While I'm typing this thread, Germany is already good half an hour into this year's
Towel Day - May 25.
Some of you might be asking themselves what the hell that is supposed to be, and why you should care.
First of all, Towel Day is a day where the world shows their appreciation and pays tribute to the famous author Douglas Adams. Adams died on May 11 in 2001, and two weeks after his death, the first ever annual Towel Day was celebrated.
Douglas Adams? Maybe the name rings a bell already, but here it comes:
He wrote The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which spans a radio comedy series, a 'trilogy of five books', a TV series, even a movie adaption and lots of other stuff. It is quite popular and should be a title most science fiction fans are popular all too familiar.
Shortly after Adams's death, a post found its way onto the Internet:
Towel Day: A Tribute to Douglas Adams Monday 14 May 2001 06:00am PDT
Douglas Adams will be missed by his fans worldwide. So that all his fans everywhere can pay tribute to this genius, I propose that two weeks after his passing (25 May 2001) be marked as "Towel Day". All Douglas Adams fans are encouraged to carry a towel with them for the day.
So long Douglas, and thanks for all the fish!
— D Clyde Williamson, 2001-05-14
Now, 'Why a towel?', you might be asking. It is a question best answered by quoting the Hitchhiker's Guide itself:
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 hitch hiker 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.
If you're a fan, or simply want to have a good Saturday afternoon and maybe do something crazy, you should definitely check out the list of internationally planned Towel Day activities on towelday.org. There's probably something going on near you! Maybe you haven't heard of Douglas Adams or the Hitchhiker's yet, but if this post made you curious, please check Adams's Goodreads page.
Lastly, I invite you to post pictures of your towels on this thread!