A sudden death by heart attack earlier this month has taken from us the wit of Douglas Adams, author of the five-volume trilogy (“increasingly inaccurately named,” as the subtitle wryly noted on Volume 5) that began with “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.”
It was Adams who conceived the fictitious Sirius Cybernetics Corp., whose complaint department employed the entire labor force of a medium-size planet and whose products were so hard to use that their buyers felt triumphant at merely getting them to function, thereby overlooking the fact that the products did nothing useful. In other words, as Adams pointed out, their fundamental design flaws were masked by their superficial design flaws.
Then again, maybe he wasnt writing fiction after all. R.I.P., Douglas Adams, and we hope you remembered your towel.