EPISODE SEVEN: ARTHUR'S STORY
The 'gathering' that was spoken of was so akin to High Tea back on Earth, that Arthur almost forgot himself. He had been washed and dressed all without any effort on his part, and was sitting politely at Eccentrica's feet. The first hour had passed where Arthur had been allowed to dose when not partaking of some green tea, neon green tea, that was being passed among the other collectables.
Then, suddenly it was time for his presentation.
"This one is brand new today," Eccentrica announced as Arthur struggled to stand. "Introduce yourself."
"Er, hello," started Arthur. "My name is Arthur Dent and I'm a human from the Planet Earth."
"Earth?" said one of the other assembled women. "What a dull name. Does anyone know what the Guide has to say about it?"
"I do," said Arthur, before anyone could pull out their copy. "It used to say plainly 'Harmless,' but now it says 'Mostly Harmless.'" He looked to Eccentrica for approval. She nodded.
"This Earth was destroyed and this human is the only survivor," said Eccentrica, proudly. Arthur decided not to tell her about Trillian, in case she wanted a matching set.
"Well now, human, you must entertain us with some sort of trick," said one of the harder to please women. "Do you know any poetry?"
"I'm afraid I only know the Vogon kind at the moment."
There was a collective gasp, followed by remarks of both disgust and bewilderment.
"Ecchi, dear, you really got the raw end of the deal for this one."
Eccentrica cleared her throat. "Would you mind explaining to us how you developed a taste for the most disgusting art form in the galaxy?"
"Well, I don't enjoy it much, but I have heard so much of it, that when someone says poetry, it is the only thing that comes to mind. One of my first experiences, er, off my own planet was with Vogon poetry. I was rescued from the destruction of my planet by a writer for the Guide, and he hitched us a ride on a Vogon ship. I traveled with him for many years, and most of my experiences are on par with Vogon poetry."
Arthur noticed that all the occupants in the room were rapt to attention at him. It seemed that even the bustle from the outside had quieted to hear his story. Well, that was what he was here for, wasn't it? To entertain? Arthur proceeded to tell his story of travel through the galaxy with Ford. Judging by the reaction, the women were much more receptive to the parts about their relationship, as most of them had already seen the strange sights he was describing. It felt somewhat of a relief to finally tell someone else about his strange and painful relationship.
"Then I left him for Zaphod, who was a lot more predictable. We hated each other. I finally decided to come here to look for Ford, but it seems that I've failed him once again."
"You came here for me?"
A freshly washed Ford Prefect was standing in the doorway.
"Ford! How in the hell did you get in here?"
Ford held up a small credit card. "Emergency cash. The Guide isn't going to like it, but to Zark with them."
"Well, er, this is a little akward." Arthur looked at his very revealing costume.
"Oh stuff it." Ford ran up and gave Arthur a huge bear hug. "I heard your story," he said while squeezing the life out of Arthur. "I missed you too."
There was a huge round of applause harmonized with by a chorus of nose blowing.
"Arthur, I must commend your story," announced Eccentrica. "It was so moving that I have decided to let you go with your true love."
"No! You musn't let him go!
"Well, true love, is a bit of an overstatement—"
"Silence!" said the whore as she stood up. "I have made my decision. But remember, Arthur, there is always a place for you here, should you need to run away again." She leaned in close. "Don't go with Zaphod, please."
Ford and Arthur stopped by Eccentrica's abode to retrieve Arthur's old clothes. They were clean and fluffed for the first time in quite a while. Then, they hitched their way out of there.