A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly because it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble beaches of Santaraginus V, inhaling the heady Sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for hand-to-hand combat; wrap it around your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal; you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, you can use it to measure distences by lying the towel between your feet and once you have traveled through hyperspace and see how many towel lengths the towel has traveled under your body; and of course dry yourself with it if it still seams to be clean enough. In the case the the towel is not clean enough simply wipe it on the nozzle of a bottle of Ol' Janx Spirt It will have the oppisite affect you may think. The Ol' Janx Spirt will kill most of the more advanced civilizations on your towel. More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag discovers that a hitchhiker has a towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, washcloth, soap, a tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet--weather gear, space suit ect., ect. Furthermore, the strag will be happy to lend the hitchhiker any of these items the hitchhiker might accidentally have ‘’lost.’’ What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the Galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through and still know where his towel is, is clearly a force to be reckoned with.<towel>
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