Children and Towels

Established by President Reagan in etan patz1983, it’s National Missing Children’s Day. On May 25, 1979, Etan Patz, six years old, was abducted on his way to school in New York City.  At the time child abductions received very little news coverage, but Etan’s father, a professional photographer, distributed pictures of his son, sparking national attention on his abduction.  Etan was eventually declared dead, his body was never found, and it was several decades later that his abductor was found, tried, and sentenced.  However, his abduction shed light on the lack of resources available to find missing children.  Missing Etan’s photographs were the catalyst for the missing children movement and he was the first face on a milk carton.  Since Etan, better attention, more resources, and increased legislation have improved methods for finding missing children.

And, now to lighten the mood.  

When you step out of the shower in the morning, I bet you dry off, then hang your towel up (I hope you don’t just throw it on the floor), well today you should have taken it with you or a fresh one.  It’s Towel Day and today, you should have one with you everywhere you go.  Intergalactically celebrated Towel Day commemorates the late author Douglas Adams and his novel The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (which I haven’t read, but might).  Apparently, a towel is the number one thing a hitchhiker needs and after reading some of the reasons why, like me, you may decide to carry a towel with you every day going forward.

A towel,douglas-1277140_1280 it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly 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-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; 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 use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you — daft as a brush, but very very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker 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 knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

— Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
excerpt taken from Wikipedia