Nibbled to death by an Okapi

Somedays, even on school nights, I would walk along the road to visit my friends, where we would drink coffee and catch up. They lived in a large Victorian house and had a dream of a domestic set up. The two brothers occupied the entire top floor of the house, where they had their own bedrooms, their own bathroom and their own living room, which, of course, housed a stereo music centre and their record collections. One of the brothers liked Siouxsie and the Banshees, the other’s tastes were a little bit more Oi!, but keen to compromise, they usually found a middle ground for guests somewhere between the two via either The Adverts or The Damned or both. And because it was a school night, at the end of the second side of the second LP it would be time to go home. Quite often we’d been listening to Machine Gun Etiquette, by The Damned and just as Smash It Up was fading out, Mark would leap up from the sofa and turn the volume of the record player all the way up so you could hear all the hiss and static and scratches mixed in with the final bars of the song, and we’d all be quiet and he’d say “Listen to this, it’s brilliant”. And it was, every single time.

“Nibbled to death by an okapi” is in fact a line from the BBC Radio series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, and spoken by Peter Jones (as the book) about the fate of Arthur Dent’s brother.

You can listen to the whole episode (Fit the sixth) originally broadcast on 2nd April 1978 HERE (via and the “nibbled to death by an Okapi” line is at 1m50s. You’re welcome.



3 thoughts on “Nibbled to death by an Okapi

  1. Cool story! I found your site while searching for info about that album. Was the “nibbled to death” line on repeat, where it just played over and over until you picked up the needle on the record? Or did it just fade out? I’ve always wondered what I was missing discovering it on CD/streaming.

    1. It was a closed groove if I remember correctly

      1. Wish we still had a vinyl copy to check, but you could be right about this. It used to play right up until the arm would lift off automatically still ‘nibbled-ing’! thanks for taking the time to comment.

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