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Mark Wing-Davey as Zaphod Beeblebrox (Pic: BBC)
Mark Wing-Davey as Zaphod Beeblebrox (Pic: BBC)
Mark Wing-Davey as Zaphod Beeblebrox (Pic: BBC)

When faced with complicated or unsettling circumstances in life (the universe and everything), the key thing is not to look fazed. You should face every upsetting event with your cool intact because that’ll give you more time to work out what to do.

A past-master in this sort of thing is Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-faced Galactic president from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and a man who values poise above all things (including sense).

So, as it is Towel Day, the global celebration of the works of Zaphod’s creator Douglas Adams, here are nine of his coolest responses that your mouth can get busy trotting out, while your mind works out a decent plan of action.

Or, at the very least, the route to the nearest pan-galactic gargle-blaster:

When caught out in an exam:
• “I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don’t know the answer.”

When people aren’t paying you enough attention:
• “If there’s anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.”

When confronted with needless authority:
• “You guys are so unhip it’s a wonder your bums don’t fall off.”

When people doubt your awesomeness:
• “I’m so amazingly cool you could keep a side of meat inside me for a month.”

When dealing with strange people on public transportation:
• “Listen, three eyes, don’t you try to outweird me, I get stranger things than you free with my breakfast cereal.”

When faced with regret:
• “If I ever meet myself, I’ll hit myself so hard I won’t know what’s hit me.”

When a close friend has decided to jaywalk across a freeway at rush hour:
• “OK, so 10 out of 10 for style, but minus several million for good thinking, yeah?”

When showing appreciation for someone else’s creative vision:
• “That really is truly amazing. It’s so amazingly amazing, I think I’d like to steal it.”

When people STILL aren’t paying you enough attention:
• “I am so hip I have difficulty seeing over my pelvis.”

And one last tip. Should you wish to avoid people expecting too much of you, this paragraph of psychological analysis may prove to be instructive:

• “One of the major difficulties Trillian experienced in her relationship with Zaphod was learning to distinguish between him pretending to be stupid just to get people off their guard, pretending to be stupid because he couldn’t be bothered to think and wanted someone else to do it for him, pretending to be outrageously stupid to hide the fact that he actually didn’t understand what was going on, and really being genuinely stupid.”

See more:
Happy Towel Day: Six Life Lessons From Marvin The Paranoid Android
Happy Towel Day: 25 Douglas Adams Quotes To Live By
Should We Read Douglas Adams’ Unpublished Manuscripts?
10 Sci-Fi Franchises Influenced by ‘Doctor Who’

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By Fraser McAlpine