It’s Towel Day today. For those that didn’t see my post last year or my reminder yesterday, Towel Day is a day on which fans of the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy in any of its forms carry a towel in remembrance of Douglas Adams, the creator of the hilarious series.
Last year, I carried a small coloured hand towel around school with me, prompting a few questions. This year, I’m on study leave and therefore am at home for most of the day. However, a cream bath towel is on the table next to me as I revise, and I will also be carrying it with me to my Friday evening activities – archery and band.
What’s more, I’m filming a video to submit for a fan music video thing, and though it’s unrelated to Hitchhiker’s, I’ll be carrying my towel.
Why is it such a big deal? Well, it’s said in the Hitchhiker’s Guide that the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have is a towel, so a day of reminding people to carry one can be no bad thing. But that’s not why I personally do it.
Many fandoms have a place to congregate – for the various incarnations of Sherlock Holmes it’s Baker Street, for Torchwood fans there’s the tower/monument thing in Cardiff under which the Hub was supposed to be, and so on.
Since most of the Hitchhiker’s Guide trilogy (of five) takes place off planet, on account of the Earth having been destroyed, there isn’t somewhere people can go to show their appreciation for the books/radio show/film, not really. And save for a habit of telling people not to panic, it’s not that easy to tell a Hitchhiker’s cosplayer from any other guy in a dressing gown.
Thus, Towel Day is an opportunity to remember Douglas Adams’ genius, to share your love of the series. It’s a chance to introduce people to it when they ask you questions, but it’s also a chance to find your fellow froods. They may not be the people you were expecting.
So carry your towel with pride, hitchhikers. Explain to any strags you meet why you’re carrying it. Greet any fellow travellers with a friendly message of support. Answer 42 to any question asked to which you do not know the answer.
And most of all, DON’T PANIC.