The Hitchicker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Douglas Adams, an ape descendant. wrote a book called The Hitchicker’s Guide to the Galaxy. In it, hung over on a Thursday morning, Arthur Dent, a tall, dark Englishman of thirty years of age, who was never quite at ease with himself, periodically gazes out his window but fails to understand the meaning of the presence of a large yellow excavator in front of his house.
Next thing, Arthur is lying in the mud in front of his house to prevent the city from leveling it to build an overpass. While Arthur is there, his peculiar friend Ford Prefect, says “hello”. Ford is from a star called Betelgeuse and has been stuck on earth for fifteen years because he is a writer/researcher for the Hitchicker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Ford tells his friend that the earth is about to be demolished by a Vogon construction fleet. They decided to destroy the earth because they plan to build a galactic expressway and the earth is in the way.
In less than two minutes, the earth is demolished.
Ford Prefect is prepared for this disaster. He’s packed a towel and a copy of The Hitchicker’s Guide to the Galaxy in his attaché, before hitching a ride on one of the ships of the Vogon construction fleet with Arthur.
On the other side of the galaxy, a not so intelligent megalomaniac and the President of the Imperial Galactic Government, a fellow with two heads by the name of Zaphod Beeblebrox, steals the Heart of Gold, a super advanced spaceship. As he is giving a speech at the christening of the ship, he launches a freezing bomb to the crowd and flees.
Ford and Arthur are trapped in the Vogon ship because the infamously vile and perniciously bureaucratic Vogons despise hitchickers. Arthur is very confused until Ford introduces him to the Hitchicker’s Guide to the Galaxy, an encyclopedic archive of all knowledge and wisdom.
Arthur and Ford are captured and placed in poetry appreciation chairs to sit through a terrible poetry reading put on by the Vogons. They try to convince the Vogons that they are enjoying their poetry, but are unable to because Ford almost dies listening to it, so they are thrown off the ship. They are rescued by the heart of gold. Ford and Arthur are brought up to the bridge to meet Zaphod and Trillian. It appears that Ford and Zaphod are cousins, and Arthur had previously met Zaphod at a party in England, where Zaphod took Trillian on a ride in the Heart of Gold. Trillian happened to have been flirting with Arthur at the party. All these events are caused by the infinite improbability drive and are no coincidence.
Their destination is a planet called Magrathea. As they enter the palnet, a recorded voice warns them that they should leave a message and go, otherwise they will be destroyed. They ignore the warning and proceed further; two nuclear missiles are launched at the ship. Fortunately, Arthur turns on the infinite improbability drive and the missiles become a whale and a pot of petunias whilst the cockpit of the ship becomes a resort-complex next a pool. Then Arthur and Melvin, the ship’s highly intelligent but constantly depressed robot, are to monitor while Ford, Zaphod and Trillian are lowered onto Magrathea. Arthur is shown the factory in Magrathea where they manufacture planets. Arthur sees an exact replica of the earth being built in the factory and discovers that earth was originally made and paid for by mice that were running a research project 10 million years ago. The project was destroyed five minutes before its completion, due to the Vogan invasion.
Mice were incredibly intelligent beings who were fed up with disputes over the meaning of life so they built a computer named Deep Thought to calculate the answers to life, the universe and everything. The process took seven and a half billion years, and people are a bit upset at the answer, which is 42. Deep Thought helps in the design of a computer so complex, organic beings are part of it, they call it: Earth.
Ford, Trillian, Zaphod and Arthur are taken in a room with two white mice. The mice learn that the earth was destroyed five minutes before it was scheduled to deliver the ultimate question. They request Arthur’s brain with the hope that it might contain a clue about this ultimate question, but Arthur manages to escape during the confusion caused by an alarm. They make it to their craft and manage to escape, because Marvin’s boring explanation of his view of the universe causes them to commit suicide.