The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy quotes

27 total quotes (ID: 760)

Arthur Dent
Dialogues
Marvin
Other characters
The Book/Narrator
Trillian
Zaphod Beeblebrox


So much for the laws of physics....


[as they are gazing at the wonder of Magrathea] Incredible... it's even worse than I thought it would be.

I could calculate your chance of survival, but you won't like it.

Hey Trill, are you wearin' my underwear? 'Cause I'm wearin' yours, and it ain't doin' the trick.

It's an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem. For instance, on the planet Earth, Man had always assumed that he was the most intelligent species occupying the planet, instead of the third most intelligent. The second most intelligent creatures were, of course, Dolphins, who, curiously enough, had long known of the impending destruction of the planet. They'd made many attempts to alert mankind to the danger, but most of their communications were misinterpreted as amusing attempts to punch footballs or whistle for tidbits. So, they eventually decided they would leave Earth by their own means. The last ever Dolphin message was misinterpreted as a surprisingly sophisticated attempt to do a double backwards somersault through a hoop while whistling The Star-Spangled Banner, but in fact the message was this: "So long, and thanks for all the fish."

The extraordinary story of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy begins very simply, it begins with a man. An Earthman, to be precise. Who no more knows his destiny, than a tea leaf knows the history of the East India Company. His name is Arthur Dent. He is a five-foot-eight-inch-tall ape descendant, and someone is trying to drive a bypass through his house.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book - perhaps the most remarkable, certainly the most successful, book ever to come out of the great publishing corporations of Ursa Minor. More popular than the Celestial Homecare Omnibus, better selling than 53 Things to Do in Zero Gravity, and more controversial than Oolon Colluphid's trilogy of philosophical blockbusters - Where God Went Wrong, Some More of God's Greatest Mistakes, and Who is This God Person Anyway? It has already supplanted the great Encyclopedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for two important reasons. First, it is slighty cheaper; and second, it has the words DON'T PANIC written in large, friendly letters on its cover.

Vogons are one of the most unpleasant races in the galaxy. Not actually evil, but bad-tempered, bureaucratic, officious, and callous. They wouldn't even lift a finger to save their own grandmothers from the ravenous Bug-Blatter Beast of Traal without orders signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, lost, found, queried, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighter. On no account should you allow a Vogon to read poetry to you.

Vogon poetry is widely accepted as the third worst in the Universe. The second worst is that of the Azgoths of Khria. During a recitation by their Poet-Master Grunthos the Flatulent of his poem Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in My Armpit One Midsummer Morning, four of his audience died of internal haemorrhaging, and the President of the Mid-Galactic Arts Nobbling Council survived by gnawing one of his own legs off. The absolute worst poetry was written by Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings of Sussex. Luckily, it was destroyed when the Earth was.

"Space," says the introduction to The Hitchhiker's Guide, "is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is." A-a-and so on. It also says that if you hold a lungful of air, you can survive in the total vacuum of space for about 30 seconds. But with space being really big and all, the chances of being picked up within that time are 22,079,460,347 to one against. Strangely, this is also the telephone number of an Islington flat where Arthur Dent went to a fancy dress party, and met a very nice young woman whom he totally blew it with. Though the planet Earth, the Islington flat and the telephone have all now been demolished, it is comforting to reflect that they are all, in some small way, commemorated by the fact that 29 seconds later, Arthur and Ford were, in fact, rescued.

The Encyclopedia Galactica, in its chapter on love, states that it is far too complicated to define. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has this to say on the subject of love: "Avoid, if at all possible." Unfortunately, Arthur Dent has never read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

The Point-of-View gun conveniently does precisely what its name suggests. That is, if you point it at someone and pull the trigger, they instantly see things from your point of view. It was designed by Deep Thought, but commissioned by a consortium of intergalactic angry housewives, who after countless arguments with their husbands were sick to the teeth of ending those arguments with the phrase "You just don't get it, do you?"

What to do if you find yourself stuck with no hope of rescue: Consider yourself lucky that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn't been good to you so far, which given your present circumstances seems more likely, consider yourself lucky that it won't be troubling you much longer.

The Jatravartids, who live in perpetual fear of the time they call "The Coming of The Great White Handkerchief", are small blue creatures with more than fifty arms each. They are unique in being the only race in history to have invented the aerosol deodorant before the wheel.

Humma Kavula is a person? I thought he was swearing!