Yesterday was Day 42 of my year of living sober.
It was a Thursday. I spent a good part of Thursday putting books my baby girl removes from my shelf back.
One of the seemingly selected books Honey Rose delights in re-shelving on my study floor is Douglas Adams’ The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and, having made it to the magic Day 42, I decided the universe (or at least Honey Rose) was trying to tell me something.
“Congratulations Daddy. You have made it to the day of the BIG answer.”
Because as anyone who’s read The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy will know: the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is simply 42.
Now that I’ve gone the magic 42 days without a drink does that mean I suddenly have perfect clarity, understand everything and have no more questions about the meaning of life? Nup. No way. But reaching this milestone did remind me why I chose 42 as my number when I played basketball as a kid.
It was fun. Just like my Year Of Living Sober.
Forty-two also happens to be my age as of writing this. And though I’m not sure whether I read THHGTTG before I started drinking or not I do know that even if some things change over time (like me not drinking for a WHOLE YEAR), some things stay the same.
The answer is still 42.
Now, in dedication to the man who was directly responsible for my parents having to buy four iron-on stiff felt letters (two small ones for the front of my b’ball singlet; two big ones for the back), here is the recipe from THHGTTG (in Chapter Two) for a very stiff drink: the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster.
The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy also mentions alcohol. It says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. It says that the effect of a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick.
The Guide also tells you on which planets the best Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters are mixed, how much you can expect to pay for one and what voluntary organizations exist to help you rehabilitate afterwards.
The Guide even tells you how you can mix one yourself.
Take the juice from one bottle of that Ol’ Janx Spirit, it says. Pour into it one measure of water from the seas of Santraginus V – Oh that Santraginean sea water, it says. Oh those Santraginean fish!!!
Allow three cubes of Arcturan Mega-gin to melt into the mixture (it must be properly iced or the benzine is lost). Allow four litres of Fallian marsh gas to bubble through it, in memory of all those happy Hikers who have died of pleasure in the Marshes of Fallia.
Over the back of a silver spoon float a measure of Qualactin Hypermint extract, redolent of all the heady odours of the dark Qualactin Zones, subtle sweet and mystic. Drop in the tooth of an Algolian Suntiger. Watch it dissolve, spreading the fires of the Algolian Suns deep into the heart of the drink.
Add an olive.
Drink… but… very carefully…
Little Booze Joke 42:
An inter-galactic traveller walks into a bar and the barman says, “Sorry, we don’t serve aliens here,” and the inter-galactic traveller says, “O feddled gruntbuggly thy micturations are to me as plurdled gabbleblotchits on a lurgid bee.”