#bookaday question asks for a book that makes me laugh. Naturally, my first thought went to Groo the Wanderer, which is probably the funniest thing in the world.
Then I thought of Asterix. I often do! A couple of weeks ago, when someone asked for the dimensions of the new British Fantasy Award, my first impulse was to say, larger than the pen of my aunt, but smaller than the garden of my uncle. (My second impulse was to say, just the usual three. But that isn't a quote from Asterix.)
But then I thought of Life, the Universe and Everything by Douglas Adams, and knew I could choose no other, because this book made me laugh when I was waiting for the police to come to our house to tell my parents what I had done.
I had gone into the town centre with a boy I didn't usually hang around with, and we went to the top of a multi-storey car park, and he began to spit off the top of it onto the people walking through the streets below. I, of course, did not.
Quite properly, we were apprehended by an officer of the law who took our names and said he would soon be visiting our homes. My dad wasn't home, but my mum was, and I told her straight away and then waited for the knock of doom. I noticed a book on the sideboard, and picked it up – I would start reading any book left unattended back then.
I'd seen the television series of The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but didn't know there was a book or any sequels. I began to read, started to laugh, and pretty much forgot about the policeman who was on the way.
In the end, I don't think he ever turned up. And though my parents weren't very happy about the incident, I don't remember getting into a great deal of trouble. I couldn't wait to read the other books.