Was the 3 pints of beer Ford wanted Arthur to drink, for space travel preparation? Or the shock he may feel, when the Vogons arrive and destroy earth?

I assumed for a few years, it was for a more "comfortable" feeling of being teleported off earth into space, but now I am not sure.

  • 1
    Modern folk coming to the genre probably don't realise the class war raging in late 70s Britain when Adams wrote. Note the toffy nosed reference to the bloke who "wiped the few windows and charged me a fiver", the clear boss/serf relationship when the foreman sez "if I let this bulldozer drive straight over you" ie the driver was not autonomous or a free agent, and the union reps busting in on Magicthighs after they learn the Answer. There are other indications of a vanished class stratification of which Adams et al were a dominant part but this might do to be going on with. Jun 3, 2017 at 19:40
  • The game had a specific effect of you imbibed the wrong amount. I remember drinking to much meant you missed the pickup because you lose track of time.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Jun 3, 2017 at 21:58
  • The question title sounds like you're asking why "3" pints why not 4 or 5?
    – Manik
    May 19, 2020 at 12:48

2 Answers 2


Ford says that it's a 'muscle relaxant', presumably to help he and Arthur cope with the delitirious side-effects of teleportation.

Arthur: Why three pints? 

Ford: Muscle relaxants. You’ll need it.

  • Very good. That makes the most sense Val. I was trying to put myself in the shoes of someone who's Earth was about to get destroyed, and figured 3 pints would make the blow softer. :p
    – Jack
    Jun 2, 2017 at 20:50
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    @Jack I don't think Arthur actually believed that Ford was right and the the Earth was going to be destroyed. Arthur was gullible (going for a pint and believing the demolition crew would not take down his house while he did), but the destruction of Earth was not plausible or really rational in Arthur's opinion. It was a beautiful day. Ford was an actor -- no one to be trusted to know that the world was to be destroyed.
    – WRX
    Jun 3, 2017 at 16:02
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    @Willow Well said Willow.
    – Jack
    Jun 3, 2017 at 16:10

In addition to Valorum's answer, when Arthur wakes up on the Vogon ship feeling terrible Ford remarks:

If you've never been through a matter transference beam before, you've probably lost some salt and protein. The beer you've had should have cushioned your system a bit.

  • Yes indeed. Thanks Daniel..I did forget about the transference beam.
    – Jack
    Jun 2, 2017 at 21:48
  • Ah yes. I'd forgotten that. +1
    – Valorum
    Jun 2, 2017 at 22:39

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