This version of the conversation between clueless everyEarthMan Arthur Dent and Megreathean world-designer and oligarch Slartibartfast is from the third episode of the BBC-TV adaptation of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy.
SLARTIBARTFAST: You seem ill at ease.
ARTHUR DENT: Actually, I don’t think we expected anyone to be about, in fact. No disrespect, but I gathered you were all dead.
SLARTIBARTFAST: Dead? No! We have but slept. For five million years. Nothing much seems to have changed.
SLARTIBARTFAST: Yes. Through the economic recession.
ARTHUR: Economic recession?
SLARTIBARTFAST: Well, you see five million years ago the galactic economy collapsed. And seeing that custom-built planets are something of a luxury commodity — you know we built planets, do you?
ARTHUR: Well, I’d sort of gathered that.
SLARTIBARTFAST: Fascinating trade. Doing the coastlines was my favorite. Use to have endless fun doing all the little fiddly bits around fjords. Well, anyway, the recession came and we thought — thought it would save a lot of bother if we just slept through it. So we programmed the computers to revive us when it was all over.
SLARTIBARTFAST: They were index-linked to the galactic stock market prices, you see, so that we’d all be revived when everybody else had rebuilt the economy enough to be able to afford our rather expensive services.
ARTHUR: Isn’t that rather unethical behavior?
SLARTIBARTFAST: Oh, is it? I’m afraid I’m a bit out of touch.