as events are happening.
- Add a post about Towel Day on your blog. Leave supportive messages on the blogs of others who write about Towel Day. Some blogs even give away prizes on Towel Day for the best stories, photos, etc. that are sent in.
- Check out forum posts on your favorite sites and spread the word about Towel Day.
Read one of Adams' books. If you haven't got one yet, and the library hasn't got any copies, at least order one online today. There are lots of choices, including:
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (a "trilogy" consisting of six books and an adaptation of the radio series)
- Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (1987)
- The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (1988)
- The Meaning of Liff (1983)
- Last Chance to See (1990)
- Posthumous collection The Salmon of Doubt (2002).
Hold a Towel Day party or have a celebration of Towel Day in the pub. Get your friends together to celebrate Douglas Adams by toasting him with a drink and celebrating in good cheer. He'd appreciate the sentiment and the joy.
- While celebrating, get everyone to explain what Douglas Adams' writing has meant to them and how it has affected their life.
Watch the movie or TV series made from Adams' books or listen to audio versions. Aim to do this with your friends and their towels. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy can be listened to (the BBC broadcasts or audiobook recordings) or you can watch both the movie and the BBC TV mini-series.
Donate some money to an organization you care about that protects endangered species. Douglas Adams was an avid environmentalist and animal lover who cared greatly about the plight of animals and campaigned on behalf of numerous endangered species. This is a practical and celebratory way to remember Douglas Adams.
- Flash mobs have become one popular way of celebrating Towel Day for some people.
- Douglas Adams played the guitar left-handed. He was influenced by such bands as Pink Floyd, The Beatles, and Procol Harum.
Even pets can get in on the action.
- A towel
- A DON'T PANIC sign
- A costume (optional) of one of the characters
- Somewhere to celebrate
- Internet access for uploading photos or videos; social media accounts