Friday, June 1, 2007

The Answer

"Forty-two!" yelled Loonquawl. "Is that all you've got to show for seven and a half million years' work?"

"I checked it very thoroughly," said the computer, "and that quite definitely is the answer. I think the problem, to be quite honest with you, is that you've never actually known what the question is."

"But it was the Great Question! The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything!" howled Loonquawl.

"Yes," said Deep Thought with the air of one who suffers fools gladly, "but what actually is it?"

A slow stupefied silence crept over the men as they stared at the computer and then at each other.

"Well, you know, it's just Everything ... Everything ..." offered Phouchg weakly.

"Exactly!" said Deep Thought. "So once you do know what the question actually is, you'll know what the answer means."

— Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Your Dedicated Correspondent in all things M&A-able is off this weekend to his college reunion somewhere north of the fortieth parallel. For those of you who are not familiar with such quaint colonial rituals, said college reunion involves the ingestion of copious amounts of flat beer and crappy finger foods coupled with the expulsion of vast quantities of hot air more or less connected to bringing friends, acquaintances, and hey-didn't-we-throw-up-together-on-the-floor-of-[location blocked]-in-[year blocked]-type strangers up to date with the particulars of one's life since graduation. Yes, it really is that ugly.

Anyway, I realize that many of you Dear Readers have come to rely upon me as the font of all wisdom and a reliable source of answers to the knotty questions of life, the universe, and everything, and I don't want to leave you hanging over a long summer weekend. Since I expect to be too hung over to bother cracking the blog editor this weekend, I have decided to leave you with a couple of nuggets from one of my other favorite Dead White Philosophers, Douglas Adams, to tide you over.

The first, of course, is at the top of this post. It should satisfy most of you. The second closes this entry, and should be salutary for those among you who think the first has indeed answered your questions.

There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something more bizarrely inexplicable.

There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

— Douglas Adams

Potent stuff. Use it responsibly.

© 2007 The Epicurean Dealmaker. All rights reserved.