Outside the Asylum

“The sign said:
Hold stick near centre of its length.
Moisten pointed end in mouth.
Insert in tooth space, blunt end next to gum.
Use gentle in-out motion.
‘It seemed to me,’ said Wonko the Sane, ‘that any civilization that had so far lost its head as to need to include a set of detailed instructions for use in a packet of toothpicks, was no longer a civilization in which I could live and stay sane.'”

“So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish”, Douglas Noel Adams

I first read the Hitchhiker’s series at 13, being an already incurable anglophile geek. I would laugh until I cried and needed to go for a brisk walk to regain my composure. Then I would read some more. What it seemed to me that many people missed was its deceptive lightheartedness. They would read it and go “It’s quite silly and weird, isn’t it?”

As though that ever disqualified life from being taken seriously. All of existence is fundamentally ridiculous, and once you start looking for evidence of this, you’re liable to die laughing. Proceed carefully.

What I learned from these books was that life is beautifully insane and insanely beautiful. It lends itself to contemplation and outright laughter in equal measure, but if you do just one and not the other, you’ll miss the entire point.

Because you have to deal with all the stupid as well. Wonko the Sane realized he couldn’t abide the stupid. That’s why he moved out from the Asylum.

If you don’t understand what I mean by that, read the books.

If you do understand, please don’t move out. I need you in here with me.

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