The Lord of the... whatever, Book VI, Chapter 1:
The Trains Of Cirith Ungallant
Sam roused himself painfully, but the less said about that,
the better. Unable to proceed without falling into the chasm at his
feet, he had stood around for a while in a rêverie, into which, not
unnaturally, thoughts of wogah (specifically, of Spiegel) had
intruded. His earlier indifference to Spiegel's loss had been the
result of the shock of having been kidnapped, and confusion as to
whether he was a true proletarian hobbit, or the heir of Isildur -- or
both. But now that the shock and confusion were past, his earlier
affection for Spiegel renewed itself within his heart.
"Who kens what indoctrinations and postmodern tortures she is now
bein' subjected tae!" thought Sam. "She must be freed from Sauron's
grip. Aye, I shall rescue Spiegel, and then tak the Ring to Mt.
Viagra, or me name ain't Vladimir Ilyich Lenindil!" (Vladimir Ilyich
was his name in Westron; and he liked the name Lenindil, despite his
doubts whether he was indeed, as Sauron claimed, the heir of Isildur.)
After he was done getting roused, another thought occurred to
him: while rescuing Spiegel, he could also get hold of Frodo and make
that little rat suffer for the "armchair revolutionary" insult - by
making the oppressor an instrument of the Revolution.
Meanwhile, Gullible had moved a little out of earshot and taken a
walkie-talkie out of his bag. "Agent 007 to Fat Lord," he said.
"Situation excellent, preciouss. S has the R and is determined to do
the needful with it. Please alert our contactses. Deliverance from
Nassty is at hand. Nassty will pay for calling us a narrative
irrelevancy, ssaddam. Over and out." He returned to Sam, and smiled
in a suitably servile manner. "Has hobbit decided what to do yet?" he
"Yes," said Sam. "I must rescue Spiegel before destroying the Ring.
But I have nae idea how to do either. It doesn't look as we'll get no
"Before we fleeds, Don Giovanni heard nasties say something about
going to the Tower of Cirith Undies. To get there, we need to get to
Lithlad Station and take the Subway."
Sam gazed at the abyss at his feet. In the background, in the lovely
ersatz chalet of Cirith Iodel, he heard an exquisite soprano warbling:
DOR! A land, an Orkish land!
RHî! A crown for royal dude!
MIR! A jewel I hold in hand!
FA! I'd tell you, but it's rude!
SÛL! It's Sindarin for wind!
LANG! A cutlass or a sword!
Dî! A bride with Sauron sinned!
And that brings us to Mor-DOR, DOR ...
A gunshot echoed in the mountains, and the song abruptly ceased. And
hard and cruel and bitter was the parking lot that met Sam's gaze.
"This is where the suburbanites leave their cars so they can use
public transit ssysstem," explained the Don. "Border between Mordor
and Gondor heavily congessted with traffic, yes it is. Lots of
people moving to Mordor; very chic, precious, very chic. One day all
peoples will be inside, if we don't desstroy nassty Ring."
"Doesn't look very chic, with all this asphalt," said Sam. "I reckon
Mordor is lowbrow after all."
"It'ss a parking lot," said Gullible. "Were you expecting
"Weell, cultured or not, we've got to get down there somehow,"
observed Sam brilliantly. "I suppose this is where we use me rope?"
"No, let'ss ssave that for nassty ssarcasstic hobbit," said Gullible.
"We'll take elevator instead."
"What elevator?" inquired Sam.
"Follow uss," replied Gullible.
Gullible led Sam back into the alpine countryside. The hobbits came
to a stop at a linden tree; Gullible pulled one of the branches off,
and a hidden door opened, through which the hobbits boarded the
"We'll go down to level C, and there we'll head south to Lithlad
Station," said Gullible, pushing a button. "A long walk, preciouss.
Many carss. Some grim and evilses, some noble and sssad. Many proud
and fair, with crown in their ssilver hoodses. But all stinking, all
rotten, all emitting carbon monoxide. A fell gleam isss in their
headlightsss. Saddam. We musst be very careful," he added, "or
drug lordss will shoot us. Lucky thing hobbit met Don Giovanni, acos
Don knowss drug lordses and can protect sstu... sensible hobbit."
The elevator stopped, and the hobbits got out. Now began the worst
part of Sam's journey, compared to which the scaling of Mount Viagra
was as a picnic in Woody End Park in the Shire. Cars upon cars
lowered before his horror-stricken gaze. At first he looked with
interest at the licence plates and bumper stickers: "I Brake for
Winged Balrogs", "I <heart> Minas Epcot", "If Rings of Power were
Outlawed, Only Outlaws would have Rings of Power", "It's a Troll
Thing; You Wouldn't Understand", "The White Council Is Racist", along
with more refined sentiments, such as "Maria Khallas Kicks Tebaldi's
Rear End", "Empower the Periphery through the Deconstruction of Power
Structures", and "Who Would Conquer the World, Must First Get the Ring
of Wogah" -- to say nothing of totally obscure items like "The Nature
of Being Is Psotting to TEUNC", "Bha, I Walays Tyope My Repeats",
"Bother, said Pooh. Some Stupid Halfwitt Has the Ring!", and "I Moo
for Dwagins". But after a while, the cold deadening monotony of
passing car after car after car, in an asphalt desert where horses had
no names, almost overwhelmed him. Nor did the eerie shapes he saw out
of the corner of his eye contracting various illicit-looking deals and
occasionally shooting each other do anything to increase his
"Gullible," he said eventually, "are we mostways there yet?"
"We makess good progress," said Gullible. "We have finished Straight
Lot. Now we come to Winding Lot."
Sam was thoughtful for a moment. "When we get tae the Subway, they'll
know at once that we're no from around here," he said. "Maybe we
should have stopped at the Mall of Gorgoroth and bought us some
Orc-gear like that toff Gorbush had. As we're in Mordor, we'd better
dress in Mordor-fashion; and anyway there isn't nae choice."
"Don Giovanni came prepared for that, ssaddam," said Gullible.
He took a bundle out of his pack and opened it. Sam looked in
disgust at the contents, but there was nothing for it: he had to put
the things on, or go naked, and even Kinko wasn't into exhibitionism.
(Wlokay, he could have gone on wearing his own clothes, but he'd lost
most of them when the party was attacked, and his current outfit
needed a rendez-vous with a washing-machine -- badly.) There were
long slacks of some unclean polyester-fell, and a vest of expensive
leather. Over a white cotton tunic went a tie of stout ring-mail, too
long for Sam and heavy. The Don had also brought several Orc-helmets,
that in the Black Speech were called fedoras.
Having disguised themselves as best they could, they set out again.
The journey through the Winding Lot was much like that through the
Straight Lot, except that their route sloped gradually downwards, in a
sort of spiral. Finally, when Sam thought he would scream if he saw
another Mordcedes-Lurtz, Khadillak of Harad, Shevrolugbúrz,
Orcsmobile, or Ford of Isen -- to say nothing of the Nazdas,
Elfbusters, Torogas, Valaraukor, Gondas, Sangahyundaes, Orcuras, Nasty
Green Slimy Beasties, Ancalagons, Smaug-guzzlers, Nissis, and ThÛbarus
-- they came to an end of the cars, and beheld a glass wall, and a
glass door in the midmost thereof, and over the door was carven the
word: Subway. And they rejoiced at the sight and were glad.
Three eras had passed in the history of Mordor's public transit
system. In the Dark Years during the Second Age, Sauron and Mini had
created an efficient Eagle Express system. But after the loss of the
Ring, the Eagles got uppity and services declined, so Sauron created
an underground railway system that was the wonder of the world, with
fast and clean vehicles and sumptuously elegant stations. In the
latter years of the Third Age, however, budget cuts in transportation
had changed all this -- although there is no denying that some of the
older stations retained a dishevelled dryad loveliness. But the system
was showing its age and tending to a certain greyish monotony, despite
Sauron's attempts at inexpensive beautification through paintings and
sculptures by various avant-garde artists. The trains no longer ran
as frequently as they had aforetime -- especially on weekends -- for
budget cuts had impaired services. It didn't help matters that the
stations near the Western border were the abode of drug-traffickers
and other nasties, for the mind of Sauron was too often elsewhere in
these latter days (elsewhere being primarily various portions of
The hobbits mastered their fears and entered the station, taking a
glass elevator downstairs to the main lobby, where they stood in line
for twenty minutes or so at the booth behind several snooty Orcs,
mischievous Trolls, and fascinatingly witty Balrogs. While they
waited, Gullible explained their route.
"We need to take ungwë train to 42nd Ssstreet, which the Orcs call
Mishkoltz, preciouss," he said. "Long ride and out of our way, but no
other way to make the connection, because the Northeast-bound
ngwalmë doesn't run on weekends; doing nassty and inconvenient
consstruction work, the Orcses are. Ungwë train takess uss to Canal
Street, at ssouthern corner of Lithlad Station. There we get on
ssilmë nuquerna, which goess to 161st Street, the northern corner of
Lithlad. There we need to get on quessë and take it to Cirith
Undies. Very crowded at Cirith Undies; lots of outdoor opera
performances there, yess lotss. They hurts our ears, my poor little
"Ye mean there are trains runnin' inside the train station?"
blurted Sam, startled.
"Yes, ssaddam," replied Gullible. "Big station. Orcses and stuff
musst gets through somehow. This is the only way."
"But why is the station so huge?" asked Sam.
"Acos Sauron got carried away with his building craze and didn't
know where to sstop, the basse masster of treachery... saddam."
Gullible said nothing about the corrupt building schemes in which
Sauron's evil twin Saurtre had been engaged, before he finally ran off
and joined the narco-terrorists for a lark; for no one learned of that
until Mordor's secret archives were made available to historians in
"Wow, Gullible, ye really are an expert!" cried Sam.
"Comess with the job, precciouss," said Gullible, patting himself on
At this point they finally found themselves at the head of the line.
"Where ya goin'?" asked the guy in the booth.
"Cirith Undies," said Gullible.
"6 flokarinos," said the guy. Gullible put his head close to the
window-pane and whispered something that Sam couldn't hear; but the
guard became almost polite and handed Gullible two tokens with winged
speed. The hobbits passed through a turnstile to the platform, where
several surly Orcs and other denizens of the Land of Shadow and High
Culture, mostly in uniform, stood around, waiting for the dilatory
ungwë to wend its way thither.
While waiting, Sam tried to listen to the locals, but couldn't hear
much, as no one spoke above a whisper. He did hear bits and pieces
like "situation in Ethelien's getting worse", "even in Dor Remi", "the
Big Bosses, even the Biggest, can make mistakes", "something almost
slipped", "too lax", and "curse the Gondorians!" Even the
Lurtzafarians seemed to be rather down.
Finally the train arrived. There is little to tell about
their journey, for monotonous is the public transit in the Land of
Chiaroscuro Lighting Effects. They were in a land of darkness where
the days of the world seemed forgotten, and where all who entered were
forgotten too. Oft and anon the trains would stop between stations,
or would suddenly start going in the exact opposite direction to that
in which they were supposed to go.
"Come on, you miserable sluggard!" growled Sam, after the
quesse train had stalled for 45 minutes. "Now for it!" Out westward
in the world it was drawing near noon upon the seventeenth day of March
in the Shire-reckoning, and even now Gandalf was smothering (or almost)
Paragraph Took, shooting Ariellë, pretending to murder Dr Faramir,
and trasking and burning Denethor and Co.; Otto was incinerating
Morrie (or so everyone thought, although it turned out later that the
incinerator was really a transporter); I suppose we should be glad
that Sam didn't get liquidated and replaced by some colourless slob
named Blotto; Aragon was bringing Boromir back to life and turning
him into the splitting image of the ancient king Wupdidu and killing
him again by accident; the indestructible Steward's heir was
being brought back to life by Ariellë -- who withal was altering
Arwen's sexual identity (but brief was that amour) -- and then killed
again by Gandalf and then coming back to life, revealed as a true
toon; El Rond was, very likely, being poisoned by a disgruntled chef;
and I would not be surprised if some nasty little computer gremlins
had somehow annihilated all the Valar (come on, can I at least kill
off Tolkas? I never liked the guy), and if Eru had brought them back
from the dead with all deliberate speed. At one point, tachyon
particles wiped out all life, but fortunately Captain Picard saved the
day by going back in time, etc., etc., etc.. Yet amid all their cares
and fear and premature deaths and resurrections, the thoughts of their
friends (and enemies) turned constantly to Frodo and Sam (and
occasionally to Gullible). They were not forgotten. But they were
conveniently beyond aid, and no thought could bring any help to
Samwise, Hamfast's son and Don Giovanni Tenorio the Gullible; they
were utterly alone. For their purpose was to serve as fall guys, so
that Gandalf and the leaders of the West could maintain a plausible
deniability, if the mission went agley. (Although Gandalf's
deniability was getting less plausible with each enormity he
As they waited for the train to get moving again, Sam mulled
over the events of the last few days. "I'm sair confuzzled, and
that's a fact," he thought. "It's me eternally self-doubting side
a-comin' oot again." He recalled Google Junction: the billboards and
one-hour motels uncounted, the gas wars, the commercialism, the
remakes of Flipper and Mr. Ed, the boring conferences; he
remembered the neon glitz of Shelob's nightclub. And yet, Sauron had
subjected the hobbits to opera and other classical music stuff in an
appallingly ornamental setting; and had, moreover, conveyed a certain
deconstructionishness. Was it possible that more than one cultural
level existed in the Black Land, that everything in it was not of one
boring, stereotypical, cartoon-evil piece? To get an idea of what
Mordorian culture was like, Sam looked at the ads that embellished the
train's interior. Obviously, this question was much more important
than the boringly practical one of how he was supposed to get to Mount
Viagra and destroy the Ring without being killed. But it was not easy
to get an answer. Much poetry he beheld, most of it by Gorbush, the
very same who had wogahed Spiegel from his arms. A fairly typical one
wouldn't you know it?
lady hobbit she's really sexy
wogah wogah did you say? yep
But right next to this somewhat arcane stuff, Sam saw an advertisement
for Koorsthak Lite, and next to that, a painting of a can of
Kampbelghurghak's Soup by Andy Orchol, provocatively captioned "Is It
Art?" Thereafter came a painting of giant watches by Salvad-dÛr Dalrog...
Sam's eyes began to glaze over, barely taking in the ad for
Hustler that followed. As he pondered the matter, Sam came to a
fearful realization: In the postmodern bizarrerie of the Mordor
aesthetic, pop kitsch and highbrow avant-gardism went hand in hand.
(Meanwhile, Gullible was engrossed in Spying for Dummies.)
Finally they escaped from the toils of Mordor's public transit
system. They found themselves in the Cirith Undies district, an area so
postmodern that even Derrida was shocked. Strange shapes they saw,
which resembled bits of molten lava that had cooled and lay like
twisted dragon-shapes vomited from the tormented earth. As he looked
more closely, Sam saw that these weird shapes were actually some kind
of rarefied metal sculpture. "By Lugnardo da Vinyamar, the pomo
Nazdaq sculptor, ssaddam," hissed Gullible. From somewhere to their
left came the sound of singing and orchestral music, wherein Sam
recognized the vile evil of opera, which The Badguy Formerly Known As
Gandalf had once called "an abomination so loathsome that the very
heavens seem to plug their ears in horror". (That purple passage was
To the right, Mount Viagra and Barad-dÛr lowered in the distance.
As he gazed upon Barad-dÛr Sam groaned at the bad jokes that issued forth
therefrom, and took no comfort whatsoever in the fact that they were
cultured bad jokes, such as "how many sopranos does it take to screw
in a light-bulb", and several very nasty jokes about tenors and
violists. He barely listened as Gullible explained the postmodern
(absence-of-)significance of the enormous dinner-forks that adorned
the battlements of Barad-dÛr, and of the gum that it metonymically
chewed and popped ("that was scary, and that's a fact," as Sam later
recalled), how they (re)"present"ed the hypertextuality of being,
etc., etc., etc., etc., etc. Multipurposed and polyvalent was
Sauron's stronghold, the ironic and clever dinner forks
mise-en-questioning the buttresses of knife-edged iron, walls of
impenetrable stone, doors of heavy adamant all marked "ENTRANCE ONLY,"
and interminable window offices, which in turn gave this monument to
highbrowdom the appearance of a movie set for some film noir -- an
impression that could not quite dispel the drollery conveyed by the
miniature busts of Orc-composers that stood over each entrance, nor
the erotic appeal of the posters of Shelob that adorned the doors.
Further off Sam and Gullible beheld the terrible mountain, the
dread goal of their quest. Ever and anon the furnaces far below its
uplifted head would grow hot, and with a great surging and throbbing
poured forth a river of some disgusting fluid or other from chasms in
its sides, blazing towards Barad-dÛr down great channels of strangely
Freudian aspect, while purple flames soared heavenwards.
"We are not going that way yet, if hobbit insists on ssilly resscue
plan," ssnorted Gullible. "We musst go left if we are to get to Cirith
Undies. Unfortunately, it will not be easy. We'll ssee, precious, oh
yess, we'll ssee."
"Hobbit does insist on silly rescue plan," said Sam. "Let's go!"
The hobbits bore to their left, where they found themselves first
in a kind of park, whose shrubbery was trimmed into shapes of shocking
indecency (at least by Shire standards: "No sex please; we're
hobbits!" was the Shire's motto). Some giant roaches had organized a
tap-dancing party in a piazza. Here peace still reigned, if a watchful
one. Sam and Guillible heard a soprano singing a duet with a barely
audible alto over a chorus of bassi. Before long, they arrived at a
crowded outdoor amphitheatre full of Orcs, Trolls, Rogs,
jack-o'-lanterns, and other aliens, all dressed to the nines and
gaping at a stage within a kind of band shell. Sam looked, and was
filled with horror at what he saw: Orcs lighting bonfires and toasting
marshmallows by having slaves hold them in the fire with their bare
hands, while a woman knelt on the floor and sang some aria of
heartbreaking beauty. A small figure in an elaborate costume was
trying to sing alto, but all that came out was an annoying squeal.
The supratitles didn't help much, for the sentence In 3010, the
potatoes triumphed conveyed little meaning to Sam's mind.
Enraged at this treatment of the slaves, Sam cried out: "I
end this exploitation! Why do ye allow your oppressors tae inflict this
indignity upon ye? Rise, for ye have nowt tae lose but your chains --
and that's a fact!"
"Ssssh! Ssstupid hobbit!" hissed Gullible.
"Cannot you see that this is great art?" sniffed an Orc in the
audience nearby, whom Sam recognized as Gorbush.
"I find the interruption very apt," said a Nazdaq, sitting next
to Gorbush. "It is a metaphor for aesthetic aperture. There is no
closure or finality to the artistic work, but it is imminent within
being." Naturally, the Nazdaq sent shivers of dread and despair down
Sam's spine, and all that.
"I see your point, Lugnardo ..." began Gorbush, but before he
could reply, another Orc yelled at the would-be alto (who was,
unfortunately, now partially audible), "Ho la! You there, you
dunghill rat! Do you call that a high B-flat? Stop your squeaking, or
I'll come and deal with you. D'you hear?" Annoyed, Lugnardo cast a
paralysis spell on the complaining Orc; thereafter, the audience was
more or less quiet until the intermission.
During the intermission, Sam, accompanied by Gullible, cornered
Gorbush and asked what the Utumno was gaein' on. (Gorbush easily saw
through their pitiful Orc-disguises in any case.)
"This is a performance of Verdishnakh's Uglucco," explained
Gorbush. "A brilliant, radical production by Lugnardo the Nazdaq
sculptor. (Not as radical as Petér Sellárz's production of Don
Celeborno; Sauron nixed that and the director as well.)" He lowered
his voice, and whispered, "Lugnardo is also charged with protecting
Frodo. We have to be extra careful, since he's making his operatic
debut today, under the pseudonym Andrea Bocelli." Gullible stretched
and yawned in facetitious boredom.
"Sae that's who the wee runt was, who couldnae sing," said Sam.
Gorbush nodded. "And where are he and Spiegel being kept?" continued
Sam. "And are they bein' weel treated?"
"Yes, they're being well treated," replied Gorbush in a whisper,
"but we cannot discuss that further now. Even here, the Fat Lord has
spies. After the performance I will take you backstage to meet your
companions, and we shall see. For now, I will explain the opera to
you." Gorbush proceeded to do so, at length, for the rest of the
intermission. Sam remembered very little, except that the very lovely
soprano's name was Nazwaz, Easterling for "Flashing Lotus." Gullible
hissed and muttered under his breath: "Who careses? Wasste time,
ssaddam. Need to desstroy curssed thingy. Gandalf will not be
pleassed, precciouss, no he won't. Beer iss too expenssive, ssaddam,
When the intermission ended, Sam (having nothing better to do)
sat through the rest of the opera, and actually found himself liking it
(except for Frodo's performance, which stank), in spite of constantly
repeating to himself in an undertone, "Opera is evil, and that's a
fact; opera is evil, and that's a fact; opera is evil, and that's a
fact..." Gullible plugged his ears.
As they left the performance, Sam and Gullible found Gorbush
in the middle of a heated argument with another Orc.
"Then you must go deliver my critique to Lugburz," he was saying.
"I must go backstage anyway. But I'm hurt. The Black Pits take that
filthy hidebound traditionalist Ralfpat!" Gorbush's voice trailed off
into a string of politically charged epithets. "I gave him better
than I got, but he flamed me, the reactionary, before I killfiled him.
You must go, or I'll get you demoted. News must get through to
Lugburz, or we'll both be for the Black Pits. Yes, you will too. You
won't escape by skulking up here."
"I'm not going down those stairs again," growled Lurtz, "be you poet
laureate or no. Nar! Keep your hands off your mouse, or I'll put a
virus in your laptop's guts. You won't be poet laureate long when
they hear all about these goings-on. I've fought for the Tower
against those stinking UNM-rats, but a nice mess you precious critics
have made of things, fighting over the new cabinet position."
"I have nae idea what the bloody UdÛn ye lads are talkin' aboot,"
interrupted Sam. "Nor do I care. I just want to be taken to where
Frodo and Spiegel are, an' I'm no wantin' tae bide my time aboot it."
"Sssss! Wasste time! Very sstupid, yess, very dumb, yess very
moronic!" grumbled Don Giovanni.
"My apologies," said Gorbush to Lurtz. "Hobbits don't understand
the finer points of Orc-etiquette, like Never interrupt a debate on
aesthetics." Turning to Sam and Gullible, he said, "This is Lurtz,
Frodo's trainer in the martial arts, and my assistant." Turning back
to Lurtz, he said, "I have to go now. We will speak of this more
later. Deliver the critique, and come back to the Tower after that,
or I'll make you listen to Gondorian rap." Lurtz shuddered and
left, muttering under his breath.
"Very well; since you are so eager to see your employer, let us be
off," said Gorbush to Sam and Gullible. "Excuse me, but I will have to
"Gettin' used tae it, by noo," muttered Sam, as the Orc placed
special mauve-tinted glasses over his eyes.
"If you remove the glasses, an explosive will detonate," said
Gorbush, as he prepared to put another pair of glasses over Gullible's
"Ssssss! We're friendsses! You can't seriously mean to blindfold Don
Giovanni!" hissed Gullible.
"You're not on the list of persons with security clearance; so yes,
I do seriously mean to blindfold Don Giovanni," replied Gorbush, doing
"Cruel! Tricksy! False!" whinged Gullible; but under his breath he
sneered, "Trusst not in ssikrit wayses; we have long spied out this
realm, yess preciousss, hee hee!"
They went on a longish trip, taking several elevators, an escalator
or two, and the odd secret passage. When Gorbush finally removed
their blindfolds, they found themselves in a modern art gallery filled
with Dalrogs, Van Gorgoroghs, Myrchs, Mordnets, Pollorks, and other
horrors. "Frodo and Spiegel are in the Pikassoblug," whispered
Gorbush. He revealed that a somewhat distorted female portrait was in
fact a panel in the wall leading to Frodo's and Spiegel's secret
lodgings. As they entered the hidden apartment, the realization that
Frodo was near filled Sam with revolutionary rage, and he sang in a
In Western lands beneath the boss,
the banners rise in Spring,
the workers march, the peasants cuss,
the merry Wobblies sing.
Or maybe Rosie calls a strike
and swaying beeches bear
placards and posters, red on white
amid her branching hair.
Though here at journey's end I lie,
in pomo buried deep,
beyond all corporate towers high,
beyond all prices steep,
the workers' flag is scarlet bright
for blood our martyrs shed:
I will not sell my life for lite,
until the boss is dead.
"Oh dear, I left Spiegel's... erh... thing behind," said
Gorbush in a worried voice. "I'll be right back. Don't move until I
return." He darted out the hidden entrance. Sam and Gullible looked
around the luxuriously appointed room in wonder, admiring its
elaborate bookcases, filled with tomes with titles like Movable
Peripheries: The Exiled Margin Rewrites Itself: A Study in Easterling
MÛmakisms. As he stared uncomprehendingly at these books, Sam heard
Spiegel moaning in a room nearby, and rushed in. Sam trembled with
desire, and could not speak. Spiegel seemed slightly taken aback.
"Am I still dreaming?" she murmured. "There was an Orc with
my... erh... thing in his hand, and it turns into Sam! Then I wasn't
dreaming when I heard you singing just now, and tried to cover my
ears? Was that you?"
"It was indeed, Spiegel," sighed Sam. "I'd given up hope, almost.
I couldn't find you. But I have now, Spiegel, dear Spiegel." He lay
back in Spiegel's gentle arms, like a child at rest when night fears
are chased away by some loved voice or hand. Spiegel held him a bit
awkwardly, as far away from her body as possible.
"Something hit me, didn't it?" mused Spiegel. "And I fell into
darkness and erotic dreams, and woke and found that waking was even
more erotic. Orcs were all around me. Or rather, one was, but he was
hot enough for a thousand." The enticing vision had seemed so real to
her, half bemused as she still was with her desire for Gorbush. Sam
had changed before her very eyes into an Orc again, leering and pawing
at her, a passionate creature with groping hands and a slobbering
mouth. But now the vision had passed. The creature was still leering
and pawing and groping and slobbering, but it was only a grubby little
And as Sam stood there, even though the Ring was not on him but
hanging on a chain from his neck, he felt enlarged, as if he were
robed in a huge distorted shadow of himself. He felt that he had from
now on only two choices: to forbear the Ring, though it might torment
him, and challenge the Power that sat in its dark hold beyond the
valley of shadows; or to claim it, and seduce Spiegel. Already the
Ring tempted him, gnawing at his will and reason. Wild fantasies
arose in his mind; and he saw Samwise the Strong, striding with a
flaming sword across Spiegel's fruited plain. Then Pinko gained the
ascendancy over Kinko, and he saw himself once again as Vladimir
Ilyich Lenindil, Hero of the Proletariat, and armies of workers and
peasants flocking to his call as he marched to the overthrow of the
Sauronite dictatorship. And then all the clouds rolled away, and at
his command the Barad-dÛr Opera House etc. became a Kremlin and
brought forth Politburos. He had only to destroy the Ring -- or so he
thought -- and all this could be. And after he became commissar,
he'd have plenty of women to wogah -- a harem swollen to a realm; his
own hands to use, not the hands of others to command.
At this point, to Spiegel's relief, the door opened and Frodo
entered. To say that he and Sam had a merry meeting would be stretching
it, but at least they didn't try to beat each other up.
"Your operatic debut was interestin'," deadpanned Sam. Frodo seemed
preoccupied, and merely grunted in reply.
"Ssstupid hobbitses waste time, messs up quesst," muttered Gullible
for the twentieth time; but no one paid even the slightest attention
Frodo was accompanied by Jîvz, his Balrog valet, and Deeanna Troll,
his counsellor. This last smiled at Sam and Gullible and said, "You're
hiding something!" before sashaying out of the the room in a
"Bah, she was no very relevant to the plot, nohow," said Sam, after
she had left.
"Please don't be so meta," said Spiegel. "I can't stand it. Let's
stay in character, shall we?"
Frodo, meanwhile, was muttering to himself, "The economy of being
is simply the unbecoming of unbeing ... rather like Elbereth's
perfume, that wafts into allergenicity. .. Why is this stuff so
hard and BORING? Why won't Sauron just give me the estate?"
"Ha!" said Sam. "So the estate was a fake all along! Now we ken
"I don't know if he's good or evil," replied Frodo. "But he sure
is strict. I might even say: a fierce will, unknowing of mercy. He makes
me get up every day at 5:30 a.m., read theory, swim, then after
breakfast I have to take a quiz, talk with Sauron ... Then he lets me
have one hour of recreation, but after that I have to study the Black
Speech for two hours; after lunch -- which consists mostly of tofu --
I practice fencing with Lurtz, then religious instruction with
Counsellor Deeanna Troll, then complete rest in the dark, then voice
lessons with Gorbush, then I have to read more theory (Germaíne
Grír, bgheeeahkhgh!!). After dinner, I take another quiz, religious
service, talk to Sauron, bed ... Whenever I ask about my estate, he
says I'm not worthy yet. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!! I
feared that it was so."
"By the way," asked Sam, hastily changing the subject, "how did ye
know the way to Mordor earlier? Ye'd never been there before."
"Oh, Sauron gave Frodo and me homing devices while you were in the
bathroom," replied Spiegel. "On coming to the asphalt parking lot, we
almost wondered if Sauron were indeed evil ... Sauron laughed when I
told him that. He's sexeeeeeee! And ever since he took away that nasty
phial, Frodo has been almost bearable, though he still has relapses
when one wants to strangle him."
[Here the MS. contains an interpolation in a suspiciously roggy hand:
"Sauron is as pure as the driven snow. Since I'm the narrator, this
must be true. And Sauron's Diary is canonical. And I am taking over
the e-text, mwahahahhahahahhahahaha!!!"]
"I believe it is time for you to read Textual Sex and Sexual Tests,
sih," interposed Jîvz unctuously.
"Shut up, Jîvz," said Frodo. "This is a greater matter than you
"Please it your Highness to remember ..." murmured Jîvz
"It pleases my Highness principally to be obeyed, old mutterer. Now
go!" Jîvz bowed and left the room.
Sam scowled on observing Frodo's only too familiar treatment of his
servants. Nevertheless, mindful that he still needed Frodo's help
(whether freely given or forced), Sam restrained himself from killing
the git, and instead asked, "Would ye like tae aid us on a leetle
quest? A mere trifle, we just need tae destroy the Ring and free the
Western Lands from evil. You'll still get your estate, I'm sure.
Indeed, I'll warrant ye'll hae a better time governing it as your own
maister than as a subject of Sauron. But first, we need tae get rid
of the Ring, and that's a fact."
"You've got it?" gasped Frodo. "You've got it here? Give it to me!"
he cried out, standing up, holding out a trembling four-fingered and
gloved hand. "Give it me at once! You can't have it!" He panted,
staring at Sam with eyes wide with fear and enmity.
"Nay, ye avaricious bastard -- I mean, auspicious mastard. We must
destroy yon evil engine of sorcery."
"You won't give it back, you say? Curse you, Sam, you little maggot!
If you think I'm so damaged from my operatic debut and postmodern
reading load that it's safe to flout me, you're mistaken. Come here,
and I'll sing falsetto in your ear. And when some new lads come, I'll
deal with you: I'll send you to Bergzum-ishi's Wozzeck."
"I'll no give it back, not before you're dead anyway," answered Sam
surlily. "I've told you twice that we need to destroy it."
"So that's it, is it?" yelled Frodo. "You'll do this, and you'll
not do that? And after stealing the Ring, you'll bolt and leave me.
No, you won't! I'll put red maggot-holes in your belly first."
"Frodo, you're not helping," interrupted Spiegel. "Why don't you
leave this to me?" She gave Frodo one of her persuasive looks, and he
"I'll give you fifteen minutes to change the little Bolshevik's
mind," he said. "Meanwhile, I'll try to read some of this textual sex
stuff, though reading it has practically cured me of any sexual desire
I might have once had: I can't even fantasize about fishes anymore,
without being reminded of incredibly boring highbrow lit crit." With
that he stomped off.
Sam and Spiegel looked at each other in silence for a few minutes,
remembering the happy and golden days of Book IV, when they had romped
in Disgiliath in innocent joy, laughing through their tears (mostly at
Frodo). Then, as Sam's thought returned to the mission at hand, Sam's
"So," he said, "are ye with me or against me?"
"My destiny is here," said Spiegel. "I must stay in Mordor and
raise the consciousness of its people. They need it so much, for an evil
corruption is seeping its way into the realm from the northwest." She
sighed. "Please don't destroy the Ring, Sam," she implored. "Can't you
see that we were wrong about Mordor? That Orcs are not all evil?"
"Nay, we must annihilate it," said Sam. "If we don't, the Sauronites
will take over, and their tyranny will be far worse than that of the
current Imperialist and Global Capitalist hegemonists."
"Sauron has brought peace to many realms," said Spiegel. "Toreador
and Cuspidor rejoice together; the topless beaches of the Southron
kingdom of Rîô are in harmony with the gaming establishments of Minas
"His aggression shall not stand!" cried Sam.
"Why are you so sure that destroying the Ring is the right thing to
do?" rejoined Spiegel. "Because Gandalf says so? Doesn't sound like
the Sam I know, believing something just on the authority of some fat
mountebank in a pointed hat. And Gandalf is evil. I have
experienced the subtle -- or not so subtle -- psychological torture he
dispenses in the name of advice. And if Gandalf is so good, how do
explain the Barbie and Ken incident? I suppose since Barbie was an
Easterling and Ken an Orc, Gandalf was perfectly in the right when he
turned them into plastic dolls and merchandised them."
"Tae crooked eyes truth may wear a wry face," intoned Sam.
"Indeed your eyes are almost blind," said Spiegel. "Blinded with
hatred for your Master. You cannot see beyond your personal and class
hatred. If you did, you would realize that destroying entire races of
people through the annihilation of the Ring is wrong."
"Entire races?" echoed Sam. "Aye, I forgot ye're an Orc-lover."
"Ah, so that's what's changed you," said Spiegel. "Jealousy ill
becomes you. There is more at stake here than our personal feelings.
What will happen if the West conquers? The Orcs will be wiped out. Or
does your belief in equality not extend to Orcs? Because mine does!
Ah, Sam, in the name of our friendship, please try to understand ..."
Sam began to say something, then stopped, gazing upon Spiegel's face
intently. His expression lost some of its harshness, and a furtive
tear trickled down his cheek.
"Don't lissten to her!" screamed Gullible. "Hobbit-witch lies,
yess she doess. She cheats us with Orcses, betrays us to them, preciouss.
We musst desstroy the Ring! We musst! Gandalf says so, and he's the
goodguy! Sauron's the villain! SSSADDAM!!!!"
Sam continued to waver. But at just that moment Frodo returned,
still holding his Textual Sex book. "I happened to hear the last
part of your conversation," he remarked. "It seems to me that even
Sam ought to be able to understand that the metaphysics underlying
Sauron's social democratic centralized decentralizm is nothing less
than the modalization of being through the trajectory of its own
"Bourgeois radical chic flummery!" retorted Sam, in whom hatred
for Frodo now stifled all other feelings, even his affection for Spiegel
and his revolutionary ideals. "I have made up me mind. The Ring must
be annihilated, to avenge your tyranny, ye effete decadent armchair
"I end all this!" cried Frodo, suddenly seizing the Ring.
"No, no!" yelled Gullible, snatching the Ring back from Frodo's
white-gloved, oddly cartoonish hands. "No you won't, you thief!"
But at that moment, Deeanna Troll rushed into the room with cinematic
abruptness and seized Frodo, covering the hobbit's mouth; but Spiegel
was still free and cried out, "Treachery!"
In ran Jîvz from the sauna room. "I cannot allow this to continue,"
he said, brandishing his elegant Second-Age whip.
But Gullible was ready. "Thiss iss sset to kill, ssaddam," he
"Bah, you can't kill ..." began Jîvz, before his sentence was cut
short by Gullible's devastating aim.
"Maybe not, but at leasst we can ssstuns you," sneered Gullible, as
the Balrog valet collapsed.
"GUARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" screamed Frodo as he struggled to free
himself from Deeanna's grip, but in vain.
"They've gone fishing, sih," Jîvz reminded him, as the Balrog
"At my orders," said Deanna Troll. "This country wants setting to
rights, and Gandalf is the one to do it. Enough of this week-kneed
high culture crap. With that ring destroyed, we can make this an evil
empire to be proud of... You see," she said with a sneer, "I've
been hiding something."
Meanwhile Sam and Gullible hastened to the door, exited through
the Pikassoblug painting, and fled through the art gallery. Even as he
ran, Sam wept. Curiously, all the museum guards seemed to believe
their explanation that they were performance artists, even though the
performance had the unusual title, "Fat Lord's Orders." Away into the
night they sped. From the bowels of the outdoor opera theatre issued
a high and dreadful wail. Far up above in the darkness it was
answered. Out of the sky there came dropping like a bolt a winged
shape, rending the clouds with a ghastly shriek. A jet-propelled
Balrog it was, bearing a Nazdaq on what Sam supposed to be some vile
mission of evil, possibly involving ballet.
"They've taken everything, Spiegel," said Frodo. "Everything
I had. Do you understand? Everything!" He cowered on the floor
again with bowed head, as his own words brought home to him the
fullness of the disaster, and despair overwhelmed him. "The quest
has failed, Spiegel. Even though he's an idiot and his magic tricks
are transparent, we can't escape Gandalf's dominion. Only 'Rogs can
escape. Away, away, out of Middle-earth, with winged speed, far away
over the Sea. If even that is wide enough to keep the Shadow out."
"I still have hope," said Spiegel. "I will not give up yet."
"Now I'll never get my estate!" whined Frodo. "I feared that
it was so."
"Is that all you can think about?" said Spiegel indignantly.
"There's much more at stake than that! Entire races of people could
become extinct! Come! We must inform Sauron at once."
"Yes," admitted Frodo. "We must tell Sauron what that slimy
little footpad and his 'Revolutionary' lackey have done."
So it was that when Gorbush finally returned, he found Sam
and Gullibe gone, and Frodo and Spiegel in the videoconference room.
Lugnardo and Jîvz were also there, hanging their heads with shame;
but Deeanna Troll was gone. Sauron was on the screen, and he did not
look happy. He sighed and murmured, "I was a fool! A fool! Ah!"
This chapter of this epic work is presented through the courtesy of
Count Menelvagor <Menelvagor-aaaaaaat-mailandnews-dawt-com>.
Copyright © 2002 by the author. All rights reserved. Some variance between this
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is to be preferred.
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