Our Sponsor Sideshow Collectibles Send us News
Lord of the Rings Tolkien
Search Tolkien
Lord of The RingsTheOneRing.net - Forged By And For Fans Of JRR Tolkien
Lord of The Rings Serving Middle-Earth Since The First Age

Lord of the Rings Movie News - J.R.R. Tolkien
Do you enjoy the 100% volunteer, not for profit services of TheOneRing.net?
Consider a donation!

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
The Unofficial Bored of the Rings Discussion: Chapter IX, Minas Troney In the Soup, Part 3: Here Comes the Scum

dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Mar 30, 1:07am

Post #1 of 13 (1223 views)
Shortcut
The Unofficial Bored of the Rings Discussion: Chapter IX, Minas Troney In the Soup, Part 3: Here Comes the Scum Can't Post

"Foolish dotard," growled Goodgulf later in their room at an inn. He had been fussing and fuming for over an hour.
"But what can we do if he will not help us?" asked Moxie. "The bird is nutty as an elf-cake."
Goodgulf snapped his fingers as if an idea had dawned in his sly head.
"That's it!" he chuckled. "The old prune is known to be mental."
"So are his pals," observed Pepsi sagely.
"Psychotic too," mused the Wizard. "I bet he's got a lot of suicidal psychoses. Self-destructive. Textbook case."
"Suicidal?" said Pepsi with surprise. "How do you say that?"
"It's just a hunch," Goodgulf replied distantly, "just a hunch."


1. Compare this to the scene in RotK where Gandalf and Pippin are taken to their chamber after their meeting with Denethor. Do you sense the same "fountain of mirth" in Goodgulf here?


The news of the Old Steward's suicide that evening stirred the city. The tabloids ran a large photograph of the burning pyre into which he leapt after first ingeniously tying himself up and writing a final farewell to his subjects. Headlines that day screamed BATTY BENELUX BURNS and later editions reported WIZARD LAST TO SEE STEWARD: CITES SORHED AS CAUSE OF B.'S TORMENT. Since Benelux's entire staff had mysteriously disappeared, Goodgulf generously took it upon himself to arrange a State Funeral and proclaim a Lunch Hour of National Mourning for the fallen ruler. During the next few days of confusion and political turmoil the persuasive Wizard serenely held numerous press conferences. By the hour he conferred with high officials to explain that it was his old friend's last wish that he, Goodgulf, hold the reins of government until his surviving son, Farahslax, returned. In unguarded moments he could be found in the palace's executive washroom trying to scour out a faint smell of garlic and kerosene.

Within a remarkably short time, Goodgulf had galvanized the sleepy capital into a drilling militia. Marshaling Minas Troney's resources, the Wizard personally drew up ration lists, fortification plans, and lucrative defense contracts which he himself filled. At first there was a clamor of protest against Goodgulf's extraordinary powers. But then an angry black cloud began growing over the city. This, plus a few unexplained explosions in Opposition newspaper offices, silenced "those damned isolationists," as Goodgulf dubbed them in a widely publicized interview. Soon after, stragglers from the eastern provinces told of hordes of narcs attacking and overwhelming Twodor's border outpost at Ohmigoshgolli. Soon, Twodor knew, Sorhed's dogs would be sniffing at the city's very pants cuffs.


B. Well, this certainly condensed a couple chapters of text into a couple of paragraphs! What do you think of Goodgulf taking matters into his own hands? Isn't this exactly what Gandalf did (except maybe for the "lucrative defense contracts")?

C. Shades of the Vietnam War protests. I remember that time! Harvard was one of the hotbeds of antiwar activism. Remember Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara's visit?

D. Richard Nixon said "opposition to the war in this country is the greatest single weapon working against the U.S.". Nice use of that, ah, observation.

E. I'm delighted by the renaming of Osgiliath as "Ohmigoshgolli"! It certainly fits the moment, don't you think?


Moxie and Pepsi fidgeted impatiently in the waiting room of Goodgulf's palace offices, their feet dangling a foot or so short of the plush carpet. Although proud of their new uniforms (Goodgulf had commissioned the pair as Twodorian lieutenant colonels), the boggies had seen little of the Wizard, and the rumor of narcs had made them mickle itchy.

"Can't he see us now?" whined Pepsi.

"We've been waiting for hours!" added Moxie.

The shapely elf-receptionist shifted the torques in her clinging blouse indifferently.

"I'm sorry," she said for the eighth time that morning, "but the wizard is still in conference."

The bell on her desk rang, and before she could cover the speaking tube, the boggies heard Goodgulf's voice.

"Are they gone yet?"

The elf-maiden reddened as the boggies bolted past her and through the door to Goodgulf's office. There they found the Wizard with a fat cigar between his teeth and a pair of bleached-blond sylphs perched on his bony knees. He looked at Pepsi and Moxie with annoyance.

"Can't you see I'm busy?" he snapped. "In conference. Very important." Goodgulf made as if to resume his conference.

"Not so fast," said Pepsi.

"Yeah, fast," Moxie emphasized, helping himself to the dish of black caviar on Goodgulf's desk.

Goodgulf made a deep sigh and bade the languid sylphs withdraw.

"Well, well," Goodgulf said with strained affability, "what can I do for you?"

"Not as much as you seem to have done for yourself," said Moxie with a black-smudged grin.

"Can't complain," Goodgulf replied. "Fortune has smiled upon me. Help yourself to my lunch." Moxie had just finished it and was going through Goodgulf's drawers for more.

"We grow fearful," said Pepsi as he plunked himself down in an expensive troll-hide chair. "Rumors run through the city of narcs and other foul fiends approaching from the east. A black cloud has appeared over our heads and utilities are down eight and a half."

Goodgulf blew a fat blue smoke ring.

"These are not matters for small ones," he said. "Besides, you're stealing my lines."

"But the black cloud?" Pepsi asked.

"Just a few smudgepots I planted in the Knockon Wood. Keeps the folk hereabouts on their toes."

"And the rumors of invaders?" said Moxie.

"Simply that," said Goodgulf. "Sorhed will not attack Minas Troney for a while yet, and by then the rest of our company will have brought reinforcements to the city."

"Then there is no danger yet?" sighed Pepsi.

"Trust me," said Goodgulf as he ushered them out the door. "Wizards know many things."


The surprise attack at dawn the next day caught everyone in Minas Troney by surprise. None of the planned fortifications had been completed, and the materials and men that were ordered and paid for through Goodgulf's office had never appeared. In the night a vast horde had completely surrounded the fair city and their black encampments covered the green plains like a week-old scab. Black flags with the Red Nose of Sorhed fluttered all about the city. Then, as the first rays of the sun touched the land, the black army assailed the walls.



6. Instead of Pippin waiting at Denethor's door, we have the two Boggies waiting at Goodgulf's. Does this remind you of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying", or other such stereotypical sixties-business-office scenarios? (I've never watched "Mad Men", is it similar to that?)

7. The idea of a Troll-hide chair gives me the creeps. But then, there's always the wag who wonders how many Naugas it took to make one naugahyde chair.


Hundreds of narcs, their minds aflame with cheap muscatel, threw themselves at the gates. Behind them tramped companies of renegade trolls and rogue pandas, slavering with hate. Whole brigades of psychotic banshees and goblins raised their shrill voices in a loathsome war cry. At their rear marched niblicks and vicious mashies who could lay low many a brave Twodorian with a single stroke of their deadly meat tenderizers. From over a rise appeared a bloodthirsty mass of clerk-typists and the entire June Taylor Dancers. A sight most horrible to behold.


Niblicks and mashies don't putter about:


Those high kicks can be real killers:



This, Goodgulf, Moxie, and Pepsi watched from the walls. The boggies were much afraid.

"They are so many and we are so few!" Pepsi cried, much afraid.

"True heart is the strength of ten," said Goodgulf.

"We are so few and they are so many!" cried Moxie, afraid much.

"A watched pot never boils; whistle a happy tune," observed Goodgulf. "Too many cooks spoil the brouhaha."

Reassured, the boggies donned their greaves, corslets, gauntlets, and shoulder padding and slathered themselves with Bactine. Each was armed with a double-edged putty knife, its blade both keen and true. Goodgulf wore an old deep-sea diver's suit of stoutest latex. Only the well-trimmed beard was recognizable through the helmet's little round window. In his hand he carried an ancient and trusty weapon, called by the elves a Browning semi-automatic.


H. Putting on the full armor - and a bit of wound-infection-prevention. Putty knives can be pretty effective (I've gotten a puncture or two from them).

I. And now we have the deep-sea diver's suit which Goodgulf is wearing on the cover of BotR. Why this, and not a full suit of armor?

J. Browning semi-automatics, those ancient and trusty shotguns, perfect for hunting snark.


Pepsi glimpsed a shadow above them and screamed. There was a swooping sound and all three ducked just in time. A laughing Nozdrul pulled his killer-pelican out of its power dive. The sky was suddenly full of the black birds, each piloted by a begoggled Black Rider. The marauders flapped hither and thither, taking aerial photographs and strafing hospitals, orphanages, and churches with guano. As they wheeled above the terrified city the pelicans opened their fanged maws to disgorge blank propaganda leaflets down upon the illiterate defenders.

11. Swooping killer-pelicans, strafing guano - just like a day at the beach.

12. The blank leaflets certainly save on ink; this brings to mind the scene in the movie Camelot, when leaflets were rained upon the populace, which was no doubt illiterate.


But the Twodorians were harassed not only from above. Land forces were now battering the main gate and toppling men from the ramparts with flaming matzoh balls and the collected works of Rod McKuen. The very air was alive with the whizzing of poisoned boomerangs and high-velocity Dog Yummies. Several of the latter dented Goodgulf's helmet, giving him a near-fatal migraine.

All at once the front ranks parted before the walls and the boggies cried out with astonishment. A monstrous black peccary galloped to the gate. Its rider was the Lord of the Nozdrul. He was dressed all in black; great tire chains hung from his leather jacket. The huge wraith dismounted his tusker, his engineer boots sinking deep in the hard ground. Moxie caught a glimpse of a grotesque, pimpled face; the fiend's fangs and greasy sideburns flashed wetly in the noonday sun. The lord leered evilly at the ramparts of Twodorians, then lifted a black penny-whistle to a gaping nostril to sneeze a single, ear-splitting blatt.

Immediately a squad of gremlins half-crazed by cough syrup trundled out a huge female dragon on black roller skates. The rider patted its horned snout and climbed on its scaly back, directing the attention of the beast's single bloodshot eye upon the portal. The huge reptile nodded and rubber-legged on its wheels toward the wooden gate. Horrified, the Twodorians saw the Nozdrul ignite the dragon's pilot light; he spurred the monster's flanks and the torrent of fiery propane belched from its open jaws. The wall burst into flame and crumbled into ashes. Narcs eagerly hopped over the licking tongues and poured into the city.

"All is lost!" Moxie sobbed. He prepared to throw himself off the wall.

"Despair not," Goodgulf commanded through his little window. "Bring me my white robes, and quickly!"

"Ah!" cried Pepsi, "white robes for white magic!"

"No," said Goodgulf as he stapled the garments to a pool cue, "white robes for white flag."


M. Mmm, flaming matzoh balls! All they need are buckets of chicken soup to catch them in.

N. No! Not Rod McKuen! There's not enough tissues to soak up the sobs from anyone reading his stuff! Er, come to think of it, the populace is illiterate...so they'd be barraged by his books. Which were plentiful.

O. Beware those poisoned boomerangs, they'll come back to haunt you. I wonder whose idea those were.

P. Love that image of biker-dude Lord of the Nozdrul! Instead of being called a "biker", would he be a "porker"?

Q. Half-crazed by cough syrup: I though this was relevant only to those bygone days when no prescription was needed for medicines with codeine, but apparently there's still a problem with kids over-dosing for the dextromethorphan.

R. Why a female dragon? Where would its pilot light be located?

S. And Goodgulf plans to "magically" stop the attack!


Next: Saved by the bellicose!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"


squire
Half-elven


Apr 4, 4:24pm

Post #2 of 13 (1169 views)
Shortcut
Not socially distant enough, it seems [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for continuing this discussion, dernwyn. It’s needed now more than ever as the world takes to its screens in lieu of any other entertainment or human interaction. Yes, by pumping air back into the deflated tire that is the poor old Reading Room, even the Bored of the Rings discussion is doing its bit to curven the flat.
"Foolish dotard," growled Goodgulf later in their room at an inn. ...
"Psychotic too," mused the Wizard. "I bet he's got a lot of suicidal psychoses. Self-destructive. Textbook case."
"Suicidal?" said Pepsi with surprise. "How do you say that?"
"It's just a hunch," Goodgulf replied distantly, "just a hunch."

A. Compare this to the scene in RotK where Gandalf and Pippin are taken to their chamber after their meeting with Denethor. Do you sense the same "fountain of mirth" in Goodgulf here?
Ha! No, it’s certainly the same scene, but it’s not the same emotional vibe. As usual with this stuff, I feel like I’ve read this dialogue somewhere else, as some villain in a murder mystery or the authority figure in a comic short story works his way towards a solution involving murder as faked suicide. The humor isn’t original; what’s original is deploying clichés in a new direction, that of spoofing the ever-so-spoofable, ultra-serious, Prof. Tolkien.

Likewise with the concluding “just a hunch”. This comes from somewhere, I don’t know where. But I did see it deployed yet again at Harvard in the late 1970s, in a comic parody musical of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, written by folks from the Lampoon, titled “Gars and Goyles”. (Yes.) At one point Quasimodo makes a cryptic prediction about what may happen next, and straight-woman Esmerelda said, “But how do you know that?” And Quasimodo turns to the audience and says … wait for it … “I don’t know, Esmerelda. Let’s just say -- I’ve got a hunch.” [ba-ding] Fountain of mirth, indeed.
The news of the Old Steward's suicide that evening stirred the city. ...
Within a remarkably short time, Goodgulf had galvanized the sleepy capital into a drilling militia. Marshaling Minas Troney's resources, the Wizard personally drew up ration lists, fortification plans, and lucrative defense contracts which he himself filled.

B. Well, this certainly condensed a couple chapters of text into a couple of paragraphs! What do you think of Goodgulf taking matters into his own hands? Isn't this exactly what Gandalf did (except maybe for the "lucrative defense contracts")?
Well, it certainly anticipates the ‘whacking’ of Denethor in the New Line films, doesn’t it? Not for the first time do the ‘Poonies anticipate the adaptationist logic of Jackson and the gang.

The situation also cleverly recaps the rise of the original scullery boy to the post of Steward, that we read earlier in the chapter. Those that live by a fork in the back, shall die by a fork in the back – or similarly contrived ploy: “…entire staff had mysteriously disappeared,” you say? Remember “Finally there was no one left in Minas Troney who was either eligible or willing to wear the accursed crown, and the rule of Twodor was up for grabs.”
At first there was a clamor of protest against Goodgulf's extraordinary powers. But then an angry black cloud began growing over the city. This, plus a few unexplained explosions in Opposition newspaper offices, silenced "those damned isolationists," as Goodgulf dubbed them in a widely publicized interview.

C. Shades of the Vietnam War protests. I remember that time! Harvard was one of the hotbeds of antiwar activism. Remember Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara's visit?
I don’t. I’m of a certain age, but not that certain of an age.

D. Richard Nixon said "opposition to the war in this country is the greatest single weapon working against the U.S.". Nice use of that, ah, observation.
Well, OK, but when I read “damned isolationists” I didn’t think Nixon in 1970, I thought FDR in 1940. But not even FDR blew up the Chicago Tribune offices, any more than Nixon blew up (rather than burglarized) the Dems’ HQ at the Watergate. This over-the-top tactic, both unlikely and unsustainable in any setting other than a parody that is as fond of explosive solutions as a Road Runner cartoon, reminds us that this is a parody not an allegory. No doubt Beard and Kenny cordially disliked allegory in all its manifestations.
Soon after, stragglers from the eastern provinces told of hordes of narcs attacking and overwhelming Twodor's border outpost at Ohmigoshgolli. Soon, Twodor knew, Sorhed's dogs would be sniffing at the city's very pants cuffs.

E. I'm delighted by the renaming of Osgiliath as "Ohmigoshgolli"! It certainly fits the moment, don't you think?
It’s got the big O, the s, the g, the i, and the l. Looking up the exact phrase to see if it occurs in some forgotten corner of US culture, all I found was the lyrics to a song that Frank Sinatra made famous: Faith Evans’ ‘Mistletoe and Holly’:
“Oh, by gosh, by golly
It’s time for mistletoe and holly…”
So that’s not an exact match. Now I am puzzled why Twodor’s border outpost couldn’t have been Ohbigoshgolli, which everyone who got most of the jokes in the book in 1970 would have gotten as well. Maybe it’s too obvious a quote? Maybe the stem of the b sticking up ruined the orthographic pattern, which m doesn’t do? Maybe back then people actually said omigosh as one word? I’m out of ideas here. And that is all to the good, as Strider put it.

Gotta love the sheer vulgarity of “Sorhed’s dogs would be sniffing at the city’s very pants cuffs” – a classic-style metaphor that mocks Tolkien’s epic seriousness with another round of potty humor.
Moxie and Pepsi fidgeted impatiently in the waiting room of Goodgulf's palace offices, their feet dangling a foot or so short of the plush carpet. ...
The shapely elf-receptionist shifted the torques in her clinging blouse indifferently.
"I'm sorry," she said for the eighth time that morning, "but the wizard is still in conference." ...
Goodgulf made a deep sigh and bade the languid sylphs withdraw.

F. Instead of Pippin waiting at Denethor's door, we have the two Boggies waiting at Goodgulf's. Does this remind you of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying", or other such stereotypical sixties-business-office scenarios? (I've never watched "Mad Men", is it similar to that?)
It’s absolutely a takeoff on the executive suite culture of the Mad Men era. Remember the ironic song “A Secretary is Not a Toy” from How To Succeed ...?


(3-minute YouTube clip from the 1967 film version)

Gotta laff at the vocab:
  • mickle itchy (mickle = greatly, mightily; as in Tolkien’s Michel Delving, “Great Hole” for the Shire’s capital!)

  • shifted the torques in her clinging blouse (treating the movable female figure as a horny dork’s engineering project and strip-tease show in a single phrase)

  • speaking tube (paying respects to the pre-technical society being spoofed, even as the spoof is entirely modern in setting)

  • bleached-blond sylphs (modern cosmetics meets the vain and airy female spirits of Enlightenment poetry and alchemical theory)

  • in conference (the universal corporate euphemism for ‘come back tomorrow’)

  • black caviar (symbol of expensive and over-cultured taste in a bourgeois setting)

  • "Well, well," Goodgulf said with strained affability, "what can I do for you?"...
    "We grow fearful," said Pepsi as he plunked himself down in an expensive troll-hide chair. "Rumors run through the city of narcs and other foul fiends approaching from the east. A black cloud has appeared over our heads and utilities are down eight and a half."

    G. The idea of a Troll-hide chair gives me the creeps. But then, there's always the wag who wonders how many Naugas it took to make one naugahyde chair.
    Or, in Tolkien’s world, a Fallohide chair (see BotR Prologue “Concerning Boggies” for the requisite Naugahyde joke).
    Goodgulf blew a fat blue smoke ring.
    "These are not matters for small ones," he said. "Besides, you're stealing my lines."
    "But the black cloud?" Pepsi asked.
    "Just a few smudgepots I planted in the Knockon Wood. Keeps the folk hereabouts on their toes."

    So that terrifying blackness out of Mordor, that dominates most of Book V in the original, becomes a few smudge pots! Now, I always thought smudge pots were those curious spherical torches they used to put out on highways to mark dangers or obstacles before battery-powered lights replaced them (the “Toledo Torch Highway Lantern”, thank wikipedia). But I find now that smudge pots are actually the oil-powered heating ovens with tall chimneys that orchards long used to prevent frost damage. Those actually put out a lot of oily smoke, on purpose; the roadwork pots didn’t produce smoke but rather the light of an open flame, and were called smudge pots only because their basic operation was the same as the orchard ones.

    Hmmm… now which ones did Goodgulf put out in the Knockon Wood? I vote the road ones, despite their lack of actual smoke, because those are the ones I grew up with, and also because as black iron spheres they so closely resemble the mallomar-like magical device he used to make Benelux’s door disappear!
    "And the rumors of invaders?" said Moxie.
    "Simply that," said Goodgulf. ...
    The surprise attack at dawn the next day caught everyone in Minas Troney by surprise. ...
    Hundreds of narcs, their minds aflame with cheap muscatel, threw themselves at the gates. ... A sight most horrible to behold.

    These two paragraphs about the overwhelming army that attacks Minas Troney have the requisite jokes, but for some reason I’ve never really cracked up here. Perhaps it’s because the comic vocab (cheap muscatel, rogue pandas, psychotic banshees, niblicks and mashies, clerk-typists, etc.) is mixed right up amongst the satirical reuse of some of Tolkien’s actual language (aflame, tramped, slavering, shrill, loathsome, bloodthirsty, horrible, etc.). Also, this is the second spoof of Tolkien’s siege-language, and the first one (the Vee-Ates’ attack on Serutanland) was cleverer with a more unified satirical device.

    But I do like the “Red Nose of Sorhed” gag to replace the Red Eye. For one thing, a nose can actually be red, conveying comic images from sunburn to chronic inebriation to nasal congestion. Secondly, Sorhed’s wraiths are already called the Nozdrul, so of course they serve the Red Nose! And finally in the coming climax to the attack the Black Rider will summon his flame-throwing dragon with a nose-whistle (blatt!).
    This, Goodgulf, Moxie, and Pepsi watched from the walls. The boggies were much afraid.
    ... Goodgulf wore an old deep-sea diver's suit of stoutest latex. Only the well-trimmed beard was recognizable through the helmet's little round window. In his hand he carried an ancient and trusty weapon, called by the elves a Browning semi-automatic.

    H. Putting on the full armor - and a bit of wound-infection-prevention. Putty knives can be pretty effective (I've gotten a puncture or two from them).
    I’m surprised you’ve found putty-knives dangerous, as the joke here is they’re practically the only kind of knife that actually doesn’t do what knives are supposed to do. (Not that that will protect any number of narc-corpses, as we’ll see in the next reading.)

    I. And now we have the deep-sea diver's suit which Goodgulf is wearing on the cover of BotR. Why this, and not a full suit of armor?
    Like a lot of the imagery in this book, the classic diver’s suit with its round-windowed helmet has a permanent place in the public imagination, right up there with steam trains and the Model T Ford, long after their retirement from their workplaces. Looking it up, I find this kind of diving suit was phased out in the 1950s, but I suspect readers even today know what Goodgulf is wearing here.
    And it is a full suit of armor in its own way, but absurdly comic—as actual knight’s armor would not be at this point. It’s the boggies who are donning medieval armor (greaves, corslets, etc.), that becomes football armor (shoulder padding) at the end of the list!

    J. Browning semi-automatics, those ancient and trusty shotguns, perfect for hunting snark.
    I had to look this up as your comment confused me. Turns out I’ve been reading this reference incorrectly since childhood. I had always thought Goodgulf was hefting a Tommy gun, the infamous gangster’s friend from the Prohibition days, but here identified by its less-well-known brand name! Well, now I know what a Browning semi-automatic is for the first time in my life. Never too old to learn from Bored of the Rings.

    But this joke, arming Tolkien’s heroes with some equalizing real-world firearms, reuses the classic gag from the Prologue about Dildo having a snub-nosed revolver in his pocket, and so isn’t quite as funny as it should be.

    Well, that’s all I have the energy for just now. Time for some more social distance. I’ll be back.



    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'.
    Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
    Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


    = Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


    Otaku-sempai
    Immortal


    Apr 5, 1:28am

    Post #3 of 13 (1128 views)
    Shortcut
    Scatter-shot Comment [In reply to] Can't Post


    In Reply To
    J. Browning semi-automatics, those ancient and trusty shotguns, perfect for hunting snark.
    I had to look this up as your comment confused me. Turns out I’ve been reading this reference incorrectly since childhood. I had always thought Goodgulf was hefting a Tommy gun, the infamous gangster’s friend from the Prohibition days, but here identified by its less-well-known brand name! Well, now I know what a Browning semi-automatic is for the first time in my life. Never too old to learn from Bored of the Rings.

    But this joke, arming Tolkien’s heroes with some equalizing real-world firearms, reuses the classic gag from the Prologue about Dildo having a snub-nosed revolver in his pocket, and so isn’t quite as funny as it should be.


    Pistol or rifle, but neither is a shotgun. Tongue

    #FidelityToTolkien


    dernwyn
    Forum Admin / Moderator


    Apr 5, 2:25am

    Post #4 of 13 (1123 views)
    Shortcut
    *checks out difference* [In reply to] Can't Post

    Huh, I'd always used "rifle" and "shotgun" interchangeably!

    Never knew about the difference in barrels (grooved vs. ungrooved), or that they use different types of shot, making the shotgun slower but better for some short distances, and the rifle more powerful at longer distances.

    Found an interesting quote: "A shotgun is suitable for deer and necessary for turkey. A rifle is a tad preferable for deer and no use for turkey."

    Learn something every day - thanks, Otaku!


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "I desired dragons with a profound desire"


    squire
    Half-elven


    Apr 5, 2:54am

    Post #5 of 13 (1124 views)
    Shortcut
    I am surprised, sir [In reply to] Can't Post

    [to quote Jeeves in the classic TV series]

    What I found when I looked up dernwyn's reference to the Browning semi-automatic as being a shotgun, was that the Browning semi-automatic was, in fact, a semi-automatic shotgun. It fired up to five shells in rapid succession, using the recoil to push the next shell into loading position. I had no idea such a weapon existed, always associating a shotgun with a single or double-barreled single shot.

    Designed in 1898, patented in 1900, and in production until 1998.



    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'.
    Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
    Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


    = Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


    Otaku-sempai
    Immortal


    Apr 5, 12:30pm

    Post #6 of 13 (1084 views)
    Shortcut
    Well, call me surprised. [In reply to] Can't Post

    I knew that Browning made both semi-automatic pistols...


    ...and rifles.


    I didn't know that they made a semi-auto shotgun as well.


    I wonder if the text of Bored of the Rings makes it clear which classification of weapon is being wielded by Goodgulf.

    #FidelityToTolkien


    Otaku-sempai
    Immortal


    Apr 5, 12:39pm

    Post #7 of 13 (1083 views)
    Shortcut
    And, yet, Goodgulf could have had a shotgun. [In reply to] Can't Post


    In Reply To
    Huh, I'd always used "rifle" and "shotgun" interchangeably!


    Yes. Handguns and rifles fire bullets (or, if the handgun is ancient enough, lead balls) while shotguns use shells filled with shot--hence the name--or slugs.

    I was corrected, though, by squire. It seems that Browning has indeed produced semi-automatic shotguns as well as pistols and rifles. My mistake!

    #FidelityToTolkien


    Dunadan of North Arnor
    Rivendell

    Apr 5, 5:47pm

    Post #8 of 13 (1056 views)
    Shortcut
    Shotguns over rifles are apparently suitable for some weddings too // [In reply to] Can't Post

     


    Solicitr
    Gondor


    Apr 5, 6:33pm

    Post #9 of 13 (1056 views)
    Shortcut
    um, [In reply to] Can't Post


    In Reply To

    In Reply To
    J. Browning semi-automatics, those ancient and trusty shotguns, perfect for hunting snark.
    I had to look this up as your comment confused me. Turns out I’ve been reading this reference incorrectly since childhood. I had always thought Goodgulf was hefting a Tommy gun, the infamous gangster’s friend from the Prohibition days, but here identified by its less-well-known brand name! Well, now I know what a Browning semi-automatic is for the first time in my life. Never too old to learn from Bored of the Rings.



    But this joke, arming Tolkien’s heroes with some equalizing real-world firearms, reuses the classic gag from the Prologue about Dildo having a snub-nosed revolver in his pocket, and so isn’t quite as funny as it should be.


    Pistol or rifle, but neither is a shotgun. Tongue


    Actually, the Browning Auto-5 shotgun, the old "humpback" introduced in 1898, was the first commercially successful semiautomatic firearm, and is still in production to this day.


    Otaku-sempai
    Immortal


    Apr 6, 1:15am

    Post #10 of 13 (1028 views)
    Shortcut
    Yes, I know that--now! [In reply to] Can't Post


    In Reply To
    Actually, the Browning Auto-5 shotgun, the old "humpback" introduced in 1898, was the first commercially successful semiautomatic firearm, and is still in production to this day.


    Thanks, but squire already enlightened me on the subject of Browning's semi-auto shotgun(s). When I think of Browning, my mind automatically goes to their rifles and/or pistols. Now I know.

    #FidelityToTolkien


    dernwyn
    Forum Admin / Moderator


    May 13, 2:23am

    Post #11 of 13 (690 views)
    Shortcut
    It's quiet. Too quiet. [In reply to] Can't Post

    How to Succeed... is even worse than I remember it! Tongue

    Will return, I just needed to get that next part posted tonight. Real life has a surreal quality to it nowadays, some degree of normalcy was necessary. Hope life has not been overwhelming you.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "I desired dragons with a profound desire"


    dernwyn
    Forum Admin / Moderator


    May 25, 4:39pm

    Post #12 of 13 (503 views)
    Shortcut
    "Spoofable Tolkien" [In reply to] Can't Post

    His writing styles do lend themselves to that, quite nicely, don't they! I think it's one of his "charms", one thing I find very endearing about his works. Spoofs are, of course, a form of flattery. (Well, most of the time.)

    A. "I've got a hunch." That's good, that's so bad it's really good. And I'll be thinking that whenever I see the phrase "Hunchback of Notre Dame". Back in my way younger days, before finding out this was a story, I thought it referred to some football player with a strange uniform.

    B. There are some scenes in the films that make me cringe. That's one of them. I've wondered whether Ian McKellen said "Wait, that's not in the book..." as he pulled the tome out of his pocket.

    C. I heard only rumors of such things back then, anything I could glean from newspapers and classmates' rantings. Apparently McNamara had a confrontation with the Harvard SDS from the hood of a car.

    D. I recall reading about offices being suspiciously blown up, but maybe that was some other time/place, not the Vietnam war? That quote from Nixon has been sticking in my brain ever since Simon & Garfunkel used it in a song.

    E. Omigosh - that wasn't commonly said by kids where you grew up? Must be a Bostonian term, which creeped westward into my home area. Yes, "Sorhed's dogs" is great metaphor here!

    6./F. Urg, the songs in some 60's musicals were cringe-worthy. But then, so were the attitudes.
    The dialog does show that Beard & Kenney had not fully run out of brain cells at this point! I do appreciate their pulling in the word "mickle".

    H. I've managed to impale my hand on the corner of a new putty-knife, they may not be good for dicing vegetables or stabbing Narcs but at just the right angle they can be perilous!

    I. The way football players are padded up, it's as if they had full armor on underneath. Wonder if anyone has ever tried to play a game suited up that way - probably not, as no doubt they'd all collapse from overheating.

    J. Goodgulf with a gangster's gun, now that makes sense for him to have a weapon like that, it fits his character!

    Okay, off to see what festivities are planned for the holiday. Relatives have all been texting about making large strawberry shortcakes! But no parades...


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "I desired dragons with a profound desire"


    sador
    Half-elven


    Jun 2, 9:51am

    Post #13 of 13 (366 views)
    Shortcut
    A near-fatal migraine [In reply to] Can't Post

    1. Compare this to the scene in RotK where Gandalf and Pippin are taken to their chamber after their meeting with Denethor. Do you sense the same "fountain of mirth" in Goodgulf here?
    Must I? I was thinking more along the lines of:

    Quote
    With a suddenness that startled them all the wizard sprang to his feet. He was laughing! 'I have it!' he cried. 'Of course, of course! Absurdly simple, like most riddles when you see the answer'...
    'I was wrong after all,' said Goodgulf, '...Moxie, of all people, was on the right track.


    Also - is "The bird is nutty as an elf-cake" a reference to the earlier feast at Riv'n'dell?

    Quote
    As with most mythical creatures who live in enchanted forests with no visible means of support, the elves ate rather frugally, and Frito was a little disappointed to find heaped on his plate a small mound of ground nuts, bark, and dirt.




    B. Well, this certainly condensed a couple chapters of text into a couple of paragraphs! What do you think of Goodgulf taking matters into his own hands? Isn't this exactly what Gandalf did (except maybe for the "lucrative defense contracts")?

    Quote
    'Do I not know thee, Mithrandir? Thy hope is to rule in my stead, to stand behind every throne, north, south or west. I have read thy mind and its policies.'

    Indeed, he did that far better than the wizard ever read his.

    C. Shades of the Vietnam War protests. I remember that time! Harvard was one of the hotbeds of antiwar activism. Remember Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara's visit?
    Obviously not. I was pretty precocious at eight, to realise something bad was going on in Cambodia - which was much after.

    D. Richard Nixon said "opposition to the war in this country is the greatest single weapon working against the U.S.". Nice use of that, ah, observation.
    Not James Madison in 1812?

    E. I'm delighted by the renaming of Osgiliath as "Ohmigoshgolli"! It certainly fits the moment, don't you think?
    Do you mean the narcs are gollies? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golliwog
    I expect in the old days, this reference would pass.


    6. Instead of Pippin waiting at Denethor's door, we have the two Boggies waiting at Goodgulf's. Does this remind you of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying", or other such stereotypical sixties-business-office scenarios? (I've never watched "Mad Men", is it similar to that?)
    Well, I don't know these, but Pepsi's "not so fast" does remind me of Treebeard's warning not to be hasty.

    7. The idea of a Troll-hide chair gives me the creeps. But then, there's always the wag who wonders how many Naugas it took to make one naugahyde chair.
    I wonder if the Troll-hide chair turns to stone at morning. There might have been another reason for the smudgepots!

    And I have never heard before of Naugahyde chairs; I was wondering if it was something the 'poonies mentioned and I missed somehow, and how in lower midle-earth did they know that Naugrim was Tolkien's wods for dwarves?Crazy
    Live and learn, sador; live and learn.


    H. Putting on the full armor - and a bit of wound-infection-prevention. Putty knives can be pretty effective (I've gotten a puncture or two from them).
    I like the alliteration you did there.

    I. And now we have the deep-sea diver's suit which Goodgulf is wearing on the cover of BotR. Why this, and not a full suit of armor?
    He probably was still trying to impress the well-shaped elf-receptionist.
    You know - at any moment, the handsome Farahslax might be coming back.

    J. Browning semi-automatics, those ancient and trusty shotguns, perfect for hunting snark.
    I will not weigh in on the company's discussion of guns.
    But no doubt, the haunting lines

    Quote
    They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
    They pursued it with forks and hope;
    They threatened its life with a railway-share;
    They charmed it with smiles and soap

    are connected somehow to poor Benelux's demise.


    11. Swooping killer-pelicans, strafing guano - just like a day at the beach.
    Well, as you know,

    Quote
    A wonderful bird is the Pelican.
    His beak can hold more than his belly can.
    He can hold in his beak
    Enough food for a week!
    But I'll be darned if I know how the hellican?

    After gorging themselves, their poor bellies were overloaded!

    12. The blank leaflets certainly save on ink; this brings to mind the scene in the movie Camelot, when leaflets were rained upon the populace, which was no doubt illiterate.
    I just hope Sorhed didn't sign his name on the leaflets - it would be just like Goodgulf to add in a lump sum on one and take it to the bank!


    M. Mmm, flaming matzoh balls! All they need are buckets of chicken soup to catch them in.
    You mean, the soup Minas Troney is in? Chikken Noodul is chametz, you know.

    I also wonder whether the "flaming" was meant as an expletive, but maybe that's just me.

    N. No! Not Rod McKuen! There's not enough tissues to soak up the sobs from anyone reading his stuff! Er, come to think of it, the populace is illiterate...so they'd be barraged by his books. Which were plentiful.
    Okay, so you provoked me, and I looked up some of his quotes. "If I could do it over, I'd do better" is quite appropriate to BotR.
    And also to Denethor's sending Boromir rather than Faramir to Imladris.

    O. Beware those poisoned boomerangs, they'll come back to haunt you. I wonder whose idea those were.
    What goes around comes around.

    But I agree, it wasn't one of Sorhed's best and brightest ideas. Perhaps it was hatched up in by a comittee of his best and brightest cooks, which as you know, spoil the brouhaha.

    P. Love that image of biker-dude Lord of the Nozdrul! Instead of being called a "biker", would he be a "porker"?
    I still submit a flying monkey would serve him better.
    Speaking of which, I am reminded of the saucy clown from The Dainty China Country:

    Quote
    My lady fair,
    Why do you stare
    At poor old Mr. Joker?
    You’re quite as stiff
    And prim as if
    You’d eaten up a poker!


    Q. Half-crazed by cough syrup: I though this was relevant only to those bygone days when no prescription was needed for medicines with codeine, but apparently there's still a problem with kids over-dosing for the dextromethorphan.
    Is it that much better than the narcs' cheap muscatel?

    R. Why a female dragon?
    IIRC, an elderly au pair (shouldn't it really be au pere?) was often called a "dragon" in English literature, from her task at keeping the young girl's virtue.
    But unfortunately, I cannot recall any specific quote off the top of my head.

    Plus, it might remind us of Schlob. Or not.

    Where would its pilot light be located?
    Do I really want to go there?
    I would hazard a guess, that it is somewhere in the vicinity of the hindmost roller skates, rather than the horned snout.
    Or perhaps it is where the second eye was supposed to be?

    S. And Goodgulf plans to "magically" stop the attack!
    I would say he was planning to snooker the Nozdrul, but using a pool cue is simply wrong.


    Thank you, dernwyn!
    Should I say 'until we meet again'? No, I think 'goodbye' sums it up quite nicely.

    Thinking about things I don't understand

     
     

    Search for (options) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.3

    home | advertising | contact us | back to top | search news | join list | Content Rating

    This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2012 TheOneRing.net. Binary hosting provided by Nexcess.net

    Do not follow this link, or your host will be blocked from this site. This is a spider trap.