Before you get any errant ideas that the Dougie Fresh I am referring to is the former 80’s rapper, let me be clear: it’s NOT. The Dougie Fresh I am referring to is the one and only Douglas Adams. Each year the week before my birthday, I read señor Adam’s wonderful work of science and lunacy called The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Reading it is my annual reminder to continue to look at things from a slightly odd perspective as I continue to get older. It motivates me to continue to make others laugh. To be different. As I turn the pages and sometimes laugh aloud, a series of mental post-its get plastered to my medulla. If you’ve read the book, you’ll recall some of these. If you haven’t….well just take away from what follows whatever useless information you can extract; the rest leave on the floor – I’ll clean up later….
1) whenever you perform inter-galactic travel, always remember a towel.
2) a Babelfish is incredibly useful, but it feels strange when it’s jammed into your ear.
3) some forms of alien poetry, when read aloud, actually physically hurt.
4) the answer to life, the universe, and everything is…..42.
…and the single greatest point ever made:
5) DON’T PANIC.
Reading this book usually takes me 3-4 days, tops. I usually wrap it up the evening before my birthday – and this year is no different, as I just placed the book on the shelf to rest for the next 51 weeks.
My main take-away from Dougie’s preachings is not to panic. I have 11 marathons completed this year. I don’t have another official race on the calendar. I’ll have to run my last marathon solo in Manhattan. It’s not easy – but I can do it. I just can’t panic.
I’m a bit tired and pretty sore right now. My legs really don’t have much juice in them right now. But I’ll have enough for one more marathon next Saturday morning….as long as I stay under control and don’t panic.
There won’t be any crowds. No medal. No support on the course. Just me and the distance. I can deal with the solitude as long as I don’t panic.
The first time someone attempts to read this book based on my recommendation, I always insert a footnote into the conversation, reminding the soon-to-be-reader not to take the book seriously. This is not Jane Austin. This is my home boy Dougie. He wrote this twisted and hysterical literary Mona Lisa simply to make people smile. And this book has done just that each year for me as turn another year older.
Another year, right down the ol’ gabinetto. I can handle that…as long as I don’t panic.