Life, as many people have spotted, is, of course, terribly unfair.by Kristal Raelene Melson
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For instance, the first time the Heart of Gold ever crossed the galaxy the massive improbability field it generated caused two-hundred-and-thirty-nine thousand lightly-fried eggs to materialise in a large, wobbly heap on the famine-struck land of Poghril in the Pansel system. The whole Poghril tribe had just died out from famine, except for one man who died of cholesterol-poisoning some weeks later. The Poghrils, always a pessimistic race, had a little riddle, the asking of which used to give them the only tiny twinges of pleasure they ever experienced. One Poghril would ask another Poghril, “Why is life like hanging upside down with your head in a bucket of hyena offal?” To which the second Poghril would reply “I don’t know, why is life like hanging upside down with your head in a bucket of hyena offal?” To which the first Poghril would reply, “I don’t know either - wretched isn’t it?”
Good god," said Arthur, "it looks just like the sea front at Southend."
"Hell, I'm relieved to hear you say that," said Ford.
"Because I thought I must be going mad."
"Perhaps you are. Perhaps you only thought I said it."
Ford thought about this.
"Well, did you say it or didn't you?" he asked.
"I think so," said Arthur.
"Well, perhaps we're both going mad."
"Yes," said Arthur, "we'd be mad, all things considered, to think this was Southend."
"Well, do you think this is Southend?"
"So do I."
"Therefore we must be mad."
"Nice day for it."
"Yes," said a passing maniac.
"Who was that?" asked Arthur
"Who — the man with the five heads and the elderberry bush full of kippers?"
"I don't know. Just someone."
They both sat on the pavement and watched with a certain unease as huge children bounced heavily along the sand and wild horses thundered through the sky taking fresh supplies of reinforced railings to the Uncertain Areas.
"You know," said Arthur with a slight cough, "if this is Southend, there's something very odd about it ..."
"You mean the way the sea stays steady and the buildings keep washing up and down?" said Ford. "Yes I thought that was odd too. In fact," he continued as with a huge bang Southend split itself into six equal segments which danced and span giddily round each other in lewd and licentious formation, "there is something altogether very strange going on."