Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Maybe I'll Just Take A Hike

R Max, my thumb's out and I'm waiting for those ships...

I'm a huge fan of Douglas Adams' satirical sci-fi series "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". The FIVE books in the 'trilogy' are genius, pure and simple. Adams died far too young, and the world of humor writing is the poorer for it.

Anyway, there is a scene in one book where the protagonist, Arthur Dent, says to no one in particular, "I seem to be having difficulty with my lifestyle."

The problem is, at the moment he says those words, a hole opens up in the space-time continuum, and his seemingly benign observation is transported back in time and dropped into the middle of an intense negotiation between representatives of two warring factions. Unfortunately, in their language the phrase "I seem to be having difficulty with my lifestyle" is the most thoroughly vile, filthy and offensive insult imaginable, and the two enemies have no choice but to engage in a war that lasts hundreds of years.

When they finally realize that the whole thing was just a big misunderstanding, and the source of the insult was our own galaxy, they join forces and, thundering across the universe in their mighty warships, they eventually descend on planet Earth and declare war on humanity.

However, due to an unfortunate miscalculation in scale, the entire fleet is swallowed by a small dog. Things like this, apparently, happen all the time.

My point is this: I'm not really very controversial. I'm outspoken, no argument there. But I usually have such silly opinions on such ridiculous subjects that no one feels the need to get terribly worked up over anything I have to say. And I try, whenever possible, to say things in such a way that I can always hide behind the humorists' shield known as, "Hey, just kidding, folks!"

Well, my last post was not a joke. It came from a kind of frustrated place, to be sure. But it wasn't intended to make anyone unhappy, either. Or annoyed. Or really even to motivate folks to do more than just say, "Hmmm..." and then move on to far more pressing concerns, like whether or not they can go a third day without washing their hair.

But if my e-mail is any indication, my semi-benign observations have frosted a few people, people I love and who shouldn't ever read anything I write and feel bad about it, and I want to apologize to anyone who took this far more to heart than I ever would have imagined.

From now on, I'll leave the social rants to the experts, like Stephen Colbert and Oprah. And I'll keep writing about the things that matter most, like how many Israelite women were on their happy weeks at any given time. I enjoy laughing with you all so much more, anyway!

If that doesn't work, I'll just grab my towel, stick out my inter-stellar thumb, and wait for Douglas Adams to swing by. I'm pretty sure he would have some interesting thoughts on the subject of authentic living.

And he's totally unavailable by e-mail, on account of his being deceased and all...

13 comments:

R Max said...

First of all, I TOTALLY LOVE that situation you quoted about the Vl'hurgs and the G'Gugvuntts. It's one of my personal favourites too. Careless talk costs lives and all that.
Secondly, my husband said that a high-level of intelligence is required to really GET Douglas Adams. (Just thought I'd throw that in there.)
And ditto for the rest of your post. I'll bring the muscle relaxant, (five pints was it?). You bring the nuts and towels and let's get the crap outta here.

Hel said...

Although I did more than say "hmmm.." for your last post, that comment about a third day without washing my hair left me thinking...

brudcrew said...

I guess it all comes down to your definition of the word Authentic. I would dare to suggest that there could be as many definitions as people. I love that you site Christ as the supreme example of the way to live life. Regardless of semantics, the example endures.

NatureGirl said...

Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! I love your style and what you have to say! I too adore Douglas Adams-- Thankful today that the universe sent me blog hopping! Keep it up...

DeNae said...

You got it, R Max! Think there's room on board for my pool o' hot fudge?

DeNae said...

...and Nature Girl, anyone who sees fit to start a comment on this blog with FOUR wows is TOTALLY invited to join R Max and me on our galactic getaway. Do you know any Dentrassis by chance? We'll need a good caterer...

Lisa Loo said...

I am beginning to think you are too smart for me--the slow witted child that I am. I (hang head in shame) have never read those books and am really struggling to get my head around the"thundering through the universe--unfortunately swallowed by a dog" thing. But I will keep trying because I love your wit and your wisdom--sorry that people got frosted--we are such an odd bunch aren't we?!

DeNae said...

Well, Lisa, oddly enough, the people who were frosted were not my ward members or my readers, they were family members. And I'll quit the blog biz today if it means making my family unhappy.

As for the level of intelligence required to read Douglas Adams, R Max's kind assessment notwithstanding, what it really takes is a flexible attitude about reality!

Amber said...

Again, I say...English, please.

Amber said...

Actually, what I wanted to say is that I loved your last post. I read it several times and loved it more each time. I enjoyed reading all the comments, too.

And, speaking as someone in your family, I was not frosted. Nor did I read anything that I thought to be offensive pertaining to your family.

Love ya!

Lara said...

1. I need to read those books. I've heard so much good about them, even though I don't love sci fi, maybe I'll try them out.

2. I am sorry people were offended, but I still think it was the most insightful post I have ever read. I have been thinking about it ever since. One thing that came to mind is that the scriputres tell us we must lose our lives in order to find them. Which totally sums up what you were saying. I'm sure there are alternate ways to view the "authentic life," but I just loved your thoughts.

lifeinthehighlands.com said...

Douglas Adams was a genius. Who else would understand that the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything is 42, but the question is what is 7 x 8?

It explains everything.

wendy said...

Hmmm, some interesting thoughts for sure. Life and how we live it --how we think it ---is a continuance DANCE. Sometimes the steps are easy, sometimes they are hard. One of the reasons I blog, and enjoy looking at ALL the different posts out there is becuase ---her is some honesty for you-----I am in a 2nd marriage to a wonderful man who is NOT LDS, And now, (even though I still have my testimony ) I am not that active. I don't go to church, I don't go to relief society ---so do you know that sometimes ONLY these Blogs fill me with alot of the things I am longing to hear. Stories and experiences from wonderful woman who lift me up.