Dream? No I’d not say that. Let’s say Arthur Dent was my wingman that night.
And he went, “Have you met Slartibartfast?”
Recap. That would make him Slartibartfast’s wingman, not mine, right? Never mind, cut to the conversation.
So there we were, me, good ol’ Slartibartfast (Henceforth I’m going to call him as Slarti, Bart (Not to be confused with Homer’s son), Fast and my old man) and Arthur. Slarti seemed kinda dazed and sickeningly smug about something at the same time.
So yeah, Arthur went, ” Have you met Slartibartfast?”
“Why, of course she has” “Why, of course I have” We both said it together. Slarti said the first part and I said the second part, but we both said our individual lines together, at the same instant, same point of time. Ok, I get it, you get it.
“Oh, well.. fine then. I guess I’ll just stand and skank about”, he said. That was Arthur. Slarti would have never said anything like that.But then Slartibartfast is never like anything. I know he’s older to me, and I dare not ask how old he actually is.
“So how have you been?” I asked. You have to be really really smart to make small talk around these two men.
“Don’t you know already? You’ve seen it all. Where have you been woman?” asked Dent. If I had been really really smart, I’d have paid attention to address my question properly.
I was about to rephrase and ask again, when clanked in Marvin.
“Why do you ask? What is the point when you know that you can ask this question every second and the answer following will be swept under by the same question being asked the same instant? Why pursue this path when there is no meaning to life?”
“Hey, that’s not true!” exclaimed Arthur & Bart together.
“Well, not entirely not true”, added Slarti as an afterthought. “We do know the meaning or rather the answer to the original question as to what is the meaning of life, universe and everything.”
“But 42 is too absolute an answer. It doesn’t take all the improbability factors and it was computed by only the second best. Why, if I’d asked for the meaning of life, universe and everything else would the answer turn to 43?” said Arthur.
“Of course not. It’s not as simple. And what do you mean by everything else?”
“What would you mean by meaning of life, universe and everything then?”, interrupted Marvin.
“Yes, I know you all erred. Now don’t burden me with the obligation to accept your apologies and do something about it. I have enough to do as it is.”
I never thought I’d wish for Marvin to disappear with as much intensity as the atmosphere allowed there as this time.
“So, what have you been upto Slartibartfast?. SHUT UP Marvin and Arthur”
“Same ol’. Same old. Getting ready to design the new Earth. Though I don’t know if I can repeat my award-winning design of creating fjords in Norway around Africa this time around!! For Chrisssake, it would still keep Amazon and Nile running for being the longest and widest rivers on planet earth. Boy this sleepover party was loooong!!…”
Fast could talk and talk fast while he would walk and poke around and fix things all at once. I realized I had missed him. No, I had in fact forgottten all about him. Till this night. And it all came back in a sudden rush. About how delighted and amazed and awed and completely bonkers I had gone when I had first met him. I used to think of Ford and Zaphod once in a while because they were..well, funny, crazy and they were cousins. And Marvin used to keep me OD-ing on LOL with his depression, but tonight, somehow, it’s all different. I can’t find anything but the heart of gold to blame for all of this. And no, I have nothing to say of Arthur.
And I was glad he was still trying to make headway in an argument with Marvin about feelings. It wasn’t clear how one with too much feeling and one who felt but didn’t realize it often enough could argue about such a thing as that.
“But why are we making earth all over again?”, asked Arthur putting on the airs of one who thinks he has asked the Utimate Question ever. (That would have kept the mice happy, if nothing else.)
“Why, to sell it, of course. That’s what the mice intend I assume. After they get the Ultimate Question”, said Slarti, ” And this is what would make one of your earthmen write a song about the mice who sold the world in the somewhat near future. “
“But if the mice would be selling the world, there won’t be any earthmen left to write the song.”, pointed out Arthur.
“Do ya think they will only sell property??? It’s not mere real estate. It’s exchange of refugee camps, if you may have it that way!!!!You only pray that you don’t listen to Vogon’s reciting poetry about their throat infection while your throats are being slit!!!” Slartibartfast started shouting as he said this.
Arthur cowered behind the aircar’s seat while Marvin gave another resigned-to-depression sigh and his shoulders sagged while his eyes drooped.
“Well, now am going to drop you folks off at Frankie and Benjy’s office and you can decide how you plan to go on about it. I have to create fossils and scatter them around Africa. And yes, a tip- Be nice to the mice. And another tip- if you need to escape, remember, just close your eyes, concentrate really hard and get the hell out of this dimension, squeeze into another, shift back, set your time zone and land. And don’t press any red buttons unless you feel you’re gonna crash.”
I had one last thing to say. One last question to ask. ” I’ve missed you Slartibartfast. Have you?” I realized I won’t get a good answer to this one, so I asked another last question, ” So where will I see you see next?”
Slarti gave me an enigmatic smile and then said ” I know you know that I know what’s gonna happen in the future, but will you puh-lease not make it so obvious? Well, to answer your question, I guess I’ll see ya people on Krikkit. Or maybe not. Or I don’t know. As for your previous question, I don’t think I can. You see me missing you would be like Puck missing Shakespeare, not that you are Shakespeare nor am I a knavish sprite in a midsummer night’s dream. Though, that would be an awfully good break from this tedium. Maybe I should go catch a show some time.. But the travelling kills me..Ok let’s see, another example… yes, it could be like Adam missing the bloke who wrote the Bible and we all know what that was all about.. well, let’s not go there.. See, I think you get my point. Now, be a good lassie and take these men off my hands.”
“Ok. I will see you soon then…?”
“All right, I will. Here’s looking at you, kid.” With that he was off. Gone. I didn’t know why he quoted Bogart then. He must have had his reasons.
I only wish I had pressed the red button in time. The mosquitoes I killed during my crash landing would have been glad.
Disclaimer: All the characters, with perhaps the possible exception of the character I, are fictional and have been picked up from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy written by dear Mr. Douglas Adams. I hope he doesn’t turn in his grave after coming to know of this dream.