7/08/2011

The Hitchhiker's Guide to Parenting

On the proper raising of children, with respect to the literature provided therein

And so it was, on that seventh day of July, in the year Two Thousand Eleven, that The Book (heretofore referred to as The Book) was given unto a child. And, Forsooth!, the wisdom and mysteries of the ages passed to the next generation. And there was great rejoicing.

Last night, that I realized that my oldest child was perhaps old enough to appreciate the wit and sagacity of that ancient and revered tome, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. One of the greatest things about having kids is trying to force-feed them the same content on which your own misguided life is based. Usually, this ends in disinterest on the part of the kid and great sadness and self-doubt on the part of the parents. Time and disappointment will prove whether this time the decision was merely flawed or completely stupid, but for now it seems like the right thing to have done. Like hopping over barbed wire instead of walking the extra 20 yards to go around a fence.

Douglas Adams’s books are some of my favorites, and are required reading in my chosen field (itinerant geek). The Hitchhiker's Guide series is the perfect combination of humor and science fiction, where by “science fiction” I mean it has a completely irrelevant and nonsensical plot. And by “plot” I mean, well, I don’t care. It’s just funny, dammit.

I should point out that The Book is, I believe, a massive apologia for the PC game, Starship Titanic. The game was written after the massive success of the Hitchhiker’s series, so in true Adams form, he had to go back in time to write the books to make up for the game in advance. So to have the right feeling about the author, you should really enjoy his works in the order in which he produced them: the game first, then the books. That way, you’ll end your relationship with him on a good note. Or, like me, you can read the books first, then play the game, then read the books again to wash the taste of the game out of your brain.

In any case, I hope I’ve just just added another Douglas Adams fan to the planet. Or at least another person that knows that the answer is 42. It's always 42.
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