The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Asmodeus, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. [video=youtube_share;QXD8uCSoZNU][/video]​

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has this to say about shoplifting:

    If you want to steal food from a convenience store, always tie your left shoelaces tighter than your right.

    Across the galaxy, philosophers have spent years trying to decipher this statement. They have also spent years robbing convenience stores in shoes of alternating tightness. The experiments have led to four empirical essays, eight hundred and seventy-two court cases, and the outlawing of shoes on twenty nine planets of the Outer Rim. To make matters worse, none of the five editors of the Guide can remember including this entry and have agreed to put it down to a time-travelling wormhole conspiracy by the Illuminati.

    This is their answer to most of the book's discrepancies.

    Shoplifting is a popular past-time on many planets and with the cosmic recession there are more participants every day. Indeed, in the Halgadroggen System many businesses have done away with shop security altogether and opted instead to install high-powered scanners that ID people upon entry and steadily deplete their associated credit cards of funds. This encourages customers to run through the shop as quickly as possible and grab as much as they can before their bank accounts are emptied.

    This remarkable revolution in mercantile culture has allowed the Halgadroggens to save substantial sums of money, as they no longer need to employ security guards, shop clerks or logical shelf-labelling. It has also improved the fitness of the general public and discouraged disabled people from eating. It has been hailed as an all-round success. For everyone, that is, except the twelve-armed rampaging Slurgle Monsters of Debilon Five, who have been banned from entering these shops due to the unfair advantage of having twelve arms, four stomachs and a nursing pouch you store a cow in. Relations between the two species have never been worse.

    Incidentally, it should be noted that the twelve-armed rampaging Slurgle Monsters of Debilon Five are also regarded as the most prodigious and diligent producers of shoelaces in the known galaxy.

    It is things like this, and the Babel Fish, that prove definitively that we live in a Godless universe.

    On the morning of April 23rd, about two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change, Honda Civic was running across a street on a small and utterly insignificant blue-green planet in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the galaxy.

    Civic had never been very good at shoplifting. Unlike the rampaging Slurgle Monsters of Debilon Five, he only possessed two arms, with which he was trying to hold onto five bottles of Jack Daniels whisky. As he ran he left a trail of dollar bills, most of which he had thrown at Astrid Stuffy, the store clerk and protagonist of the "Ms. Scumfree" floor-cleaner commercials, who happened to be working that day.

    By his side was Civic's inseparable friend, Anthony Horwitzer, who had met Civic precisely two weeks ago at a pub in England and flown with him to the United States earlier that morning. Only at this particular moment, he was not by Civic's side. In fact, Anthony Horwitzer had just collided with Maria Gonzales, a young woman who had been handing out flyers featuring reduced prices in laxatives available at the pharmacy across the street. Anthony had dropped the twelve bags of salted peanuts he had stolen and was now lost in a heap of laxative flyers, dollar bills, salted peanuts and Maria Gonzales.

    This is important to remember. Anthony will be in a similar situation later in our story.

    Meanwhile, Honda Civic had rushed across the road, dodging the big American cars that refused to slow down for a man in a suit, and was currently screaming at David Barthirst, the owner of the tailor shop opposite the convenience store and adjacent to the pharmacy. David Barthirst was, at the time, engaged in an argument with an old lady about a small dog.

    David, the old lady, and the dog were thus very surprised to be interrupted by a man waving five bottles of Jack Daniels.

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  2. The correct thing to do, when one is robbed by a pair of (admittedly dashing) not-so-common criminals, is to alert the proper authorities. The money that was thrown haphazardly over the shoulder of the one in the suit- and really, who wears a suit to shoplift, anyway?- was beside the point, being a sum that was either inadequate or a good bit more than adequate but quite certainly not the right one. And even if she was not a particularly good cashier, one Astrid Stuffy knew that this was some extremely fishy business.

    The correct thing to do is not what Astrid Stuffy did.

    "Oi," she yelled, in common Earth vernacular which roughly translates to Excuse me, you sorry sack of shit. As she yelled, she made a mad grab to collect the bills, stuffing them into her bra (It is a little-documented phenomenon that women on Earth often use this device as a substitute pocket, which makes perfect sense when considering that its purpose is containment and support. It has never been concluded with any certainty why men never took up this same practice.) (It was also not store policy to pocket money that was owed to the till at any time, for any reason, instead of depositing it in the cash register. It seemed to Astrid, however, that she could not simply wait idly by in the time that it took to do so while those thugs absconded. We repeat: Astrid Stuffy was not a particularly good cashier.) With the goods secure (and the money, too), she dashed out into the street, wielding the first item vaguely resembling a weapon that she had managed to take hold of. This adapted weapon was a mop, and it smelled suspiciously like Ms. Scumfree floor cleaner.

    This mop, incidentally, will be important later.

    "Oi," repeated Astrid, with greater emphasis to indicate that she really had hoped that the first time would have been sufficient. She had caught up to Anthony, whom had not caught up to Honda Civic, but had instead been most violently caught up to by Maria. Astrid poked the mess of limbs, peanut bags, and flyers with the handle of the mop; it was rather rude and probably unhealthy to shove a mop soaked in chemicals into a person's face, after all, even if they had just robbed you. Panting, as perhaps she'd been a bit vain when she'd insisted that yoga was for hipster idiots and anorexics and that she'd just jog instead like a sensible person and oh, dear, she never had taken that up had she, she wheezed out her swift justice upon the hapless lawbreaker.

    "You- forgot- your- change!"
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  3. [size=+1]It is a little-documented fact that the denizens of the small, out of the way and strangely shaped island of planet Earth, known locally as ‘the British’ or ‘those limey bastards’, apologise too much.

    Precisely what it is about the British psyche that drives them to offer consolation and an expression of remorse for every single slight offence or issue that may crop up is unknown and, given that in precisely five minutes and seven seconds ahead of where our story is at the Earth will be destroyed, will likely never be known. But the inhabitants of the small island, otherwise well-known for their bizarre love for an aromatic beverage prepared by adding cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant to hot water known as ‘tea’, cannot seem to help but apologise for every wrongdoing they might commit.

    Which is why, even as the pair of them were toppling to the ground in a confused blur of limbs, peanut packets and laxative flyers, Anthony Horwitzer was apologising to Maria Gonzalas quite profusely.

    Precisely two weeks prior to this sudden encounter, Anthony had met the being known to the denizens of the soon-to-be-destroyed Earth as Honda Civic in a small pub in England. To be exact, ‘The Crown & Sceptre’, a pub in which Anthony narrowly saved Honda from having his head caved in by a large and inebriated Scotsman named Jamie, over the perceived crime of Honda attempting a local mating ritual with the man’s girlfriend. Now Anthony found himself across the pond, as the saying on Earth goes, in the United States of America, a substantially larger island to the one he was born upon, and having just robbed a liquor store for five bottles of Jack Daniels and twelve bags of peanuts. The exact reasons for this act of petty larceny were unknown to him; he had long since resolved to ‘just run with’ whatever strange and mildly eccentric idea Civic happened to come up with, though he did not anticipate that this decision would result in this.

    Given the nature of Honda Civic, Anthony perhaps should have seen something like this coming.

    But then, Anthony was not the wisest amongst his species of ape-descendants.

    What he was also not anticipating was the mop, still slightly wet from the ‘Ms Scumfree’ floor cleaner it had been drenched in, being shoved into the confused pile of limbs that he was lying in. Apparently the cashier of the shop has taken it upon herself to avenge the honour of her employers by pursuing the pair of unusual shoplifters into the street. That he was caught is not surprising; Anthony was not a very good shoplifter. Unlike the twelve-armed rampaging Slurgle Monsters of Debilon Five he was not armed by evolution to have an unfair advantage at the crime, and unlike Honda Civic he had never read The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy’s unusual advice on shoplifting. In fact, he had never even heard of the guide at that point, though this would soon change. However, the presence of the mop amidst the confused heap that encompassed Anthony Horwitzer and Maria Gonzalas was not greatly appreciated, hence justifying his retort to Astrid Stuffy’s cry of,
    “You- forgot- your- change!”

    “Alright, love, keep your fucking hair on!” Anthony shouted back, attempting to remove Maria’s left arm from across his face whilst simultaneously trying to remove the foul-smelling mop from his shirt. He did not have time to mourn Astrid’s poor choice of macho-bravado in this situation, though later he would conclude that her passing over of some of the excellent alcohol-related puns and quips available was regrettable (“You’re JACK out of luck, friend!” was his personal favourite).

    At that moment he was simply eager to get free of the unfortunate Maria and escape the wrath of the mop-wielding Astrid.

    He had no idea what was going to occur in precisely four minutes and fifty-eight seconds.[/size]
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  4. David wasn't a remarkable ape descendent in any respect. His poor eyesight was corrected by shaped plastic suspended in a frame in front of his eyes and seeing his client Honda Civic running towards him waving around six bottles of what could only be drink trailing money behind him and screaming about towels his first reaction was to remove the frame-suspended plastic from his nose as if they were somehow responsible for the strange vision and sound reaching his senses.

    In the early morning his thoughts were usually sharp as a knife...

    "Fluffu here can't be responsabl..."


    "Excuse me?"

    David's first reaction that Honda running towards him away from what looked like a fight between team peanut and team mop with the latter winning waving no less than six bottle demanding David's towels would be surprising if it had been anyone but Honda doing it. His second reactions was mild surprise at his first.

    David wasn't a native of this particular region of the large island. He was in fact from so far north that the natives of this particular region would prefer it if we was from another island entirely.

    David's third reaction was to push the dog away from the door with his foot before more of it's body waste came from it's rear end. Some of the waste ended up on his shoe. This will come into play later.

    It wasn't because he planned to surrender his towels to an obviously drunk Honda that he opened the door to let him inside, it was because he was obviously too drunk to remain on the street.

    "Come in Hinda.. I'll get you some coffee."

    The kettle would only boil when the rest of the world did.

    "Your suit is a mess..."

    Four minutes thirty seconds before the kettle, and the earth, boiled.
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  5. Humanologists throughout the whole galaxy dedicated their time to the study of a certain ape-descending species, commonly known as 'humans'. The humanologist community probably will, in the near future, dedicate its time to the study of other issues, since the available amount of individuals of this species to be studied, namely, humans in their natural habitat, will be drastically reduced in aproximately some four minutes and a half. It is important to note that 99.9% of the whole population of this unremarkable species inhabits the planet in which Honda Civic was, at determined moment, performing the well-known recreational activity of shoplifting, or at least he was trying to, since his skill in such activity was, optimistically said, dubious.

    Based upon the information provided by humanologist experts, it is known that the human race is divided, mainly, in two subtypes; the male and the female. As an example of a female individual we can mention the case of Maria Gonzales, who was handing out laxative flyers at the entrance of a store which, exactly like two other stores throughout the whole galaxy, now had exactly five bottles of whisky and twelve salted peanut bags less than just a minute ago.

    Standing at the entrance of a store handing out flyers is considered, according to the experts, normal behavior among humans. Yelling out loud what the flyers had written on them, and coercing passerby to accept the flyers, through the use of physical force, was also regarded as normal behavior according to the experts. All this behavioral traits could be easily observed in Maria Gonzales, one 23rd of April in the morning, until an individual of the male type collided with her, in this case, another amateur shoplifter known as Anthony Horwitzer.

    The consequences of this collision are of interest not only to peanut bag physicists, but also to the humanologist's community. The phenomena that particularly draws their attention in this case is known as crush (note that the word crush does hold a whole different meaning for the physicists). This phenomena's cause is attributed to a chemical reaction in Maria's neural system which, just like the apes she is a descendant of, also has the characteristic of producing a series of substances called pheromones. Such substances play a key role in the alteration of the normal behavioral patterns of the individual, in this case, Maria Gonzales.

    Instead of standing up again and resume her task in handing out flyers, Maria now dedicates her whole attention to Anthony. We can see how she intertwines her legs with his, in an attempt to retain him for as much time as she can. She also wraps her left arm around his head, and laces her right arm across his shoulders, trying to increase as much as she can the contact between him and her, regardless of Anthony's opinion about it. She ignores Honda Civic, who has just ran past them; she also ignores another female, Astrid Stuffy, who is now yelling and poking at them with a mop. We can also perceive how Maria's voice softens, and how she lies.

    ''Oh! I'm so, so sorry! I'm so sorry! Please, forgive my clumsiness! I'm just trying to stand up again- oh, sorry!''

    If she had known what was about to happen in some four minutes and twenty-nine seconds, her hands would probably attempt to tear off Anthony's shirt, too. But she didn't know, she did not even suspect a single thing.
  6. For reasons that will not be immediately clear, the small dog that David Barthirst had just nudged away from his shop doorstep was suffering a somewhat remarkable case of diarrhea that morning. This was owed in part to the fact that it had recently swallowed a combined battlefield of Vl'hurg and G'Gugvuntt warships who had declared Planet Earth their common enemy after a freak misunderstanding with a wormhole. The combination of black jewelled battle shorts and sweet-smelling steam was not amenable to Fluffu's digestion and it was therefore in the process of excreting a million sleek and horribly beweaponed star cruisers which had been poised to unleash electric death only moments before realising their terrible miscalculation of scale.

    Those who study the complex interplay of cause and effect in the history of the Universe say that this sort of thing is going on all the time, but that we are powerless to prevent it. Just as David Barthirst was powerless to prevent the small dog from defecating on his doorstep.

    He was equally powerless to calm the eccentric ramblings of his recent customer, Honda Civic, who had just arrived with five bottles of Jack Daniels and demanded admission to his tailor's shop.

    "Ah, excellent," Civic remarked as he rushed to the shop counter and laid out the bottles side-by-side, unscrewing each cap. "Now, we'll need five of your finest towels, David, and on the double." He checked his cheap digital watch. "We have four minutes and nineteen seconds before the world ends."

    He turned from the counter, rubbing his hands with a satisfied smile. "Right, now for the peanuts."

    What Civic had failed to realise in that moment was that the peanuts in question were currently involved in an altercation with a mop-wielding shop clerk and an amorous laxative saleswoman. Civic could not have predicted this, of course, just as he could not have predicted the impending demolition of the earth to make way for a new hyperspace bypass, were it not for the reliable intelligence he had received last week. Unfortunately, that intelligence had not included any reference to his friend, Anthony Horwitzer, being unable to perform the basic principles of peanut-theft. As such, Civic's plan had suffered the first of many setbacks.

    With a frown Civic stepped past David and returned to the shop doorway. He looked across the road as the air was filled with the sound of strenuous dog farting.

    "Get a move on, Anthony! We only have three minutes and fifty-nine seconds before the world ends!"

    In the long and eventful history of encouraging remarks, this one is perhaps noteworthy as being unique to galactic history. No one has ever stated these exact words before - not even the Langrills of Fevrelon Nine, who were known for their annoying habit of announcing the time every five seconds, even when their own sun was going supernova. The Langrills counted down their impending doom in five second intervals, such was their commitment to good timekeeping.

    Unfortunately, in the Langrill's native tongue, it takes six seconds to say the words 'We only have five seconds before the world ends.'. And so the whole affair was deemed rather pointless, and instead of being remembered as the race who kept perfect time, they were known as the race that really shouldn't have bothered.
  7. [size=+1]The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy sadly does not yet have an entry on disengaging yourself from the grapple of a flyer distributor whilst simultaneously attempting to escape from a mop-wielding shop clerk.

    Not that it would have been much assistance to Anthony at this point in our story even if it did, as he was yet to read the truly remarkable book.

    Untangling himself from the person of Maria Gonzales was proving to be a more difficult task than he might have imagined it being, largely due to Miss Gonzales being somewhat unwilling to let go of the shoplifter she had collided with. Matters were made worse by the presence of the mop, which was still being shoved into this rather awkward engagement by Astrid and making the whole thing even more complicated than it needed to be.

    The presence of mops in such entanglements is rarely welcome, after all, unless you are attending one of the infamous mop orgies of Hesperos VI. Which would be going against the advice given by the guide; the entry on attending such an event simply reads “Don’t”.

    However, despite Maria’s efforts and the mop, Anthony did successfully manage to pull himself free of the situation and get to his feet, snatching up as many of the bags of stolen peanuts that he could. Though now free of Maria, the mop-wielding Astrid still presented something of a health hazard. The effects of ‘Ms Scumfree’ on the human anatomy have never been comprehensively analysed, but Anthony was quite positive he did not want to be the pioneer of this field of study. Thus he was about to continue making off with his ill-gotten peanuts.

    This was when Honda Civic uttered the cry of,
    “Get a move on, Anthony! We only have three minutes and fifty-nine seconds before the world ends!”

    This was the third strangest thing Anthony had ever heard Civic say at this point in our story.

    Still, following his previous decision about ‘just running with’ whatever Civic happened to throw at him, Anthony decided to put to one side the strangeness of this statement and do as he was told, shouting a final “I’m terribly sorry!” over his shoulder before starting to run after his friend.

    It was at that point three minutes and fifty-five seconds until the Earth was destroyed, and all across the small, backwater blue and green planet people were starting to take note of the rather unusual objects that had appeared in the sky. Anthony was yet to notice them, however, as he was still focusing on escaping the wrath of the mop.

    This was probably for the best as he likely would have suffered from a panic attack if he had caught sight of them, thus causing yet another setback to Civic’s plan.[/size]
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  8. Astrid Stuffy, as it would so happen, was neither pleased nor fooled by the performance of Maria Gonzales. Being a talented and aspiring actress herself (regardless of her woefully undervalued career, and of her portfolio consisting almost entirely of the series of "Ms. Scumfree" advertisements in which she had starred), it was not difficult for her to tell when someone was, as the Earth phrase went, "laying it on thick". (Much as Maria was quite literally laying atop Anthony Horowitz, and how- as Anthony undoubtedly knew by now- parts of her female anatomy were generous in the thickness department.) The reason for Astrid's displeasure related to another principle of human biology, in that she would much prefer that she was the one smashing her front-parts against those of a fine male specimen of the species. The fact that Astrid Stuffy was a bit of a prude and couldn't conceive it within herself to be so forward was, to her mind, quite missing the point.

    She was also grossly underestimating her untapped potential to be a blatant hussy, as we will later find.

    To this end, she was mildly relieved when Anthony contrived to escape Maria's clutches, for precisely 3.579 seconds before realizing that he was running away again. This would be the time where Astrid should have simply taken herself and her mop and the wads of cash tucked in her bosom back into the store, admitting defeat, and called the authorities. Of course, this not what Astrid did. Astrid really was the worst sort of employee.

    Instead, she gave pursuit, practically tripping over the unsuccessfully seductive Maria on the way. She also continued to brandish the mop, which leaked "Ms. Scumfree" onto the asphalt of the street as she crossed it, and then onto a small canine individual known by the moniker of "Fluffu" (This was not, in Fluffu's opinion, its true name. Its true name was something that could be approximated in transcription as Rrrowrrrgrryip, and it was revolted by the name Fluffu as much as its digestive tract currently revolted against the battling armadas which it had inadvertently swallowed and which were making a right mess of David Barthist's storefront steps. However, its owner had dubbed it Fluffu and it always just sort of stuck; so, for purposes of this story, it is better to simply stick to Fluffu.) The animal barked, shook vigorously, and emptied its bowels again as Astrid rushed by, hot on Anthony's heels.

    This was the most physical exertion that Astrid had endured since the fateful event of her last birthday, upon which her peers had convinced her to attempt the human mating ritual known as "clubbing", an act which involves wearing as little as possible and gyrating to press one's body up against members of the opposite sex, simulating the act of copulation, in hopes of meeting someone who will respect you as an individual in the morning. The logic of this has eluded experts for centuries. It had also eluded Astrid, but not until after waking up to disappointment and a loss of respect for herself.

    Of course, Astrid was unaware that in three minutes and forty-eight seconds, the planet would be demolished, and that then her parent's constant questions about when she would settle down with a nice young man would be as meaningless as chasing after a shoplifter with a mop.
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  9. If David has has a Beltruvian megaradar triphased emitter or really any other kind of megaradar triphased emitter if would have been screaming it's mechanical head off and then promptly ended its own existence. Not because of the mind numbingly boring and inexplicably ugly fleet of ships gathering overhead but because it would have been ignored by the ape descendant who had never felt the rays of the purple Beltrunian sun or felt the pink grass beneath his feet. And he has never, ever, seen a Beltrunian. Which would explain why there is no lateral scaring on the part of the brain known to their scientists as the visual cortex. This would change soon enough.

    David however was trill ignoring the megaradar triphased emitter he didn't have and was attempting to remove the battle armada from his shoes, fruitlessly. It should be noted that the grand admiral ended his days battling the fungus spores that were also trapped under David's shoe. It should also be noted that the hitchhicker's guide has an entire chapter devoted to where the humans knows as Canadians keep their towels. It has however been misfiled under Vogon poetry and anyone who ever gets to read it has has their mind's shattered by the infamous 5th rendition of Gorga's poem about trout. The same rendition the guide goes on to explain caused an entire planer of sponges to blow their own planet up when they heard Gorga was in a good mood and heading their way.

    David has never read the guide. If he had he would know that his towels were meant to be in a laundry cupboard possibly under the stairs. The guide takes no responsibility for being wrong in the case of this particular Canadian and explains to all those who take exception that the deepest lake in galaxy is on the planet Zeptor 3 and it costs only a single leaf of the mudpalm tree to go and jump in it.

    None of this does anything to explain why Davis was confused by Honda's behavior.


    He stood there as his mind wondered though all the possibilities of what would merit such a collection of words to be placed in that order. Especially when he had what were plainly five bottle of stolen Jack Daniels sitting opened on his counter. "Behind the counter."

    It was at this point that David decided it would be best to get Honda out of his shop as quickly as possible especially if the beard and the women were following him, though it the world was going to end it hardly seemed like it mattered. He gathered and armful of towels and bumped them next to the bottles already on the counter.

    Or maybe the world ending was Horda's way of saying they'd all get drunk and kill themselves with peanuts.
  10. It is safe to assume, or to at least ponder over whether one may be right or wrong but going with their thought anyway, that all elderly women and men in their mid 40's are deaf to the important. Predominately of course, the insignificant blue-green planet was chock full of the two and none more so than the other. There was an inseparable balance between middle aged male ape-descendants and overly-aged females of the same species that none could explain, not even the one's spoken of. So, to compensate for lack of focus, the people of the tiny planet called Earth have created what is known as a To-Do List. These To-Do Lists are quite useful to a certain extent: an extent that tampers with the mind and challenges the will to 'do.' The first task, and always the most important among these old ladies and whiskey-laden men is to remember to purchase the To-Do List. In itself, the task is quite difficult and has also been proven to fail, dutifully explaining the large stock of graying tablets in a convenience store. No cut back on pricing can ever help these poor souls remember to purchase something to help their memory.

    Ramona Tarp had forgotten that.

    Stranger even, or even stranger, the young girl had forgotten for sure that she was no where near the age range or hormonal state as those two people which we have mentioned before, leaving more room for the grey area to branch out in. To blame her forgetful nature on stress would cradle heavy consequences in its grasp. For example, let's say one is stressed out of over their lack of vegetable oil. The concoction, as unnecessary as it may seem, is graciously needed to complete any greasy meal that is made by these humans. Grease is a primary factor in the human body and can heed very positive resorts. Of course, that is another plot for another time, but let's say we stick with this person. This person is neither middle-aged male nor decrepit female, automatically giving their existence a tiny little plus beside their name. This person in particular has a stress level of a negative -1, which is presumably above average to the race, so we will put another plus.

    Then again, two pluses make a minus, which is very good leeway to stress over lack of vegetable oil.

    This person, a Romona Tarp if you will, has a good mind if you take away the lingering, bold negative symbol next to her mind. A good mind that called for a good decision making in her favor: ditch the old lady for a refund. If you recall earlier, it is believed that elderly woman and middle aged men are very immune to listening to the important things publicized in the highly mass-producing life that is 'the American Dream', and such woman has been already stereotyped and classified, a sad fate. It would be false to believe that Romona abandoned the house of 91 year old Mrs.Pattsy due to the stereotypes. That would be utterly absurd or otherwise praised upon in such countries as Venezuela and Holand. The real reason why she left the old lady waiting idly next to a powered garbage disposal was simply for a refund.

    The Guide had nothing down on what to do when one forgot to grab one more gallon of Felix's Vegetable Oil. There were To-Do Lists for that sort of thing.

    However, Romona knew nothing of the Guide, of the nature of her missing gallon, or of the fate of poor, forgetful Mrs.Pattsy. In fact, if one would be so kind as to say that Romona had a one-tracked mind, Romona had already planned everything out. Exactly three minutes and twenty-six seconds before the world ended in an abrupt stop, Romona Tarp would be receiving $3.79, a horribly printed out receipt, a gallon of vegetable oil, and an obituary. That is what made her different from elderly females and men such as the ones tumbling in the middle of the street: she remembered the important things.
  11. There is another trait also studied by Humanologists, and that is competition. Again, Maria Gonzales would prove a good subject of study if there was any behavioral humanologist around to notice her, because she was feeling competitive at the moment. She needed to prove the other female, Astrid Stuffy, that despite her not being blonde, thin, and despite her lacking any sort of previous experience in any television commercial, she could still be just as worthy, if not more, of a fine male specimen's attention. Unfortunately, the only behavioral humanologist around had just died seven seconds ago in a war that was taking place inside a canine intestinal tract, so Maria's actions were to remain unnoticed for the scientific community. That was about to change.

    She stood up, tucked her hair behind her ear, looked at the floor with a desperate expression, and noticed a peanut bag that was left behind by Anthony, the male whom she wanted to impress. She picked it from the floor in less than a second, and started running after him. Maria's self-esteem raised a little as she noticed, also, that even though she was an average runner, she was faster than Astrid, the female whom she wanted to humilliate.

    ''WE ALSO HAVE DISCOUNTS ON ACTIVATED CARBON PILLS,'' she yelled at the dog whose real name was something close to Rrrowrrrgrryip, as she ran, crossing the street after Astrid. Maria was not taking into account two things; one, that dogs cannot, or at least are not allowed to, perform any commercial transactions anywhere on Earth; and second, that if the dog commonly referred as Fluffu was to take, and swallow, the previously mentioned pills, it would only stimulate and enrage the fighting Vl'hurg and G'Gugvuntt warships even more, and thus only worsening Rrrowrrrgrryip's bowel problem.

    She did, however, take into account the fact that the pharmacy was not supposed to sell any human medicine for animal consumption, but she did not care.

    Maria reached David Barthirst's shop. She entered, previously stepping over some dog fecal matter and warships. Quickly she reached Astrid and gave her a slight push to the side as she ran past, getting her out of her way. Maria collided her front with Anthony's back, successfully holding onto him once again in another embrace, this time however, less messy than the previous one at the store entrance.

    ''Oh, sorry! I just followed you because- here! You forgot this bag of peanuts!'' she yelled, as she grinned, waving the peanut bag in the air only three minutes and sixteen seconds before the end of their unremarkable world.

  12. "Ah, thank you." Civic slid from the counter and snatched the bag of peanuts from Maria. He also picked up the peanuts that Anthony had just dropped, having been bear-hugged by an amorous laxative saleswoman.

    It should be noted that this is not the purpose for which bear hugs were invented, nor the purpose for which laxative saleswomen are employed. It should also be noted that, three paragraphs from now, the purposes which Honda Civic will ascribe to the five bottles of Jack Daniels, twelve bags of peanuts and seven blue and white striped bath towels will also not be their original uses. But as an inter-planetary hitchhiker, one must learn to be resourceful.

    Incidentally, the phrase 'as an inter-planetary hitchhiker, one must learn to be resourceful' was originally included on the back-cover of the first edition of the Hitchhiker's Guide to Galaxy, but was later removed when the inhabitants of Beltrunia pulped forty-nine thousand copies of the book and added it to their oatmeal exports. The ensuing spate of ink poisonings caused bad publicity for the Guide, and even worse publicity for the Beltruvian tourist industry.

    "Aaagh! The mop lady!" Civic cried upon noticing the second woman behind Anthony. He promptly took the rest of his life savings from his suit pocket and hurled them in Astrid's face. With the vengeful clerk foiled in the shower of bills for a few more seconds, he turned and smiled at David whilst indicating the strange collection of objects on his shop counter.

    "Muscle relaxants plus salt and protein replenishment. Should mitigate the effects of the Transference Beam."

    He didn't explain what the towels were for. That would have taken far too long. He only had two minutes and fifty three seconds left before the world was demolished by a Vogon Constructor Fleet. Unscrewing the first bottle, he began guzzling the contents whilst passing a second bottle to David.

  13. "Alright, what the hell is going on?" Astrid demanded, upon spitting out the bill that had been flung straight into her face and had wound up in her already-open mouth. Which, frankly, was a little disgusting, as Astrid knew very well that paper money was almost always covered in dangerous recreational substances as well as human by-products. (If she had read the Guide, she would be aware of a third and even less pleasant substance commonly inhabiting the crevices of two-dimensional presidents' faces. But Astrid Stuffy did not, at this point, know any more about this marvelous book than Anthony, Maria, or David; that is to say, she knew Jack shit. What an ape descendent with a name diminutive of John and his excretions had to do with anything was a question for the humanologists. Of course, hardly anyone asked them. Even other humanologists.) (It should also be noted that this is not the purpose of bills, unless you are a female of a certain career path, and Astrid would most vehemently object to being lumped in that category.)

    Scientific points of interest aside, Astrid was at present looking around at the other occupants of David Barthist's shop as if to ask them all, Have you gone batshit?

    "...Have you gone batshit?" Keeping thoughts to herself had never been Astrid's strong suit. And when she saw Civic begin to chug Jack Daniels with all of the alacrity at which a Frillian Gorggnasher in heat gnashes Gorgs (which is, incidentally, not a pretty sight), she found herself further crying out, "And you can't just drink that in a public place! There are laws!"

    That last sentence was added in a manner that implied Civic was unaware of the existence of said legislature. Astrid was beginning to suspect that might very well be the case. Of course, laws on Earth would cease to have a point in precisely two minutes and forty-two seconds, but Astrid was still blissfully unaware of this fact. If there was a good time to explain it to her, now was the time. On the other hand, she was beginning to eye the whiskey longingly, so perhaps things would simply develop at a natural pace regardless of available information.
  14. [size=+1]For the second time in the final minutes leading up to the end of the Earth, Anthony found himself in the sudden embrace of Maria Gonzales.

    This time, fortunately, things were a little less of a confusing flurry of limbs, the amount of peanuts involved in the encounter was drastically down and there was also the welcome absence of the mop dipped in ‘Ms. Scumfree’ floor cleaner. Anthony was quietly thankful for these facts as Maria waved a bag of peanuts in his face with a large grin.
    “Oh, sorry! I just followed you because- here! You forgot this bag of peanuts!'”
    “Uh… cheers?” Anthony was rather at a loss for what to say. Never before had he encountered such a determination to return a stolen packet of store-brand peanuts before.

    At this point his good friend Honda Civic intervened, snatching up the bag of peanuts. It should be noted that at this moment in time, Anthony was completely unaware of the fact that Civic was not from Cornwall as he had previously claimed, but was in fact born on a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse. Whether this was because Honda Civic was an adept at blending into the culture of Earth or because for the two weeks he had known him Anthony had more often than not been under the heavy influence of alcohol is unknown.

    Given Civic’s tendency towards petty larceny despite having plenty of the local currency and his habit of mentioning the fact the world was going to end, however, it is quite reasonable to assume the latter.

    Incidentally, Civic was not wrong about his predictions regarding the end of the world; it was ending in precisely two minutes and fifty seconds. This made Civic the second individual on the planet to accurately predict the end of the Earth. The only other successful doomsday-predictor was in fact a small, middle-aged man called Jeffrey who was currently lying on the floor of his local pub with a paper bag over his head, having made his prediction precisely a minute before.

    The application of paper bags to the head during the event of an apocalypse has never been proven to be of any benefit in the situation.

    At this moment in David Barthirst’s shop Astrid Stuffy reappeared, brandishing her mop and provoking Civic to hurl yet more local currency at her in a vain attempt at placation. Anthony managed to disengage himself from the form of Maria around the time Astrid began questioning the sanity of all present and reprimanding Honda Civic for his violation of local customs by drinking in a public place. This local law is in fact the total opposite of legislation in effect on the large tropical world of Galamond IV, infamous for it’s wild parties. Laws there make it an offence to drink in private; all alcohol must be consumed in public (defined as a place where there are at least six others present). Even stranger, the authorities of Galamond IV actually attempt to have their security officials enforce this law.

    Civic had set up the peanuts and whisky on the counter of the store and was liberally drinking from the first bottle of Jack Daniels.
    “Muscle relaxants plus salt and protein replenishment,” he explained in a tone which seemed to assume what he just said made perfect sense, “should mitigate the effects of the Transference Beam.” This, too, was delivered without any indication that Civic thought these words strange, reminding Anthony of his previous decision to ‘just run with it’. This, he decided, was an excellent decision in hindsight, and he should applaud himself for it later; snatching up a handful of peanuts and taking a swig from the second bottle of Jack Daniels.

    “C’mon, love, lighten up.” He offered the bottle to Astrid. “It’s not like it’s the end of the world, is it?”[/size]

  15. David Barthirst had by not given up on the ritual known to human and 'keeping your head' and was just staring at the collection of people in his shop who by all appearances were not there to get fittings.

    "This is my shop.." he said in case there was any indication it wasn't. There wasn't but stating the obvious has among humans and a certain kind of red-spotted rodent from the backwaters of Sirius Beta been known to have the appearance of being in control. Something holding a bottle of Jack Daniels in on hand having been handed it by Honda and his glasses and a packet of peanuts in the other (he didn't even remember being given the peanuts) went a long was to contradict.

    All this had a very odd effect on David's brain. Slowly a thought slipped out of his ear and began drifting upwards towards the fleet looming overhead. It should be noted that the guide recommends application of a bablefish to the affected ear to prevent any further invisible thought leakages. The though was a simple and uncomplicated one but one that would, ten thousand years after it fist escaped David's ear would cause the deaths of an entire special of sentient ferns in a war over it's meaning.

    'This must be what going mad feels like.'

    "Right, that would be too convenient."

    He had never met any of Honda's other friends but took a long drink from the bottle in the vain hope that things would make more sense afterwards. They didn't so he toot a second to make sure it wasn't a fluke. When that only had the effect of his throat screaming in protest he sent a third down to tell it to shut up. Then as if it was the only thing he could think of he took a fourth.

    Things were not making any more sense. So in the spirit of continuing a failing method he made his way to the glass door to push it closed and flipped the sign over to read closed from the outside.. it was then that he saw something preposterously ugly looming though the clouds.


    He took a fifth... exactly two minutes and twenty two seconds before the world ended.

  16. Coincidentally, none of the other fools seemed to notice the fool walking into the store that contained not one living soul. It did, however, harbor the souls of others who have died in the very spot the store was constructed in. In truth, history tells of a string of business along the strip of where all of the blundering earth creatures were. These business were, to say the least, very unsuccessful. Excluding the paradox, these buildings in topic were a bank, a children's day care, and a Felix's Vegetable Oil Company. Instead of focusing particularly on each business individually, history, with its crafty claws, decided to put them together in a bundling bind of irony. Romona Tarp did not know about the irony of the situation, nor the current time.
    What she did know was that there was no clerk in the store to issue her a refund.

    "This is bull shit." Actually, it may have been dog feces instead, but whether the fact that she said it aloud while walking out of the store, seeing the drinking party by the other humans, and a dog reliving itself on a doorstep, Romona had called it wrong. It was not bull shit at all. Nothing is ever bull shit for there is no place for bulls and bison to reside anywhere near the city she and the others were in. There is a saying, "Never judge a book by its cover," and that saying, in a sense, is bull shit. Particularly, the Guide is judged to be what it is, a guide to the galaxy. Who in their right mind would judge it to be a children's book or a book of poems? If there is no judgement in play, then it leaves a gaping hole for insane and idiotic opinions to come into play. One Honda Civic was easily judged by Romona, and all from one sentence:
    "We have four minutes and nineteen seconds before the world ends."

    The peanuts and whiskey effects during the Transference Beam would have to pause. Romona had found the clerk.

    Go back, if you will, to the string of business mentioned earlier. The children's center came to an abrupt stop when they could no longer gather any more funding from the rest of the city. These humans in statement were bank tellers who had a salary to maintain, and nothing in the students nursery rhyme books would prepare them for the last minute and fifty-third second of the ending of the tiny planet. All it did was instruct them to try green eggs and ham. That will come of some use later. The bank met it's demise by a fire that spread from the first horribly altered marble column to every little paper currency inside it. The town, of course, was in an absolute uproar over the burning paper. They carved signs out of larger pieces of paper, taped smaller pieces of paper to the larger paper in demands for receiving more of the tinier pieces of copper paper that perished in flames.

    The flame was caused by Felix's Vegetable Oil leak.

    "Hey, you. I need my money." Romona said, waving her receipt high into the air to compensate for her lack of vision to the dark, wooning blobs of the Vogon Construcotr Fleet. The little flimsy piece of paper that had a printed FELIX'S VEGETABLE OIL X2 $6.54, THANK YOU HAVE A GREAT DAY was visible to Romona, but not from choice. Her bifocals were maximized exceeding to help her psychologically in fact. Human eyesight was not as well developed as many other species she did not know of yet, but Romona's was slightly below average to the human race. Her vision was fair, but common sense was lacking. Too many time she was a victim of hindsight bias so she figured she'd wear the ridiculous glasses to get a better view in her 'mind's eye'. There was no longer any room for hindsight bias.

    "Get a move on, Anthony! We only have three minutes and fifty-nine seconds before the world ends!"

    I knew it.

    "Lady. Give that money, now, please."she snapped, this time, waving the receipt frantically as if the world would continue to exist regardless of how soon she received her $3.79.
  17. For reasons we are not going to dwell into, Maria Gonzales was now sitting over the counter.
    This had nothing to do with the fact that Anthony had successfully managed to break free from her grasp for the second time during that day.

    It is a good moment to mention that Maria Gonzales was not a person that gave up easily regarding matters such as laxative commerce and obtaining the amorous attentions of a male of her same species. It is also a good moment to highlight that she was by no means a person accustomed to the consumption of relaxing and psychoactive substances, such as alcohol and peanuts, although peanuts only have these effects on butterfly-descending species and not on ape-descending ones such as Maria.

    It is also a good moment to remember that she had, in that precise instant, dog faeces on the sole of her shoe. This is completely irrelevant to the effect that the psychoactive and relaxing substance, namely, the whiskey, was about to take on her. The guide does not include an entry up until now about the possible advantages and disadvantages in remembering the content of a human's shoe soles right after mentioning her alcohol-drinking habits.

    Seeing that Anthony was not giving her the attention she sought after, and that he was, instead, establishing a conversation that included the word love and an invitation to ingest alcoholic drinks with her female opponent, Maria saw herself in the need to change her courtship methods. She was now about to try to fraternize with her rival in an attempt to confuse and distract her. This has been proven to be a waste of time by the Langrills of Fevrelon Nine, but the records that supported this evidence were completely lost with the end of their world.

    Taking one of the whiskey bottles that were on the counter, Maria placed its open end on her mouth, and started to drink in the same fashion a newborn calf drinks milk. This is important, as it would prove to be the cause of a remarkable change in her facial physiognomy later on. After seven seconds of this uninterrupted beverage consumption, she stopped, and looked at Astrid.

    ''Yeah, love, that's right! You do look like you could use either a drink or a laxative'', she said to her, with a wide smile on her face.

    Smiling whilst attempting to fraternize has been proven to increase the chances of making friends in the majority of civilized species that are able to smile. Smiling whilst mentioning a rival's need for a drink or a laxative, has not. Maria Gonzales ignored this, just as much as she ignored the existence of the guide.

    Exactly one minute and fourty-one seconds before the end of the world, Maria proceeded to open a bag of peanuts and ingest its contents.

    ''We ffdo haff difscountfs ommn lakshhatiffs,'' she added, still addressing to Astrid, as she spat diminute pieces of peanuts in a radius of one metre in front of her.

  18. At the precise moment in which Maria Gonzales uttered the words: ''We ffdo haff difscountfs ommn lakshhatiffs,'', precisely four billion, seven hundred and forty two million, five hundred and nine thousand, two hundred and forty two ape-descendents were gathered on the streets, fields and mountainsides of their blue-green planet. They were staring up at the large and rather ugly shapes of the Vogon Constructor Fleet that had just arrived. A further two billion, ninety-four million, eight hundred and eighty-four thousand, five hundred and seven ape-descendents had taken shelter underground, which they thought a prudent move given that the sun had just been eclipsed by giant blobs of metal. Unfortunately, these individuals would, in fact, have had a slightly increased chance of survival had they merely stayed on the surface and placed paper bags over their heads.

    Of the remaining three million, one hundred and thirteen thousand, two hundred and thirty four indigenous humans, two had already left the planet in an entirely separate and second-rate adventure, and five were assembled in David Barthirst's tailoring shop.

    The rest were eaten by a Gorglethirst Destroyer-Monkey in an unrelated interdimensional attack that occurred precisely seven seconds before the end of the world. Gorglethirst Destroyer-Monkeys are notorious for their bad timing.

    "People of Earth, this is Prostetnic Vogon
    Jeltz of the Galactic Hyperspace planning council.
    As you are probably aware, plans for the
    development of the outlying regions of the
    galaxy involve the building of a hyperspace
    express route through your star system..."

    "Wha' wa shat?" shouted Anthony as the loudest voice in motion picture history echoed through the streets.

    "Oh, jus' a Vogon forma'ity." replied Honda Civic as leaned against the counter.

    "...and, unfortunately, your planet is one
    of those scheduled for demolition. The process
    will take slightly less than two of your Earth
    minutes. Thank you."

    "Demo..lisshun?" repeated David.

    "Yesh, they're gonna blew up th' planeht." Civic was stuffing the bags of peanuts into his trouser pockets.

    "Tha's...really mean..." replied Maria.

    From outside came the sound of disappointment. The people on the streets had taken to yelling at the large ugly bits of metal that were hovering over them. But their protests were soon drowned out by the loud voice from above.

    "There's no point in acting all surprised
    about it. The plans and demolition orders
    have been on display at your local planning
    office in Alpha Centauri for fifty of your
    Earth years, so you've had plenty of time
    to lodge formal complaints."

    "What the hell?" cried Astrid and Romona in unison from the other end of the shop. Their outburst promptly caused Honda Civic to rush at them with the remaining bottle of Jack Daniels, which he proceeded to spray over them as best he could. "THA'S NO TIME!!!"

    "What do you mean you've never been to
    Alpha Centauri? Oh, for heaven's sake
    mankind, it's only four light years away
    you know. I'm sorry, but if you can't be
    bothered to take an interest in local
    affairs that's your own lookout."

    Honda took a slap to the face from Astrid and dropped the remaining bottle of Jack Daniels amid the pile of dollar bills he had previously thrown at her. Most female ape descendents, Civic had found, were rather grateful to be showered in booze and money. But not Astrid. She had proven herself a very special person whom Civic was therefore glad to rescue from her impending doom.

    And the other girl...well... she had rather interesting glasses, and because Civic was feeling unusually generous in his drunken state.

    "GAVVER ROUND, MAH FRENS!" he cried before snatching up the bundle of towels and stumbling through the door. He promptly slipped on a pile of dog poo and landed on his back in the middle of the road, the towels and peanuts scattered around him. He was holding up his thumb at the giant blob of metal floating overhead and around his thumb was an odd ring which proceeded to make bloopy noises and flash blappy lights.

    "Apathetic bloody planet, I've no sympathy
    at all. Energize the demolition beams."

    According to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy there are very few moments in existence when huddling around a drunken man while his thumb makes bloopy noises is essential to surviving a planetary apocalypse.

    Thankfully, this was one of those moments.
  19. [size=+1]‘Vogons’, says the Hitchhiker’s Guide, ‘are one of the most unpleasant races in the Galaxy; not actually evil, but bad-tempered, officious and callous. They wouldn't even lift a finger to save their own grandmothers from the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal without orders signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, queried, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters.’

    It also strongly urges you not to let a Vogon read you poetry. This will become extremely relevant later in our story.

    As has been mentioned, however, Anthony was yet to read the Guide, and so the sudden sound of the loudest voice he had ever heard declaring the Earth’s imminent demolition came as something of a shock to him. He decided to deal with this shock in the only means available to him at the time; by eating another handful of peanuts and washing them down with a swig of Jack Daniel’s. It should be noted that Anthony had ceased to enjoy the consumption of whiskey since the aftermath of his 18th birthday, but given that the world was going to end in precisely one minute and forty-eight seconds now was not the time to be picky.

    Honda Civic was currently in the process of urging the assembled group outside whilst spraying Astrid and the new arrival, Ramona, with whiskey, all the while slurring confirmations that all present were not currently under some mass-hallucination due to imbibing too much whiskey and that the world was indeed about to end. Whether due to shock, the impact of a considerable of whiskey in a short space of time or any combination of the two, Anthony felt he was taking this news rather well as he sprinted outside with the remaining bottle and packet of peanuts.

    Out on the street Anthony could see for himself the large, ugly pieces of metal floating in the sky from which the voice was emanating from. Horwitzer’s Rule (namely, to just run with whatever Honda Civic came up with) was tested somewhat by Civic making strange gestures towards the strange metal objects with a strange bloopy device upon his thumb, but a swift drink of Jack Daniel’s put any questions he had to one side.

    After all, there were strange metal objects in the sky heralding the end of the world.

    Now really was not the time to bother the one man who seemed to know what he was doing in such a situation.[/size]

  20. David was leaning on the glass when it suddenly turned into a sound board and yelled at him bating his drop his bottle and it smashed on the floor of the shop and he stumbled into one of the people behind him as the general rush seemed to be to get outside.. towards the 2nd most ugly things in the universe, the ugliest being the Vogons that built them.

    "Wait whot ab.." he was carried with the others into he street pointing up at the fleet waiting to boil up to this point had been the only planet he had eve set foot on.

    He was mildly aware that his towels were lying around in the street and made to gather them while holding tightly onto his peanuts which at this moment seemed like the thing to do. He there had been a paper bag available to would gladly have exchanged his peanuts for it and stuck it over his head but all paper bags at the moment seemed determined to be somewhere else. Sirius Beta as it turned out all but one having been rescued by the society for the preservation of paper products the previous week and the unlucky one to be left behind was already occupied.

    David ignorant of all of this dumped the towels on a pile on pot of Honda Civic and then stood swaying slightly looking at the group, then at the ships, then at the man in the street in front of him, then across the street where a vagrant who he remembered chasing away from his shop several time was holding up a sign looking smug. the sign bore four words crudely painted on in white paint. "I told you so."

    One minute before the end of the world and Davis uttered his last words he would ever say on his home world. Unremarked and unrecorded in the passage of time. "Wait.. I forgot my keys."