The Lord of the... whatever, Book V, Chapter 2:
The Passing Of The Gay Company
Isen riverrun, past HeyHoDen, son of Thengel, son of Fengel, son of
Folcwine, son of Folca, son of Walda, relative of Fluffy, and his nephew
Eonard, canard sans cojones, unpuissant in battle, at the sight of arrowrain
from bow an iceclad shiverer, merest of bantlings, and his niece Eowynn,
blonde and nubile and never been kissed in the grass ho ho;
now wondering what to do to get rid of his gluttonous guest Aragon as the
company rode south from the ruin of Isengard, musing how his longfather Yorl
(Mercy an his mummery!) Offa'ed the Orcs at the point of time when they were
about to overprune their eeniemice in Minas Mickey, his thoughts perkelating
through his brain in slow curses and screams when a Rider galloped up from
the rear of their line.
"My lord," he said to the king, "there are horsemen behind us. As we
passed the Fords I thought that I heard them. Now we are sure. They are
overtaking us, riding hard."
"If we can aFord the Isen, so can they," mused the king
(ababbababbarubbalubbafubbaoutoifideasyougulliblesassenachfool), and he
commanded everybody to wait. But their pursuers were merely some thirty or
so of Aragon's kinsmen from the north, led by one herosuitical
Atlantidiniophobet yclept Halberd; and with them also rode the sons of El
Rond, Al Ladan and Al Rokar, thirsting to revenge their mother (whose name
was a matter of debate) for her long, slow torment in the concert halls of
the Orcs as they forced her to listen to the works of Hindemuzgash,
Mahlerhúr and Smaughausen. Everybody in the company was gay at the meeting,
and the king reJoyced at the news of who they were.
"Now that you have your own outfit, I suppose you will ride your separate
way?" he said to Aragon.
"Indeed I am," responded Aragon. "I know you will dawdle here for quite
some time under the pretext of mustering your Riders; but I am in a hurry
and will take the Paths of the Living."
"Really?" inquired HeyHoDen with raised eyebrows. "Are you sure that is a
"The best," answered Aragon firmly.
"Well, have it your own way," said HeyHoDen. "But do ride with us to
Deem's Help first for a barbecue. We will see you off in style."
"Thank you, lord; you are most gracious," drooled Aragon.
"Perhaps we will meet again," said Eonard without much enthusiasm.
"We may," said Aragon.
So they arrived at Deem's Help, and the Dunlendish slaves fried hamburgers
for their betters, who while waiting to get served watched the highly exotic
dancing of a dusky beauty from Harad called Ostrich Flame.
When the food was served, Aragon devoured it and asked for more while
complaining of the poor fare. "What I wouldn't do for a proper tikka
masala!" he groaned as he wolfed down his tenth cheeseburger.
"What are the Paths of the Living?" asked Giggly with his eyes averted
from the gross sight of the slavering, chomping Aragon.
"Thus spoke Malcolm the Seer, in the days of Ar-vegetal, last king of
Fornost," said Aragon:
The statue's nose has a round black tip,
and westward points its four-fingered hand.
The Tower trembles; to the amusement parks
mice are approaching. The ducks awaken;
for the hour is come for the cartoon creatures;
at the Stone of Elmer they shall stand again.
and hear quacks of a bird in the hills raging
Who shall awake them? Who shall call them
from the grey twilight, the forgotten people?
The heir of him to whom the franchise was given.
From the North he shall come, greed shall drive him:
He shall pass the Door to the Paths of the Living
"And what paths are those?" asked Lego-lass.
"Simply a shortcut thrugh the Off-white Mountains that the Rohirrim avoid
because they find the toll excessive," answered Aragon. "But Elendil's Heir
travels there for free."
"Hey, cool!" said Giggly. "Look, one of Isildur's original collaborators
was a Dwarf called Harry Cohn. I am collaterally descended from him. Can I
have a cut?"
"Surely," said Aragon. "No show is complete without a Dwarf."
After the meal, HeyHoDen summoned the pathetic, ragtag Rohan peasant army.
Grouching "What is it now?" "My arse is sore from the saddle!" and the
like, they reluctantly shuffled closer and formed ragged lines. HeyHoDen
looked keenly on them, and with a slight, wry smile he said:
"The people of Rohan were always numerous, but ofttimes their bravery has
been less impressive than their numbers. However, to encourage you I have
retained a few Orkish whipmen, who by joining our side have proved that all
Orcs are not evil, despite racist claims to that effect. Húberz, Húmfríkh,
Snagfred - keep an eye on them! Where there is a whip there is a will."
A number of Orkish overseers in public school uniforms walked forward and
saluted the king with their whips.
"Together we shall attain glory!" shouted HeyHoDen with glaring, insane
eyes. "The victory and the power shall go to Minowara blood, Minnehaha
blood, Minotaur bood! Oh, Aragon-san, what a future I have planned for you!"
Suddenly, HeyHoDen's red, glazed eyes focused. He shook his head, looking
"Sorry about that," he said. "But that pipeweed the halflings taught me to
smoke really is good stuff."
And now Aragon sat up on his great big harse. But lo! His massive weight,
augmented by unnumbered hamburgers and Frankfurter sausages, was too much
for his steed; its legs folded like boiled spaghetti and it hit the ground
with a crash, instantly killed by the oppressive weight on its back. A moan
of despair arose from the Rohirrim, whose larders were already depleted
because of this man.
"How fortunate that I can amend this!" said HeyHoDen with a tight smile.
"I received a gift from Denethor last year and have kept it stabled here at
Deem's Help for the fertilizer." At a sign from him, two servants ran off
and returned with a huge mûmak.
"This is Babar, named for the fabled oliphaunt king of old," declared
HeyHoDen, "and this is my parting gift to you. May it carry you far!"
Aragon bowed and sat up. For a moment the mûmak reeled under his weight,
but it recovered. Its small eyes looked unhappy, but apart from a bit of
ear-flapping it did not object to the inhumane treatment it was being
Now everybody took an enthusiastic farewell of the company. The field was
full of people waving good-bye: Rohirrim, Dunlendings drafted into the Rohan
army on an affirmative action quota programme they would gladly have
abstained from, Ments, Ents, Ments disguised as Orcs, Orcs disguised as
Ments, Ments disguised as Ents - everybody cheered at the company's
departure, and indeed, grateful they were to be rid of someone with Aragon's
insatiable appetite ("another week and he would have eaten me out of my
kingdom!" sighed HeyHoDen to Eonard).
And while HeyHoDen went by slow paths in the hills, the Gay Company passed
swiftly over the plain, and on the next day in the afternoon they came to
Edoras, where Aragon had a spot of trouble persuading Eowynn not to join
them. However, the welding torch-like glare from Arwen's eyes clearly showed
that this was the politic thing to do.
"Fear not, sugarpuss," whispered Aragon to Eowynn when Arwen happened to
look away for a moment. "When this is over I will make you a greater star
than Shelob herself, for I mean to restore the Gondor entertainment
industry to its old glory." Eowynn bit her lip and stared sourly at the
ground, but she had to rest content with this promise.
When the light of day was come into the sky but the sun was not yet risen
above the high ridges in the East, Aragon made ready to depart. He and those
with him rode away without anyone bidding them farewell, for Eowynn was
sulking in her rooms and her folk did not wish to encourage any further
tardiness from their guests. (Aragon's evening meal and breakfast had
consumed all the food they had meant to bring to their wartime refuge in the
So they came to the Door to the Paths of the Living. Above its wide arch
was a rim of merrily shining red lightbulbs, and jazz music flowed from it
like the screaming of tortured Nazdaq.
"This is a tasteless door," said Halberd, "and I hate jazz music. I will
pass it nonetheless; but does anyone have earstoppers?"
No one did. They entered on a file, leading their horses. (The mûmak Babar
let out a huge gust of relief as Aragon sat down from it, and meekly
followed him under the arch.) An aged ticket collector ambled forwards, but
looking at Aragon he fell back again and saluted him by snapping his fingers
and doing a moonwalk. Aragon had brought torches from Edoras, and now he
went ahead bearing one aloft; and Al Ladan with another went at the rear,
and beside him walked Giggly and Lego-lass, rubbernecking. Most of the
attractions (apart from a few nightclubs and gambling dens) were closed
down, but the magic of the place had kept them spotless and shining; they
looked as if they could open at any moment and take admission fees for
visiting Queen Berúthiel's Tea Party, Bottle and the Booze or Cindy Reela's
No barker accosted the company, nor withstood their passage, and yet
steadily grew the curiosity of the Dwarf as he went on, most of all because
he itched to learn how many marks the various outfits had fleeced on a
normal business day. So time unreckoned passed, until Giggly beheld a most
curious sight. The road was wide, but now the company came suddenly into a
great empty space, and there were no longer any walls upon either side. The
greed was so heavy on him that he could hardly walk onwards. Away to the
left something glittered in the gloom as Aragon's torch drew near. Then
Aragon halted and went to look what it might be. Giggly, who smelled gold,
followed him at once, and Lego-lass trailed after him.
Aragon kneeled while Al Ladan held aloft both torches. Arwen crossed her
arms and gazed at it all with a sort of amused disdain. Before them were the
bones of a mighty man. He had been clad in mail, and still his harness lay
there whole; but his shoulders and head were in little pieces that seemed to
be slowly growing together. As Giggly watched, two bits of throat melted
together with a small hissing sound.
"This looks like Boromir," said Aragon thoughtfully. "He must have been
brought here by some kind of tremendous explosion, transmitted here through
space and time."
"That sounds very far-fetched," remarked Giggly.
"Not at all!" declared Aragon. "Fredric Brown uses precisely that idea in
a science fiction story of his called 'What Mad Universe' – a glorious
"Do you like science fiction?" exclaimed Giggly; a smouldering fire was in
his eyes. "I had no idea! I like Brown, but I prefer Clifford Simak and Poul
"I am more of the hardscience Asimov or Heinlein school," said Aragon.
"Have you read the Foundation trilogy?"
"My lord Aragon, please!" objected Halberd. "This is hardly the place for
this kind of discussion, is it?" Aragon and Giggly looked at each other.
"I suppose not," said Aragon with a sigh. "But had I but known this during
all those boring evenings... well, let's look at Boromir. All the pieces seem
to have grown together now."
"He was in one piece when we last saw him," remarked Lego-lass.
"True. True," said Aragon with a sligtly shifty look. "Well, let's turn
him over." He did so and exclaimed: "He has no face!"
"And it does not look as if it's going to grow back," remarked Giggly,
peeking through Aragon's armpit. "I wonder why?"
"Perhaps it got stuck somewhere," said Aragon. "But never mind! Remember
that 'the hands of the King are the hands of a healer'! We'll bring him back
to life and give him a new face."
"Can we really do that?" asked Giggly.
"Oh, definitely! These are the Paths of the Living. Open that door behind
Halberd obeyed his command. The two men entered the room behind and
returned, wheeling and carrying various items of medical apparatus. Together
with Giggly and Lego-lass they donned surgical clothing that Giggly had
found, placed Boromir on a bed with castor wheels and assembled around it.
After a brief fight over the scalpels between Arwen and Lego-lass they were
"Give him 40 cc of Nauglamirin!" commanded Aragon. Halberd obeyed.
"Give him 220 volts!" Giggly stepped forward and sadistically applied the
"He is breathing!" reported Lego-lass.
"Ready to electrocute his penis," said Aragon.
"Pardon?" said Giggly.
"Oh... ah... er.., I mean 'Ready to intubate'," said Aragon with a slight
After twenty minutes of hard work Boromir was alive and breathing, and
would no doubt have had rosy cheeks if he had been in possession of a face.
"And now for a face!" said Aragon merrily. "Behold, I am the renewer!" He
placed both hands on Boromir's head and kneaded it until a howl suddenly
burst from the recumbent warrior. Aragon snatched back his hands and
exclaimed: "Behold my handiwork!"
The others looked and gasped. Boromir had indeed received a new face. It
had a long nose with a round black knob at its end; huge upper teeth
protuded from his mouth, and he had long, hanging black ears. He also seemed
to have acquired a blue cap that rose from his crown like a little tower.
"I will restore Minas Tirith to its ancient glory, such as it was when it
was known as Minas Mickey and faced Minas Goofy across the River!" declared
Aragon. "And who better to start with than the beloved son of Steward
Denethor?" He laughed aloud, a laughter with certain sinister overtones:
"Hnyukyukyuk!" The others stared, frozen with shock. Even Giggly, the
greediest of Dwarves and hardened by many shady deals, was taken aback.
Arwen sucked in her breath with a soft hiss. "Aren't you going a bit too
far?" she whispered to Aragon. He looked innocently at her and then winked.
Boromir opened his eyes and asked: "Where am I?"
Halberd licked his lips. "In the Paths of the Living," he said.
"Is my face here too?" asked Boromir. "I seemed to lose it – but no, it
was just an evil dream."
"You have got a new face," said Halberd in a choked voice. He polished his
shield with his sleeve and held it up as a mirror before Boromir, who
looked at the reflection.
"GAWRSH!" he exclaimed. They all waited, Aragon expressionless but the
others in some trepidation. Boromir looked intently at his reflection and
made a deep, clunking sound in his throat.
"I like it!" he declared. They all breathed out, except Aragon, who smiled
and discreetly put away a knife he had been holding.
"This is but a token of things to come!" he said. "Soon we will be out of
the passage. Lead the way, friend Boromir!"
Soon they were indeed out of the tunnel and came into the clear friendly
sunshine. They marched onwards, accompanied by an ever growing flock of
cheering funlovers. At the head of the Gay Company danced Boromir, singing:
Aragon, Arathon's son, riding on Babar!
Genuflect, show some respect, down on one knee!
Seated on his only slightly groaning mûmak, Aragon threw chocolate coins to
the multitude, who fell on their knees in the dust exclaiming "He's
generous! So generous!" Wherever they came the enemies of Gondor screamed
and fled, for they worshipped film noir and other black arts, but the common
people gathered around the Gay Company, and joy and merriment followed them.
This chapter of this epic work is presented through the courtesy of
Öjevind Lång <ojevind.lang-aaaaaaat-swipnet-dawt-se>.
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