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Zaphod Beeblebrox. Former galactic president. Finder of the long lost planet of Magrathea. Discoverer of the true ruler of the galaxy.
Zaphod sulked.
One thing had once again started to lead to another, but none of the things were particularly interesting or Zaphod-like. One of the them had involved a drinking contest with the captain of a salt-smuggling ship, but that gave him no joy, because it only included a drink not dissimilar to the Earth drink gin and tonic.
That episode had led to him being incapacitated, not by the gin, but by the captain after he lost to Zaphod. The incapacitation left him in one place long enough for the galactic police to find him, confiscate the Heart of Gold, and jail him for life. This surprised him just as much as the police, as he was largely considered to be dead, and the trial decision was delayed almost two weeks over the dispute as to whether the sentence was for life, or for death, and if it was death, did it involve killing him, and whether or not that was possible, because he was already dead , and eventually it turned into a large religious debate, following which the judge died of a stomach ulcer and Zaphod was put in the infamous Arcturan Mega-Prison until someone could figure out what to do with him. The autopsy on the judgeÕs body stated that the stomach ulcer was due to stress caused by ZaphodÕs unending trial, and the former president was left in his cell, his charge reading ÒFucking with the galactic police.Ó
Zaphod sulked.
The things that led to other other things now largely consisted of eating, drinking, and an astonishing amount of sulking. Not surprisingly, this three things are precisely the things that the staff of the Arcturan Mega-Prison intended prisoners to do.
One thing that Zaphod used to do in between sulking, eating, and drinking is to read the once wholly remarkable book, The HitchhikerÕs Guide to the Galaxy, which the galactic police had foolishly not confiscated. However, after a while it had seemed to get rather fishy, and after a while it had simply stopped working.
Before that time, however, the Guide had this to say about escaping from the Arcturan Mega-Prison:
DonÕt try. The security is in fact worthy of the adjective ÒmegaÓ and it is therefore futile to even think about escaping.
However, if a hitchhiker might find himself as a resident, it is quite probable that he will get out of the wretched place. There has yet to be a resident of the prison that has not been somehow or another removed without any intervention on their own part. This will most likely involve a fair amount of discomfort, but, arguably, so does the Arcturan Mega-Prison.
The key to attracting a ride out of the place is to sulk. Sulking is an indicator to the universe that your life is desperately in need of adventure, and the universe will most likely supply.
However, keep in mind that the galactic police will be after you if you do get out. Avoid them by donning a false name and genetic make-up, as well as an optional galactic police uniform.
Zaphod had read and reread this entry many times, but the universe had simply not picked up on his sulking, and thus he was, for the time being, fucked.
His cell was simple. Four walls. No door. One might ask how he was inserted into the cell, and the answer is through post-hypnotic suggestion. One can force a person to do anything, even the impossible, through hypnosis. Zaphod had also read the entry on hypnosis, which is as follows:
Hypnosis is a tricky business. You never know when your actions arenÕt your own, and are really the products of a hypnotist. The problem of uncertainty can be solved with a few Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters, and perhaps a good trip Ôround the galaxy.
It goes on to discuss how to hypnotize a person, how to make them do what you want, and how to not kill them in the process. Zaphod had once tried to hypnotize a guard, but failed in the attempt by accidentally killing the guard, and his sentence was extended into the afterlife.
Whilst Zaphod was sulking, he also did some serious thinking, something he thought he was impaired from doing. During his thought, he was always under the notion that something was missing.
When he probed deeper into his mind as to what this missing part might be, the message ÒGo back to MillawayÕs...Ó flashed through his brains in quick short bursts, and then he would pass out. When he awoke, he would sulk.