Something Chewable For 2021

As we take the time to peer up life’s proctological periscope in the hope of spotting some light beyond the ever tightening sphincter of lockdown, and dodge those sharp edged toast crusts that litter our path, I offer some light philosophy drawn from my regular muse and massager of my hippocampus, St Douglas of Adams and his seminal works on an ordered life and how to pair off odd socks when the washing machine eats yet another foot-glove. It should be compulsory reading in schools if such things still existed. If the Gideon Bible is always to be found in hotel bedrooms then Adams’ compendium should be hanging from string next to every toilet.

It is

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

By St. Douglas of Adams (I’ve said this, haven’t I?)

Here are some take-ways that help you survive another news bulletin.

Even the Vogons get to read their poetry

Vogon poetry is the worst in the universe. Their captain reads it to Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect, admittedly not willingly. But it gives all nascent performance poets hope, and if one day I’m in charge of an interstellar demolition fleet I too may get to read Le Pard’s first oeuvre to some passing hitch-hiker.

A cool frood always knows where his towel is

This reminds everyone of the essential rightness of one’s hyperawareness for personalised terrycloth. Clearly the towel is a metaphor for having about one’s person any form of absorbent material. Indeed note 25th May in your diaries as International Towel Day.

There is a restaurant at the end of the universe

Of course, at one level this idea encapsulates hope, hope that one day you too will reach a spectacular end if you strive for long enough and have enough patience. But the real message is more prosaic: that however much you might save and for however long, all you’ll end up with is enough for a bag of chips and a scrawny burger.

It’s the mice who run everything

A good reminder this that just because they are small and whiskery doesn’t mean they are unimportant; the young should bear this in mind when looking at we of more marinaded years.

I could never get the hang of Thursdays

It is a truth that should be universally acknowledged that each of us has a Dud-Day. Custom suggests Mondays as the start of a lot of working weeks but with seven days to choose from each person needs to understand when it is utterly excusable to pull the duvet back up, kill the alarm and just snuggle. If trains can be excused school because of the wrong sort of snow and children not beaten soundly because their homework is still proving in the airing cupboard, then adults should be entitled to their Dud-Day.

The world desperately needs to discover a babel fish

I hanker to travel more but part of why I don’t (there’s the time:money conundrum stuff but passing that by) is the fact not everyone speaks a version of English I can understand. I’m not saying they should (though good manners would suggest they give it serious thought). But, because they don’t and I will certainly not be able to speak whatever it is they are articulating, I end up either (a) frustrated because I can no more make myself understood than my dog when he pops out to the butchers to buy some sausages or (b) embarrassed that someone can speak English in a structured and intelligible way because they have made the effort to and, well, it rather shows me up as the lazy good for nothing tosser that I really am.

A lot of you might have expected me to comment on the unveiling, in amongst these other revelations of the fact that the Meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything is (spoiler alert)


That’s the thing and I learnt it years ago. It’s just a number and, well, as I hope we all know by now, it is that, whatever Life, the Universe and Everything looks like on the outside, inside it is whatever number it wants it to be. And that’s probably the most important take away for all of us. And it really didn’t need five books to show it.

Or you could be Dog and not real gives a manatee’s ballcock for philosophy.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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32 Responses to Something Chewable For 2021

  1. LOL – Dog… you is a happily simple creature

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That was always a grand book.
    Dog. Yes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. noelleg44 says:

    Dog knows the best things in life, clearly. And I never know where your mind is going to take you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. gordon759 says:

    But do remember that the Babel fish, by ensuring that all life forms (which I assume includes super intelligent shades of the colour blue) could communicate clearly, caused more, and bloodier wars, that anything else in the history of the universe.
    (Hope I have remembered my Adams correctly)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. trifflepudling says:

    Adorable photo!
    Was late getting round to reading first book as opposed to radio or tv – it didn’t disappoint.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We could so learn from our pets.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your dog looks so comfy and cosy.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. willowdot21 says:

    Oh! To be a dog! …..I am a big fan Douglas Adams fan ….. I hope our poetry is is marginally better than the Vogons !

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Well done, Geoff. Dog played a great role. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Suzanne says:

    Dog, simplicity at it’s best. We mortals down here seem to be focussing on making our abodes more luxurious and comfortable, a bit like dog, life is far more enjoyable with comfort. Travel? Seems a lifetime ago!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh to be a dog! Mine is currently dreaming sweetly under a blanket!

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      Mine is waiting on sofa and TV time… not long now!! If only they’d say hello by nudging paws rather than sniffing bottoms, I’d sign up like a shot.


  12. Widdershins says:

    My memories of radio plays heavily involved the Goon Show, so when young St Douglas first permeated the air-waves I was, to use the vernacular of the times, stoked! 😀
    42 forever!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jennie says:

    This made me smile!

    Liked by 1 person

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