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Vogons are one of the most unpleasant races in the galaxy. Not evil, but bad-tempered, bureaucratic, officious and callous. They wouldn't even lift a finger to save their own grandmothers from the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal without orders signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters. On no account should you allow a Vogon to read poetry to you.
Far back in prehistory, when the first primeval Vogons crawled out of the sea, the forces of evolution were so disgusted with them that they never allowed them to evolve again. Through sheer obstinacy, though, the Vogons survived (partly by adapting a misplaced, badly malformed, and dyspeptic liver into a brain). They then emigrated en masse to the Brantisvogon star cluster, where they formed most of the Galactic bureaucracy, most notably in the Vogon Constructor Fleets (which, despite their name, patrol the galaxy demolishing planets).
Vogons are roughly human-sized, although much bulkier, with green or grey skin. Their noses are above their eyebrows, which are either ginger or white. The evolved two high, flat noses from being repeatedly smacked in the face by the paddle creatures under the sand on Vogsphere whenever they had an independent thought.
Vogons are officiously bureaucratic, a line of work at which they perform so well that the entire galactic bureaucracy is run by them.
On Vogsphere, the Vogons would sit upon very elegant and beautiful gazelle-like creatures, whose backs would snap instantly if the Vogons tried to ride them. The Vogons were perfectly happy with just sitting on them. Another favorite Vogon pastime is to import millions of beautiful jewel-backed scuttling crabs from their native planet, cut down giant trees of breathtaking beauty, and spend a happy drunken night smashing the crabs to bits with iron mallets and cooking the crab meat by burning the trees. Sometimes the Vogons seem to smash the crabs for no apparent reason besides pure pleasure at killing something.
The Vogons' battle-cry, and counter-argument to dissent, is "resistance is useless!"
Vogon Poetry is widely accepted as the third worst in the Universe. The second worst is that of the Azgoths of Kria. During a recitation by their poet master, Grunthos the Flatulent of his poem, Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in my Armpit One Midsummer Morning, four of his audience died of internal haemorraging, but the President of the Mid-Galactic Arts Nobbling Council survived by gnawing one of his own legs off. The absolute worst poetry was written by Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings in Sussex. Luckily, it was destroyed when the Earth was.
Vogon spacecraft are known to fly as part of a Constructor Fleet. Such a fleet demolished the Earth to make way for a hyperspace bypass, 5 minutes before the 10 million year program to calculate the Ultimate Question would have finished. The ships are large and yellow, undetectable to radar, and capable of travel through hyperspace. They are not crewed exclusively by Vogons; a species known as the Dentrassi are responsible for on-board catering.