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Towel Day 2019

Submitted by gwolf on Sat, 05/25/2019 - 22:39

Today we went to celebrate a good friend's birthday. And while most of my social circles are in some way geeky or geekier... This one is definitively geekiest. Not so much in the Free Software alignment scale, but in many, many other ways.

I was (pleasantly!) surprised to find we were four fellow potential hitchhikers (on the photo above, Jesús Wong; Susana and Aaron were also towel-bearers).
Oh, but you are still asking yourself what this is about?
I gather you have not yet read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams. The international Towel Day is observed annually on May 25, since 2001. And why? In Adams' words:

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you — daft as a brush, but very very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost." What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

Thanks to the DC18 organizers for providing such a handy gift, thanks to Andreas Tille for kindly reminding us the observation of this important festivity, and thanks to Felipe Esquivel for providing photographic evidence.

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