"`Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.'
`Very deep,' said Arthur, `you should send that in to the "Reader's Digest". They've got a page for people like you.'"
-- The Book, on one of the Vogon's social inadequacies.
"`The best way to get a drink out of a Vogon is to stick your finger down his throat...'"
-- Arthur getting ready for his first jump into hyperspace.
"`You'd better be prepared for the jump into hyperspace. It's unpleasently like being drunk.'
`What's so unpleasent about being drunk?'
`You ask a glass of water.'"
"You hadn't exactly gone out of your way to call attention to the building plans had you? I mean like actually telling anyone or anything.'
But the plans were on display.'
On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.'
`That's the display department.'
`With a torch.'
`Ah, well the lights had probably gone.'
`So had the stairs.'
`But look you found the notice didn't you?'
`Yes,' said Arthur, `yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying "Beware of The Leopard".'"
-- Arthur singing the praises of the local council planning department.
-- Arthur, on what was to be his last Thursday on Earth.
"`This must be Thursday,' said Arthur to himself, sinking low over his beer, `I never could get the hang of Thursdays.'"
-- An example of Damogran wildlife.
"Pages one and two [of Zaphod's presidential speech] had been salvaged by a Damogran Frond Crested Eagle and had already become incorporated into an extraordinary new form of nest which the eagle had invented. Itwas constructed largely of papier mache and it was virtually impossiblefor a newly hatched baby eagle to break out of it. The Damogran Frond Crested Eagle had heard of the notion of survival of the species but wanted no part of it."
-- Arthur after his first ever teleport ride.
"`How do you feel?' he asked him.
`Like a military academy,' said Arthur, `bits of me keep passing out.'"....
`We're safe,' he said.
`Oh good,' said Arthur.
`We're in a small galley cabin,' said Ford, `in one of the spaceships of the Vogon Constructor Fleet.'
`Ah,' said Arthur, `this is obviously some strange usage of the word"safe" that I wasn't previously aware of.'
-- Arthur coping with certain death as best as he could.
"`You know,' said Arthur, `it's at times like this, when I'm trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die from asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young.'
`Why, what did she tell you?'
`I don't know, I didn't listen.'"
-- Arthur experiences the improbability drive at work.
"`Ford, you're turning into a penguin. Stop it.'"
-- Guess who.
"`I think you ought to know that I'm feeling very depressed.'"
"`Life, don't talk to me about life.'"
"`Here I am, brain the size of a planet and they ask me to take you downto the bridge. Call that "job satisfaction"? 'Cos I don't.'"
"`I've got this terrible pain in all the diodes down my left side.'"
"`If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.'"
-- The Book getting all nostalgic.
"`In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were REAL men, women were REAL women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were REAL small furry creatures from Aplha Centauri.'"
-- Zaphod and Arthur in a certain death situation over Magrathea.
"`Hey this is terrific!' Zaphod said. `Someone down there is trying to kill us!'
`Terrific,' said Arthur.
`But don't you see what this means?'
`Yes. We are going to die.'
`Yes, but apart from that.'
`APART from that?'
`It means we must be on to something!'
`How soon can we get off it?'"
-- For the sperm whale, it wasn't.
"And wow! Hey! What's this thing coming towards me very fast? Very very fast. So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding word like... ow... ound... round... ground! That's it! That's a good name -ground!
I wonder if it will be friends with me?"
-- A bowl of petunias on it's way to certain death.
"Oh no, not again."
-- Arthur drawing the short straw on Magrathea.
"`Er, hey Earthman...'
`Arthur,' said Arthur.
`Yeah, could you just sort of keep this robot with you and guard this end of the passageway. OK?'
`Guard?' said Arthur. `What from? You just said there's no one here.'
`Yeah, well, just for safety, OK?' said Zaphod.
`Whose? Yours or mine?'"
-- The Book.
"There are of course many problems connected with life, of which some ofthe most popular are `Why are people born?' `Why do they die?' `Why do they spend so much of the intervening time wearing digital watches?'"
-- Ford attempting to be heroic whilst being seiged by Shooty and Bangbang.
"`Right,' said Ford, `I'm going to have a look.'
He glanced round at the others.
`Is no one going to say, "No you can't possibly, let me go instead"?'
They all shook their heads.
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move."-- The Book just racapping what happened in the last book.
-- Zaphod being cool.
"`I am so amazingly cool you could keep a side of meat in me for amonth. I am so hip I have difficulty seeing over my pelvis.'"
-- Zaphod and the Guide's receptionist.
"`You ARE Zaphod Beeblebrox?'
`Yeah,' said Zaphod, `but don't shout it out or they'll all want one.'
`THE Zaphod Beeblebrox?'
`No, just A Zaphod Bebblebrox, didn't you hear I come in six packs?'
`But sir,' it squealed, `I just heard on the sub-ether radio report. It said you were dead...'
`Yeah, that's right, I just haven't stopped moving yet.'"
-- The Book decribing Milliways' politically incorrect decor.
"The fronting for the eighty-yard long marble-topped bar had been made by stitching together nearly twenty thousand Antarean Mosaic Lizardskins, despite the fact that the twenty thousand lizards concerned hadneeded them to keep their insides in."
-- Ford in paradise.
"`...and the Universe,' continued the waiter, determined not to be deflected on his home stretch, `will explode later for your pleasure.'
Ford's head swivelled slowly towards him. He spoke with feeling.
`Wow,' he said, `What sort of drinks do you serve in this place?'
The waiter laughed a polite little waiter's laugh.
`Ah,' he said, `I think sir has perhaps misunderstood me.'
`Oh, I hope not,' breathed Ford."
-- Zaphod in paradise.
"Zaphod grinned two manic grins, sauntered over to the bar and bought most of it."
-- Zaphod getting paranoid over a phone call.
"`Maybe somebody here tipped off the Galactic Police,' said Trillian. `Everybody saw you come in.'
`You mean they want to arrest me over the phone?' said Zaphod, `Couldbe. I'm a pretty dangerous dude when I'm cornered.'
`Yeah,' said a voice from under the table [Ford's now completely rat-arsed at this point], `you go to pieces so fast people get hit by the shrapnel.'"
-- Zaphod discovers that waiters are the least hip people in the Universe.
"`Hand me the rap-rod, Plate Captain.'
The little waiter's eyebrows wandered about his forehead in confusion.
`I beg your pardon, sir?' he said.
`The phone, waiter,' said Zaphod, grabbing it off him. `Shee, you guys are so unhip it's a wonder your bums don't fall off.'"
-- Ford making his way out of Milliways whilst under the influence of enough alcohol to make a rhino sing.
"The main reception foyer was almost empty but Ford nevertheless weaved his way through it."
-- Marvin reflecting back on his 576,000,003,579 year career as Milliways' car park attendent.
"`The first ten million years were the worst,' said Marvin, `and the second ten million, they were the worst too. The third ten million I didn't enjoy at all. After that I went into a bit of a decline.'"
-- Arthur finding an escape route from a certain death situation.
"`Incidentally,' he said, `what does teleport mean?'
Another moment passed.
Slowly, the others turned to face him.
`Probaby the wrong moment to ask,' said Arthur, `It's just I remember you use the word a short while ago and I only bring it up because...'
`Where,' said Ford quietly, `does it say teleport?'
`Well, just over here in fact,' said Arthur, pointing at a dark control box in the rear of the cabin, `Just under the word "emergency", above the word "system" and beside the sign saying "out of order".'"
-- A poem about matter transference beams.
"I teleported home one night
With Ron and Sid and Meg.
Ron stole Meggie's heart away
And I got Sidney's leg."
-- Some wisdom from The Book.
"Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job."
-- Ford "debating" what to do with fire with a marketing girl.
"`We've got to find out what people want from fire, how they relate to it, what sort of image it has for them.'
The crowd were tense. They were expecting something wonderful from Ford.
`Stick it up your nose,' he said.
`Which is precisely the sort of thing we need to know,' insisted the girl, `Do people want fire that can be fitted nasally?'"
"The story goes that I first had the idea for THHGTTG while lying drunkin a field in Innsbruck (or `Spain' as the BBC TV publicity department authorititively has it, probably because it's easier to spell)."-- Foreward by DNA.
-- Fit the First.
FORD: Six pints of bitter. And quickly please, the world's about to end.
BARMAN: Oh yes, sir? Nice weather for it.
-- Fit the Third.
BOOK: Meanwhile, the starship has landed on the surface of Magrathea and Trillian
is about to make one of the most important statements of her life. Its importance
is not immediately recognised by her companions.
TRILL: Hey, my white mice have escaped.
ZAPHOD: Nuts to your white mice.
-- Fit the Third.
BOOK: ...Man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much... the wheel, New York, wars, and so on, whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely the dolphins believed themselves to be more intelligent than man for precisely the same reasons.
-- DNA on the origins of Shooty and Bang Bang in Fit the Fourth.
"Another section inspired by American TV - this time `Starsky and Hutch'. In this show the heroes claimed that they did care about people getting shot, so they crashed their cars into them instead."
-- Cut dialogue from Fit the Fifth.
ARTHUR What is an Algolian Zylatburger anyway?
FORD: They're a kind of meatburger made from the most unpleasant parts of a creature well known for its total lack of any pleasant parts.
ARTHUR: So you mean that the Universe does actually end not with a bang but with a Wimpy?
-- Introduction to Fit the Seventh.
BOOK: There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarrely inexeplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
-- Ford and Arthur in a tricky situation, Fit the Eighth.
FORD: Tell me Arthur...ARTHUR Yes?
FORD: This boulder we're stuck under, how big would you say it was? Roughly?
ARTHUR: Oh, about the size of Coventry Cathedral.
FORD: Do you think we could move it? (Arthur doesn't reply) Just asking.
-- Comforting advice for Ford and Arthur in this current situation, Fit the Eighth.
BOOK: What to do if you find yourself stuck in a crack in the ground underneath a giant boulder you can't move, with no hope of rescue. Consider how lucky you are that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn't been good to you so far, which given your current circumstances seems more likely, consider how lucky you are that it won't be troubling you much longer.
-- Zaphod and Ford trying to get a grip on things in Brontitall, Fit the Tenth.
ZAPHOD: Hey, this rock...
FORD: Ice-covered marble...
ZAPHOD: Right... it's as slippery as... as... What's the slipperiest thing you can think of?
FORD: At the moment? This marble.
ZAPHOD: Right. This marble is as slippery as this marble.
-- Arthur pointing out one of the disadvantages of gravity,
ARTHUR: It's not a question of whose habitat it is, it's a question of how hard you hit it.
-- Arthur and the Lintillas gaining the upper hand, Fit the Twelfth.
ARTHUR: It probably seems a terrible thing to say, but you know what I sometimes think would be useful in these situations?
ARTHUR: A gun of some sort.
LINT.2: Will this help?
ARTHUR: What is it?
LINT.2: A gun of some sort.
ARTHUR: Oh, that'll help. Can you make it fire?
F/X: DEAFENING ROAR
-- Arthur discovering a way of coping with life on Prehistoric Earth.
Life, the Universe and Everything"He stood up straight and looked the world squarely in the fields and hills. To add weight to his words he stuck the rabbit bone in his hair. He spread his arms out wide. `I will go mad!' he announced."
-- Ford updating Arthur about what he's been doing for the past four years.
"`... then I decided that I was a lemon for a couple of weeks. I kept myself amused all that time jumping in and out of a gin and tonic.'
Arthur cleared his throat, and then did it again.
`Where,' he said, `did you...?'
`Find a gin and tonic?' said Ford brightly. `I found a small lake that thought it was a gin and tonic, and jumped in and out of that. At least,I think it thought it was a gin and tonic.'
`I may,' he added with a grin which would have sent sane men scampering into the trees, `have been imagining it.'"
-- Arthur failing in his first lesson of galactic physics in four years.
"`Eddies,' said Ford, `in the space-time continuum.'
`Ah,' nodded Arthur, `is he? Is he?'"
-- Ford trying to rectify that situation.
"Ford grabbed him by the lapels of his dressing gown and spoke to him asslowly and distinctly and patiently as if he were somebody from atelephone company accounts department."
-- Who says that the character of Arthur isn't autobiographical?
"...[Arthur] leapt to his feet like an author hearing the phone ring..."
-- Arthur coping with his return to Earth as best as he could.
"Arthur's consciousness approached his body as from a great distance,and reluctantly. It had had some bad times in there. Slowly, nervously, it entered and settled down into its accustomed position.
Arthur sat up.
`Where am I?' he said.
`Lord's Cricket Ground,' said Ford.
`Fine,' said Arthur, and his consciousness stepped out again for a quick breather. His body flopped back on the grass."
-- Ford ensuring everyone knew where his priorities lay.
"`A curse,' said Slartibartfast, `which will engulf the Galaxy in fire and destruction, and possibly bring the Universe to a premature doom. I mean it,' he added.
`Sounds like a bad time,' said Ford, `with luck I'll be drunk enough not to notice.'"
-- Ford's last ditch attempt to get out of helping Slartibartfast.
"`My doctor says that I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fibre, and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes.'"
-- One of the more preferable pieces of advice contained in the Guide.
"Trillian did a little research in the ship's copy of THHGTTG. It had some advice to offer on drunkenness.
`Go to it,' it said, `and good luck.'
It was cross-referenced to the entry concerning the size of the Universe and ways of coping with that."
-- Arthur trying to see who had diverted him from going to a party.
"His eyes seemed to be popping out of his head. He wasn't certain if this was because they were trying to see more clearly, or if they simplywanted to leave at this point."
-- Arthur discovering who had diverted him from going to a party.
"Arthur yawed wildly as his skin tried to jump one way and his skeletonthe other, whilst his brain tried to work out which of his ears it most wanted to crawl out of.
`Bet you weren't expecting to see me again,' said the monster, whichArthur couldn't help thinking was a strange remark for it to make,seeing as he had never met the creature before. He could tell that he hadn't met the creature before from the simple fact that he was able tosleep at nights."
-- Marvin's first ever compliment about anybody.
"`That young girl is one of the least benightedly unintelligent organiclife forms it has been my profound lack of pleasure not to be able to avoid meeting.'"
-- Arthur realising that he's in a certain death situation with a supernova bomb that is shaped like a cricket ball.
"Arthur hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction there and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife."
-- Ford in a spot of bother.
"`Credit?' he said. `Aaaargggh...'
These two words are usually coupled together in the Old Pink Dog Bar."
-- Arthur trying to discover which part of Fenchurch is wrong.
"`...we might as well start with where your hand is now.'
Arthur said, `So which way do I go?'
`Down,' said Fenchurch, `on this occaision.'
He moved his hand.
`Down,' she said, `is in fact the other way.'
-- This line perhaps best sums up the whole book.
"There was a point to this story, but it has temporarily escaped thechronicler's mind."
-- Nuff said??
"The last time anybody made a list of the top hundred characterattributes of New Yorkers, common sense snuck in at number 79.....
When it's fall in New York, the air smells as if someone's been frying goats in it, and if you are keen to breathe the best plan is to open a window and stick your head in a building."
-- Ford and Colin the robot.
"`What's been happening here?' he demanded.
`Oh just the nicest things, sir, just the nicest things. can I sit onyour lap please?'"
"`Colin, I am going to abandon you to your fate.'
`I'm so happy.'"
"`It will be very, very nasty for you, and that's just too bad. Got it?'
`I gurgle with pleasure.'"
-- Ford outwitting a Vogon with a rocket launcher by going into another certain death situation.
"What the hell, he thought, you're only young once, and threw himself out of the window. That would at least keep the element of surprise on his side."
-- One of the laws of computers and programming revealed.
"The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at orrepair."
-- Evidence that there will be some justice in the Universe eventually.
"`You know they've reintroduced the death penalty for insurance company directors?'
`Really?' said Arthur. `No I didn't. For what offence?'
`What do you mean, offence?'
-- Ford and Arthur on Random.
"`She hit me on the head with the rock again.'
`I think I can confirm that that was my daughter.'
`You have to get to know her,' said Arthur.
`She eases up does she? '
`No,' said Arthur, `but you get a better sense of when to duck.'"
"So after a hectic week of believing that war was peace, that good was bad, that the moon was made of blue cheese, and that God needed a lot of money sent to a certain box number, the Monk started to believe that thirty-five percent of all tables were hermaphrodites, and then broke down."-- An Electric Monk has a few problems.
-- Reg going into "tactful" mode.
"`Well,' said Reg, in a loudly confidential whisper, as if introducing the subject of nipple-piercing in a nunnery..."
-- The Electric Monk discovering the reason why there are so many acronyms in computing.
"He believed in a door. He must find that door. The door was the way to... to...
The Door was The Way.
Capital letters were always the best way of dealing with things you didn't have a good answer to."
-- Quantum transport physics explained.
"He had extracted himself from the Cambridge one-way system by the usual method, which involved going round and round it faster and faster until he achieved a sort of escape velocity and flew off at a tangent in a random direction."
-- Richard coping with a wierd evening as best as he could.
"`Well, I hope you had a lousy evening.'
`I did,' said Richard. `You wouldn't have liked it. There was a horse in the bathroom, and you know you hate that sort of thing.'"
-- Richard encounters some historical rain forest wildlife.
"Richard was loking at the bird as if it was the most extraordinary thing he had ever seen in his life, and the bird was looking at Richardas if defying him to find its beak even remotely funny."
-- Words of wisdom from Dirk.
"`If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.'"
-- Dirk encounters the eagle/fighter plane on his own doorstep.
"The beak was a major piece of armoury. It was a beak that would frighten any animal on earth, even one that was already dead and in at in."
-- A brief resume of the career of a record company magnate.
"Dennis Hutch had stepped up into the top seat when its founder had died of a lethal overdose of brick wall, taken while under the influence of aFerrari and a bottle of tequila."
-- DNA failing to spot the obvious.
"`Could we perhaps take a snake bite detector with us to Komodo?'
`Course you can, course you can. Take as many as you like. Won't do youa blind bit of good because they're only for Australian snakes.'
`So what do we do if we get bitten by something deadly, then?'
He blinked at me as if I was stupid.
`Well what do you think you do?' he said. `You die of course. That'swhat deadly means.'"
-- DNA learning what fun awaits him on the way to Komodo.
"`You're proposing twenty hours on a boat...'
`A small boat,' added Mark.
`On violently heaving seas...'
`With a three-day-old dead goat.'
`I hardly know what to say.'"
"Mark turned and asked a pasenger behind us if these planes evercrashed. Oh yes, he was told, but not to worry - there hadn't been aserious crash now in months."