Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Well thumbed

I'm only mildly interested in seeing the hit film version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It surprises me a little that I'm not more psyched, because (like a lot of guys my age, I suspect) I was fanatical about the franchise when I was a lad. But I think I just might be over it.

I've certainly consumed my fair share of Hitchhiker's Guide stuff. To this day, I still have the books, I have a book about the books, I have the radio plays on tape, I have a book of the scripts of the radio plays, and I even have a Commodore 64 ROM of the old Infocom text adventure. A lot of these items I gratefully received as gifts at the height of my obsession. But I think what I realized, as I was about two-thirds of the way through the radio book, is that in all these tellings, the story is exactly the same, and even more crucially, the jokes are exactly the same. I remember finding the novels screamingly funny at first, but after a while, I wasn't screaming anymore.

I do, however, make regular use of Babel Fish Translation, AltaVista's imperfect but handy translating service. For those of you not in the know, babel fish is a Hitchhiker's Guide reference.

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