Yes, today’s the 30th Anniversary of Star Wars, or as some folks have suggested, Universal Day of the Jedi. It’s also the 24th Anniversary of the release of Return of the Jedi. But did you know it’s also Towel Day?
Towel Day was created to commemorate the passing of that hoopy frood Douglas Adams, who passed away on May 11th, 2001, and it was the fastest date that people could agree on. A towel, of course, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have. Partly it has great practical value — you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you – daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough. Anyone who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still know where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.
It’s also, of course, the start of a three day weekend — always a cause for celebration — and I understand there’s some pirate movie that’s opening today. So go forth and enjoy. But make sure you bring a towel.