"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-sandedbeaches 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 wardoff noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast ofTraal (such a mind-boggingly 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: nonhitchhiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also inpossession of a toothbrush, washcloth, 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 hitchhiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitchhiker 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.
Hence a phrase that has passed into hitchhiking slang, as in "Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There's a frood who really knows where his towel is." (Sass: know, be aware of, meet, have sex with; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy."
ur The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy av Douglas Adams, kapitel 3.
Det var många år sedan jag läste Liftarens guide till galaxen, sådär tio år sedan, men idag är det Towel Day, vilket går ut på att den 25 maj varje år - sedan 2001 då Douglas Adams gick bort- tar man med sig handduken var man än går.
Så, glöm inte handduken idag gott folk!