In the famed sci-fi geek comedy classic The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams tells us:
“A towel… 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 vapors; 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-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); 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.”
Diana, however, greeted the reception of a bundle of brown towels that I’d gotten for her as a gift with the warmth of someone who’s been tricked into going to a Vogon poetry reading at a place that only serves lukewarm tea and cold soup. Is a towel a horrible gift? Douglas Adams wouldn’t say so; who am I to disagree with a literary giant?