Join Mark, Jon and Danny as they traverse the S section of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. We dedicate this episode to Jeremy Hardy, who died last week.
The Great Ventilation and Telephone Riots of SrDt 3454
These riots led to three important events, which we’ll go through in turn, but it’s basically all the fault of a ventilation system called the Breathe-o-Smart, which was absolutely guaranteed to never, ever, ever, go wrong; so much so that the company demanded all customers seal shut all the windows in buildings that used it. So, on that note…
Every piece of technology of whatever stripe is required, on SrDt 3454, to carry the following legend, embossed somewhere on its surface, regardless of its size:
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 or repair.
The actual riots were caused by three things:
- a press release from the manufacturers of the Breathe-o-Smart ventilation system suggesting that best results are achieved in temperate climates
- a particularly hot day on SrDt, and
- the employees of a telephone company taking to the streets in a demonstration against their corporate overlords (which we’ll come to in a bit)
Any employee of the aforesaid telephone company, called BS&S, is permitted to say, once an hour, “Use BS&S and die”, after dealing with so many idiotic customers over the phone drove them mad. This was a direct result of the protest they had, which clashed with the office workers using the faulty Breathe-o-Smart.
Stagyar-zil-Doggo is an editor of the Hitchhiker’s Guide.
Many speak of the legendary and gigantic Starship Titanic, a majestic and luxurious cruise-liner launched from the great shipbuilding asteroid complexes of Artifactovol some hundreds of years ago now, and with good reason.
Very much in keeping with today’s episode, this spaceship was built in such a way to ensure that it would be infinitely improbable that anything would go wrong, so unsurprisingly when it attempted its first pre-launch radio transmission, it suffered a spontaneous total existence failure.
Terry Jones, as we’ve discussed before, wrote the Starship Titanic book and played a parrot in the video game by the same name, produced by Adams’ Digital Village.
Stavro Meuller - Beta
Stavro Meuller is a Greek serial entrepreneur with a German father and two clubs – that we know about – to his mixed-heritage name. Both clubs share his name, but it’s only the second one – Stavro Meuller: Beta, or Stavromula Beta – that really matters for our purposes.
It’s where Arthur was supposed to be assasinated, and where he, Ford, Random, Trillian and Tricia meet towards the end of Mostly Harmless, just before the Earth is finally destroyed again. The building number is 42.
Stephen Fry narrated the first audiobook, played the book in the film and cameoed as a journalist in the radio series. He was a friend of Adams and wrote about him in his second memoir.
Played - Marvin - the sperm whale - the man in the shack - Gag Halfrunt - a vogon guard
in the radio series, and Marvin and the whale in the TV series
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- h2g2 - The Guide to Life, The Universe and Everything
- Douglas Adams’ Starship Titanic: A Novel
- A Bit of Fry & Laurie Concerning Language - YouTube