Marvin: Life? Don’t talk to me about life!
Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, 1979
There’s a lot of stuff going on. None of it — discounting, for the moment, the presidential election (which is a huge discount) — life-threatening, but much of it tiring and annoying — and all of it, expensive. These days, being healthy carries a hefty price tag.
When you live on a fixed income, a few thousand dollars of additional debt is a big deal. It brings us to a screeching halt. It’s weird having to decide if ones health is worth the money. Even more hilarious, I find myself wondering if I’m going to live long enough to amortize the investment. If you feel inspired to encourage me with a platitude at this point, please don’t. I’ve heard them all, no doubt said them to myself and probably to other people. It will not make me feel better.
As a side note, last week, someone in New Hampshire won $457 million dollars on a $1 lottery ticket. It wasn’t us.
The only reason I’m bothering to write about this stuff at all, is it’s putting a damper on my joie de vivre.
So here, in his own words, are tidbits from the philosophy of Marvin, the Depressed Robot …
A Sunny Disposition:
Marvin: “My capacity for happiness you could fit into a matchbox without taking out the matches first.”
Arthur: “I think that door just sighed.”
Marvin: “Ghastly, isn’t it?”
Marvin: “Sorry, did I say something wrong? Pardon me for breathing which I never do anyway so I don’t know why I bother to say it oh God I’m so depressed.”
A ‘Can Do’ Attitude:
Arthur: “Marvin, any ideas?”
Marvin: “I have a million ideas. They all point to certain death.”
Trillian: “Marvin… you saved our lives!”
Marvin: “I know. Wretched, isn’t it?”
Marvin: “I’ve calculated your chance of survival, but I don’t think you’ll like it.”
A Strong Work Ethic:
Marvin: “I think you ought to know I’m feeling very depressed.”
Trillian: “Well, we have something that may take your mind off it.”
Marvin: “It won’t work, I have an exceptionally large mind.”
Marvin: “Here I am, brain the size of a planet, and they ask me to take you to the bridge. Call that job satisfaction, ’cause I don’t.”
Marvin: “‘Reverse primary thrust, Marvin.’ That’s what they say to me. ‘Open airlock number three, Marvin.’ ‘Marvin, can you pick up that piece of paper?’ Here I am, brain the size of a planet, and they ask me to pick up a piece of paper.”
A Good Education:
Marvin: “It gives me a headache just trying to think down to your level.”
Arthur Dent: “You mean you can see into my mind?”
Marvin: “It amazes me how you manage to live in anything that small.”
Marvin: “I am at a rough estimate thirty billion times more intelligent than you. Let me give you an example. Think of a number, any number.”
Zem: “Er, five.”
Marvin: “Wrong. You see?”
A Positive Approach To Health And Well-being:
Zaphod Beeblebrox: “There’s a whole new life stretching out in front of you.”
Marvin: “Oh, not another one.”
Marvin: “Do you want me to sit in a corner and rust or just fall apart where I’m standing?”
Marvin: “The first ten million years were the worst. 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.”
A Keen Interest In Philosophy:
Marvin: “Life? Don’t talk to me about life!”
Marvin: “I ache, therefore I am.”
Marvin: “Life. Loathe it or ignore it. You can’t like it.”
There, now don’t we all feel like better people already?
Douglas Adams, I still miss you all these many years later.