The 42nd 42-posts sighting
Posted to %afda by pieceoftheuniverse on 20th November 2000
> as long as someone is posting boring 42 sightings, I better mention that
> twice in the past week I dowloaded 42 new afda messages.
> gotta be getting close to 42 times that's happened.
> What do you think will happen the 42nd time?
Other was sitting in a cybercafe, reading Usenet, when he hit the refresh button. At that particular moment of time, a freak occurrence that is neither freakish nor occurring happened, and exactly forty-two messages were downloaded from afda. Suddenly, Other was struck my a startling revelation; he had figured it all out. He understood the reason for life, the nature of existence, and how to open every single can of soda he came across without it fizzing up and making a mess of the table. However, before he could type up a message and send it to anyone, a terrible and stupid catastrophe took place, and the information was lost to the universe forever.
This is not his story.
It is, however, the story of that terribly stupid event and some of its consequences.
It is also the story of a book -- several, in fact, and one mysterious book with only a title and a vague identity of what it truly is. The books have been circulating throughout the Earth in a fairly random manner, and have reached just about everyone who cares to pick them up.
It is, as one might imagine, a wholly remarkable series of books.
In fact, it was probably the most remarkable series ever to come out of the great publishing houses of Earth, though no one else in the galaxy probably cared very much, except for those that had a remarkable similarity to the Earthmen in most respects.
Not only is it a wholly remarkable book, it is also a highly successful one -- more popular than the Astrologer's Omnibus, better selling than several edited versions of the Bible, and more controversial than L. Ron Hubbard could ever attempt to achieve no matter how hard he tries.
In many of the more relaxed sectors of the planet Earth, this series has already supplanted the great Encyclopedia Britannica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom; for though it has many omissions and contains much that is contradictory to itself, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important ways:
1) it is slightly cheaper, and
2) On some versions it has the words "Don't Panic" inscribed in large friendly letters on the cover.
But the story of this terrible, stupid day, the story of its extraordinary consequences, and the story of how these consequences are inextricably intertwined with this remarkable series of books begins very simply.
It begins with a froup.
pieceoftheuniverse - take it away, guys!