Today we laugh hysterically at all the fond memories we have from reading Douglas Adams‘ great philosophical contributions to the human condition. Alas, the usual Towel Day website @ kovj.net is gone now, RIP Tobbe. There’s a new site up, keeping the spirit of Adams very much alive @ www.towelday.org
Did I bring a towel from home today? Again an alas, I did not. I was 10 minutes from my home when I realized that the sun in my face and the curious glances from passerbys LEFT ME UNSHIELDED! Naked and vulnerable, I checked my e-mail to see whether it would be one of those days. Luckily, there was only a growing panic and hatred towards the IT dept. for the intranet and our website being down internally. DON’T PANIC.
I stopped by JYSK that mostly deals in beds & accessories but they didn’t sell ’em. They just keep them, the Asian lady said, for safekeeping. Clever, but evil. I ran down to one of the small boutiques at Carl Berner’s, grabbed a hold of the old lady running the shop and said: «TOWELS! Do you have any towels!» and she said no. Quite naturally. You don’t do business in your small boutique with strange men come running in shouting about towels. I took a bus to Tøyen but there weren’t any towels in sight.
Grønland it is! I know there’s a baby shop down there (that’s where they manufacture and package the babies in Oslo) and it has all kinds of baby stuff including, I would guess, towels!! I headed down there, stopping by Details – an accessory shop mostly for teh ladies, but I was very much welcomed – and Indiska, the number one faux "exotic" merchandise place courtesy of the little children in China but to no avail. It would be the baby shop or nothing.
I got in there almost stumbling over the baby buggy exposé, which was very much like a car show, only in baby buggies and without the playboy lady on the front, and browsed the shelves that were stocked from top to bottom with everything a baby carrying parent could dream of. Which is a lot. They had mattresses for baby buggies, small car signs for baby buggies, they had babies in jars and everything! FOCUS! I need a towel!
Then, turning around the corner, I saw them. Square, pink napkin-sized towels for 5 NOK a piece. Undoubtedly a bargain, just incredibly gay.
"I’ll have them as a backup option", I said to myself, scaring the wit out of an assistant walking by.
But then! Then, I turned another corner and I almost crapped my pants from the excitement (which was the right thing to do, given the immediate circumstances); towels all over the place. STACKS of TOWELS! Neatly folded, but slightly vulgar at the same time, tempting me. I had come to the right place I said, the assistant nodding besides me. In direction of the security guard.
They had white rectangle towels for 25 NOK a piece. GREAT! I headed for the counter, already being half an hour late for work, but there was no one to be seen. Instead I was stuck there with another baby parked back to front, staring at me with his (or her) weasely little eyes. "This isn’t right" I said to it. "I’m a grown up. You’re a baby. You don’t have any cash. Why are you hogging the line here?"
The baby looked concerned.
"Hey! I’m talking to you!"
I made a stern face and the baby started babbling.
"Oh my Gods!" I exclaimed. "You’re drunk!"
The mother came hustling to from the other side of the shop with some 30 pacifiers for her offspring, and I made thoroughly wide open eyes before I rolled them, just to make sure, and muttered something about it being ten in the morning and the kids these days didn’t have a sense of common courtesy WHATSOEVER when the baby barfed all over hisself.
"Oh, that’s just great!" I said.
The mother looked at me like a malignant cancer looks at a cup of chemo therapy.
Mothers are territorial creatures and if you come upon them unsuspecting, you must expect a fight to the death. If there’s a cub nearby you can double the death sentence. Hence the towel. Mothers are confused by dangling towels and other pathetic performances that belong in the last resort category. If you ever come face-to-face with a mother who’s ready to tear your face off, hide behind the towel. Her mother instincts will take over and you’ll be left unscathed, since you’re clearly insane.
The mother paid her dues and rolled off her buggy, just in time for me to flip it the finger. Then it was finally my turn. "I’ll just have this!" I declared, carefully but sternly putting the white towel on the counter. She took the cash and was about to pack it in a plastic bag for me, but "There’s no need for that, " I said. Finally able to relax a little. "No need at all."
I put the towel over my head and walked out of there. Head held high, due to a small breeze trying to steal away my towel, and everything was back to normal.