Douglas Adams:`Young Zaphod Plays It Safe`
Douglas Adams:`Young Zaphod Plays It Safe`
Young Zaphod Plays It Safe, A Short Story By Douglas Adams

A large flying craft moved swiftly across the surface of an
astoundingly beautiful sea. From mid-morning onwards it plied back and
forth in great widening arcs, and at last attracted the attention of the
local islanders, a peaceful, sea-food loving people who gathered on the
beach and squinted up into the blinding sun, trying to see what was
Any sophisticated knowledgeable person, who had knocked about, seen a
few things, would probably have remarked on how much the craft looked
like a filing cabinet - a large and recently burgled filing cabinet
lying on its back with its drawers in the air and flying.
The islanders, whose experience was of a different kind, were instead
struck by how little it looked like a lobster.
They chattered excitedly about its total lack of claws, its stiff
unbendy back, and the fact that it seemed to experience the greatest
difficulty staying on the ground. This last feature seemed particularly
funny to them. They jumped up and down on the spot a lot to demonstrate
to the stupid thing that they themselves found staying on the ground the
easiest thing in the world.
But soon this entertainment began to pall for them. After all, since
it was perfectly clear to them that the thing was not a lobster, and
since their world was blessed with an abundance of things that were
lobsters (a good half a dozen of which were now marching succulently up
the beach towards them) they saw no reason to waste any more time on the
thing but decided instead to adjourn immediately for a late lobster
At that exact moment the craft stopped suddenly in mid-air then
upended itself and plunged headlong into the ocean with a great crash of
spray which sent them shouting into the trees.
When they re-emerged, nervously, a few minutes later, all they were
able to see was a smoothly scarred circle of water and a few gulping
That`s odd, they said to each other between mouthfuls of the best
lobster to be had anywhere in the Western Galaxy, that`s the second time
that`s happened in a year.

. 240247
.: 03.11.05
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