"Eddies," said Ford, "in the space-time continuum."
"Ah," nodded Arthur, "is he? Is he?" He pushed his hands into the pocket of his dressing gown and looked knowledgeably into the distance.
"What?" said Ford.
"Er, who," said Arthur, "is Eddy, then, exactly?"
Ford looked angrily at him. "Will you listen?" he snapped.
"I have been listening," said Arthur, "but I'm not sure it's helped."
Ford grasped him by the lapels of his dressing gown and spoke to him as slowly and distinctly and patiently as if he were somebody from a telephone company accounts department. "There seem ..." he said, "to be some pools ..." he said, "of instability ..." he said, "in the fabric ..." he said ...
Arthur looked foolishly at the cloth of his dressing gown where Ford was holding it. Ford swept on before Arthur could turn the foolish look into a foolish remark.
"... in the fabric of space-time," he said.
"Ah, that," said Arthur.
"Yes, that," confirmed Ford.
They stood there alone on a hill on prehistoric Earth and stared each other resolutely in the face.
"And it's done what?" said Arthur.
"It," said Ford, "has developed pools of instability."
"Has it?" said Arthur, his eyes not wavering for a moment.
"It has," said Ford with a similar degree of ocular immobility.
"Good," said Arthur.
"See?" said Ford.
"No," said Arthur.
There was a quiet pause.
"The difficulty with this conversation," said Arthur after a sort of pondering look had crawled slowly across his face like a mountaineer negotiating a tricky outcrop, "is that it's very different from most of the ones I've had of late. Which, as I explained, have mostly been with trees. They weren't like this. Except perhaps some of the ones I've had with elms which sometimes get a bit bogged down."
"Arthur," said Ford.
"Hello? Yes?" said Arthur.
"Just believe everything I tell you, and it will all be very, very simple."
"Ah, well I'm not sure I believe that."
They sat down and composed their thoughts.
Ford got out his Sub-Etha Sens-O-Matic. It was making vague humming noises and a tiny light on it was flickering faintly.
"Flat battery?" said Arthur.
"No," said Ford, "there is a moving disturbance in the fabric of space+ time, an eddy, a pool of instability, and it's somewhere in our vicinity."
Ford moved the device in a slow lightly bobbing semi-circle. Suddenly the light flashed.
"There!" said Ford, shooting out his arm. "There, behind that sofa!"
Arthur looked. Much to his surprise, there was a velvet paisley covered Chesterfield sofa in the field in front of them. He boggled intelligently at it. Shrewd questions sprang into his mind.
"Why," he said, "is there a sofa in that field?"
"I told you!" shouted Ford, leaping to his feet. "Eddies in the space-time continuum!"
"And this is his sofa, is it?" asked Arthur, struggling to his feet and, he hoped, though not very optimistically, to his senses.
(from /Life, The Universe and Everything/ by Douglas Adams...as if you didn't know)