Wear The Lilac Towel Day, May 25, 2021

May 25th, as all Douglass Adams readers know, is Towel Day, the day to flaunt your towel in memory of an amazing author, who gave the best general advice of all time: Don’t Panic.

May 25th is also, as any fan of Terry Pratchett should know, Wear the Lilac Day, in honor of the events of the Discworld People’s Revolution (see Night Watch) whose rallying cry was,”Truth, Justice, Freedom, Reasonably Priced Love, and a Hard-Boiled Egg!” And after Pratchett’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, Wear the Lilac Day has been used to raise awareness and funding for Alzheimer’s research.

Because of this, today is the day that Argh Nation Wears the Lilac Towel in honor of these two great authors. We shall never forget (although we may be a little absent-minded at times and are easily distracted). Thank you, gentlemen, for multiple weirdly great characters in many twisting, startling plots not to mention brilliant observations on life in general and some of the funniest, smartest writing in specific. You are missed.

Here, have an Adams/Pratchett quiz. Who said what?

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

2. “Sometimes it is better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness.”

3. “Solutions nearly always come from the direction you least expect, which means there’s no point trying to look in that direction because it won’t be coming from there.”

4. “If you don’t turn your life into a story, you just become a part of someone else’s story.”

5. “A learning experience is one of those things that says, ‘You know that thing you just did? Don’t do that.”

6. “The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.”

7. “Let’s think the unthinkable, let’s do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.”

8. “In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.”

9. “The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.”

10. “Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.”

11. “This must be Thursday,’ said Arthur to himself, sinking low over his beer. ‘I never could get the hang of Thursdays.”

12. “Sometimes glass glitters more than diamonds because it has more to prove.”

13. “Reality is frequently inaccurate.”

14. “It is well known that a vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you’re attempting can’t be done.”

15. “The Answer to the Great Question… Of Life, the Universe and Everything… Is… Forty-two,’ said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.”

16. “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.”

17. “There’s always a moment when you start to fall out of love, whether it’s with a person or an idea or a cause, even if it’s one you only narrate to yourself years after the event: a tiny thing, a wrong word, a false note, which means that things can never be quite the same again.”

18. “Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.”

19. “Words used carelessly, as if they did not matter in any serious way, often allowed otherwise well-guarded truths to seep through.”

20. “Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?”

38 thoughts on “Wear The Lilac Towel Day, May 25, 2021

    1. The jokes are still made and the books are still quoted.

      Y’know, it’s a lot easier to do Towel Day while working from home.

  1. Yeah. That line always makes me cry. Of course I haven’t slept in three days so everything makes me cry today.

    1. Dear Gin–sounds like something might be overwhelming you? Hoping you recover your usual engaged, positive, smart, well rested self soon.

  2. I have a reminder on my phone. It reminds me a few days, a day before, and the day of.

    In true spirit of the works of both fine gentleman, I woke up today and promptly forgot!

    I’m sure they’re laughing their heads off at me.

  3. These brilliant minds have certainly coined extra-ordinarily good and insightful quotes…not to mention written extra-ordinarly and exceptionally good books. If I’d had a lilac towel, I’d wear it. I’ll try to be content with knowing our neighbours have lilacs in their garden…

    “Don’t panic” is an advice a lot of us should take more to heart. I keep forgetting.
    And now I want to read Night Watch again.

  4. Totally off topic but I plugged your name in Amazon and a Harlequin comic version of Getting Rid of Bradley is to be released June 1st.

    1. What?
      I just googled and you’re right. Thank you for telling me. Not only did they not get my permission, they didn’t even tell me they were doing it.

        1. It depends on what contract I signed. Getting Rid of Bradley was published back in the nineties, so I have no idea.

      1. My goodness. How could that happen without you knowing?

        Looked at the blurb preview that starts: “As I was about to set foot in my new life… I chanced upon a dangerous love!…”

        Not surprised since graphic novels are so big now. But am surprised it could happen without your consent. Wasn’t that the book where she redid the floors? All sorts of symbolism in that story. Wondering how it’s getting translated to comic form.

        1. It depends on the contract I signed. HQ contracts were notoriously greedy. They even tried to keep “Jennifer Crusie” so that I couldn’t use it, but my agent, Meg, explained reality to them. I left because the last contract they gave me was impossible to sign, the whole moral rights clause bit.

          It bothers me a lot because good graphic novels are an art form, and I doubt very much they’re doing much more here than illustrating the text. Grrrr.

          1. I bought one M&B title in a kindle comic edition and loathed it. One of the two kindle works I just deleted from my content & devices list (the other was THE CHINESE GOLD MURDERS in Chinese, which I really did buy by accident). By the time they convert 180 pages of story to graphic form, it might as well have been a short story. A novella would be too complex.

            My one experience with this form is that they just plug in manga-style illustrations with selected dialogue. One of my favorite bits of GETTING RID OF BRADLEY is Zack waiting for the dogs to start a soft-shoe routine or start trying to sell him magazine subscriptions . . . .

            I’d think M&B would have to notify your agent?

          2. Pretty sure I didn’t have an agent then. I think Meg came on with What the Lady Wants.
            But they should have notified me, damn it.

          3. I just hope you get residuals of some sort. Whatever the contract clause may be that would allow this without even informing you should at least pay royalties.

            Crossing fingers for you that it’s well done:)

  5. My local history buff son once told me that the lilac trees seen around town were planted in memory of a death of a child. I googled lilac trees and learned they live for about 100 years. We had one on the side of our house but it slowly died out in the eighties. Now I can imagine it being planted in the 1880’s and what could have happened in the family that once lived here. I’ll have to tell my son that there are many symbols and meanings of the lilac. Each color has a meaning also the flowers are edible. Better things.

  6. For the quiz: The odds are Adams and the evens are Pratchett. Because I wanted to end on that last one of Pratchett’s.

  7. Men are pigs and scientists are the worst. They want to eff the ineffable and screw the inscrutable. It’s in the genes, or possibly the slacks or kilts.

  8. I love the last quote. It makes me think of my dad. I still talk about him often with the kids. He would have been 81 on 27 May.

  9. What a great set of quotes. LOL at #10. Also at ‘reasonably priced love!’
    When my bath towels die, I will replace them with lilac. 🙂

    1. Hahahaha, I thought about throwing a “Life, the Universe and Everything” party for my 42nd. Except guess what, that was April 2020.

  10. Too late in the season here for lilacs, although I do have one.

    But I do have a purple towel

  11. I’m proud of myself. May 25 was yesterday here and for the first time ever I remembered it. I wore a brooch of a sprig of lilac that I bought specially for it, while thinking furious thoughts about diseases that stop my favorite authors from living forever.

  12. Okay, I sure am flummoxed except that I just read Nation, so I know that #1 is Pratchett. But no, odds are Adams. Urghh. . .

    So I started to cheat, but that is neither fair nor fun. But I did find a Pratchett quote I don’t remember reading — from a book I’ve reread many times.

    “From the back, Vetinari looked like a carnivorous flamingo.”

  13. I did not carry a towel nor wear a sprig of lilac yesterday. When the dotter and I went to Publix for a very small assortment of groceries, and then to Outback for take-out, I discussed the books with her. She’s read neither, nor seen movies nor television shows, but she claimed an “awareness” of Hitchhiker’s Guide. I sigh.

    I also discussed my diet’s progress, and how I wished yesterday was Thursday, since the scales said “273.0.” We both ordered the Alice Springs Chicken (which is smothered in cheese and bacon and stuff.) I didn’t know the calories nor carbs until I got home and said, “Yikes!” Then I surfed for the nutrition numbers without the sauce (honey mustard) and they dropped like stones. That sauce is a killer.

    For tomorrow, I was thinking chicken fettuccine Alfredo. I have konjac fettuccine noodles, leftover rotisserie chicken, and a jar of Ragu Alfredo sauce. Add a little broccoli and I got a meal fit for a diet. Can I wear a sprig of broccoli to support the revolution?

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