ME AND DOUGLAS ADAMS – Marilyn Armstrong

First of all, I missed International Towel Day, which was on May 25th. It was the day of Douglas Adams’ far too early passing. Towel Day is celebrated every year on 25 May as a tribute to the author Douglas Adams by his fans. On this day, fans openly carry a towel with them, as described in Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, to demonstrate their appreciation for the books and the author.

The commemoration was first held on 25 May 2001, two weeks after Adams’ death on 11 May of that year.

My friend Cherrie still has a newspaper article about his passing on her refrigerator.

For me, the big day is March 11th which was Douglas Adams’ birthday (March 11, 1950). Mine was March 11, 1947, but I like to think of us as — on some level — time twins even if I never wrote some of the best, most entertaining and thoughtful science fiction.

Author: Douglas Adams

My husband’s birthday is insanely populated with famous people, mostly movie stars. There’s something about April 7th and movies.

For example:

Famous People Born on April 7

From the Who2 database of 4,587 musicians, actors, historical figures, and other celebrities were born on this date, including :

Brown, Jerry (1938) – Governor of California. 1975-83 and 2011-present
Chan, Jackie (1954) – Hong Kong action superstar from Rumble in the Bronx
Coppola, Francis Ford (1939) – The director of The Godfather films
Crowe, Russell (1964) – The Oscar-winning star of Gladiator
Frost, Sir David (1939) – British TV host who interviewed Richard Nixon
Garner, James (1928) – Star of the TV show The Rockford Files
Holiday, Billie (1915) – Popular Blues singer, known as “Lady Day”
Pakula, Alan J. (1928) – Director of All the President’s Men
Shankar, Ravi (1920) – Sitar virtuoso who influenced The Beatles
Wordsworth, William (1770) – Author of the poem “Tintern Abbey”
Ian Richardson – Classical actor and founding member (1960) of the Royal Shakespeare Company
Michael Bellisario – Known for his work on Grandma’s Boy (2006), NCIS (2003) and JAG (1995)
Percy Faith – Child piano prodigy, but his hands were burned. Switched to conducting and arranging …and literally thousands more.

How about March 11?

There are 229 “famous” (mostly not very famous) including:

Lawrence Welk – 1903, TV’s “singalong” king
Antonin Scalia – 1936, Supreme Court Judge
Rupert Murdoch – 1931, Oy vay
Robert Treat Paine – 1731, Judge and signer of the Declaration of Independence
Dorothy Schiff – 1903, Owner/ publisher NY Post
Ralph Abernathy – 1926, American civil rights leader
Harold Wilson – 1916, British Prime MinisterAfter that, there are a lot of people I never heard of, Douglas Adams – 1950, most brilliant science fiction author … and me. I would not normally make the list, but it’s my list.

I apologize for Rupert Murdoch, but I feel that Douglas Adams makes up for him. Heaven knows I’m trying my best.

Douglas Adams inspired “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” and many others

If you haven’t heard of Douglas Adams, bow your head in shame. Find his books and start reading, laughing, and seeing the universe in a brand, new way.

And to all you Douglas Adams lovers? 

25 thoughts on “ME AND DOUGLAS ADAMS – Marilyn Armstrong

  1. On my birthday? January 7. William Peter Blatty (Exorcist), Charles Addams (Addams Family) and, in the Eastern Orthodox Church, Jesus. IN a book I read once that was titled, I think, “What happened on your birthday?” January 7 was called “The day of unusual happenings.” So you’re a pisces with the same birthday as my best friend from my 20s and the day before my second ex-husband’s birthday. 🙂

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    • I’m very happy about Douglas Adams, but terribly embarrassed at Rupert Murdoch. One of the girls I grew up with had a daughter born on my birthday … and she remembered. Which was great. March was big on wars, though. Maybe not so many stars, but huge on battles.

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  2. The BBC TV series of Hitchhikers was my introduction to it, that was an adaption of the radio programs I think. I wasn’t a cricket fan back then but I got the jokes. I’d probably appreciate them more next time I reread the books. It’s true though, nobody really understands cricket, the laws of cricket are very complicated.
    Sorry, you have to share your birthday with Rupert Murdoch, nobody deserves that. Harold Wilson is not much of a prize either.

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  3. He truly lightened – still lightens our lives – even in these days when we are overtaken in all quarters by Vogon construction crews – and their ilk. Remembering to hang on to one’s towel is as useful a life lesson as any these days.

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  4. Oh to share a birthday with such a genius.
    I once wrote “42” in answer to a geography exam question that had me truly stumped. The lecturer afterwards told me I got one mark for making him smile.

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  5. The BBC radio adaption of Hitchhikers Guide was brilliantly done. If you haven’t picked that up yet I think you might like it. The movie was not so good unfortunately.

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    • The 1888 storm dropped as much as six to eight FEET of snow in New York and Brooklyn. That is why, even now, it’s still a big deal. That’s not the kind of storm we EVER get in this part of the world — or for that matter, anywhere. Once, we actually got a meter of snow and that was a “most ever” for this area (that storm hit much of the country, but only in New York did it drop THAT much snow). There are a lot of pictures from the event, too. I sometimes forget that some of our “modern” inventions have been around for quite a while!

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  6. Douglas Adams is one of my literary heroes. The Hitch-Hikers’ Guide provided much of the backdrop to my youth. I met him once at a bookshop signing where I was working round the corner from Berkhamsted Castle, and he was a really lovely – and very tall – man. His passing was a great loss to the world of hilarious satirical writing. Always know where your towel is… 🙂

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    • I do think he is the only author for whom I went into actual mourning, And it was so unexpected. Now that I know more about sudden cardiac death from cardiopathy (because I have it), I understand how it happened. Like most people who have it, it has no outward signs. The first sign of a problem is usually death. If you get lucky and have a very smart doctor who just “hears something funny” and sends you to a cardiologist, you live. Otherwise, you just die, without warning. Often while exercising. I think of him as my much more talented time twin. My favorite is “The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul.” I think I can recite it by now.

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      • He was a genius, and died way too long. It’s a wonder they aren’t more switched on about cardiopathy by now. Poor you having it too – take it easy, as at least you know about it. ❤ I think my dad's cousin must have had that, as he had no warning before he died. The week before he'd been pronounced A1 Fit, then dropped dead on the squash court. That was a very long time ago now though – way before Douglas Adams passed away. Terrible condition. I remember being very into the Cricket wars and Agrajag – who I thought was hilarious – in Life, the Universe and Everything. He left us with some classic stuff. 🙂

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        • The problem is that most family doctors have no tools to really “hear” the heart and its valves except a stethoscope. Even now, sudden early death for young athletes still happens and usually, no one had any idea there WAS a problem.

          I wish I understood cricket better so I’d understand the books better. I have a pretty vague general understanding from watching British TV shows, but not enough to really know what’s going on.

          He also wrote not only funny and interesting but elegantly.

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          • That’s scary – in this day and age you’d think they’d be better equipped to ‘hear’ what they need to. Such a waste.

            I’m not sure anyone actually understands cricket – I certainly don’t. But they are great books and you’re right of course, he wrote with style and panache and his storytelling and searing wit seemed effortless.

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            • We know a lot more than we used to know but there’s a lot of stuff we don’t know. This is one of those fatal problems for which there are no tests and even most cardiologists don’t know much about it. Ditto for ovarian cancer: NO test for it. None. By the time they know you have it, it’s too late. Ditto liver and pancreatic cancer. My brother died of pancreatic cancer as did both of my mother’s parents. The tests for all of these things are not ordinary tests that they would give unless they have a specific reason — and without the tests, they rarely FIND the reason. They didn’t figure out what was wrong with my brother until he was just a few days short of death.

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