Heresies by Thomas Stephen Szasz

By Thomas Stephen Szasz

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The crowd turned their faces back towards him expectantly. He winked at Trillian who raised her eyebrows and widened her eyes at him. She knew what he was about to say and thought him a terrible showoff. "That is really amazing," he said. "That really is truly amazing. " A marvellous Presidential quote, absolutely true to form. The crowd laughed appreciatively, the newsmen gleefully punched buttons on their Sub-Etha News-Matics and the President grinned. As he grinned his heart screamed unbearably and he fingered the small Paralyso-Matic bomb that nestled quietly in his pocket.

No," said Ford and gave him a friendly smile. " With a wave, he left. The pub was silent for a moment longer, and then, embarrassingly enough, the man with the raucous laugh did it again. The girl he had dragged along to the pub with him had grown to loathe him dearly over the last hour or so, and it would probably have been a great satisfaction to her to know that in a minute and a half or so he would suddenly evaporate into a whiff of hydrogen, ozone and carbon monoxide. However, when the moment came she would be too busy evaporating herself to notice it.

At that moment the bottom fell out of Arthur's mind. His eyes turned inside out. His feet began to leak out of the top of his head. The room folded flat about him, spun around, shifted out of existence and left him sliding into his own navel. They were passing through hyperspace. "The Babel fish," said The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy quietly, "is small, yellow and leech-like, and probably the oddest thing in the Universe. It feeds on brainwave energy not from its carrier but from those around it.

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