Study Guide

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Chapter 21

By Douglas Adams

Chapter 21

  • Meanwhile, Arthur wastes time by reading the Hitchhiker's Guide. There's a crazy story about a young genius who got obsessed—after a night of drinking with Zaphod—with the question of where lost ballpoint pens go. If you have a British version of this book, they use the term "biro." Why? That's one of the mysteries of the universe—and they say the same thing about us.
  • So this genius, Veet Voojagig, comes up a theory about a planet where ballpoint pens live. He claims that he lived and worked there for a while, which no one believes.
  • But (ba-dum-dum) Zaphod does have a used ballpoint pen business…
  • Arthur tries to talk to Marvin, but that's even more a waste of time, since Marvin only has depressing things to say.
  • So Arthur goes on a walk and almost bumps into an old man.