Towel Day: 10 of the best quotes from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy author Douglas Adams

John Rentoul

Everyone knows that 42 is the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything.

But Douglas Adams gave us many more memorable sayings, in the ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ series, ‘Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency’ and even in scripts for ‘Doctor Who’.

Here are 10 of the best.

1. On asking for directions: “My own strategy is to find a car… which looks as if it knows where it’s going and follow it.”

2. “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”

3. “If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a nonworking cat.”

4. “He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.”

5. “Ford! There’s an infinite number of monkeys outside who want to talk to us about this script for Hamlet they’ve worked out.”

6. “The seat received him in a loose and distant kind of way, like an aunt who disapproves of the last 15 years of your life.”

7. “Blackness swims towards you like a school of eels who have just seen something that eels like a lot.”

8. “A learning experience is one of those things that say, ‘You know that thing you just did? Don’t do that.’”

9. “‘Life,’ said Marvin dolefully, ‘loathe it or ignore it, you can’t like it.’”

10. “Clixby (adj.): Politely rude. Briskly vague. Firmly uninformative.” (From The Meaning of Liff, co-written with John Lloyd.)