Lightning Challenge #21 - Important Item (Complete)

Credits to Industrial for the idea.

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you — daft as a brush, but very very ravenous you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost." What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

Hence a phrase that has passed into hitchhiking slang, as in "Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There's a frood who really knows where his towel is."
— Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy


A hitchhiker has his towel, a wizard has her wand, an adventurer has her 10ft pole, an explorer has his sextant, a Jedi has his lightsaber, and a vampire hunter has his holy water and wooden stakes. These are the tools of their trades, things without which the profession simply could not be.   What item in your setting is so well known, so critical? What relationship does it have to its profession and what is that profession renown for? I want to hear all about both.   Tell me, and have a happy Towel Day!   Link your article in the comments!

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What are Lightning Challenges? They're short challenges of low wordcount the challenge and inspire you to think about aspects of your world you might not have before!


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25 May, 2018 21:52

25 May, 2018 22:41

26 May, 2018 14:27

26 May, 2018 15:54   Thanks for the nice subject !

26 May, 2018 16:09

Aether Sphere
Item | Sep 28, 2018
  My first submission ever to anything in WA :D