Meanwhile—and we hope you like that word, because you're going to hear it a lot—meanwhile, the President of the Galaxy is on the opposite side of the galaxy, about to dedicate some secret science project called the Heart of Gold.
President Zaphod Beeblebrox might seem like a strange choice for president, unless you know what the president's real job is. A footnote here helpfully notes that the president doesn't have any power—his job is to distract people from the real sources of power. Man, this suddenly got very political.
But Zaphod really wants to be president because he wants to steal the spaceship with the special Heart of Gold engine.
Allow us to just mention here that Zaphod has got himself surgically altered to have an extra head and an extra arm. For ski-boxing, of course.
At the president's dedication, we also briefly meet a woman named Trillian, who is, we're told, a girl Zaphod picked up on some other planet. If you notice that Adams doesn't name the planet, give yourself a gold star. Now add some planets around that star and you've got a little solar system.
Zaphod enjoys toying with the audience and the press. Instead of giving a big speech, all he says is "Hi" and "Wow"—until he tells them that he wants to steal the ship... He goes ahead and steals that ship.