A Conversation for Talking Point: How Did You Discover the HHGTTG?

Out of depression came something good...

Post 1

random fat bird

In my teens I went through bouts of reactive depression the low point of which was a nervous breakdown when I was fourteen.
Academically, it couldn't have happened at a worse time. I had just started the first of two years of GCSE study, and due to rampaging hormones and a lack of willpower and desire to work, I left my teachers worrying about whether I'd be in any fit state to take any exams after the two years.

In my fragile mental state, I still went to school. A bit mad perhaps, but hey, it beat the hell out of staying at home all day. I can't say that my atendance was perfect. For the last year of my scholastic career my attendance is recorded as having been a mere 70% and even that is optimistic, because many days would see me leave the school premises to go home after permission had been granted from teachers and matron.

Although I went to classes, many of my teachers didn't seem to know what to do with me. All but two of them adopted the, 'if we give her the work and leave her alone she might stay sane, lets hope she hands in the coursework on time' method of dealing with me. It worked to an extent (drama being an exception to the rulesmiley - blush)

My science teacher, a fabulous individual, went down the, 'rollocks to it, we've got work to do' route. His lessons were fun and busy... I didn't have time to feel morose.

My English teacher for that year, a lovely lady whom I still class as a role model even though I haven't seen her since I was 15, had known me since I started at the school two years before. She knew my ways, and how I coped with most things. She also knew my insatiable appetite for reading and learning. Her plan was simple. She sat me down and gave me a list of the books and assignments I needed to know about for the coursework and exams. The list also had dated for the coursework to be handed in, and the dates of the mock exams. She then told me to do it at my own pace, and that between assignments I could have free run of the sixth form cupboard. I was released from the drudgery of normal English classes. Don't get me wrong I love English Literature... Just at a faster speed than most classes could handle.

So while my class went throught he laborious process of reading the set texts as a group and working on the themes and structures within them, I sat in the sixth form cupboard and devoured Orwell, Huxley and Atwood (the theme for the exams that year was dystopia I seem to remembersmiley - winkeye). Inbetween discovering new literary delights, I rattled off coursework, annotated my set texts and joined in whenever the class played with the Shakespeare modules.

One day, I was having a rummage about on one of the top shelves where the books not in use by the older bods that term were kept, I found a manky looking, dog-eared and very yellowed copy of the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy.

I sat down, opened the book, and never looked back. I had found a new escape you see. Literature I love, I am passionate about good writing. Escapism is, however, a rare and precious thing... And in that small book in that dusty cupboard I found a release. I discovered a new genre of books that I had hitherto been unaware of. I quickly feretted out the other books inthe deries, utilising school and local libraries in my quest. I found out that the Dirk Gently books were also available, and absorbed them as quickly as I had the 'trilogy'.

During the years following my discovery, I learned of the television series, and was lucky enough to catch it in it's entirety one new years day when one of the satelite channels held a 'regeneration day'... Showing clasic science fiction all day. When I went to college and met my friends, I discovered that there were radio plays also, and that they were the original form, but I could not find them to listen to... A problem corrected when I discovered my other half, who knew all about online shopping.

Then I discovered h2g2, yet again another wonderful concept of escapism anchored in reality.

The Salmon of Doubt is sitting on a bookshelf not far from where I am sat typing. I can't bring myself to read it. Knowing that it is the last thing that such a genius mind was working on makes it somehow wrong in my warped and addled braincell. I can't bring myself to realise that somebody who helped me through the trauma of a breakdown, opened up an entirely new world of literary enjoyment and through his words has made me laugh out loud more times than even Marvin could calculate, will never pen another volume. It's sad, but I prefer to think that if I never admit to it, it might never turn out to be true.

Thanks Dougsmiley - rose

Out of depression came something good...

Post 2

badger party tony party green party

The first two times I tried to respond to your posting I failed this is the very abridged version of what I think. You should get that book down and read it.

Out of depression came something good...

Post 3

badger party tony party green party

Wow got a reply through.

In celebration of this I am going to retype my initial reply and probably lose or delete this somehow. So why I'm typing this pre-amble I do not know.

Hello Grin,
your entry was what got me to join this site. This site is the first interesting community I have found on the net.

Anyway this is not advice, anyone who makes as many mistakes as me should'nt be giving out advice. Except for this, anynone who makes as many mistakes as me should'nt be giving out advice.

When other kids my age were learning to read with Peter and Jane books my grandad had me watching Hithch..., The Twilight Zone and the Outer Limits. Thankfully he did not send me to bed so that I could wake bright and early to go off to school to have my imagination restricted.
One thing he idd was to tell me that all apes could talk but kept it secret because they knew that humans would put them to work. When I found out this was'nt true Iwas'nt dissappointed. By that time I had worked out that animals can communicate and that when people work it out we do exploit them. More importantly I had learnt that not to take things at face value.

When I have got some free time again I will start reading The Salmon of Doubt because although like Swift, Milligan and Bill Hicks he is no longer with us, it is always good to spend time under the spell of their skewed logic.smiley - peacesign

Out of depression came something good...

Post 4

random fat bird

Hello and welcome. Glad you found my posting, and that you felt it was worthy of reply. Anything that encourages people to join h2g2 is splendid.

My posting was a sort of personal therapy. I discovered Doug at a bad time in my life, and it helped me through those and other times. They're also there for the good times too... I'm overdue to have my baby, and I have a Doug book in my labour bag in case I get bored in hospitalsmiley - smiley

I went through the Peter and Jane books at a rapid pace... I figured that the sooner I exhausted the range of books they wanted me to read, I could read the books I wanted to readsmiley - winkeye I fell in love with books before telly, and they still take priority, and to my mum I owe a great debt for that... She has the most appalling taste in tv programmes you have ever witnessedsmiley - winkeye Imagine wanting to watch Agatha Christie re-runs and Tenko all the timesmiley - yuk

Hope you enjoy your time here on hootoo. I know you've been ACE-ed I went and checked, there's loads of stuff to do on here, and indeed places to go. If I can be of any assistance do let me know.


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