So Long and Thanks For All the Fish

Author Douglas Adams wrote an incredibly entertaining 5-book trilogy referred to as the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. Yes you read that right and no it is not a typo; by the author’s own admission this is a five book series to a trilogy. The fact that Adams described it in such a way should tell you all you need to know about the series.

For those of you who have never heard of these books, let me give you a brief synopsis. Think of it as a book report where you didn’t even have to read the books. But let me be clear, if you turn this book report in to the teacher I expect you to come back to this blog entry and let me know what kind of grade we got on the assignment.

So long and thanks for all the fishThe series describes the zany adventures of a fictional earthling named Arthur Dent. By fictional I mean Arthur Dent didn’t exist not that the earth doesn’t exist or more accurately didn’t exist since the whole premise of the books is that the earth is being destroyed to make way for a Hyperspace bypass.

The fourth book in the trilogy titled “So Long and Thanks for All the Fish” is a tribute to the dolphins on earth who for years attempted to warn the inhabitants of earth of their impending doom. The earthlings never understood the dolphins thinking their behavior was entertaining and cute and would toss fish to the mammals (the dolphins not the humans). Just before the earth was to be destroyed the dolphins left the oceans but left this parting farewell, “So long and thanks for all the fish.”

At this point you have to be scratching your head wondering why in the world a baseball blog is giving you a book report from a series of books that were written in 1979. I briefly contemplated the next sentence to be, “I have no idea, it seemed kind of random and I am in a spontaneous kind of mood” but then that didn’t seem quite fair and frankly I had a little more I wanted to write.

Today was a day not unlike any other day that happened to fall between pitchers and catchers reporting and the opening of the Major League Baseball season. As the sun appeared through the curtains I awoke with a song in my heart and a melody in my brain. It never occurred to me that today was any different from any other day.

After getting up and getting dressed in my finest Sunday go to the ballpark clothes I packed up my tickets and my water bottle and headed for Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. The Diamondbacks were playing the Milwaukee Brewers in a Cactus League game.

The game went back and forth with the Diamondbacks edging out the Brewers in the ninth inning for a 6-5 victory. As I gathered up my things I realized that what I witnessed was not just another Spring Training exhibition game. Instead the Diamondbacks would leave the field and return a short time later to board a plane to Australia to open the season.

They would be gone for nine days during which time they would play an exhibition game against the Australian national team then two regular season games against the Los Angeles Dodgers before returning for five Spring Training games before reopening the season at Chase Field against the San Francisco Giants.

I watched as the Diamondbacks made their way from the dugout to the clubhouse and all I could think of was that must be how the earthlings felt when they saw the dolphins swimming away for the last time in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books.

Almost involuntarily I found myself waving to the players yelling, “so long and thanks for all the fish!” Based upon the blank stares I got from the team and coaches I’m guessing not all of them have read the books.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *