Of the many comic influences I’ve had in my life, the late writer Douglas Adams figures prominently. He was, and continues to be a strong influence on my inner comic voice; my meter, my rhyme, my ideas about low-budget science fiction television and so much more.
Back before Douggie left us, he had a website that he kept maintained for the fans. Not because he was egotistical, not because there was some kind of profit incentive….he did it because he genuinely liked the fans. A writer is never more appreciative than when they find a receptive audience because it generally means that they can step beyond all the awkward ideological translations and move straight into whatever it is that they’d like to discuss.
I dimly recall being excited at finding that “official” Douglas Adams website, and was delighted to discover that the man would actually answer people’s questions from time to time….even one of mine….
I’m putting the text of the exchange below, but you can read it from the actual website by clicking here.
Subject: Most Unexpected Fan?? ( 1 of 3 )
Posted by drewprops
Hey Mr. Adams,
As you’ve travelled a fair bit I imagine you might have run into someone, in some truly out-of-the-way place, who startled you with a complement or a question that revealed them to be a fan. Can you think of one of these moments that left you dumbfounded, eyes-agog, looking for the candid-camera, scratchin’ yer nog, absolutely and undeniably bewildered that the world had become so small?
Subject: Re: Most Unexpected Fan?? ( 2 of 3 )
Posted by Douglas Adams
I think the most surprising approach I had from a fan was on a flight from, I think, Nanjing to Wuhan in China.
Subject: Re: Most Unexpected Fan?? ( 3 of 3 )
Posted by Avonq
Ya but wot happened.
That Douglas Adams died in May 2001 of a massive heart attack, forever ending any chances that I (or the person calling themselves Avonq) would ever get the man to go into a little bit of detail, was more than a bit annoying.
It is, in a way, an ACTUAL Douglas Adams Mystery that I have on my hands.
DNA’s response was so terse, so lacking in facts, that it must have been a Very Significant Incident that happened in China because of the fact that he bothered to mention it in the first place. I get the distinct impression that he was called away to the phone, or maybe the kettle had started to boil, or perhaps, just perhaps, he needed to jot down some notes about the incident to go into a speech or an article that he was seriously late in producing.
Of course I’ll never know the answer, but I can rest happy knowing that Douglas Adams never satisfactorily answered my question, which is a darned sight better than a lot of you might say.
Thanks Douglas, for everything.