On The Infintely Useful Towel

It’s Towel Day! And I forgot my towel at home. This is what’s wrong with me. I go around flaunting my gleefully-held beliefs like one should always have a towel and then go around, tossing them out the window in fits of forgetfulness.

A further example: I pledged to send out a couple agent query letters today (CLOYD will be SOLD, damn it!), and here I am, blogging about towels.

Some explanation. Towel Day is a world-wide festival celebrating the towel, as inspired by Douglas Adams’s flawless – and it was flawless, damn it – Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy trilogy(ish). The towel is an infinitely useful object, deployed as everything from a method by which one can obtain sustenance, a weapon, and a disguise. It is also one of the very few things that the bumbling Arthur Dent has to remind him of Earth in his travels throughout the galaxy, and is thus better than a photograph, because you can bend a towel and no one will shout at you for destroying memories.

Now, I could talk about my own whacky uses for towels as inspired by Adams, but I won’t. Instead, in further penance for my stupidity, I shall discuss a time when I left a towel at home on a, and was thus put in an awkward position.

That’s it. There is no other point. The story will be me going to a place, thinking “whoops,” and that is it. It’s a meandering bout of mental vomit wherein no truths about humanity or myself are gleaned. I went on a trip, forgot to bring a towel, and life goes on. That’s the point of the story. But, still, I think I should get this out there. You know, appease the Towel Spirit by saying that towels are very useful, and this is what happens when you don’t bring a towel:

You write a shitty blog post in the hopes that doing so will get out a couple more pageviews.

Feel free to skip this if you don’t care about Towel Day, but only on the caveat that you’re going to go read Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy.

In Paris, Where Towels Are Expensive

In 2008, I took a trip to Paris with the estimable sirs Jonathan Lim and Stephen Fischer.

This was a way to pay them back for dragging them to Dublin, a city devoid of landmarks Americans know about, for the excuse of getting shitpiss wasted and not being alone while doing so. See, Stephen is a francophile, much in the same way that I am an alcophile, and this was his natural element.

We were to take a coach trip departing from Canterbury at eleven at night and arriving at six or so in the morning. I felt that this was odd, since it only took an hour to get to Paris via the Eurostar, but I figured that there was some reason for it.

Turns out there wasn’t. Coaches are just slow. Slow and horrible. We waited to board a ferry for about four hours for no reason I could discern. Just waited and sat on the coach while border control agents glared at us. This was made worse by the guy next to me, who betrayed all of the characteristics of what I assumed was a crackhead.

Anyway, I did not pack a towel for this trip, because I am a horrible packer and have a memory that is, for lack of a better term, bupkess. So, we arrived in Paris, disembarked at a bus station where I found that the toilet was a hole in the ground, went up to Stephen, shook him, and shouted, “I THOUGHT FRANCE WAS IN THE FIRST WORLD!”

After reaching our hostel, I opened my bag to take a shower and saw that I’d forgotten a towel. The hostel, luckily, had towels, but they were eight euros.

Eight euros isn’t objectively a lot, really. But when you’re a student who has a whopping five hundred quid in his wallet, that’s a lot.

I said to the man at the counter, “You shitting me?”

The man said, “I sorry? I do not understand.”

His French was as good as my English, you see.

So I rented the towel, because I knew I couldn’t dry off with bog roll.

And that’s about it. So hey, bring a towel.

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