Wednesday, 13 June 2012

(Douglas Adams) - Introduction - 'Handbook For The Dead- 72'

As a NARD, a Newly Arrived Recently Dead, what they do is give you the first (and heavily expurgated!) edition of ‘Handbook For The Dead – Don’t Panic!’ 
         So, you naturally start at Chapter One, as most of us do with a new book.
        As it happens, it’s smarter not to – you can just pick any chapter, at random (and not necessarily the first edition - as there are several!). And, usually, you are not told about the other editions – which, admittedly, are more for the Long Time Dead, or LTD - but your case office worker, or COW,  doesn’t tell you all this, and, usually, it isn’t mentioned at all, and of course, all this is expurgated from the first (and heavily expurgated!) edition.
         The main reason, so they say, is your case office worker (COW) doesn’t want to over-excite you – or that’s the answer you get, when you discover, and ask why, you were not given, at least, the second (and unexpurgated!) edition - if not the third, or fourth, or fifth - from the start!
         The truth is, they want to keep you away from number 72 as long as possible.
         72 is considered, by the afterlife (or afterdeath) bureaucrats far too dangerous for NARDS, the Newly Arrived Recently Dead, and even for NYD, the Not Yet Dead, so it was expurgated from the first edition, as is other material considered ‘unsafe’ by the aforementioned afterlife (or afterdeath) bureaucrats.      
          But you have to appreciate the significance of 42 before 72 is of any use to you …

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