Thursday, August 23, 2007

42

"Forty-two is the number Deep Thought gave as being the Ultimate Answer."

"Yes."

"And the Earth is the computer Deep Thought designed and built to calculate the Question to the Ultimate Answer."

"So we are led to believe."

"And organic life was part of the computer matrix."

"If you say so."

"Ford," he said suddenly, "look, if that Question is printed in my brain wave patterns but I'm not consciously aware of it, it must be somewhere in my unconscious."

"Yes, I suppose so."

"There might be a way of bringing that unconscious pattern forward."

"Like how?"

"Like by pulling Scrabble letters out of a bag blindfolded."

Ford lept to his feet.

"Brilliant!" he said. He tugged his towel out of his satchel and with a few deft knots transformed it into a bag.

"Totally mad," he said, "utter nonsense. But we'll do it because it's brilliant nonsense. Come on, come on."

Arthur closed his eyes and plunged his hand into the towelful of stones. He jiggled them about, pulled out four and handed them to Ford. Ford laid them along the ground in the order he got them.

"W," said Ford. "H,A,T...What!"

Arthur pushed three more at him.

"D,O,Y...Doy."

"Here's the next three!"

"O,U,G...Doyoug...It's not making sense I'm afraid."

Arthur pulled another two from the bag. Ford put them in place.

"E,T,doyouget....Do you get!" shouted Ford. "It is working! This is amazing, it really is working!"

"More here." Arthur was throwing them out feverishly as fast as he could go.

"I,F," said Ford, "Y,O,U...M,U,LT,I,P,L,Y...S,I,X...B,Y...N,I,N,E..."Hi paused. "Come on, where's the next one?"

"Er, that's the lot" said Arthur, "that's all there were."

He sat back, nonplussed.

He rooted around again in the knotted up towel but there were no more letters.

"You mean that's it?" said Ford.

"That's it."

"Six by nine. Forty-two."

"That's it. That's all there is."

"I always knew there was something fundamentally wrong with the Universe."



--abridged from Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe




Today, I am 42. The Ultimate answer to the Ultimate question.


I am expecting great things from this year, starting with dessert, of course.


Pictures for you

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27 Comments:

Blogger riseoutofme said...

Happy Birthday! Hmmm... Are you going to eat ALL of them???

Er .... I don't like to mention this ... but if you multiply 6 by 9 you get slightly more than 42 ...

Now,what age did you say you were?

4:56 PM  
Blogger Lioness said...

Happy birthday! I still cannot believe you haven't tried the cakes yet - gah, such a waste of restraint! - and I also still cannot believe how pink it looks and that you people ACTUALLY eat peanut butter cheesecake [*BARF*] and it was lovely to talk to you! Love phones. Know you hate them but since you're adamant abt not moving and not budging, this is what we have.

PARAB√ČNS, and many Portie smooches and hugs!

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Christie said...

Happy Birthday!!!!

And OMG WHERE DID YOU GET THE CAKES????? Huh huh huh??????

Hope it's a wonderful year of fabulous gardens, no mailboxes getting run over, and a big puppy who learns to be a lady at last!

8:10 PM  
Anonymous Kate W. said...

42... I like it... it's a nice even number... 2's are good...
Hey! Happy Birthday!! Big hugs my friend! Now let's cut out the leftovers so you can see 43! :)

9:05 PM  
Blogger Mojavi said...

happy birthday... as we say in my house your only... 24, but some years turn out better than others LOL!! right now my mother in law is only 07. :)

11:00 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

I'm a little late to the party, but Happy Birthday!

I've always loved Douglas Adams. I think he had things right.

And the cake looks very yummy. And I'm sure it was. *grin*

6:32 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Rise- Not all, just 2, which, for the record, I didn't finish, but having 2 different kinds of cake for your birthday is particularly lovely! I think it's going to be a new tradition.

Johnny- Dahling! Your call was the rosette on the cake. I want you to know that Colin loved the PB cheesecake as it tasted "like a peanutbutter and honey sandwich". I tried a bite and must admit that I didn't see the attraction, but then I'm not 8. Charles and I thought the mocha ones were the best.

Christie- There's the very best bakery in the world (at least my world) not too far from us. I decided as we really didn't need to eat an entire cake, we would all pick a piece to have after dinner. Thank you for the birthday wishes. As this year's gardens are being chowed on by the bugs and poor Beaker is held up by rocks and Molly is 70 lbs of leaping, uncouth love, I will need each and every wish. Smooch!

Kate- I loved my 30s and so far have been quite happy with the 40s. I have left over cake in the fridge. Mmmmmmmm. Big hugs, right back, my friend.

Mojavi- A very good thought. If only I had the metabolism of 24 to go along with it. Thanks.

Jen- Thank you! We let things drag out here with the best of them. I think you could do worse than take Douglas Adams as your guide through life and always know where your towel is.

7:25 AM  
Blogger Sanjay said...

Belated but heart felt b'day wishes to you. :-)

8:10 AM  
Anonymous Colleen said...

Happy (belated) Birthday, Diana!! Looks like you're getting the year off to a delicious start!! Despite what Kate says, there is absolutely nothing wrong with leftover cake. It's really amazing it even exists! Enjoy!

10:44 AM  
Blogger Dumdad said...

Bon anniversaire!

11:44 AM  
Blogger Udge said...

Happy birthday! May all your cakes (er, sorry, "wishes") come true.

1:03 PM  
Blogger The Rotten Correspondent said...

Happy birthday to you!! What time should we all drop by to help you with those cakes??

2:46 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Happy Birthday!

I did the 42 birthday in June - I figured that I got to know the answer to life, the universe and everything for about 42 seconds at the very moment of my birth anniversary. Since I was born fairly early in the morning, I was asleep for those 42 seconds. :)

I hope your moment of universal knowledge lasts a little then mine did. Best wishes for the coming year!

Karen

3:31 PM  
Blogger Cagey said...

Oh, Diana.... Happy Birthday!

You know what I always say, birthdays are a blessing... a privilege.... :-)

5:19 PM  
Blogger Voyager said...

Well, many happy returns. And slices of cake. This makes you a Virgo,right?
V. (could be for Virgo too)

5:37 PM  
Blogger Coffee-Drinking Woman said...

A very happy birthday (though I'm late).

11:23 PM  
Blogger Babs said...

Sorry I was late. I had a conference with, er, Slartibartfast.

I swear!!

*waves her towel*

Happy happy birthday, oh Froody one!!

2:02 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Sanjay- Thanks, pal!

Colleen- That Kate, such a silly woman. Does she really toss the whole remaining cake???

Dumdad- Merci, mon ami!

Udge- Mmmmmm it will be a good year, indeed if my cakes all come true...

Rotten- Heh. Too late. You would have had to fight the kids and my money would have been on them. They take cake as seriously as I do.

Karen- I was born at 6:50 pm, so my universal knowledge was actually spent inhaling the cake. I think there's something to be said for that.

Cagey- I like birthdays (but don't like the fuss of parties). Plus, they do beat the alternative.

Voyager- Yes. On the cusp between Leo and Virgo, actually, but I claim Virgo. There is nothing leonine about my personality.

Teri- Thanks, mon evil twin.

Babs- Thanks to someone who epitomizes what a hoopy frood is. Ginintonix?

9:40 AM  
Blogger The Rotten Correspondent said...

Here's a belated something or other. Come on over to my place. There's awards. Yes. Plural.

11:25 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

My ever-optimistic friend Leslie refers to turning 42 as Forty Too Good to Be True.

Those cakes definitely look too good to be true! I hope you had at least one bite of each.

Many happy returns!

4:50 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Happy Birthday!

I hope you had a great day and those cakes look yummy.

8:48 AM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

Greetings. The dolphins send their regards.

Mmm. Cake. I like cake.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Happy cake-eating day! Oh, to be 42 again, you spring chicken, you!
Here's hoping all kinds of fabulous things happen in the next year!

6:17 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Happy belated birthday, Diana! Any friend of Douglas Adams's is a friend of mine. xx

P.S. You have given me a reason to be okay with being 42 in a few years. That rules.

9:28 AM  
Blogger listie said...

Oh, no! I missed your birthday. Happy, happy, belated birthday!

42 desserts for you!

9:38 AM  
Blogger Jocelyn said...

Oh, dearling, big day, and I am slow getting here! But felicitations nevertheless.

I hope you ate some molten chocolate pots du creme or something.

1:10 AM  
Blogger brooksba said...

Now I feel terrible! I'm sorry I missed your birthday but I send you 42 belated birthdays! I'm off to read all the exciting adventures you've had. I hope you had a wonderful birthday & it was filled with happy memories!

4:26 AM  

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