‘So this is it,’ said Arthur, ‘we are going to die.’
‘Yes,’ said Ford, ‘except . . . no! Wait a minute!’ He suddenly lunged across the chamber at something behind Arthur’s line of vision. ‘What’s this switch?’ he cried.
‘What? Where?’ cried Arthur, twisting round.
‘No, I was only fooling,’ said Ford, ‘we are going to die after all.’
He slumped against the wall again and carried on the tune from where he had left off.
‘You know,’ said Arthur, ‘it’s at times like this, when I’m trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space, that I really wish I’d listened to what my mother told me when I was young.’
‘Why, what did she tell you?’
‘I don’t know, I didn’t listen.’
Happy Birthday, Douglas Adams. We still miss you.