I wrote this one afternoon in 2007 while lamenting the passing of Douglas Adams. I plan on writing more over time but until then enjoy my first chapter.
The Further Guide to the Galaxy.
This is the first Chapter of my Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy story.
Really, Don’t Panic. A Further Guide to the Galaxy
by Universe Kevin Gnoes (My cunning pen name)
A continuation of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adams
Chapter One: Good British Tea
This is a story, a very long story, longer than you’d think, and not necessarily in chronological order, or for that matter rational order…
What began in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, the most astounding and successful book to ever come out of the great publishing houses of Ursa Minor continues in its second volume “A further Guide to the Galaxy”. Although the Guide is the repository for all knowledge in the Galaxy much was edited out to preserve space, and more importantly to include more exciting places and more interesting bars than those found on Earth. The planet Earth is after all in the unfashionable district of the Galaxy…
After the Guide’s massive financial success; the great publishing houses of Ursa Minor decided to release a companion edition with the words “Really, Don’t Panic” emblazoned on the cover in even larger and more friendly letters. The letters in fact were quite friendly, in a “can I buy you a drink” way.
Unfortunately the other great publishing houses of the Galaxy were so worried that the Further Guide would bury their sales, and subsequently put them out of business… And with good reason. So, much of it was stolen and hidden throughout the Galaxy in the most dangerous places imaginable. For example, the Bug Bladder Beast of Trall had a portion of it hidden in its terrifying lair.
This is the Further Guides story, and it features among others, Ford Prefect, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Trillian, Fenchurch, Random, her sometimes boyfriend the random entity named Kevin, and of course Marvin the Paranoid Android, and the most oblivious man in the Galaxy, Arthur Dent.
This portion of the story begins in a bar on that most perplexing of doomed planets, Earth. Before Arthur and Ford escape the Earth moments before its destruction in a Vogon Constructa Ship, before Arthur had any idea that the Galaxy had any other life in it, before Arthur even knew that Ford was an alien, in a bar where a young Arthur is sitting having a lager with his old friend Ford and a couple of Ford’s friends that always sat beside each other. The four of them are discussing birds… More importantly Arthur Dent’s never ending problems with meeting birds… You know what I mean, gals, ladies, chicks, babes, hotties, the fairer sex.
“Really Arthur, it’s not as hard to talk to them as you think!” Ford said as he took a sip of his far too meager Earth drink.
“Ford, it’s just that I get so nervous… You know I’ve had girlfriends before, it’s just always been so hard to meet them.” Arthur was on his third lager and already his head was swimming a bit. “Or talk to them after meeting them.”
“Stop being such a downer Arty, I just walk up to the birds and say ‘Hey baby I’m here, your life is complete!’ and the chicks just gravitate to me man.” Ford’s friend Phil was the sort that Arthur never liked, he had a silly goatee, and his hair was tied back in a ponytail like all of the other asshats he’d met. His arrogance was so massive that it created its own energy field of arrogance.
“Really Zaphil, don’t you know that gal over there.” Ford hoped Arthur didn’t catch his near slip. The earthman, like all Earthanoids would lose his marbles if he knew he was talking to aliens. Earth people just didn’t believe there were any other species in the Universe other than them. Which if you think about it is a pretty stupid way to think… What with the Galaxy’s MASSIVE size and all, let alone the Universe! “She seems to be looking over here.” Good save Ford thought, Zaphod always knows the really hot ones and pretty women always made Arthur too flustered to catch on to the aliens in his midst…
The two gals looking at them were more than just hot, they were positively ravishing… At least that’s what Arthur thought. He had been glancing over at them and occasionally staring all night. In fact it was his desire to meet at least one of them that had begun Ford’s most dreaded recurrent conversation with Arthur. The how do I meet ladies conversation.
It wasn’t that Arthur was a bad guy at all; in fact it was the complete opposite. He was a great guy; all of his friends thought so; but at the time on Earth people believed that all nice guys finished last… Really a silly system of belief, unless you were aiming to completely destroy your entire civilization. Arthur even made a fair amount of money at his Job with, but when he told a woman that he worked there they never really believed him. A guy as nice as him could never work in television; after all, you need the killer instinct to succeed. Or so the people of Earth believed at least.
Zaphod, also known as Phil, subtly glanced in the direction of the two chicks. One was wearing a sexy red shirt with her blond curly hair falling just past her shoulders, with bright red lipstick that set of her stunning blue eyes. She was laughing at a joke that the other, and less attractive in Zaphod’s mind, had said.
The other gal was wearing a black poet’s shirt with an unlaced blue corset vest. Her dark hair partially concealed her pale face and dark eyes. Beeblebrox the so far silent member of the quartet was certain she was looking directly at our young friend Arthur.
Since no-one ever asked Beeblebrox anything he decided to not tell anyone. As so often was the case. If he had mentioned it Arthur would certainly hmmm and haa over how to approach her, which Beeblebrox certainly didn’t want.
It’s not that Beeblebrox didn’t like Arthur, quite the opposite in fact. Arthur frequently would talk to him… Something that Beeblebrox always appreciated, especially since Arthur would so seldomly speak to his other head Zaphod. Sure, Arthur didn’t know that the two of them were joined at the hip, and shoulder, and torso for that matter, and if he did he would certainly panic. It’s just Zaphod was always so dominate and everyone assumed they were the same person. ‘Zaphod could you…’ or ‘Zaphod I was wondering…’, never ‘Beeblebrox how are you today?’ Beeblebrox was a firm believer in speaking only when spoken to. And because of it he was quite lonely.
“I wish I could meet a gal like her… That would be a dream.” Arthur said with a sigh.
“A woman that beautiful would never look at a guy like you Arty, you just don’t have what it takes.” Zaphod said with a smirk.
Beeblebrox took a sip of his drink and sighed, “I don’t know, lots of guys like Arthur end up in relationships with girls that pretty…” Beeblebrox scratched underneath his eye patch and looked around the bar, he seemed like he was looking for someone.
At this point it is important to realize that Zaphod, like most men thought that Arthur was talking about the blond, the one that he wanted to meet, and not the gal with the dark hair. Something that is universally known about males is that they always believe that everyone likes what they do, be it women, music, beer, or those silly shows that keep coming from earth that claim that humans are the only species in the Galaxy. Or alternately that humans will control all of the Galaxy at some point in the future. Considering the size of something as big as the galaxy Earth is located in, you can all see how stupid that sort of reasoning is. At least the entire Galaxy would hope so…
“I hope Kevin gets here soon, he’s always got the best Tea…” Ford said as he flagged down the waitress to order another round of drinks, this time he stressed that he wanted the STRONGEST alcohol they carried. “I’m certainly stressed out enough that some ‘good British tea’ would hit the spot.”
“I agree with you totally Ford…” Arthur had a minorly paranoid conspiratorial look in his eyes, and a slight smile on his lips. “After a bit of tea I may even work up the courage to say hello to that gal over there.” Arthur sighed again. He’d been single for just over two years after all.
His last girlfriend had left him when she had discovered that he was not in fact an astronaut in training like he’d said, but only a lowly editor for some tiny television program involving time travellers and constant alien invasions…
Arthur had been devastated by it, but Ford looked at it as an excuse to drink, drink, drink. One of the Earth customs that Ford had always thought was the most evolved custom on the planet. That is until a year and a half had passed with Arthur still not having impressed a gal enough to get him some nookie. Which of course came with his complaining and whining, and constantly asking for advice on how to meet a bird. Still, Arthur was the best friend he’d ever had. He was just that great a guy.
The waitress arrived with a tray full of drinks, and Arthur pulled his wallet out to pay, “I’ve got this one.” He said as he took a few five pound notes out.
Ford immediately said, “No, no, no, birthday boy, you only turn 22 once so your money is no good tonight.” Ford flashed the waitress one of his trademarked ‘I can bring you from here to Alpha Centari in twenty minutes flat, but only if you leave your clothing behind’ smiles and said “Put it on this!” Handing her his beaten up old American Express card.
“Oh, it’s your birthday!” The pretty young waitress said as she mussed Arthur’s hair “If that’s the case then I’ll buy you this round. Happy birthday cutey!”
Arthur blushed deeply, and couldn’t repress a smile. “T-t-t-t-thank y-y-you…” he said nervously.
“It’s nothing really…” The waitress smiled and spun as she walked away.
“I think that one likes you Arty! Why don’t you ask her out?” Zaphod grinned as he took a large sip of his ‘everything strong mixed together in the biggest glass you’ve got’.
“No, she’s just being nice… It’s just her doing her job.” Arthur said has he looked into his drink. “Tips and all…”
“Know, I really think you have a chance there man!” Ford said hopefully. “Arthur did you say tits?”
“Really Ford, Phil, Fred, if a bird that happy and attractive liked me then do you really think I’d have been single for more than two years?! And no ford I didn’t say TITS I said TIPS!” Arthur’s timing had never been better; the music was at one of the quiet bits right when he very loudly said ‘TITS not TIPS!’
Beeblebrox sighed. “Look Dent, you’ve gotta stop being so down on yourself… You might have better luck if you were…”
“I don’t think that’s it Fred, I’m just not attractive to the fairer sex… I lack muscles, a house in the Hamptons, and a cool car…”
“You also lack a brain Arty… If you had one of those you’d be snogging with that waitress right now.” Zaphod really was getting on Arthur’s nerves.
“Shut up Phil!” Arthur and Beeblebrox said simultaneously.
“Really Tricia, I’m so happy for you! You beat out everyone for that job at the aerospace center!”
“Oh Fenchurch, I’m sorry you didn’t get the position… I’m sure you’ll find something better than that dingy old cafe soon… By the way I love your outfit! Where did you get that corset?”
“I know Tricia, oh this… I found it in an antique store; it cost almost nothing too… A real find.”
“Well, tomorrow night I want you to wear it again! I’m throwing a celebration costume party! It’s a good old fashioned masquerade party; all you’ll need is a mask!”
“Hopefully I’ll be able to meet a nice guy for a change… Someone I can actually have a conversation with… That one over there that keeps looking at us seems like he’d be a nice conversationalist…” Fenchurch nodded in the direction of Arthur, Ford and Zaphod Beeblebrox. “I get a good feeling from him…”
“It’s called horny.” Trillian said with a grin. “Not my type though… His friends are cute though.”
“That nerdy one is soo cute… He must be cool too; his friends look like they’re cool.” Fenny rarely ever talked about men, or women for that matter… She was always quiet about her tastes, and Trillian was really quite surprised that Fenny had even mentioned the nerdy one at all…
“Yeah too cool for Earth!” Trillian said with a smirk.
“So what sort of costume are you going to wear tomorrow Trish?”
“Would you be mad if I dressed as you?”
“Not at all, you know how much fun it is when we dress the same… With those contact lenses we could be sisters!” Fenny giggled her musical laugh. Arthur was just stumbling by towards the men’s room as she did… From that moment on Arthur was certain he’d at least crossed paths with that most elusive of all people, the ‘one’.
“Good. I already bought some temporary dye.” Trillian giggled. “Maybe I should invite the four of them… Then you’d have a chance to meet your nerd.” Trillian smiled and took a sip of her drink. She loved those drinks with the little umbrellas in them…
“Oh that would be nice… But you know how much trouble I have talking to the men I like…”
“That’s the beauty of me and you dressing the same! I can meet him for you, and then you can talk to him. He’ll think he’s met you and then you won’t even have to break the ice.” Trillian smiled ear to ear, “Half the work’ll be done from the moment you first say ‘Hi my cutey little nerdy boy’.”
“Oh Tricia, you’re such a good friend. I’m so glad that you’re my flatmate. I really wish I wasn’t so shy…”
Kevin was running late, a few days ago his girlfriend’s father had walked in on the two of them in a very awkward position and ever since he’d been a bit frightened… Father’s never reacted well to their daughters having sex, especially when they walk in on one of the kinky bits. Of course Random’s dad was *extra* protective, as most good dads are. Good thing a friend had a time machine so the two of them could make their escape to before Kevin’s life would have been snuffed out.
It wasn’t like what they were doing was his idea. After all, Random was a wild gal and she’d wanted to try something new! She’d read it in a book after all.
They had met at the craziest bar in the Galaxy, on a night that his band ” was performing. Random had no idea that he was in the band seeing as the lead singer was Galactically renowned for staying out of the media, and being mysterious. She had approached him with her sexily mischievous grin in full force. Everyone that was there had described it as two objects with super massive gravity slamming together inside of a gigantic bowl of butterscotch pudding made out of four hundred year old scotch… In fact their make out session had caused his band to start a full hour late, and everyone that looked in their direction couldn’t help but blush.
Kevin considered it one of the best nights of his life, also the beginning of the wildest times he’d ever had. Random Chance was just like that, when she was around everything just went bonkers… Probability was thrown out the window, and there were usually bombs going off. Everything that Kevin thought was a good time.
Also the sounds of the explosions always made the best beats for his music, also known as was not exactly a Disaster Area rip-off, but certainly was inspired by the legendary musical mass destruction that the lead singer of Disaster Area produced. Even more so after he’d met her.
His time traveler friend had asked him to drop some good British tea off at a bar for some old friends on Earth. The type of tea common in British Columbia in that supernatural country Canada that hardly anyone ever talks about. Kevin was originally from Earth and did like visiting his home planet, even though he really didn’t like most of the people. Earth had never been kind to him. His revenge was to not play concerts on Earth, and to break minor laws whenever he could while there.
In this case it was transporting a big bag of stinky “British Tea”. He’d been smoking the stuff for years and could use the scratch while he was on Earth, as his Galactic credit card wasn’t accepted on his home planet. He just put that on his list of why he didn’t live there anymore, and why he wouldn’t play shows there.
Kevin was looking forward to seeing Ford again, and Ford was going to introduce him to his best friend on Earth, also other planets rarely ever got Lager right. He’d always say “Earth, a nice place to visit; but you wouldn’t want to live there. The beers good though.”
The rental car was the least expensive on the lot, but Kevin didn’t care. A car was a car, and Random Chance was hotter than any earth woman he’d met so he had no need to impress anyone. Too bad Random was off sightseeing elsewhere in London. Fred’s was a fun bar… Then again he didn’t want the place destroyed so maybe it was a good thing she hadn’t come tonight…
“Well, this is the place.” He uttered as he pulled into the lot of Fred’s Nighttime Party Spot. He was dressed in his cunning disguise. -A pair of thick rimmed glasses, conservative clothing, and his hair styled conservatively. He looked much like a math teacher, which meant the police wouldn’t pull him over. Earth, being a backwards planet, had made good British tea, also known as pot, illegal years ago…
After parking his rented Yugo, he took a skinny joint out of the glove box and smirked his half smile. “Ford’s gonna love this.” His accent was Canadian which does sound a lot like American… But it’s not. Placing his package of cigarettes in his shirt pocket Kevin made his way to the front door of the bar noticing that a group of drunken hipsters were having a smoke. Inhaling deeply, he muttered under his breath “What I’ve got is better.”
As he walked by he overheard one of the hipsters say, “That geek is never going to get in…”
Smiling he thought, “If they only knew…”
He walked into the bar and the burly bouncer patted him on the shoulder and said “Hey man, long time… Got any tunes on ya?”
“Not today Mungo, next time for sure!”
The hipsters were laughing about how it looked like he was going to be refused entry, but then were agog over how he didn’t even have to pay the 10 pound cover charge. Kev walked through the doors and started looking about for Ford and his party. It was a busy night and a lot of young people were having a good time.
Beeblebrox was the first to notice Kevin looking around the bar and nudged Ford with his boot. Ford looked over and waved at Kevin and as he did Trillian caught both Zaphod and Arthur’s eye and waved them over to her and Fenchurch’s Table. Fenchurch of course, blushed.
Ford grinned conspiratorially and said “Finally, Kevin’s here.” Just as both Arthur and Zaphod pointed at themselves. Zaphod was of course grinning, and Arthur had his nearly trademarked look of surprise on him.
“Maybe some Tea will help me forget about Arthur’s whining.” Beeblebrox muttered.
Fenchurch couldn’t help but smile and blush over how cute Arthur looked. Zaphod of course assumed it was him she was smiling at.
All four stood up at the same time, Ford and Beeblebrox started making their way towards Kevin, and Zaphod and Arthur were moving towards Trillian and Fenchurch.
Two opposite directions… Those who know that Zaphod and Beeblebrox are in fact joined at the hip, shoulder, and torso, would know that this is going to be a problem.
Will Zaphod meet the babes? Or will Beeblebrox get some good British tea to forget about Arthur’s whining? Will Ford drink some more? Will Arthur make a fool out of himself? And who is this Kevin guy anyways? Will Zaphod and Beeblebrox’s drive to go two different directions split them in half? Zaphod is really randy for Trillian, and Beeblebrox really wants to forget about Arthur’s whining… Find out in the next exciting chapter of The Further Guide to the Galaxy, and really, don’t panic!
Written by Kevin Thomas Patrick McCrank
orig. posted on http://www.vortext.net
In loving memory of Douglas Adams.
It is important to note that the drugs that Kevin, Random, and Entity sold were not traditional drugs per-say… They sold Bungee Jumping trips into Black holes, Hyperspace jumps in rickety old spacesuits without parachutes, and planets inside of black holes made out of ‘Skron Hashish’ with ‘Creamy Nougat Centers’…
In one Doctor’s case the Creamy Nougat Center was in fact ‘The Devil’ and had two giant jars of the Devils very own Hash Oil in the middle.
Then the silly git gave some of the Devil’s oil to a friend on Earth thus triggering the coming of Abbadon, Doomsday and other such disasters. The oil really is that Damn good, and the Devil’s old friends really missed the oil! It really is that damn good!!! Or would it be That Damn Evil? Fuck I can’t remember, I smoked one micron of it last week and then forget where I put my ummm… what’s that thing called… You know the thingie ma jig on my head… Ummm… Hair, yes that’s it… Hair. Oooooh… Twinkies.