How Many Times Has This Happened to You? is a pamphlet from Megadodo Publications advertising that wholly remarkable book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The title refers to the cover illustration, which shows a Nebulon University student in the middle of nowhere trying to hitchhike to Maximegalon and surrounded by huge, ugly and clueless creatures. At the bottom it reads: “Now see the universe the safe, sure, money-saving way with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” Inside it continues:
YES! THE UNIVERSE CAN BE YOURS FOR LESS THAN THIRTY ALTAIRIAN DOLLARS PER DAY!
Black holes. Savage alien warrior tribes. Welfare planets ruled by dry-cleaning establishments, where even the most basic of Human necessities are provided for a day late and with too much starch. Face it, the universe is NO PLACE TO TRY AND HAVE A GOOD TIME.
Unless, that is, you’re the proud owner of that wholly remarkable object, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy!
Within the million-plus pages of The Guide, which in many corners of the galaxy has already supplanted the Encyclopedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, you’ll find EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW about the universe, from the utmost trivia to the most vital information pertaining to your health and well being. WE UNCONDITIONALLY GUARANTEE it will teach you to survive and even ENJOY THE UNIVERSE – ALL ON ONLY THIRTY ALTAIRIAN DOLLARS PER DAY!* Just take a peek at this mere sample of The Guide’s MILLIONS OF USES and, like so many other satisfied customers, you’ll be convinced that this is truly THE MOST WHOLLY REMARKABLE ITEM YOU’LL EVER BUY!
TRIVIA BUFF? The Guide has all the answers, as well as most of the questions. For example: What titles comprise Oolon Colluphid’s trilogy of philosophical blockbusters? Answer: Where God Went Wrong, Some More of God's Greatest Mistakes and Who is this God Person, Anyway?
CONVENTION COMING UP? The Guide knows where to find all the swankiest hotels, the trendiest restaurants, the swingingest nightclubs, the friendliest escort services and the cheapest duty-free shops in which to buy gifts for appeasing one’s family and conscience!
NEED HELP FAST? In a flash, The Guide can supply you with such useful tidbits of information as: how to tell your Aunt Clara from a Seven-Stomached Gorba Plant; what to do if Aunt Clara has been devoured by a Seven-Stomached Gorba Plant; how to perform the Heimlich Maneuver on a Seven-Stomached Gorba Plant, and much, much more!
*“Thirty Altairian dollars per day” is an estimated figure and is provided strictly for purposes of comparison. Actual expenses may be higher.**
**In fact, we’re sure of it. Quite frankly, if you’re not absolutely prepared to lie, cheat, steal your food, pass rubber checks to unsuspecting hotel clerks, hoodwink customs officials, forge passports entitling you to diplomatic immunity, utilize bogus student and/or elderly identification cards to get yourself into tourist attractions at reduced rates, stiff everyone possible on tips and otherwise make a mockery of Intergalactic Law, just about the only way you’re going to get by on thirty Altairians per diem is by staying home and camping out in your own backyard.
AND THAT’S NOT ALL!
The Guide is more than a super travelogue or an incredible answering machine – it’s a lovely addition to any backpack or suitcase that fits in perfectly with every decor. It comes in a wrinkle-proof, scratch-resistant plastic cover with THE LOOK AND FEEL OF REAL VINYL handsomely inscribed with the words DON’T PANIC in large, friendly letters. And talk about handy – The Mark IV version of The Guide has MORE OPTIONS THAN A TWENTY-ARMED HRUGMUS HAS HANGNAILS! Just look what you can get...
The pamphlet then goes on to describe, amid a full page blow-up picture of The Guide, the Seventy-Three Function Pocket Calculator (optional)***, the Custom Chronometer (optional)***, the Tan-O-Matic Reference Table (optional)***, the Sirius Cybernetics Barometer/Neo-Descartian Relative Truth Monitor (optional)***, and the Salad-Slasher/Food Processor/Lemon Zester Attachment (also optional)***. However you can read about those in their proper encyclopedic entries so there is no need to reprint that here.
***All optional features subject to availability and our total unwillingness to turn a perfectly good product into some kind of glorified all purpose appliance for every gizmo-happy customer who happens to fall for this type of cheap swank.
BUT WAIT... THERE’S MORE!
Now for a LIMITED TIME ONLY when you RUSH your Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy order to Megadodo Publications, you’ll also receive as our SPECIAL GIFT to you ENOUGH THROW-IN ITEMS TO FILL AN ATTIC!**** So act now and receive all these fabulous bonuses!
FLUFF: Goes anywhere – under the bed, behind the commode, at the bottom of your pocket, inside your navel!
DESTRUCTION ORDERS FOR YOUR HOME AND PLANET: Suitable for framing, and great gag gifts at any party!
DON’T PANIC! BUTTON: Perfect for those times when your planet is being bombarded by laser beams, your toaster starts talking to you and traces of radioactivity are discovered in your cereal!
JOO JANTA 200 SUPER-CHROMATIC PERIL-SENSITIVE SUNGLASSES: You’ll look cool and stay cool even when attending a Vogon poetry reading!
NO TEA: Just like the tea professional hitchhikers don’t carry!
HOW MUCH WOULD YOU PAY NOW? ONE HUNDRED ALTAIRIAN DOLLARS? TWO HUNDRED? THREE HUNDRED?
****Assuming that your attic is slightly larger than a Cat’s stomach.
That’s right! RUSH YOUR ORDER NOW and receive The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and the fluff and the destruct orders and the Don’t Panic! button and the sunglasses and the space fleet and no tea ALL FOR THE INCREDIBLY LOW, LOW PRICE OF JUST DA59.99! To save c.o.d., handling charges and Imperial Galactic Government delivery service duties, PHONE IN YOUR ORDER TODAY!
OPERATORS ARE STANDING BY!
On Ursa Minor Beta, dial
1-5-555-55-55555-555-5555, ext. 5.
MAKE THAT CALL TODAY!
THIS OFFER NOT AVAILABLE IN ANY STORE!*****
*****Except Deluxe-O-Mat, Chain-O-Rama, Qwang’s Drive-in Asteroid, Tawdry Merchandise King, House of Remainders, Liquidator’s Clearinghouse, Mister Tawdry, Galaxy o’ Tawdry Merchandise, Tawdry Merchandise-n-Such, 1-A Tawdry Sales & Service, Ye Olde Tawdry Management Shoppe and MegaMart outlets throughout the universe.