The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say on the subject
Most importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason,
if a non-hitchhiker discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him,
he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush,
washcloth, flask, gnat spray, space suit, etc., etc. Furthermore, the non-
hitchhiker will then happily lend the hitchhiker any of these or a dozen
other items that he may have "lost". After all, any man who can hitch the
length and breadth of the Galaxy, struggle against terrible odds, win through
and still know where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.
Not only is "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" a wholly remarkable book
it is also a highly successful one - more popular than the "Celestial Home Care
Omnibus", better selling than "Fifty-three More Things to Do in Zero Gravity",
and more controversial than Oolon Colluphid's trilogy of philosophical
blockbusters, "Where God Went Wrong", "Some More of God's Greatest Mistakes"
and "Who Is This God Person Anyway?...
The beach was a beach we shall not name, because his private house
was there but it was a small sandy stretch somewhere along the hundreds
of miles of coastline that runs west from Los Angeles, which is
described in the new edition of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
in one entry as "junky, wunky, lunky, stunky, and what's that other
word, and all kinds of bad stuff, woo," and in another, written only
hours later as "being like several thousand square miles of American
Express junk mail, but without the same sense of moral depth....