The Lord of the... whatever, Book V, Chapter 3:

The Blockbuster Of Rohan



            ***   THE BLOCKBUSTER OF ROHAN  ***

(a little racier than simple CINEMAX 
but not NEARLY as visually stimulating as CINEMAXXX!!!)

ELVIS COSTELLO as Morrie Brandybuck

and SIR LAWRENCE OLIVIER in a breakout black-face performance as Lady
Eowynifred -- 
the poor little irrelevant blonde girl who was blown off by a king for the
shocking love of an elven princess

* Take 1 *

All in the frugal spirit of Cecil B. DeMille!

[Somber voice overdub while camera zooms over a vast wilderness landscape]

"Now all roads ran together like the art of Jackson Pollack, to meet the coming
of war and the onset of the Shadow and to create as confusing a mess as
possible -- much like the final cut of the movie 'Elizabeth'. 

"And far away, even as Pipsqueak Took stood above the gate of the Magic Kingdom
of Minas Tirith™, sneaking peeks down the costumes of the well-endowed
female 'Solid Gold' revue dancers, the rabble of Rohan descended into the
valley where lay waiting for them the blessed tropical resort of Dunhero..."

[A wind sends ripples across the Nile, making the shrubs rattle upon the
plains. The camera zooms down triumphantly to a starkly bearded face...]


[Shot of Braveheart extras beating swords on shield]
[Shot of Starship Troopers extras beating ray guns on shields]
[Shot of Irish rugby spectators beating in heads of English spectators]
[Shot of Soul Train dancers beating out the beat to "Brick House" by the
[Shot of screaming lawyers beating the snot out of each other with briefcases]


*Take 2*

[Text scrolls back into the background of a black field of stars]

Chapter XXXXX [or L, in Roman shorthand]

"And so the Lord Aragon's voracious appetite had left little provision for the
peasants of Rohan -- forcing them to pass what stuff they had amongst each
other, in order to fuel their ire against the Empire.

"First came the hraka soup, followed by a light hraka salad with a dressing of
hraka extract. Those soon were followed by hraka sorbet, roast hraka, steamed
hraka, braised hraka in hraka sauce, hraka in the basket with sautéed hraka,
and finally, for dessert, hraka meringue pie with orange-hraka icing and nice
juicy chunks of hraka.

"Once Morrie Brandybuck thought they had given him a cheeseburger with onion
rings and a Coke, but it turned to be a ground-hraka sandwich with french-fried
hraka on the side and a glass of ice-cold pureed carbonated diet hraka.

"And so did the Rebellion finally find itself in dire straits, with resistance
against the evil Empire of Morder quickly fading..."

Morrie (grimace): This stuff tastes like shit.

Darth HeyHoDen: Turn to the Dark Side, Luke. We've got Ben 'n Jerry's.


*Take 3*

[The great ship slips beneath the waves like Gary Condit's chances for
reelection. While screaming Rohan peasants in topcoats and wingtips fling
themselves overboard, the band switches from "Boogie Wonderland" into a cover
of "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat." After multiple explosions, leaping
sharks, and a giant digital aquatic balrog make their appearances, we are left
with two young relatives desperately adrift on flotsam and jetsam in the
freezing seas.]

Eonard (slipping under for the last time): Don't let go, Eowynifred. Promise me
you'll never let go.

Eowynifred: I won't let go, jerk. I'll never let go.

[She lets go.]


Writer: Come ON. We've got to film SOMETHING here.

Producer: Sorry, you just blew the whole budget in three scenes. Not only do we
have to switch to a soundstage in New Brunswick, NJ, but all the stars are

Writer: (Gasp) No! Not Elvis Costello!

Producer: The good news is that Richard Dreyfuss has been hanging around the
set and says he'll do Morrie for peanuts, but only if you don't glue fur to his
feet. He says his feet are his best asset and he doesn't want them covered.

Writer: But... but... that's Tolkien SACRILEGE! The fans will roast us!

Producer:  Clean-shaven feet, Richard Dreyfuss. Furry feet, you're stuck with
the pizza delivery boy. Take your pick. [Leaves]

Writer: (groaning, looking at his picture of Orson Welles) Oh, Rosebud, this
movie is going straight to Mordor in a meadowmuffin...


[Title scribbled on the back of an old pizza box lid]
"The bLocKbuSTer of rOhaN"

Scene 1: Oh, I Do Love Maps

[The hordes of Rohan ride through treacherous fens, over hills, clearing mighty
rivers, descending into valleys and dark canyons, and climbing steep
ice-blasted mountains, until King HeyHoDen finally breaks down and purchases a
map from a nearby gas station.]

Morrie: Ha, just like I thought -- go down South Main, hang right at Silmaril
Park, then blow through until you see Cirith Ungol in the distance, and there
we are! It's so simple that even a MORON could figure it out.

Eonard (wrestling with map while the army looks on, confused):  Gosh darn it,
does ANYONE know to fold this thing back up?

HeyHoDen: (dead-pan, to camera) At least we know he's no moron.

Scene 2: A Long-Expected Party Line

[While HeyHoDen and Eonard ride towards Dunhero at the head of the army, Morrie
follows closely behind, talking incessantly, filling King HeyHoDen's ears with
tales of his rebellious hobbit youth -- his nightly soirees of cow-tipping, of
egging Farmer Maggot's house, of spray-painting "Fatty Bolger Lives" on the
sides of the mill as the sheriff hallooed and hallayed after them.]

Morrie: (chortling) ...And THEN there was the time I stole some of Gandalf's
fireworks, drained out the powder, and stuffed it all into the bowl of the Old
Gaffer's pipe! When he lit up, BOY did he light up! You should have seen the
look -- I mean, soot -- on his face! Golly, I'm so ingenious, sometimes I even
dazzle myself!

HeyHoDen: (grumbling) Methinks my ears are dazzled enough.

Morrie: (continuing) I can't believe this! We started out with Pipsqueak, and
Frodo, and Sam, and all the others -- I came to help them -- but now they must
be hundreds of miles away in the heart of Mordor, if they are even alive at
all! And here I am, safe as a scuttlebug in the middle of nowhere. Isn't that
nuts? Life is just one big hobbit's holiday! Isn't it? Isn't it just grand?

Eonard: (pointing back in the direction they just came) LOOK! Isn't that Cate
Blanchett in a peekabo nightie?!

Morrie: Where?! [looks around] Naw, I think that's just an old barrow wight in
a shroud. [Turns back.] Guys? Hey, guys! Where'd you all go? GUYS?!!

SCENE 3: Dunhero, Some Hero

[The army studies a large sign saying, "Welcome to 'DunHero Estates' at Glen
Acres, a gated community. At DunHero, we don't get old -- we just get bent."]

Eonard: Dunhero at last! And me so hungry I could eat a horse!

[With a whinny Eonard's horse tramples him into the mud, then gallops away,
followed by hordes of hungry screaming peasants.]

Eonard: (groaning) ...figure of speech...

HeyHoDen: Pathetic oaf, get up before I feed you to the pigs! [With the word
"pigs," he notices the rest of the army silently staring at him.] Err, sorry,
figure of speech...

[He is interrupted by a prim voice belonging to a tall woman in blue. This is
LADY JANE DUNFORE, owner of the facility.]

Dunfore: Excuse me, you're blocking our toll barrier, and the beeper's going
crazy. Can I help you?

HeyHoDen: Peradventure thou mayest. I am HeyHoDen, king of the Mark, rider of
broken saddle ponies, and defiler of flower beds. These are my loyal pigs, err,
subjects, and we --

Dunfore: Oh, of course, your majesty, I've been expecting you ever since your
paperwork arrived. Why don't you tell your royal pigs to make themselves at
home on the grounds while I show you, your family, and your sawed-off assistant

Morrie: (bristling) HEY, lady, I'm not a sawed-off anything, I'm Richard
Dreyfuss, the actor, and I'm just cheesed-off, if anything, and I expect to be
shown some RESPECT --

Dunfore: My apologies, Richard. King HeyHoDen, if you'd care to have our most
skilled staff give Little Lord Richard the care he needs --

Morrie: Yeah, good, lady, it's about TIME...!

Dunfore: -- we'll make the day care facilities our first stop. This way!

Morrie: Hey! Day care? DAY CARE? What's this about day care?

HeyHoDen: (clapping his hands to get the attention of his loyal subjects) All
right, pigs! Feel free to wander, use the bathroom, snap some pics, and
purchase cheap souvenirs and t-shirts with beer logos on them, but don't forget
-- the herd leaves tonight at eight o'clock sharp, with or without you!

[With a shout, the starving army scatters across the grounds of Dunhero like a
giant herd of rampaging snorting swine, overturning recycling bins, flipping
golf carts, and devouring gardenias in their desperate search for food.] 

HeyHoDen: They seem a little wound up.

Eonard: Maybe if you'd stop feeding them the same old hraka...

Scene 4: The Pukémon

Dunfore: The retirement village of Dunhero has EVERY form of recreation
imaginable, and all perfectly safe...

[HeyHoDen and Eonard look with interest over the grounds as elderly elven
retirees knock each other out playing horseshoes and bocci, while others are
parasailing with walkers in hand. Nearby, a shuffleboard player slowly clutches
at his chest and collapses. While his companion, a giant spider, wraps him up
and dangles him from a tree, a commotion arises over on the skeet-shooting

Dunfore: ...err, although we also possess an on-site 24/7 health care facility
with its own cardiac unit, just to be safe.

HeyHoDen:  A king can never be too safe, I suppose, heh, heh. [He pokes Eonard
in the side with an elbow.] Last time Isildur went in for a dip, he came out a
human pincushion, right, Eonard?

Eonard: Err, right. Don't touch me.

[Now the path winds between great standing bushes cut in the likenesses of
chubby animals with large eyes, clumsily shaped.]

Eonard: Err, nice shrubberies.

Dunfore: The Pukémon they are called, and heeded little lest the heeder fall
into nausea; for no true power or cash value is left within them, despite their
once being prized by young children. Our hunchbacked groundskeeper insists on
cutting them, though, and because it keeps him from eating live gophers out on
the ninth green, we tolerate it. 

[Cut scene to a horrified gopher puppet, watching groundskeeper Otto bite the
head off a plastique hobbit. Before he spits the plastique down the hole,
however, he reconsiders -- then swallows the stuff and takes another bite.]

COMMERCIAL: Frumpy Old Men

[Hand-held cam shot of two old men in blue robes, as they play chess.]

Pallandro: (chortling) Check!

[Alatar mutters a word of power, and a nearby tree explodes from a lightning

Pallandro: (under his breath) Poor sport.

Lady Dunfore: (overdub) It isn't uncommon for heroes to fake their own deaths,
just to get some time off. But while some facilities cater only to the rich and
famous, here at Dunhero, we don't take anyone but the very best -- even if
they're Maiar in disguise!

[Both men turn and smile cheesily into the camera.]

Alatar: (speaking to camera) Hi! I'm Alatar!

Pallandro: And I'm Pallandro. While we made the cut, our friend Olorin -- or
Gandalf -- bombed out big-time.

Alatar: He was plain bad.

Eonard: (off-camera) What? Gandalf's evil?

Alatar: (whacking Eonard off-camera with his staff) No, young fool, just bad. A
terrible wizard. No stage presence, couldn't do a trick to save his life.

Pallandro: (nodding) Always dropping his marked deck, or sneezing from rabbit
spoor left in his hat, or forgetting the magic words of power.

Eonard: (off-camera) What words? Alakazam? Hocus pocus? Elbereth Githoniel?

Pallandro: No, "Cash in Advance," dolt. (He whacks Eonard on the head
off-camera, then sighs.) But he only has himself to blame. After flubbing the
old "Saw the Elf Maiden in Half" trick down in a Lothlorien nightclub, he lost
most of his bookings. Poor Lustianne just fell to pieces...

[There are loud gasps from off-camera.]

Eonard: But we thought she died of grief over Bluto's death, from the

Alatar: (whacking Eonard on the head again off-camera) Oh, Olorin's changed his
story AGAIN, has he?

Pallandro: For centuries, it was, "She just stepped out for a smoke, officer,
and then I just found her like this in the parking lot." What audacity.

Alatar: The old goat. He tried to steal my peanuts on the flight over from the
Blessed Realms too, you know, while I was in the lavatory. And when we played
poker, he would always bid things like, "Ruling the world," or "Making cookies
out of Girl Scouts." Don't trust Olorin any farther than you can throw him,
unless you're throwing him into the Cracks of Doom.

Pallandro: I never understood what Sauron saw in him anyway.

Alatar: That degree from Cambridge, no doubt. It impresses everyone.

Eonard: (off-camera) SAURON??! The BURNING EYE of MORDOR?

Pallandro: (whacking Eonard on the head with his staff) What is this movie
becoming, a commercial for organic food?

Alatar (to Pallandro): Well, it's quite good -- the Burning Eye eggs are what
got me hooked, remember?

Pallandro: I was always partial to his fresh produce. But at least he's done a
lot for agriculture in Mordor.

Eonard: (off-camera) What? Mordor's all desert! Wasteland! Parking lots!

Alatar: (whacking Eonard on the head off-camera) Only from years of Gondor™'s
mine-stripping the countryside. Rainforests take some time to spring back. 

Eonard: (off-camera) Sauron is trying to conquer Middle-Earth and enslave its
people!! Uncle, tell them!

HeyHoDen's (off-camera): Hey, I never met the guy.

Alatar: Sauron was the nicest young lad.

Pallandro: Worked in his garden all day, bare-footed, piling weeds for compost.
When Galadriel Seeds, Inc., took off a few years back, he wrestled with using
pesticides or artificial fertilizer but never gave in, as he was concerned
about the effects on the water table and food chain.

Eonard: (stepping on camera, with two black eyes) Look, can you just turn that
thing OFF? (He faces the old wizards.) We're talking about Sauron here.
SAUR-on! Destroyer of Middle-Earth. Kicker of Puppies. Writer of Parodies.
Thawer of Ice Cream. Eater of Babies.

Alatar (to Pallandro): I hear he's a vegetarian now.

Pallandro: I believe it. If there's one thing you can say about Sauron, it's
that he can't stand to see anyone suffer.

[There's a stunned pause as Eonard's pupils dilate and drool drips down his
chin. Then both men begin cackling insanely.]

Pallandro: (unable to breathe from laughter) Hee hee! Just kidding!

Alatar: What a look on the kid's face! It gets them every time!

Pallandro: "Vegetarian!" Oh PLEASE...!

Alatar: I thought the mine-stripping was a beautiful touch, myself...

Dunfore: (overdub) When your old men start acting funny, don't send them down
the Anduin in a flaming boat without oars -- send them to Dunhero! Dunhero
Estates: Brought to you by new Burning Eye hydroponic broccoli spears! 

Scene 5: Tennis, Anyone?

Dunfore: Old heroes are as competitive as young ones, and so competitive sports
remain important to the spirit of our facility.

[Shot of an old hobbit playing singles against a blancmange and getting utterly

Gorbadoc: (laying on the ground after one particularly brutal ace) Stop that! 

Blancmange: All right.

[The man removes the blancmange costume, revealing John Cleese with pointy
ears. Going back to the line, he serves again, this time from his full 6' 5"

Gorbadoc: (whimpering) STOP THAT!

Scene 6: A Snake in the Grass

[The tour group passes a closet from behind which one can hear giggling and

Eonard: Hullo, what's this?

[He flips open the door, recoiling in shock at the sight of an amorous couple,
sans clothing, locked in a tight embrace.]

Eonard: Eowynifred ?

Eowynifred: Eonard ?!

Man: HeyHoDen ??!


[A hand snakes out. The door slams shut.]

Eonard: But she said she was going to the mall, to mock those who had less
money and less expensive designer clothing! Like, sure!

HeyHoDen (pounding on door): Come out of there! Come out of there at once,
young lady!

Eowynifred (muffled): No!

HeyHoDen: You're making a fool of yourself on the Usenet!

Eowynifred: I don't care!

HeyHoDen: That's it! You're grounded! Go to your room!

Eowynifred: My room is four hundred miles away!

HeyHoDen: All right then! You're... double, SECRET grounded! And forbidden to
see Wormtongue ever again!


[big pause as everyone looks at each other]

HeyHoDen: (sheepishly) By Eorl's golden chamberpot, I have no clue how to
respond to THAT one.

COMMERCIAL: Dwarf Acrobatic Team

Dunfore (overdubbed): Here at Dunhero , we're not just any old retirement home.
There's always things to do and new skills to learn, even if you're as old as
El Rond without a face lift!

[Block letters on screen: DWARF ACROBATIC TEAM]

Dunfore: Most long-bearded dwarves take up rappelling, but why limit yourself?

[Camera cuts to eight wrinkled dwarves who dive and roll around the gymnasium,
wearing spandex shorts and tank tops, to the throbbing beat of Boy George's
"I'll Tumble For You."]

All Dwarves: Hi! Ho! Yippee-Hi-Ho!

[One at a time, each somersaults by the eye of the camera as way of
introduction, then vaults up into a precarious pyramid formation.]

Dwarf 1: I'm Balin!
Dwarf 2: And Ori!
Dwarf 3: Oin!
Dwarf 4: Thror!
Dwarf 5: Durin!
Dwarf 6: He's Gropey!
Dwarf 7: He's Dumpy!
Dwarf 8: And I'm Percival!

All Dwarves: And We! Are! The Dwarf Acrobatic Team!

[They hold the formation for all of three seconds before Ori farts, then rolls
over convulsing in laughter. The pyramid collapses.]

Balin: Okay. Break for ten.

[Dwarves grab towels, six-packs of Michelob, and Cuban cigars, and head for the

HeyHoDen: (sounding very much like he's reading from a cue card) As King of
Rohan and a perennial lover of horses, I must say that I respect the talents of
these skilled performers --

Eonard (off-camera): But Uncle, didn't you used to say that dwarves tumble best
when pushed off a high cliff?

HeyHoDen (whacking Eonard off-camera with flat of sword): -- and I look forward
to the many recreational activities that Dunhero has to offer old fogies like

Dunhero: When your hero days are done, be a zero just for fun.

Scene 7: Everyone All Caught Up

[With tempers cooled, Morrie locked in Day Care, the lovers out of the closet,
Wormtongue duct-taped to the futon, Eonard making himself a Burning Eye
egg-cram-liverwurst sandwich, no more infomercials being filmed, and HeyHoDen
wondering why it was so hard to fake his own death like everyone else and
retire secretly in peace, everyone spent some time catching up.]

Eowynifred: (repeated for the fiftieth time, as she brushes her hair and fixes
her smudged makeup) But are you SURE he's DEAD?

HeyHoDen: (crossing his fingers) Yes.

Eonard: But that makes no sense, the Door didn't lead to the Paths of the DEAD,
it led to the Paths of the LIVING --

HeyHoDen: Silence, varlot, he is DEAD DEAD DEAD! 

[The bathroom door opens, and out comes Thror of the Dwarf Acrobatic Team,
wrapped in a towel.]

Thror: (gruffly) Hope you don't mind, but I borrowed your nail clippers to trim
my eyebrows. By the way, someone left this on your pillow.

[He hands HeyHoDen a small card that says, simply, "No, he's not, he's ALIVE!"]

Eonard: (curious) Didn't that come with any chocolates or mints or something?
The maid's supposed to leave chocolates or mints.

[Thror belches loudly in Eonard's face in response, then goes back into the

HeyHoDen: (tossing the card in the trash so no one can see it) If old tales
speak truly, none have ventured the Paths of the Living since Balderdash, son
of Brillo, was thrown through that Door and had it barred and mortared shut
behind him, to never be seen among men again -- not even after election
officials removed that seal eighty years later to hide ballots from Palm Beach
within its dark tunnels.

Eowynifred: Then why would Aragon even go that way?

Wormtongue: (still tied up) To win the election for Al Gore?

Eonard: No one knows the purposes of the insane.

Eowynifred: (bitter) Greatly changed was that man since last I saw him in the
King's house -- a pathetic fool, lost in delusions of grandeur, unable to
accept the honest love of a passionate, intelligent, beautiful woman with good
hair, one who loved him desperately and would have done anything he wanted,
literally ANYTHING, if only he would have taken her within his strong arms

[She trails away as she realizes everyone else is staring at her.]

Eowynifred (waving a fist in the direction of the Door): FIE ON THEE, mayest
thou rot in the depths of HELL forever for thy scorn! Err, I really mean that.

[There is a long pause.]

Wormtongue: So you were just using me. 

Eowynifred: (nodding) Yeah. Yeah, you were my rebound. Are you angry?

Wormtongue (after a very long pause):  Well, as long as we're on the same page,
how about one more rebound for the --

HeyHoDen: (interrrupting) While my heart tells me loudly that we won't be
seeing anything of Lord Aragon again, yet he was kingly, and knew how to lord
it like a king over us! So take comfort in this tale, DAUGHTER..

It is said that when Brillo and Balderdash had climbed the stair to the Door,
upon its threshold sat a man begging for cigarettes and cheap whiskey, aged
beyond years -- once tall and strong but now as withered as Jesse Helms, and
just as fit to retire.

And this man looked as gray as week-old tuna and said no word until they tried
to pass him and enter, and then a voice came from him, and it was the voice of
Barry White but with a semi-passable Scottish brogue, and it said, 'This way
you shall not pass, ach, yes, not unless you tell me what I've got in my

And so they halted and stared, and they saw that he was an eccentric old man
with tobacco-stained teeth and a face like a smelt.

"Hands!" exclaimed Balderdash, which the old man had just wisely slipped out
before he could be caught by such a foolish answer.

"'The way is shut," repeated the old man, "and so shall its secrets be hidden
until the riddle is answered.'

Resigning himself to having to slip the man a ten-note to find out something
useful, Brillo replied, "So, when will that time be?"

But no answer did he get, for the old man suddenly died and toppled forward
with Balderdash's dagger within his back, and then they searched his pockets
and found nothing but a pocketknife and some old string, which wasn't what he
had led them to believe with his riddle, but there was nothing to be done about
it at that point except prop him back up against the rock and pretend that
nothing had happened at all.

Wormtongue: (curiously) You know, that reminds me a great deal of what happened
to old man Marley, the polo bookie, back at Meduseld last year --

Eonard: (a bit too quickly) Alas, that such fey moods fall upon kings in their
hour of need! 

Wormtongue: But --

Eonard: Shut UP. I never liked you anyway.

Wormtongue: Look, I realize you've always hated me because I'm smarter than you
and because I know where your sister's bikini lines stop --

Eonard: YARG!

Wormtongue: -- but I'm really a neat person.

Eonard: And what does that mean? You've learned how to fold your own laundry
and put it away?

Wormtongue: I've never been thrown from a horse.

Eonard: And never eaten one, either, I'll bet.

Wormtongue: But I've read all sorts of books and know all kinds of useful

Eonard: Except whether or not elves have pointy ears and balrogs actually have

Wormtongue: I can show you how to figure out who's going to win the second
season of Big Brother.

Eonard: Who cares?

Wormtongue: (lowering his voice) I can tell you how to become king in less than
a week.

Eonard: (one eye flickering over to HeyHoDen) Okay, I'm listening. 

[As Eonard pulls up a chair, suddenly from outside is a loud sound.]

HeyHoDen: Hark! What is THAT loud sound?

Balin: (shouted from bathroom) Might be room service -- we've got steaks and
suds comin'!

Eowynifred: No, look, there! Outside! A mob!

HeyHoDen: Well, give Gandalf a wedgie, it IS a mob. (Looks at watch) And right
on time! (Throws open shutters) Greetings, pigs, err, loyal subjects! Art thou
prepared to leave?

[There's the staccato sound of projectiles hitting the wall, and an arrow
suddenly shishkabobs Wormtongue through the head, just like the old Steve
Martin schtick.]

Wormtongue: Ouch.

HeyHoDen: (slamming the window) Perhaps they'd like to stay the night?

Eowynifred: (peering through glass) No doubt the peasants are angry that we've
had our cake and eaten theirs too. They seem mostly focused on the soda
machines and the Hostess truck parked behind the kitchen. Perhaps while they
try to eat their way through tons of tempered steel in their insatiable quest
for food, we could flee!

HeyHoDen: (glancing at Wormtongue) I cannot argue, for there 'tis the Red Arrow
sticking through my ex-counselor's head, and when the Red Arrow appears in
Rohan, it has long been our tradition, from my father and his father before
him, to ride like hell out of there. So to Gondor™, and away! Ride!

Eonard: But uncle, we cannot go to Gondor™, Lord Denethor™ expects us with an
army! We have no army now!

HeyHoDen: (peeking back out through the window at the mob) How about the one
that might be right on our heels?

Eonard: Uncle!

HeyHoDen: (deciding) Lord Balin, would you care to join the heroes of Rohan for
one last quest to rid Middle-Earth of evil and thus allow future generations of
dwarves and Rohanese to meet together upon the field of battle and knock each
other senseless for the rights to deforest Fangorn's green woods?

Balin: Look, HeyHoDen, I like you and all, and you've got a decent beard for a
human, but the "Fighting the Dark Lord" thing doesn't cut it anymore. Just not
fulfilling. I'm retired, and life is too short to be wasted on such joyless

HeyHoDen (slyly): There's gold involved. Lots of it.

Eonard: But Uncle, the royal treasury has been emptied -- (HeyHoDen slaps him
alongside the head) -- err, for spring cleaning.

HeyHoDen: With the Gondor™ army distracted by Nazgul lords and the assault on
the main gate, I'd bet a seasoned contingent of dwarves could bust through the
ranks and plunder most of the High Court before anyone caught on.

[Big pause as the dwarves look amongst themselves. Then they break into song.]

Dwarves: We ride! Ho! Kill the men, kill the elves, save the gold for
ourselves! HeyHoDen, let's go!

Eonard: But Uncle, I thought we were friends with the Stewards of Gondor™.
HeyHoDen: Years ago, they whipped us in the Pinewood Derby, son. Now it's
payback time.

[And so, away from the burning food courts and landing pads of Dunhero, where
the soiled and starved faces of the peasantry looked out from their sewer
holes, on horseback and in stolen golf carts, King HeyHoDen, his nephew, the
dazed ex-counselor, and the Dwarf Acrobatic Team did ride towards Gondor™, the
City of Gold, and without horn or harp or any real semblance of melodic refrain
or consistent tempo did break into this very song!]

     To Dunhero came our done hero
     to set up house and fake his death
     To hang the horse, kick off the boots
     and enjoy his retirement!

     Rawhide! (Rawhide!)
     Rawhide! (Rawhide!)
     The great escape is sure to chaff
     his skin as he to Gondor™ rides!
     Raw knees! (Raw knees!)
     Raw knees! (Oh please!)
     The peasants eat the rocks and trees
     as HeyHoDen to Gondor™ flees!

     He cannot leave his friend to smolder
     nor give Gondor™ to its foe!
     With dwarves balanced on head and shoulder,
     HeyHoDen rides to save the gold!

     Rawhide! (Rawhide!)
     Rawhide! (Rawhide!)
     His long rapport with Denethor™
     demands he ride to watch him die 
     Rawdeal! (Rawdeal!)
     Rawdeal! (Rawdeal!)
     Dreams of revenge are soon to hinge
     on dwarf gymnastics far afield!

     Rawfish! (Rawfish!)
     Raw --


Writer: But --

Producer: Sorry. You there, throw out those stale Twinkies; this picture's a

Writer: (whining) But it's not done! We have three more pages to go and Richard
Dreyfuss is still in day care --

[Doors slam. Lights go out. Crickets chirp. All that is left is a bare table, a
number #2 pencil, an Olympia typewriter, and a spittoon. The writer sighs and
sits at the table, then types out the last pages of narrative, this time in
novel form.]


Morrie had quickly tired of day care and of the large diapers he had been
forced to wear, and although the teachers would toss him small bits of cracker
and gumdrops if he would but gurgle and coo and stick plastic keys deep into
his mouth, he soon felt quite sick to his stomach.

"They have all left now," he grumbled. "Gandalf and Pipsqueak, Frodo and Sam,
HeyHoDen and Eonard, even the audience! And my turn will come soon enough, if I
am continued to be fed so poorly. What I need now is some REAL grub."

And so Morrie killed all of the day care staff, traumatized the children by
flushing their Rugrats dolls down the toilet, then found his way into the
kitchens and larders of the facility, looking for a nice mincemeat pie or some
carrot-whisky crème brulee to satisfy his terrible hunger for solid food.

But the refrigerator only contained mashed bananas and stewed peas, and bottle
after bottle of Zantac and Metamucil. 

"Holy Fatty Bolger Stuck in a Tub of Apple Butter!" Morrie thought to himself.
"They're planning to give HeyHoDen heartburn and incontinence all at once! I
must warn the King immediately!"

But as the hobbit slipped from the refrigerator to the floor and ambled past
the trashcan, he paused and sniffed. Then sniffed again, with all the olfactory
sense of a desperately hungry hobbit.

"Bless my stars and garters," he announced, "there's a half-eaten éclair
somewhere in that trash bag!"

Remembering what had happened to George in an early episode of Seinfeld, but
looking around and seeing no one, he scrambled up and over the side of the bag,
and disappeared like a grub worm into its depths, eating his way to the bottom
and thus to the elusive pastry.

While the barrel rocked and swayed, the door opened and Otto the groundskeeper
shuffled into the room. He was already tired from cleaning up after the Dwarf
Acrobatic Team, which had sprayed beer around most of the hallways as some sort
of hazing ritual, and most of the mops in his janitorial closet had been
mysterious broken as if in the throes of passion. Now there was trash to dump
before his day's work was complete and he could retire to the golf course in
order to gopher some grub. 

His hunchback straining, Otto did not even notice the small thrashing shape at
the bottom of the Hefty garbage bag (which was made for trolls -- so tough it
could hold ten hobbits and more besides!) nor the impending plot twist's
similarity to the scene with Veruca Salt in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate

"Ooof!" said Otto, dumping the bag down the chute.

"Aiiiiiii!" said the bag as it disappeared down the hatch.

"Whoomph!" said the incinerator as the bag hit the furnace, spelling an end to
most of Morrie's pointless angst, depression, and lack of identity in the
entire series, and ensuring that, out of the nine walkers of the fellowship, at
least one of them would taste the equivalent of the flames of the Crack of Doom
since even Boromir™ had already come back from the dead -- albeit with a bit of
cosmetic surgery.

Scratching his head, Otto found Morrie's discarded "I'm One Bad Hobbit" button
and, liking the sparkly colors, pinned it on his cardigan and wandered outside
-- where he was rudely intercepted by a gray-cloaked rider mounted on a
chugging Harley, who smiled grimly in recognition at the sight of his button. 

"Come, Morrie!" cried the rider, who definitely resembled the pretty blonde
chick who was always in his way every time Otto went into the janitorial
closets looking for toilet cleaner but now insisted that her name was Dirthead
rather than Eowynifred.

"Aragon is alive!" s/he continued, gray eyes flashing. "He who has scorned me,
and yet still lives! Well, that misfortune must be remedied! Come to Minas
Tirith™ with me, Morrie, and we shall have our revenge! Wa ha ha! Wa ha ha! Wa
ha ha!"

Otto stared at her in confusion, but once the writer whispered in his ear and
told him that someone had to carry on for poor departed Morrie, the confusion

(AUTHOR NOTE: Due to budget constraints, the part of Morrie Brandybuck will now
be played by a big, dopey, grotesque, mostly bald hunchback.)

"Okeedokily!" said Otto, leaping upon the back of the Harley with a screech of
strained metal.

"Oh, Morrie, you've been picking again, haven't you?" noted Dirthead. "Stick
those 'ten days to thin thighs' and you'll feel much better. You know trolls
only eat chubby hobbits, they throw the rest back."

"Burp," agreed Otto.


And so it came to pass that when the King himself had set out, behind the
mysterious Dirthead hunched Otto the mutant groundskeeper, sitting in for poor
departed Morrie who had never stood a chance anyway, and the great bike named
Winnebago spluttered under the great burden but did not stop, for it knew that
its engine would be throttled if it did not get Dirthead to Gondor™ in order to
slay the breaker of her heart, the Lord Aragon, if indeed he still lived at

And all of the story became chaotic and bewildering; and ever the confusion
deepened before them; and irony continued to dog their paths. Selah.

Book V, Chapter Two / Table of Contents / Book V, Chapter Four
Back to the Tolkien Sarcasm Page

This chapter of this epic work is presented through the courtesy of David M. McCandless <for2nato-aaaaaaat-aol-dawt-commodus:gt;. Copyright © 2001 by the author. All rights reserved. Some variance between this e-text and the original printed material by Professor Tolkien is inevitable. Using this as an electronic resource for scholarly or research purposes may lead to a certain degree of academic embarassment. All agree that the printed version of the text, available from respectable publishers such as Houghton Mifflin and Ballantine Books, is to be preferred. Boromir™, Denethor™, Minas Tirith™ and Gondor™ are trademarks of Saul Zaentz and Tolkien Enterprises, who hold all merchandising rights to Gondor™ and its subsidiaries. Peter Jackson's production company should contact the author directly for film rights to this chapter.