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So long, and thanks for all the fish
Quotes from Douglas Adams
as selected by S.Kegel

There is a theory which states that if anyone discovers exactly what
the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear
and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.
There is another which states that this has already happened.

In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of
people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.

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

He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized
there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there
wasn't an afterlife.

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended
up where I needed to be.

Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible
exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.

The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass
through three distinct and recognizable phases, those of Survival,
Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why and Where
phases. For instance, the first phase is characterized by the
question, 'How can we eat?' The second by the question, 'Why do we
eat?' And the third by the question, 'Where shall we do lunch?'

Time, we know, is relative. You can travel light years through the
stars and back, and if you do it at the speed of light then, when you
return, you may have aged mere seconds while your twin brother or
sister will have aged twenty, thirty, forty or however many years it
is, depending on how far you traveled. This will come to you as a
profound shock, particularly if you didn't know you had a twin
brother or sister.

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes
wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.

A common mistake people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn
from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent
disinclination to do so.

In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were
real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha
Centuri were small furry creatures from Alpha Centuri.

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with

Numbers written on restaurant bills within the confines of
restaurants do not follow the same mathematical laws as numbers
written on any other pieces of paper in any other parts of the

Time is the worst place, so to speak, to get lost in. At least being
lost in space kept you busy.

For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing
continued to happen.

Ahh, this is obviously some strange use of the word "safe" that I
wasn't previously aware of.

Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on
no account be allowed to do the job.

"I'd love to stay and help you save the Galaxy," insisted Zaphod,
raising himself up on to his shoulders, "but I have the mother and
father of a pair of headaches, and I feel a lot of little headaches
coming on. But next time it needs saving, I'm your guy."

Even he, to whom most things that most people would think are pretty
smart were pretty dumb, thought it was pretty smart.

Ford was beginning to behave rather strangely, or rather not actually
beginning to behave strangely but beginning to behave in a way which
was strangely different from the other strange ways in which he more
regularly behaved.

Fourteen hours later the sun sank hopelessly beneath the opposite
horizon with a sense of totally wasted effort.

He expanded his chest to make it totally clear that here was the sort
of man you only dared to cross if you had a team of Sherpas with you.

He had picked up Slartibarfast's sense of urgency but didn't know
what to do with it.

He lay, panting heavily in the wet air, and tried feeling bits of
himself to see where he might be hurt. Wherever he touched himself,
he encountered a pain. After a short while he worked out that this
was because it was his hand that was hurting.

He then had another quick one (drink) to follow the first one down
and check that is was all right.

His study was a total mess, like the results of an explosion in a
public library.

Humans are not proud of their ancestors, and rarely invite them round
to dinner

I don't believe it. Prove it to me and I still won't believe it.

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.

I would like to say that it is very great pleasure, honour and
privilege for me to open this bridge, but I can't because my lying
circuits are all out of commission.

If human beings don't keep exercising their lips, he thought, their
mouths probably seize up. After a few months' consideration and
observation he abandoned this theory in favor of a new one. If they
don't keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start

It is no coincidence that in no known language does the phrase "As
pretty as an Airport" appear.

Life is like a grapefruit. It's orange and squishy, and has a few
pips in it, and some folks have half a one for breakfast.

On a waiter's bill pad reality and unreality collide on such a
fundamental level that each becomes the other and anything is
possible, within certain parameters.

One of the interesting things about space is how dull it is.

Space is big. You wouldn't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-
bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way to the
chemist's, but that just peanuts to space.

The ceilings were high, vaulted and very dark. Shadows lurked there
with grim determination.

The last time anybody made a list of the top hundred character
attributes of New Yorkers, common sense snuck in at number 79.

The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't.

The sun struggled feebly with the mist, tried to impart a little
warmth here, shed a little light there, but clearly today was going
to be just another long haul across the sky.

There is an art to flying or rather a knack. The knack lies in
learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.

There is no point in driving yourself mad trying to stop yourself
going mad.

They believe in "peace, justice, morality, culture, sport, family,
life, and the oblitration of all other life forms".

You live and learn. At any rate, you live.