Monday, February 26, 2007

Douglas Adams found my dimples...

Or, let's talk about Audio Books, shall we?

I love audio books, books on tape as we used to call them before other formats existed (gather round the rocker, boys and girls, while granny tells you a story about the old days). They're great in the car for commuting and for long trips, in the kitchen for cooking or cleaning up, in the bathroom if you're dealing with contact lenses or anything time-consuming (no details, please), I just love them.

The first one I remember listening to, sometime in the early '90s, was The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, by Douglas Adams. The book hadn't been my favorite of his, but when the audio came into the bookstore where I worked, I thought it would be worth a try, Read by the author, after all, and I did get an employee discount.

Well. I was naive in the way of audio books at the time, and didn't know how important a good reader was, but Adams reads (read, sigh) his works so well, they came to life in a way the printed form could never match. From the first line,
It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on Earth has ever produced the phrase 'As pretty as an airport'.
I was hooked.

By the time the frustrated thunder god has been glued to the floor by his father Odin's evil minion Toerag, Dirk has dealt with the eagle trapped in his hall by trapping it in his kitchen, and Kate has changed her answering machine message to cover her evening's trip to Valhalla, I was all about audios. And, since I found Adams totally funny, and since my contact lens regimen in those days was rather time-consuming, and I was therefore listening in front of a mirror, I discovered that I have some little dimples.

Having always coveted my mother's dimples, this was quite a surprise to me: how had I not known these were there? How could I have dimples and not know it? (Rather like a character in a play I saw once, a not-too-bright schoolgirl who, when asked if she knew French, said no, unless perhaps one could know French without knowing that one knew it?)

Douglas Adams has been credited with many things, and this may be the smallest, the least meaningful, but it certainly meant a lot to me.

Tune in tomorrow: I have something in mind for my hundredth post...

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