The most extraordinary news has emerged from an archaeological dig in Wiltshire. In a known site of ancient Stone Age habitation, scientists have found a piece of fully refined aluminium sheet in a seam of sediment known to be at least two million years old. What is even more extraordinary is that some characters, apparently in English, have been detected engraved on its surface. Part of the inscription is missing, but what has been so far deciphered appears to say “Golgafrincham B Ark”
Researchers trying to find out what this means have concluded that Douglas Adams may have had some inside information, and his great work “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” might, as many have suspected, actually be a work of historical fact.
The story, thought to be just amusing whimsey, but now proved to be reality, went something like this: the inhabitants of the planet Golgafrincham, in orbit around a distant star, put the story around that the planet was doomed. The details were unclear, but either a swarm of twelve foot piranha bees, or an enormous mutant star-goat were going to destroy the planet.
Three great space arks were planned to transport the inhabitants to a safe haven. The first ark would contain the great scientists and artists – the achievers. The third ark would be filled with the people that actually made things and did the work. The second, or B Ark, would contain all the middle men – telephone sanitizers, hairdressers, advertising account executives and Daily Telegraph journalists (oh, alright, I made the last bit up). Anyway, the B Ark was despatched first because, to quote Adams: “It was important for morale to feel that (everyone else) would be arriving on a planet where they could be sure of a good haircut and where the phones were clean …”
This all took place two million years ago, and by a freak of probability, the B Ark crashed on to prehistoric Earth. The cavemen living there at the time were overwhelmed by the Golgafrinchams, and, as a result, the population of Earth today has evolved, not via a three billion year development from single-cell organisms, but from a set of telephone sanitizers, hairdressers, advertising account executives and Daily Telegraph journalists (yes, alright, I know, but the metaphor is too good!).
It explains so much; Margaret Thatcher, B****t, Donald Trump, the One Show … As Arthur Dent observed ruefully “All through my life I’ve had this strange uncomfortable feeling that something was going on in the world, something big, even sinister, and no one would tell me what it was …”
Welcome to the Mirli Books blog written by Peter Maggs