The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
What To Do If You Lose Your Towel

Though 98% of your travels through the stars will end safely (thanks
mostly to the universal law of "The Hero Rarely Dies and Almost
Always Gets the Girl"), there will undoubtedly come a time when you
will misplace your towel. When this happens, remember, of course,
DON'T PANIC. Though it may have been a towel handed down to you by
your Great-Aunt Gertie and monogrammed in platinum thread, it is,
after all, a towel like any other and can be easily replaced.

"Yes," you may argue, "But there are no J.C. Penny's on Trollstar
13, and even fewer Sears outlets." This is not a problem, because if
you are anywhere near the planet Rayon, you can obtain another
towel. And wherever you are, you're near Rayon. This is because a
few centuries ago, Rayon got pulled into a wormhole in space, and
therefore simultaneously exists at all points in the universe at all
times. This makes it convenient for Rayonites to go on vacation, but
nearly impossible to get away from their in-laws.

One of the most plentiful creatures in the forested Eastern end of
Rayon's Northern Hemisphere is a benevolent animal called the Thig.
It is about four feet long, two feet wide, and completely flat. Its
skin is covered with soft, thick hairs which it uses to absorb
rainfall and get the nutrients it needs to survive, making it one of
the few beings of the universe that can't decide if it wants to be a
plant or an animal. Thigs are quiet, unassuming creatures who would
much rather pass their time sunning themselves draped over the high
branches of trees than attending shopping mall openings. (Though a
Thig survey once found that this is a far easier way to obtain
Leonard Nimoy's autograph, as he rarely comes around to where they
usually hang out). If you can get a Thig out of its tree, it will
make an excellent replacement for your lost towel, with the added
advantage that it will hang itself back up.

There are two ways to get a Thig out of a tree: the hard way, and
the difficult way. The hard way involves physically climbing the
Thig's tree and pulling it off its branch, at which time you will
discover that a Thig can wrap itself like a windowshade around its
branch and never let go. This frequently ends with the branch the
Thig-puller is standing on breaking and him plummeting painfully to
the ground. The difficult way is a little easier and consists of
standing beneath the Thig's tree and asking it to come down. It
usually will, but only after you promise it an unlimited supply of
licorice. This is what makes it difficult. Since a Thig knows an
opportunity when it sees one, it will only come with you if you
promise it licorice, it's second-favorite thing next to sunning
itself draped over the high branches of trees. The problem is that
licorice isn't always easy to come by. Earth is the only planet
known to produce sigificant quantities of the stuff, and most of
that is bought by other planets as insect repellant. It's not
specifically known how Thigs aquired a taste for licorice, though
it's suspected that tourists fed some to them one day. But keep a
Thig happy with licorice and it will stay with you forever.

Replacing your lost towel is easy. Supplying the licorice to do so
is your problem.