1 minute readHealth & Safety, Holiday

The Greatness of Towels

Today is Towel Day.

Lucky us! It falls on the 2nd day of Hurricane Preparedness Week.  I’m celebrating both by adding a towel to my preparedness kit today.

Origins of Towel Day:

Towel Day is celebrated every 25 May as a tribute by fans of the late author Douglas Adams. On this day, fans carry a towel with them to demonstrate their love for the books and the author, as referenced in Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

The original quote that referenced the greatness of towels is found in Chapter 3 of Adams’ work The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.”

— Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

* Creative Commons licensed photo by Racum

join the conversation.

We encourage you to comment on this blog. All viewpoints are welcome, but please be constructive. We reserve the right to make editorial decisions regarding submitted comments, including but not limited to removal of comments. The comments are moderated, so you may have to be a tiny bit patient in waiting to see them. We will review and post them as promptly as possible during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 9:00 – 5:00). Please read our full comment policy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Alright…i don’t know anything about towel day or that book, but i would have to agree with the greatness of towels. Once while on a disaster relief assignment in the florida panhandle just after Hurricane Ike, I found two small handtowels and they became my pillows…I used them for weeks sleeping in an ERV, in flooded out barracks, and sleeping outside a few nights in pensacola…

    …towels are great…

  2. Maybe today they can send a few million towels down to the Gulf of Mexico.

  3. Plus, they are just a big ole comfort. I have used many a towel as a shroud to bury beloved pets in and then plant a tree over them.
    Not to mention the fantastic super hero cape one makes!