|The Restaurant at the End of the Universe|
|1||Douglas Adams. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
The story so far:
In the beginning the Universe was created.
This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad
Many races believe that it was created by some sort of God, though the
Jatravartid people of Viltvodle VI believe that the entire Universe was in
fact sneezed out of the nose of a being called the Great Green Arkleseizure.
|2||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, who are therefore unique in being the only race in
history to have invented the aerosol deodorant before the wheel.
However, the Great Green Arkleseizure Theory is not widely accepted
outside Viltvodle VI and so, the Universe being the puzzling place it is,
other explanations are constantly being sought.
|3||For instance, a race of hyperintelligent pan-dimensional beings once built
themselves a gigantic supercomputer called Deep Thought to calculate once and
for all the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and
For seven and a half million years, Deep Thought computed and calculated,
and in the end announced that the answer was in fact Forty-two - and so
another, even bigger, computer had to be built to find out what the actual
|4||And this computer, which was called the Earth, was so large that it was
frequently mistaken for a planet - especially by the strange ape-like beings
who roamed its surface, totally unaware that they were simply part of a
gigantic computer program.
And this is very odd, because without that fairly simple and obvious piece
of knowledge, nothing that ever happened on the Earth could possibly make the
slightest bit of sense.
|5||Sadly however, just before the critical moment of readout, the Earth was
unexpectedly demolished by the Vogons to make way - so they claimed - for a
new hyperspace bypass, and so all hope of discovering a meaning for life was
lost for ever.
Or so it would seem.
Two of there strange, ape-like creatures survived.
Arthur Dent escaped at the very last moment because an old friend of his,
Ford Prefect, suddenly turned out to be from a small planet in the vicinity of
Betelgeuse and not from Guildford as he had hitherto claimed; and, more to the
point, he knew how to hitch rides on flying saucers.
|6||Tricia McMillian - or Trillian - had skipped the planet six months earlier
with Zaphod Beeblebrox, the then President of the Galaxy.
They are all that remains of the greatest experiment ever conducted - to
find the Ultimate Question and the Ultimate Answer of Life, the Universe, and
And, less than half a million miles from where their starship is drifting
lazily through the inky blackness of space, a Vogon ship is moving slowly
Like all Vogon ships it looked as if it had been not so much designed as
congealed. The unpleasant yellow lumps and edifices which protuded from it at
unsightly angles would have disfigured the looks of most ships, but in this
case that was sadly impossible. Uglier things have been spotted in the skies,
but not by reliable witnesses.
In fact to see anything much uglier than a Vogon ship you would have to go
inside and look at a Vogon.
|8||If you are wise, however, this is precisely what
you will avoid doing because the average Vogon will not think twice before
doing something so pointlessly hideous to you that you will wish you had never
been born - or (if you are a clearer minded thinker) that the Vogon had never
In fact, the average Vogon probably wouldn't even think once. They are
simple-minded, thick-willed, slug-brained creatures, and thinking is not
really something they are cut out for.
|9||Anatomical analysis of the Vogon
reveals that its brain was originally a badly deformed, misplaced and
dyspeptic liver. The fairest thing you can say about them, then, is that they
know what they like, and what they like generally involves hurting people and,
wherever possible, getting very angry.
One thing they don't like is leaving a job unfinished - particularly this
Vogon, and particularly - for various reasons - this job.
|10||This Vogon was Captain Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz of the Galactic Hyperspace
Planning Council, and he was it who had had the job of demolishing the so
called "planet" Earth.
He heaved his monumentally vile body round in his ill-fitting, slimy seat
and stared at the monitor screen on which the starship Heart of Gold was being
It mattered little to him that the Heart of Gold, with its Infinite
Improbability Drive, was the most beautiful and revolutionary ship ever built.