Second Life

The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Virtual Galaxy

Seeing as how I’m on vacation this week, I thought I’d let Ceejay take a bit of a virtual jaunt in Second Life. So, she got out her Sub-Etha Sens-O-Matic device and hitched a lift on a passing spaceship. Eventually she was dropped off at Hastromil – The Big Bang Burger Bar, a rather spectacular place built by a very hoopy frood, Parker Bigboots.  She took along her camera, too.  Click any picture to embiggen it. Click it again and it will probably get frighteningly big.

First things first. She had to find a towel. Luckily, Parker had a Free Towel display hidden conveniently in the back of a very dark closet.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say on the subject of towels. A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker 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 mini raft 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 to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindbogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you — daft as a bush, but 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.

01 Free Towels
Don’t Panic! Here’s a towel!

She bumped into (literally) a rather friendly and floopy group of mattresses.

No one really knows what mattresses are meant to gain from their lives either. They are large, friendly, pocket-sprung creatures which live quiet private lives in the marshes of Squornshellous Zeta. Many of them get caught, slaughtered, dried out, shipped out and slept on. None of them seem to mind and all of them are called Zem.– Hitchhiker Wiki

02 Zem the Mattresses
Hello, Zem! Good to meet you too, Zem. And Zem, you’re looking marvelous.

Not far off, Deep Thought was busily running calculations. She thought to ask it a question, but decided against it. That didn’t go so well the first time around.

“For seven and a half million years, Deep Thought computed and calculated, and in the end announced that the answer was in fact 42- and so another, even bigger, computer had to be built to find out what the actual question was.” 

03 Deep Thought
A curious Ceejay approaches deep thought.

As the day rolled on, she started getting understandably hungry. What luck! The Big Bang Burger Bar was open for business!

05 Big Bang Burger Bar
The wall decor at the Big Bang Burger Bar is top rate.
06 Big Bang Burger Bar
Time Is An Illusion, Lunchtime, Doubly So. Waiting for a burger, a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, and the beginning of the universe.
07 Big Bang Burger Bar
Gazing out at the beginnings of the universe. And admiring the drapes.


08 Big Bang Burger Bar
“Something almost, but not quite entirely unlike tea”

Refreshed, invigorated, and possibly drunk, bowling seemed a good idea. Ironically, Ceejay’s top score was 42.

09 Cosmic Bowling
“You just come along with me and have a good time. The Galaxy’s a fun place. You’ll need to have this fish in your ear.”

Not knowing where to go next, Ceejay decided to pop into the Total Perspective Vortex to try to get her bearings, or maybe a sense of proportion, but probably not that. But there might be fairy cake for dessert.

“For when you are put into the Vortex you are given just one momentary glimpse of the entire unimaginable infinity of creation, and somewhere in it a tiny little marker, a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot, which says “You are here.”

10 Vortex
If life is going to exist in a Universe of this size, then the one thing it cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion…

“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 even more bizarre and inexplicable.” 

11 Star Park
“Space,” it says, “is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space, listen…”


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Lori Alden Holuta lives between the cornfields of Mid-Michigan, where she grows vegetables and herbs when she’s not writing, editing, or playing games with a cat named Chives.

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