Nine Lines
A Nail Clipping from the Hitchhiker's Thumb?

Published in:
Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 54 (May 2012)

Pages: 151-156.

Editor: Simon Petrie

Publisher: Andromeda Spaceways (Canberra, Australia)

ISBN: 1446-781



On October 10, 2010 Hitchhiker's Guide aficionado Max Mooney uncovered an unused fragment of radio script - one in which Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect, rather than being called upon to enjoy the Vogon Captain's poetry, are instead tasked with composing a nine line poem about the Captain's cat, Toasty Vogon. Is this excerpt spurious? Or was it destined for fame until one of Douglas Adams' infamous last-minute rewrites? A textual analysis in which Hitchhiker's luminaries wax and wane to nail-biting effect.

Stimulus Response:

Ever since the sad realisation struck me in 2001 that there would be no new Douglas Adams works, I've found myself delving more deeply into the non-fiction stories that underlie each of his compositions. While doubtlessly this has been of great comfort (satisfying the inner scholar and all that), it occasionally has thrown to light a disillusioning thought or two; a case in point being that Mark Carwardine's Last Chance to See: in the Footsteps of Douglas Adams (2009) is such a fabulously Adamsey sort of work that it rather belies the natural assumption that Carwardine was just a literary passenger on the original Last Chance to See (1990), merely there to hand Adams the dry facts with which he sanded the book prior to layering on all the funny bits. In fact, I'm now terrified of revisiting Last Chance to See (my favourite Adams work), lest it confirm my worst fears by being in no substantial way better than the Adams-deprived sequel.


  - random selection from the unpublished memoire, Freefall