“You are bound to feel some initial ill effects as you have been rescued from certain death at an improbability level of two to the power of two hundred and seventy-six thousand to one against – possibly much higher.”
Book: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Posted by: John Martz
Wild yowling noises of pipes and strings seared through the wind, hot doughnuts popped out of the road for ten pence each, horrid fish stormed out of the sky and Arthur and Ford decided to make a run for it.
They plunged through heavy walls of sound, mountains of archaic thought, valleys of mood music, bad shoe sessions and footling bats and suddenly heard a girl’s voice.
It sounded quite a sensible voice, but it just said, “Two to the power of one hundred thousand to one against and falling, and that was all.
Ford skidded down a beam of light and span round trying to find a source for the voice but could see nothing he could seriously believe in.
“What was that voice?” shouted Arthur.
“I don’t know,” yelled Ford, “I don’t know. It sounded like a measurement of probability.”
And so we finally meet Arthur Dent and his Betelgeusian best friend Ford Prefect.
Ford and Arthur, having found themselves blasted out of an airlock into deep space, are suddenly, and quite improbably, picked up by the Starship Heart of Gold. The ship is powered by the Infinite Improbability Drive, which allows for vast interstellar travel in “a mere nothingth of a second”.
“Haaaauuurrgghhh…” said Arthur as he felt his body softening and bending in unusual directions. “Southend seems to be melting away… the stars are swirling… a dustbowl… my legs are drifting off into the sunset… my left arm’s come off too.” A frightening thought struck him: “Hell,” he said, “how am I going to operate my digital watch now?” He wound his eyes desperately around in Ford’s direction.
“Ford, you’re turning into a penguin. Stop it.”
This, and all the Hitchhiker’s illustrations I’ve created for this series, are finally available as archival quality prints from my new online shop.
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