Eddies in the space-time continuum

In what may turn into a semi-regular series of HHGTTG quotes, I was reminded of this little gem from Life, the Universe and Everything (Chapter 2):

“I have detected,” he said, “disturbances in the wash.”
“The wash?” said Arthur.
“The space-time wash,” said Ford.
Arthur nodded, and then cleared his throat.
“Are we talking about,” he asked cautiously, “some sort of Vogon laundromat, or what are we talking about?”
“Eddies,” said Ford, “in the space-time continuum.”
“Ah,” nodded Arthur, “is he? Is he?” He pushed his hands into the pocket of his dressing gown and looked knowledgeably into the distance.
“What?” said Ford.
“Er, who,” said Arthur, “is Eddy, then, exactly?”
Ford looked angrily at him.
“Will you listen?” he snapped.
“I have been listening,” said Arthur, “but I’m not sure it’s helped.”

It looks like I will have to read this trilogy in five six parts once again.

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11 thoughts on “Eddies in the space-time continuum

  1. Dave Donaghy says:

    “I have been listening,” said Arthur, “but I’m not sure it’s helped.”

    How often do you want to say that in real life, but don’t dare?

    • Tom says:

      Frequently said sotte voce.

      However, If you are going to say it, you have to be bold and bluster through with it: make it sound like a compliment…

      • Dave Donaghy says:

        Ha! On seeing this original post retweeted today after almost 6 years, I re-read it and thought, “‘I have been listening,’ said Arthur, ‘but I’m not sure it’s helped.’ – I say that all the time!”

        And then I scrolled down …

  2. Martin Churchill says:

    Have you heard the radio series?


    The original series came before anything else, but recently they made the final three books into radio series too, using the original cast. Simon Jones and Geoffrey McGuivern really bring dialogues like that quoted above to an extra level of awesomeness.

    • Tom says:

      Yeah, that was my first introduction to HHGTTG — I’m going back through the radio series now. I have yet to listen to the recent ones, but have them ready and waiting. It’s a shame that Peter Jones passed away, perfect voice for The Book.

  3. Tom says:

    Just realised that Alan Ford (Brick Top!) was the voice of Roosta, who helps Zaphod in HHGTTG Secondary Phase…

  4. Richard says:

    Why,” he said, “is there a sofa in that field?”
    “I told you!” shouted Ford, leaping to his feet. “Eddies in the space-time continuum!”
    “And this is his sofa, is it?” asked Arthur, struggling to his feet and, he hoped, though not very optimistically, to his senses.

  5. Gabriel says:

    I just bumped into your site through a google search for “disturbances in the wash”, which is the title of my personal website. I’ve been reading a few of your articles and have enjoyed them. It’s always good to find new, interesting people online. And a Douglas Adams fan. Just thought I’d say hi.

    • Tom says:

      Thanks Gabriel — it’s always great to meet another Douglas Adams fan!

      • Dale says:

        I think so too. Mutual DNA fandom and a quasi-religious belief in the HHGTTG (first 2 books memorised and quoted verbatim) was the reason that I was sure that I had found the Right Girl. That was 12 years ago. She still mixes a fine Pan-galactic gargleblaster and she knows where ALL the towels are in this house.

  6. […] Nothing of particular interest in the search terms this year; however, I am delighted to be the fourth hit on Google for the wonderful phrase “eddies in the space time continuum”… […]

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