I still have moments of heart breaking loss when I think about how brilliant Douglas Adams would have been at tweeting.
By all accounts the man loved procrastinating and the 140 character format would have suited him to a tee. But alas, it will never happen, and I still occasionally get blindsided by that loss.
My old friend Stephen Fry (We're very close. I'm one of his followers on Twitter you know) pointed out the eighteenth birthday of Polly Jane Rocket Adams. Douglas' daughter. And I immediately hit follow. I could read all of her publicly posted comments. And it felt really, really weird.
I mentioned this on Twitter but I intentionally didn't reference her Twitter handle. I kind of didn't want her to know I existed. Like an ageing accountant sneaking birdlike glances at the drunk and giggling club girls on the train.
It was at this point that my old friend radio personality Spencer Howson (I'm one of his followers on Twitter you know) replied to me including the easily tracked data. I was outed. I felt exposed, but there was nothing I could do.
And then she wrote back.
Suddenly I felt like a voyeur. I got the feeling of horror when someone's father is giving you one chance to explain what those binoculars are for and he really wants to believe that it's for bird watching.
I felt like I was doing something really wrong. I tried to define why that could be, but it was a feeling that swam around inside me without a metaphor to attach itself to.
And then it clicked.
I feel like that guy who's in love with the unattainable girl so he's dating her younger sister.
The horrible motivations of "I'll take what I can get, because this brings me closer to what I want".
So I'm still surreptitiously following the eighteen year old girl (a phrase that meant something altogether more horrifying a decade ago), but now at least I know why I feel like a massive creep whenever I read her posts.
If you would like to follow Polly Adams her username is @pollyjradams.
The loss I felt at Douglas's passing was massive. When I read about Polly in Salmon of Doubt it broke my heart. I cried so hard for that little girl, sharing her pain though to a significantly less degree. It would be a very weird feeling to follow her on Twitter.
THGTTG was the first book I can clearly recall ever checking out from my middle-school library. I still have it. The fines on it must be stupendous.
I had never thought about Douglas Adams being on Twitter - that is until I read this blog, and it made me sad. Damn you Dan. Damn you and your sad-making.
I literally ran in to Douglas at Heathrow, blundered straight into him while trying to get a flight back home to America. He was very cordial and said "I remember when I first received my feet too, bloody awful". Always loved his work and miss the things he would have produced.