In this posting...
*the Ultimate Answer to the One Big Question
*Anne Jones
Read on...

I hope you’re ready for this. I hope you’ve fortified your physical and mental wherewithal (what an awesome word: wherewithal) in order to cope with the truly startling revelation that’s coming you way hereinunder. (Wow: hereinunder.) If you haven’t, or if you wish to augment your mental underpinning even more, please do so now.

Do whatever you think is necessary to enable you to sustain what is bound to be something of a shock to the system. Because I am about to undermine a belief - nay, an article of faith - adhered to by many millions of people all over the world; a veritable fulcrum around which countless numbers have constructed whole philosophies.

What I am about to reveal to you will, at the very least, make your jaw drop and your eyes open wide in amazement and wonder. At most, it will change your outlook on the world - and everything that’s in it - for ever and irrevocably. It’s quite possible that nothing - absolutely nothing - will ever be quite the same again. That’s how earth-shattering this revelation is going to be.

Which is why I said, up there at the top, that I hoped you were ready for it.

(If, incidentally, you’re not ready for it, stop reading this blogposting now. I’m serious. If anything below applies to you:
- you’re of a nervous disposition;
- you’re in any way unstable, unpredictable or socially volatile;
- you habitually take mind-enhancing drugs like paracetamol or ibuprofen;
- you live in Sunderland;
- you watch Strictly Come Dancing...
then skip the revelation and go straight on down to Anne Jones (as it were)).

So here we go then. Ready? Sure? OK - on your own head be it. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

I can now reveal - for the first time and exclusively on this truckshunting blog, that Douglas Adams (and therefore, by default, Stephen Fry) was wrong. The Answer to the Question of Life, the Universe and Everything is not forty-two.

Yes, I know. In its own way, this information is startling enough to make you want to go to bed whatever time of day it is. But there’s more.

Not only am I able to reveal the error of the ways of Messrs Adams and Fry. Presenting you with purely negative news is, after all, so...negative. So (and this is the real story) I am also in the epoch-making position of being able to reveal to you what the Answer to the Question of Life, the Universe and Everything actually is.

No, it’s not forty-two.

It’s forty-five.

Like all mind-boggling revelations, this one will have struck you immediately as accurate, pertinent and life-affirming. Suddenly, all has been revealed, has it not? I, for one, always felt a little uneasy at the thought that forty-two was being promulgated as the Ultimate Answer. It just didn’t seem right to me. Forty-two? Surely not. It just didn’t conform to my life-experience or to my sense of a puzzle satisfyingly and conclusively answered. Especially as Life, the Universe and Everything is the greatest puzzle conceivable in the Mind of Man.

Forty-five, though, is a different kettle of fish altogether. Just think about it. Forty-five. Doesn’t it have the ring of incontrovertible and unarguable truth about it? Forty-five.

However, in the unlikely event that you’re not convinced of the wholesome truth of the matter, I offer above The Magic Square of 45, devised - with almost mystical and guruesque brilliance - by truckshunter Kev. Put aside any sudoku tendencies you might be air to and study The Magic Square of 45. Look at it. Ponder it. Configure it in your mind. Whatever you contrive to refute the theory, the Answer remains the same.


In an email to me, redoubtable truckshunter Alison Best mentioned her sister Anne, the World Speed-Reading Champion, who ‘may be in the news this week with the new Dan Brown book. She has been invited down to London by Border Books to attempt a new record reading the Lost Symbol....’

And guess what? ‘She did it! She read the book in 41 minutes and has massively beaten her own world record. I am so proud of her!’ And so say all of us, Alison. Well done, Anne.

Yes, I know I haven’t yet given my usual report of AGM VI at Tynemouth Station Market, but I will. I promise. In the meantime, however, I’m delighted to say that arrangements for the next one have been taken out of my hands completely, thanks to the Birkheads Ad Hoc Committee. It will take place next Wednesday 30 September at 1100 in the cafe at Saltwell Towers, which is in Saltwell Park, Gateshead. A splendid time is guaranteed for all...

News of an event which you may have missed. This from The Guardian’s ‘Northerner’ email: ‘My pick of the Bank Holiday events is the Third Annual Lancashire Gravy Wrestling Championships at the Rose and Bowl pub in Stacksteads, Rossendale.’

Gravy wrestling. Yummy. I urge everyone to find out when the Fourth Championships are next year. I think we should go, don’t you?

Post comments on this blog or email me: truckshunters@googlemail.com


Leroy La Strange said...

Hi Ian,

Forty Five is pretty much the meaning of life for me.......
My life changed for the best at Forty Five.........at first the events surrounding my life
looked like they would destroy my life, but in fact the exact opposite happened.
I'm bound by the fifty year rule to keep what happened at that time a secret. LOL.


I like the new look too.

Hildie said...

hi Ian, that is truly earth-shattering news
.... all that stuff about forty five .... my dumbfoundedness is equal only to that truckshuntingly awesome moment, last week, when I walked into Birkheads and saw J.Arthur Smallpiece!
I don't know if you've guessed ... but I didn't know what was going on then ... and I don't know what is going on now with the forty two and the forty five and the Stephen Fry thing .... and it looks like I'll never get to know what Leroy's unimaginable theory is on all this. Kev's Magic Square was impressive ....
However, I do wish I'd just skipped to Anne Jones ... and I hope Alison will pass on my congratulations to Anne.
When you're speed reading - do you have to read the book out loud or do you read it silently?
Anybody know?
Ada, if you're reading this, hope to see you at Saltwell Towers next Wednesday ........
AND SID .... is Dipton not a teeny bit out of your way?

Kev said...

Morning everyone
A further explanation of the magic square may be necessary:
all rows and columns add to give 45, as do the diagonals, but...
take the four squares in the top left 25, 1, 11 and 8; guess what? yes, 45. Top middle four squares (1, 12, 8, 24) 45 again.Top right 4 squares, middle four, bottom right , bottom middle, bottom right.
AND top ropw middle two plus bottom row middlw two; right column middle 2 plus left column middle two;
AND four corners
Now that's what I call a magic square.
Have a great day

Maureen said...

Well, although being exempted by most of the conditions given, I decided to risk all and read about the magic numbers...Doh! Hildie can I sit beside you please? I wasn't aware of a magic 42 and now to be told that it's actually 45! I don't know if I can cope, I've taken some paracetamol and am now heading for Roker beach where I will curl up into a ball and rock, and rock ...

Maureen said...

PS Just poppping back to say that I hope this means you are able to join us Ian at our 'ad hoc' meeting? We need you to take control, this lot can be very unruly you know ...

Sid said...

I read on despite your warning Ian, and now I can hear my mothers words flooding back. "Let that be a lesson to you".
She always said that after I had ignored a warning, and suffered as a result.

Hildie, I think you read the book to yourself. Could you imagine the gibberish if you had to do it out loud.lol.

I am looking forward to next weeks agm in Saltwell Park. Ian knows the whereabouts of a special tree, there is just the one, and I'm hoping he'll tell me where it is.

Hildie said...

Ummm .... mysterious!

Val said...

Hi folks
I've been popping in here for ages but haven't had much time to join in. (Ian if I mention June Whitfield and 'home-made' marmalade you may remember my email from just before your show was taken off air!)
Sadly since last summer my husband and I have been coping with frequent trips to the south coast to visit my father-in-law who passed away at the end of May, from a brain tumour. Though we're still back and forwards sorting out his affairs etc I'll try to pop in as often as I can.
With Hildie and Ian's recent bereavements, I'd just like to share a poem which the celebrant read out at Tom's funeral which we found very comforting.

You can shed tears that he is gone,
or you can smile because he has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that he'll come back,
or you can open your eyes and see all he's left.
Your heart can be empty because you can't see him,
or you can be full of the love you have shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember him and only that he's gone,
or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back,
or you can do what he'd want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on. Anon.

Maureen said...

Welcome Val, it's nice to have you join us. That's a lovely poem. I hadn't heard it before. Any chance that you can make it to Saltwell Park next week? We'd love to meet you.
Ian knowing your love of festivals I wondered if you had heard about the Split festival taking place on Sunday 4th October? I certainly hadn't!:
"A brand new festival is set to rock Wearside in October. The Split Festival will celebrate the diverse musical
heritage of Sunderland, as well as showcasing the cream of the crop of Newcastle-based bands.
Taking place at Ashbrooke Sports Club on Sunday 4th October, the event has been organised by several local luminaries including Richard Amundsen (B>E>A>K, This Aint Vegas), Barry Hyde (The Futureheads), Peter Brewis (Field Music), Kenny Sanger (The Bunker) and Claire Dupree (NARC. Magazine), all ably assisted and supported by Chairman and Vice Chairman of the sports club, Rob Deverson and Paul Amundsen.
The festival will see a host of local stars grace two stages at the sports ground from 2pm until 9pm. In addition to the music, expect comedy from local comedians, street theatre, market stalls and all sorts of fun and games to be announced soon!"

Vivienne said...

Hi Val,

Welcome to Blogging and I too hope you are able to come to Saltwell Park on Wednesday. I'm very sorry to learn of your loss, and appreciate the trauma you must be feeling at breaking up the home of someone so close.

Well, I've just had to cope with an experience of ageism! A bloke phoned me up saying he was doing a consumer survey on behalf of Newcastle City Council and could I spare a few minutes. I agreed. He asked my if I was the person responsible for shopping in my household. I said I was. He asked my postal code, then went on to ask which age group I was in......18-25 'No'....26-35 'No'.... 36-45 'No'....46-55....'No' 56...65 'Yes' Then he said, 'I'm sorry we already have enough information for your age group.' That put me in my place... on the scrap heap with all the other rejects whose opinions don't count!

Leroy La Strange said...

Right then, someone put me out of my misery and let me into the secret of the "AGM"....... Yearly meetings ???? every month ????

Or are you all just Mad as Hatters ?............ (my type of folks)

Maureen said...

Hi Leroy, our extraordinary meetings are just that, arranged on a whim at any time or place that occurs. So really you were right first time, we're just plain barmy!

Leroy La Strange said...

Hi Maureen ,

I like Madness in the first degree.

I gotta meet you Dudes n Dudettes, I'm certainly going to get to a meeting soon.