Easter approached and my wife was bound and determined to watch Biblical films. I wasn’t all that keen on the concept. I slapped on my head phones and went off to explore what might be interesting online.

I had already watched every video about the major musicians that I like, I had seen all of the segments about private jets and the lifestyles of the rich and famous. I needed something new.

For some unknown reason the number 42 popped into my head. While I seriously doubt that it is possible to copyright a number, 42 is synonymous with the late, and very great Douglas Adams.

My first encounter with him was as unlikely as the story he told. BBC radio four was hardly known for being a huge force in creativity. Sunday afternoons were also not a great time to capture the audience.

Much to the chagrin of my ex-wife and her mother, my father in law and I had participated in the great English tradition of having a couple of pints of beer at the local pub on Sunday lunchtimes. A couple of pints and a few games of Bar Billiards does wonders for the appetite.

It was 1978, not as I recall a year that really captured my attention. The major achievements included the marketing of Velcro, thus creating an entire generation that had no clue how to tie a shoe lace. The TV show Dallas premiered, and the US commerce department stuns the world with ‘Commerce Dept says hurricane names will no longer be only female’.

It doesn’t matter how you viewed it, there was little to celebrate in 1978.
Peter ( father in law, and general troublemaker) suggested that rather than watch TV we explore the air waves. He had a unique way of finding very strange programs to listen to. With our brains Cushioned by several pints of beer, it all sounded great.
And so we stumbled upon the first radio broadcast of The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy.

It did not take long for the radio program to be put on a double album (yup we are talking about vinyl). From there it became a hugely popular TV series. Meanwhile Douglas Adams was turning the radio play into a best selling book.

I was amazed to discover that HHGTTG was on youtube. Unlike most cute cat videos this series takes some time, But it is well worth the effort.

I am far too lazy to post the links to the other five episodes. If you can’t find them let me know.

Simon Barrett

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