“Look at them. All of them up there, twinkling like that…” Ford sighed. “Do they look smug to you?”
Arthur, who had not been expecting this line of questioning at all, blinked.
What Arthur had been expecting was an evening at the pub, probably without Ford as he had not heard from the out-of-work actor in some days and thought perhaps that he’d found some sort of work to be in. What Arthur had in fact gotten was a surprise crashing-into with Ford, who was just coming out of the Red Lion after waiting for him to show up for quite some time and just having given up. This had led to the obligatory task of helping Ford get home without stopping too many innocent passers-by to ask about flying saucers.
At some point Ford had become bored with this idea and decided to run off and lie down on a nice grassy hill, pull Arthur down with him instead of accepting an amused hand up, and ask some questions Arthur had not been expecting.
After a moment’s thought, Arthur replied, “No, they mostly just look twinkling to me.”
“They’re definitely smug,” Ford decided. “If I were that smug, I don’t think I’d bother twinkling. They probably only shine on this stupid planet so you can see which direction you’re bumbling around in…”
Arthur blinked again, still rather confused. “Who, me?”
Ford made an odd hiccoughing noise, as if he’d had to swallow a few words in order to catch the query and in doing so had completely lost his previous train of thought. He propped himself up on his elbows and looked at Arthur quizzically. “I suppose so,” he replied, though he sounded far from sure. “I mean, I meant ‘you all’… in the general sense. But I may as well have meant you specifically, too.”
This, Arthur decided, was rapidly turning into one of those conversations that would make much more sense if he too were comfortably drunk. “What about you?” he asked, feeling that this was an at least somewhat reasonable question.
“What about me? I just happened to come along.” With a laugh, Ford flopped back down. “Look at them. Yellow light, old light… When I get a lift out of here, you should come with me. I could take you…” He grinned. “You’ll get a different perspective on things then, that’s for sure.”
Arthur didn’t know what Ford was talking about, but he was quite mistaken in thinking that his friend didn’t either. Entirely ignorant of his misunderstanding, he smiled amicably and said, “All right.”