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**The unofficial Bored of the Rings discussion** Ch. IV, pt. 3. “'Are there no facilities here?' he cries. 'Is there no washroom?'”

squire
Valinor


Jan 20 2010, 11:48am


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**The unofficial Bored of the Rings discussion** Ch. IV, pt. 3. “'Are there no facilities here?' he cries. 'Is there no washroom?'” Can't Post

When the boggies awoke from their nap, Goodgulf and Stomper were gone, and the moon was shining fuzzily through the taffy windows. They had finished eating the curtains and were starting in on the lampshades when Garfinkel returned, clad in finest cheesecloth, and led them down to the lodge building they had seen when they first arrived. It was large and brightly lit, and the night was filled with the brouhaha from within. As they approached, there came a silence, and then the plaintive, blackboard-scraping shriek of a nose-flute pierced the air.


"They're giving a pig a rough time of it in there," said Spam, blocking his ears.
"Hush," said Frito, and a voice rose in song, filling the boggies with a vague sense of nausea.

"A Unicef clearasil
Gibberish 'n' drivel
O Mennen mylar muriel
With a hey derry tum gardol
O Yuban necco glamorene?
Enden nytol, vaseline!
Sing hey nonny nembutal."

With a last twittering wail, the music died away, and half a dozen stunned birds plopped heavily to the ground in front of Frito.
"What was that?" asked Frito.
"It is an ancient lament in the tongue of the Auld Elves," sighed Garfinkel. "It tells of Unicef and his long and bitter search for a clean rest room. 'Are there no facilities here?' he cries. 'Is there no washroom?' No one seems to know."

Questions


A. The sentence beginning “When the boggies awoke from their nap…” seems to echo an actual line from LotR. Which one? How about “there came a silence” or “It was large and brightly lit…”?



B. What is a nose-flute? Does its sound resemble a scraped blackboard? By the way, does anyone use blackboards anymore, and do they still produce a spine-chilling tone when scraped?


C. Again, we encounter an “Elvish” song. What seems to be the guiding principle for these parodies of Tolkien’s languages?


D. Who was Unicef? That is, what part of the LotR saga are we at now, and how closely or well does the poetic spoof mock its original?

So said Garfinkel and led the boggies into the House of Orlon. They found themselves in a long, high-raftered hall down the center of which ran an endless table. At one end was a huge oak mantelpiece and from high above hung brass chandeliers in which fine earwax candles spluttered brightly. Along the table sat the usual flotsam and jetsam of Lower Middle Earth; elves, fairies, Martians, several frogs, dwarves, gnomes, a few token men, a handful of bugbears, several trolls wearing sunglasses, a couple of goblins the Christian Scientists had worked over, and a dragon who had gotten fed up.


At the head of the table sat Orlon and the Lady Lycra robed in cloth of dazzling whiteness and brightness. Dead they looked, and yet it was not so, for Frito could see their eyes shining like wet mushrooms. Bleached was their hair so that it shone like goldenrod, and their faces were as bright and fair as the surface of the moon. All about them zircons, garnets, and lodestones flashed like stars. On their heads were silken lampshades and on their brows were written many things, both fair and foul, such as "Unleash Chiang Kai-shek" and "I love my wife but oh you kid." Asleep they were.


To the left of Orlon sat Goodgulf in a red fez, revealed as a 32nd Degree Mason and Honorary Shriner, and to his right sat Stomper, clad in the white Gene Autry suit of a Ranger. Frito was shown to a seat about halfway down the table between an unusually deformed dwarf and an elf who smelled like a birdnest, and Moxie and Pepsi were sent to a small table in a corner with the Easter Bunny and a couple of tooth fairies.

Questions


E. “elves, fairies, Martians, several frogs, dwarves, gnomes, a few token men, a handful of bugbears, several trolls wearing sunglasses, a couple of goblins the Christian Scientists had worked over, and a dragon who had gotten fed up” Is this an accurate summary of the state of fantasy universes in 1970?


F. What are we to make of the presence of “converted” bad guys, which are absent from Tolkien’s account of the great Council?


G. “Dead they looked, and yet it was not so.” Spoof (of what line)? Or reality – given Elrond’s scarily somber dignity and Arwen’s total lack of personality in the original?


H. How is the idea of whiteness as a virtue inverted here?


I. Lampshades? Chiang Kai-shek? I love my wife but…? What are these references to? What is the cultural universe that these signifiers come from?


J. Goodgulf is “revealed as” having an unsuspected dignity, just as in the original. Can you explain the meaning of his garb and rank?


K. Who was Gene Autry? What do we learn about Stomper?


L. Do you know about the small table in the corner? How well is it characterized here?



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary

Subject User Time
**The unofficial Bored of the Rings discussion** Ch. IV, pt. 3. “'Are there no facilities here?' he cries. 'Is there no washroom?'” squire Send a private message to squire Jan 20 2010, 11:48am
    Well Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Jan 20 2010, 5:32pm
    Nose flutes and the Undead GaladrielTX Send a private message to GaladrielTX Jan 20 2010, 6:46pm
    Bored Answers sador Send a private message to sador Jan 21 2010, 8:41am
    "the moon was shining fuzzily..." FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Jan 21 2010, 9:07am
        Faint recognition squire Send a private message to squire Jan 21 2010, 10:07am
        It could refer to 'The Walrus and the Carpenter' sador Send a private message to sador Jan 21 2010, 10:48am
    Ooh! I know! I know! dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jan 23 2010, 4:08pm
    Unexpected BotR reference in political magazine. N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Jan 30 2012, 9:13pm
        Well, it's not just the Ivy League that remembered the phrase by 1970 squire Send a private message to squire Feb 4 2013, 4:42am

 
 
 

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