Maybe in England – where Douglas Adams was born – or in Innsbruck – where all this started – Towel Day has a kind of recognition for the masses. And surely it is also a remarkable day for a great bunch of geeks (me included). But common people in Spain, and no doubt that’s the same in the rest of the world, have never ever heard about this day.
It belongs to a list of commemorative days originated from a cult-book or a cult-author. Here you can check a list with some of the most representative ones. All of them should be thoroughly promoted as they represent the love for the literature and help to spread the knowledge of some books and authors (some people will see them erroneously just as a waste of time entertainment for freaks). But in my humble opinion, Towel Day can be differentiated from any other day due to the fact that it was created from a simple and futile object like a towel and what it represents in the book. It is not about following the path of a character of a literary work (like Bloomsday or “La noche de Max Estrella”) or visiting the tomb of an author (Oscar Wilde or Allan Poe) but representing the whole surrealistic idea locked up in the Hitchhiker Guide to the Galaxy series. And this idea has not been enough promoted.
Those who have read these books may agree with me that the Hitchhiker Guide to the Galaxy is not just a sci-fi comedy book series but a philosophical, intellectual, sociological and hilarious story. It’s about how the humans create a set of values, mostly wrong. It’s also about knowledge and the continuous Catch-22 life is. And, let me insist in this again: it is HILARIOUS. If you read it in public (as I did in the underground) you will feel observed by the people around you as you will start laughing uncontrollably. And I emphasize the hilarity of the book because this kind of sense of humor and craziness is really needed in our derailed society.
That’s why I have always thought these books should be in the to-be-read list at school (at least the first one of the series). It will help young adults to get a divergent and less pragmatic view of life. Luckily they will make their life a search for the “Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything”.
Towel Day should not be seen as a horde of geeks wrapped in towels but a tribute day to one of the best sci-fi work ever written and a tribute to what it represents.