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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
The Unofficial Bored of the Rings Discussion: Chapter IX, Minas Troney In the Soup, Part 4: Hordes, Hordes, Hordes

dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


May 13, 2:18am

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The Unofficial Bored of the Rings Discussion: Chapter IX, Minas Troney In the Soup, Part 4: Hordes, Hordes, Hordes Can't Post

Just as the Wizard was waving his robes in frantic semaphore, the sound of a hundred horns was heard in the west, answered by as many in the east. A great wind clove the black cloud and dispersed it, revealing through the parting mists a great shield bearing the words CAUTION: CIGARETTE SMOKING MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH; the rocks split, and the sky, though cloudless, thundered like a thousand stagehands striking a thousand metal sheets. There was a release of pigeons.

From all points of the compass the joyful Twodorians saw great armies approaching with marching bands, fireworks, and showers of colored streamers. To the north was Gimlet leading a band of a thousand dwarves, to the south the familiar pronged bulk of Eorache in command of three thousand berserk Sheepers; from the east appeared two great armies, one of Farahslax's seasoned Green Toupées and one of Legolam's manned by four thousand sharp-nailed interior decorators. Lastly, from the west, rode gray-clad Arrowroot leading a party of four warbadgers and a cranky Cub Scout.



A. A little smokers' humor here, with the black cloud from the smudgepots being dispersed with a health warning! That note had not been on cigarette packs for long at this point, the first time it appeared was 1966.

B. Ever hear the sound effect of those metal sheets? Just a couple can set up a pretty nice rumble.

C. The release of pigeons is a nice effect. Not doves, but - pigeons. They probably headed straight to the streets of Minas Troney.

D. Note that all directions are covered, easy to do when the city is a mound in the midst of a plain, but they'd have to go long distances roundabout to get lined up! Dwarves from the north, Roi-Tanner berserkers from the south. From the east, the band of Green Toupées and the host of Elves (never underestimate sharp fingernails!). From the west...well, no doubt Arrowroot and his party's strategy was their inconspicuousness.

E. Information on warbadgers is sparse. They appear in fantasy gaming, or as legendary "were-badgers". However, the Mispillion River Brewing Company's logo for its War Badger beer bears an uncanny resemblance to Goodgulf:





In a trice the armies converged on the embattled city and set upon the panicking enemy. The battle raged as the trapped attackers were mowed down with sword and club. Terrified trolls fled the murderous Roi-Tanner hooves only to be hewn to pieces by the dwarves' picks and shovels. The bodies of narcs and banshees littered the ground and the Lord of the Nozdrul was encircled by piqued elves who scratched out his eyes and pulled his hair until he fell on his own sword in embarrassment. The black pelicans and their Nozdrul pilots were pecked from the air by anti-aircraft gulls and the dragon was cornered by the Cub Scout and peppered with rubber-tipped arrows until it suffered a complete nervous breakdown and collapsed with a heavy thud.

Meanwhile, the heartened Twodorians rushed from the walls and flew at the fiends yet inside the city. Moxie and Pepsi drew their putty knives and wielded them deftly. Soon, not a fallen corpse had a nose to call his own. Goodgulf busied himself throttling narcs from behind with his rubber air hose and Arrowroot was very probably doing something or other that was pretty much brave. When later questioned about the battle, however, he usually went rather vague.



6. That's a rather un-spectacular end for the Lord of the Nozdrul, considering what happened to his counterpart in LotR!

7. I'm imagining the gulls converging on the airborne Nozdrul as if they were cast-off fish-and-chips. "Mine!Mine!Mine!"

8. Now why didn't the Dwarves of Erebor think to use rubber-tipped arrows on Smaug?

9. Ah, our bold Wizard and brave Arrowroot.



At last all the enemy were slain, and the few who managed to break through the deadly ring of soldiers were run down and quickly dispatched with a blow from a Roi-Tanner dustmop. The narcs' bodies were collected into large mounds. Goodgulf then merrily instructed that they be individually giftwrapped and mailed to Fordor. C.O.D. The Twodorians began hosing down the stained ramparts and the still-quivering bulk of the dragon was carted off to the Royal Kitchens for that evening's victory feast.

But all was not well with Twodor. Many good men and true had fallen: the brothers Handlebar and Hersheybar, and Eorache's uncle, the trusty Eordrum. Dwarves and elves had their losses, and the sad whines of mourning mixed with the cheers of victory.

Though the leaders happily gathered for greeting, not even these were spared grievous hurt. Farahslax, son of Benelux and brother to Bromosel, had lost four toes and suffered a gash across the tummy. The fair Eorache was cut upon her massive biceps and both her monocles had been brutally smashed. Moxie and Pepsi lost a bit of their right earlobes in the fray, and Legolam's left pinky was severely sprained. Gimlet's pointed head had been somewhat flattened out by a mashie's tenderizer, but the flayed skin he now wore as a mackintosh attested to the outcome of that particular duel. Lastly limped Goodgulf, supported by the miraculously unscathed Ranger. The old Wizard's white bellbottoms had been viciously frayed and there was a nasty stain on the front of his Nehru jacket; his go-go boots were beyond hope. He also wore his right arm in a matching sling, but when he later tended to switch it from arm to arm this wound was taken rather less seriously.



J. A very clever way of dispensing with narc bodies! But who's going to do the giftwrapping, and what will they use? The poor postal workers...

K. Hosing down the stained ramparts! Love the image that evokes. I wonder if dragon tastes like chicken.

L. Although Elladan and Elrohir did not die in battle, the names Handlebar and Hersheybar make a good parody of Tolkien's alliterative nomenclature.

M. Alas, the poor monocles! Legolam's sprained left pinky seems a somehow fitting wound-parody for Legolas's apparent invulnerability. Gimlet's "mackintosh" is not so grisly when one remembers Beorn's "trophies". Comments on the other injuries?



Tears flowed like water as they greeted each other. Even Gimlet and Legolam managed to limit their enmity to an obscene gesture or two. There was much laughing and embracing, particularly between Arrowroot and Eorache. Arrowroot, however, was not blind to certain glances that were exchanged when the Scheepess was introduced to the husky Farahslax.

"And this hero," said Goodgulf at last to Arrowroot, "is the brave Farahslax, true heir to the Stewardship of Twodor."

"Charmed, I'll warrant," replied Arrowroot icily as he simultaneously shook the warrior's hand and stepped on his wounded foot. "I am Arrowroot of Arrowshirt, true son of Araplane and true King of all Twodor. You have already met fair Eorache, my fiancée and Queen!" The emphasis the Ranger put into his formal greeting was lost on no one. "

Greetings and salutations," returned the Green Toupee. "May your reign and marriage be as long as your life." He crushed Arrowroot's hand as he shook it.

The two stared at each other with unabashed hatred. "Let us all go to the House o' Healing," said Arrowroot finally as he inspected his mangled fingers, "for there are many wounds that I would heal."



14. Well, this is quite a reversal of Tolkien!

15. And we have another fine parody of Tolkien's nomenclature.

16. "for there are many wounds that I would heal" certainly sounds like it's straight out of LotR, but the phrase is nowhere to be found in that book.



By the time the company had reached the palace much had been said. Goodgulf was roundly congratulated for giving the attack signal with his flag. Many wondered at his wisdom in knowing that help was on its way, but on this matter the Wizard kept strangely silent. The company also was saddened that Birdseye could not share their victory this day, for the green giant and his trusty Vee-Ates had been most foully ambushed on the way back from Isinglass by a black herd of Sorhed's wraith-rabbits. Of the once-mighty army not even a single stalk remained. Moxie and Pepsi shed bitter tears for the loss of their fecund carrots and danced a little jig of despair.

"And now," said Arrowroot, beckoning the wounded warriors to a concrete bunker, "let us retire to yon . . . er . . . House o' Healing, where we may purge our troubles." He looked pointedly at Farahslax.

"Healing-schmealing, ve ist hokay," objected Eorache, looking at Farahsbax like a dog gloating over a pound of minute steak.

"Heed my words," Arrowroot commanded, stomping a boot.

The company protested feebly, but obeyed so as not to hurt his feelings. There, Arrowroot donned a white apron and a plastic stethoscope and ran hither and yon seeing after the patients. He put Farahslax in a private room far from the others.

"Nothing but the best for the Steward of Twodor," he explained.

Soon all were tended to, save the new Steward. Arrowroot allowed that Farahslax had had a relapse in his private room and an operation was immediately necessary. He would meet them at the victory feast later.



Q. If Goodgulf had not given the "attack signal", who would have? Or would anyone have?

R. I had thought the Vee-Ates demise was inspired by the vampire rabbit in "Bunnicula", but James Howe published that ten year later, in 1979. He must have been a BotR fan!

S. "Stomping a boot"! Whence comes of course the nickname "Stomper".

T. The plastic stethoscope, necessary component of every child's "doctor" kit! You can actually hear pretty well through those things.



The feast in the main cafeteria of Benelux's palace was a sight to behold. Goodgulf had unearthed great stores of delicacies; the same delicacies, it happened, as those that were earlier placed on the Wizard's ration lists. Yards of twisted crêpe paper and glowing fold-up lanterns bedazzled the guests' eyes. Goodgulf himself hired the two-piece all-troll orchestra to serenade the diners from a low dais of old orange crates, and all drank largely from the kegs of rot-gut mead. Then the guests, plastered elves, drunk dwarves, reeling men, and a few schnozzled unidentifiables staggered with their brimming trays to the long banquet table and began gobbling as if it were their last meal.

"Not as dumb as they look," Goodgulf blearily observed to Legolam at his left.

The Wizard, brilliantly attired in fresh bell-bottoms, slumped at the head of the table with the stinkoed boggies, Legolam, Gimlet, and Eorache in the folding chairs of honor. Only the absence of Farahslax and Arrowroot stayed the official proceedings.

"Where d'ya sh'pose they are?" Moxie asked finally above the clatter of trays and plastic flagons.

Moxie's question was answered, or at least half answered, as the swinging doors of the banquet hall flew open and a bloodstained, disheveled figure appeared.

"Shtomper!" cried Pepsi.

The hundreds of guests paused in their repast. Before them stood Arrowroot, still in his apron, covered mask to boot with gore. One hand was swathed in bandages and he bore a nasty-looking mouse under one eye.

"Vas ist?" said Eorache. "Vhere ist der handsome Farahslaxer?"

"Alas," the Ranger sighed, "Farahslax is no more. I tried mightily to heal his wounds, but it was in vain. His hurts were many and sore."

"Vhat vas der matter mit him?" sobbed the Roi-Tanner. "He vas fine vhen ve left."

"Terminal abrasions and contusions," said Arrowroot, sighing again, "with complications. His cuticles were completely severed, poor soul. Never had a chance."

"I could have sworn he didn't have more than a bump on hish head," muttered Legolam under the cover of his sleeve.

"Aye," replied Arrowroot, shooting the elf a withering glance, "so it might seem to one unschooled in the art of healing. But that bump, that fatal bump, 'twas his downfall. 'Twas water on the brain. 'Tis ninety-percent fatal. Forced I was to amputate. Sad, very sad."

Arrowroot strode to his folding chair, his face lined with care. As if by some prearranged signal some disreputable-booking Brownies leapt to their feet and shouted, "The last Steward is no more! All hail Arrowroot of Arrowshirt, King of Twodor hail!"

Stomper touched his hatbrim in humble acknowledgment of Twodor's new allegiance, and Eorache, seeing which way the wind was blowing, threw her brawny arms around the new King with a creditable squeal of delight. The rest of the guests, either confused or drunk, echoed the cheers with a thousand voices.



21. The feast scene is obviously based on the authors' frat parties. I remember using twisted crepe paper strung bleacher-to-bleacher to make our gymnasium look "classy".

22. That simple phrase speaks volumes: "Forced I was to amputate." The rest is best left to the imagination. Or not.



But then, from the back of the chamber, a shrill, piping voice was heard.

"Nay! Nay!" it squeaked.

Arrowroot searched the table and the dizzy crowd grew silent. At the very end was a squat figure wearing a black nose-patch, dressed all in green. It was Magnavox, friend to the late Farahslax.

"Speak," commanded Arrowroot, hoping he wouldn't.

"If you be the true King of Twodor," Magnavox fluted drunkenly, "you will fulfill the propheshy and deshtroy our enemiesh. Thish you musht do before you a King be. Thish deed you musht perform."

"Thish I gotta see," chuckled Gimlet.

Arrowroot blinked anxiously.

"Enemies? But we here are all comrades--"

"Psssst!" coached Goodgulf. "Sorhed? Fordor? Nozdruls? The you-know-what?"

Stomper bit his lip nervously and thought.

"Well, I guess it behooves us that we march to Sorhed and challenge him, I guess."

Goodgulf's jaw dropped with disbelief, but before he could strangle Stomper, Eorache jumped up on the table.

"Dot's telling him! Ve march against der Sorhedder und mess him up gute!"

Goodgulf's screams were lost in the roar of alcoholic approval from the hail.



W. Magnavox, the amalgam of Mablung and Damrod! Not quite the Last Debate, is it.

X. What did Goodgulf expect? That Arrowroot would abdicate his hard-won crown? Never challenge a drunk king!



It was the next morning that the armies of Twodor marched east laden with long lances, sharp swords, and death-dealing hangovers. The thousands were led by Arrowroot, who sat limply in his sidesaddle, nursing a whopper. Goodgulf, Gimlet, and the rest rode by him, praying for their fate to be quick, painless, and, if possible, someone else's.

Many an hour the armies forged ahead, the war-merinos bleating under their heavy burdens and the soldiers bleating under their melting icepacks. As they drew closer to the Black Gate of Fordor, the ravages of war were seen on every side: carts overturned, villages and towns sacked and burned, billboard cuties defaced with foul black mustaches.

Arrowroot looked with darkened face at these ruins of a once fair land.

"Look at those ruins of a once fair land," he cried, almost toppling from his sheep. "There will be much to cleanse when we return."

"If we ever get the chance to return," said Gimlet, "I'll personally clean up the whole place with a toothbrush."

The King drew himself to a more or less upright position.

"Fear not, for our army is strong and courageous."

"Just hope they don't sober up before we get there," Gimlet grunted.

The dwarf’s words read true, for the army began to waver in its march, and the band of Roi-Tanners Stomper charged with rounding up stragglers hadn't reported for hours.

Finally Arrowroot decided to put a stop to the malingering by shaming his hesitant warriors. Commanding the remaining herald to sound the horn he said:

"Peoples of the West! The battle before the Black Gate of Sorhed will be one of few against many; but the few are of pure heart and the many are of the filthy. Nevertheless, those of you who wish to cringe and run from the fight may do so to quicken our pace. Those who still ride with the King of Twodor will live forever in song and legend! The rest may go."

It is said that the dustcloud did not settle for many days after.



25.This. This is PERFECT. Death-dealing hangovers. Ruined billboards. Those sent to return the stragglers, not returning themselves. The demotivational speech.
The dustcloud.
I love it.


Next: When we last left our heroes, Rocky and Bullwinkle were...ah, that is, Frito and Spam were desperately trying to escape from the clutches of Schlob...


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

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"


squire
Half-elven


May 23, 9:04pm

Post #2 of 11 (1346 views)
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We few, we happy fewmets [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for Piling it on, dernwyn, ever Higher and Deeper. Well, let’s get out the shovels and get to work.
A great wind clove the black cloud and dispersed it, revealing through the parting mists a great shield bearing the words CAUTION: CIGARETTE SMOKING MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH
A. A little smokers' humor here, with the black cloud from the smudgepots being dispersed with a health warning! That note had not been on cigarette packs for long at this point, the first time it appeared was 1966.
Ah, I think I’ve never noticed that joke before – perhaps because I’ve never warmed up to this chapter, which attempts to spoof seven chapters of the original book, and kind of trips over itself doing so. In this case, the smoking warning is kind of a funny comment on either Sauron’s evil device in the original, or Goodgulf’s clumsy deception in the parody, but it tiredly recycles a joke they made earlier (when Frodo sees ‘Mene, mene, what’s it to you?’ written in the sky at the end of chapter 4, when leaving Riv’n’Dell on his quest).

…the sky, though cloudless, thundered like a thousand stagehands striking a thousand metal sheets.
B. Ever hear the sound effect of those metal sheets? Just a couple can set up a pretty nice rumble.
Yes, and the effect is antiquated, going back to Victorian theater or before. Add to this the parallel hyperbole of a mythic “thousand … thousand …”, and we have an epic-scale spoof of one of Tolkien’s eucatastrophic moments. The divine intervention of the Valar in the original turns out here to be an exponential amount of stagecraft and fakery.

There was a release of pigeons.
C. The release of pigeons is a nice effect. Not doves, but - pigeons. They probably headed straight to the streets of Minas Troney.
I wonder about the wording. “There was a release of pigeons” could mean pigeons were released into the sky, in the centuries-old tradition of releasing white doves at ceremonies to signify a spiritual change (marriage, funeral, commemoration, etc.) – only with the grittier birds you’ve noted, the ‘rats with wings’ of many a city park and plaza. But the phrase could also mean it was the pigeons who did the releasing, from the sky down onto the joyful Twodorians.

From all points of the compass the joyful Twodorians saw great armies approaching
D. Note that all directions are covered, easy to do when the city is a mound in the midst of a plain, but they'd have to go long distances roundabout to get lined up! Dwarves from the north, Roi-Tanner berserkers from the south. From the east, the band of Green Toupées and the host of Elves (never underestimate sharp fingernails!). From the west...well, no doubt Arrowroot and his party's strategy was their inconspicuousness.
I thought about the directions being wrong relative to the actual book, briefly -- but it’s really not important given how unformed the geography of Lower Middle Earth is. What the four directions evoke to me is Tolkien’s constant use of just the four cardinal directions in his writing about the landscapes, so that North, South, East, and West acquire symbolic importance – a “moral geography”, as someone once put it. So here that geography is put to use like the game of Twister, even if it has to be stretched by having two, not one, relief forces appear from the East, in order to provide the gag of Arrowroot showing up from the climactic final direction, West, with his pathetic handful of warriors (sic).

… Arrowroot leading a party of four warbadgers…
E. Information on warbadgers is sparse. They appear in fantasy gaming, or as legendary "were-badgers". However, the Mispillion River Brewing Company's logo for its War Badger beer bears an uncanny resemblance to Goodgulf.
Good catch on the beer. Do warbadgers really appear in fantasy games?? I assumed this was a one-off, playing badgers for comedy much as the Merino sheep have been throughout. Is there … well, is there any chance that modern fantasy gaming got the concept from this bo--- ? ? ? Nah.

…the Lord of the Nozdrul was encircled by piqued elves who scratched out his eyes and pulled his hair until he fell on his own sword in embarrassment.
F. That's a rather un-spectacular end for the Lord of the Nozdrul, considering what happened to his counterpart in LotR!
Well, I would pay ready money for that scene to be edited into the New Line film of RotK in place of what’s there. And Miranda Otto’s misconstrued line “I am no man!” could even be kept, only re-rendered much more powerfully as “We are no men!” in high-pitched tones of exasperation and pique.

…their Nozdrul pilots were pecked from the air by anti-aircraft gulls…
G. I'm imagining the gulls converging on the airborne Nozdrul as if they were cast-off fish-and-chips. "Mine! Mine! Mine!"
That’s better than the image I got, of a lot of giant Noses being Picked, er, Pecked. But as funny as mashing ‘Finding Nemo’ is, my reading is (unfortunately) supported by Fergus’ Oath as inscribed on the door of dreaded Andrea Doria, curse of the living nipple. It reads in part, “… I shall endeavour at all times and in all places to Keep My Nose Clean by the most expedient possible means.”

…the dragon was cornered by the Cub Scout and peppered with rubber-tipped arrows until it suffered a complete nervous breakdown and collapsed with a heavy thud.
H. Now why didn't the Dwarves of Erebor think to use rubber-tipped arrows on Smaug?
Who says they didn’t? In this ‘universe’, at least, we are still awaiting the “…soon-to-be-published-if-this-incredible-dog-sells account of Dildo Bugger's earlier adventures, called by him Travels with Goddam in Search of Lower Middle Earth, but wisely renamed by the publisher Valley of the Trolls.”

Just to be critical, I’ll note that the demises of the dragon and the Lord of the Nozdrul are almost exactly the same gag. “Steam, running out of” – see BotR, Ch. IX

Moxie and Pepsi drew their putty knives and wielded them deftly. Soon, not a fallen corpse had a nose to call his own. Goodgulf busied himself throttling narcs from behind with his rubber air hose and Arrowroot was very probably doing something or other that was pretty much brave.
I. Ah, our bold Wizard and brave Arrowroot.
I actually like the follow-through of the boggies using their putty knives, and Goodgulf using his diver’s suit, in battle. I can’t be sure I like this vaguely “probably pretty much brave” reincarnation of Arrowroot. Earlier in the book he has shown a kind of courage in battle that can only be called foolhardy (“Taking a vicious swipe, Stomper missed his mark by a good yard and tripped on his scabbard.” – “Arrowroot waved Krona. ‘He cannot hold the bridge,’ he shouted and rushed forward.” - “Stomper's momentum carried him irresistibly onward until he plunged headlong into the lavender moat.”) and surely some funnier gag could have been invented for him here rather than altering in the final chapter what must be called, for lack of a better term, his ‘character’ in this spoof.

The narcs' bodies were collected into large mounds. Goodgulf then merrily instructed that they be individually giftwrapped and mailed to Fordor. C.O.D.
J. A very clever way of dispensing with narc bodies! But who's going to do the giftwrapping, and what will they use? The poor postal workers...
Don’t forget that someone has to tell the delivery service what to write on each of the gift cards. This is certainly an original twist on the seemingly endless focus in the book on burial mounds after large battles. It also, possibly deliberately, echoes the joke of the Ring’s inscription from the very beginning of the book:
“If broken or busted, it cannot be remade
If found, send to Sorhed (the postage is prepaid)."


The Twodorians began hosing down the stained ramparts and the still-quivering bulk of the dragon was carted off to the Royal Kitchens for that evening's victory feast.
K. Hosing down the stained ramparts! Love the image that evokes. I wonder if dragon tastes like chicken.
Actually the ‘hosing down’ gag doesn’t tickle me, I think because it doesn’t pick up any cues from the siege scenes. As I read it, the only staining was done by the pelicans’ guano – but a powerful phrase like ‘hosing down the stained ramparts’ would seem to demand more. Like, for instance, the brilliantly juicy imagery of the book’s previous battle, in which we read of how “… the narcs still fought back desperately, their long blades flashing, dripping with vitamin-packed gore. The ramparts were littered with chopped parsley, diced onion, and grated carrots. Rivers of red tomato juice ran over the stones, and a ghastly salad floated in the moat.” Now that must have called for some serious sink-sprayer work afterwards.

As for the dragon, of course it tasted like chicken. It was served in a cafeteria hot tray, after all (see next scene for how the fancy-sounding Royal Kitchens actually handle their catering duties).

Many good men and true had fallen: the brothers Handlebar and Hersheybar, and Eorache's uncle, the trusty Eordrum.
L. Although Elladan and Elrohir did not die in battle, the names Handlebar and Hersheybar make a good parody of Tolkien's alliterative nomenclature.
Yes on the alliteration, and it’s good to see Theoden’s, I mean Eordrum’s, death included in a quick cameo.

The fair Eorache was cut upon her massive biceps and both her monocles had been brutally smashed. Moxie and Pepsi lost a bit of their right earlobes in the fray, and Legolam's left pinky was severely sprained. Gimlet's pointed head had been somewhat flattened out by a mashie's tenderizer, but the flayed skin he now wore as a mackintosh attested to the outcome of that particular duel.
M. Alas, the poor monocles! Legolam's sprained left pinky seems a somehow fitting wound-parody for Legolas's apparent invulnerability. Gimlet's "mackintosh" is not so grisly when one remembers Beorn's "trophies". Comments on the other injuries?
Legolam’s injury (pinky finger) reminds me that in the good old days an extended pinky finger signalled a kind of delicacy or effeminacy in men (Mike Meyers revived it for his Dr. Evil character), so that’s just right for our less-than-manly Elf here. Gimlet’s flayed skin raincoat actually reminds me of Sauron using Celebrimbor’s body as a battle flag in Unfinished Tales, which of course the ‘Poonies in 1969 would not have known about. I do think I’ve read somewhere about some group of primitive warriors using flayed human hides as garments in real life, but happily I’ve forgotten the details.

Other injuries: It’s just right that Goodgulf’s injuries are entirely to his over-fashionable clothing - although how that reconciles with his wearing, and wielding in battle, a full diver’s suit and helmet is left unexplained. The “matching sling” with its indeterminate arm wound is no doubt a subtle but accurate homage to the end of the Battle of Five Armies in The Hobbit (“…and there stood Gandalf, with his arm in a sling. Even the wizard had not escaped without a wound…” – TH 18)

There was much laughing and embracing, particularly between Arrowroot and Eorache. Arrowroot, however, was not blind to certain glances that were exchanged when the Scheepess was introduced to the husky Farahslax.
N. Well, this is quite a reversal of Tolkien!
Not entirely! As I think we discussed earlier when Eorache first spotted the royal crest of Twodor on Arrowroot’s drop-bottom long johns, Tolkien briefly considered an Aragorn-Eowyn romance when he first invented Eowyn (and a second woman) as the king’s caregivers in Edoras.

It’s notable that Farahslax’s reappearance in Twodor in this chapter seems almost completely divorced from his episode with Frito and co. in the previous chapter (Schlob’s Lair etc.). The writers even explain who he is, as if we the readers had not met him before: “Farahslax, son of Benelux and brother to Bromosel,…”

Granted, given the silliness of the story at this point in the parody, to try to actually include the incredible complexity of how Frodo’s mission to Mordor related to Aragorn’s defense of Gondor would probably have been a bad idea, structurally and/or comically. It’s notable that Frito is not mentioned by the characters (from Goodgulf on down) during this entire chapter about Minas Troney until after the ‘dustcloud’ finale, when the story switches back to Frito and Spam on its way to the grand (sort of grand) (well, not really very grand at all) ending.

"I am Arrowroot of Arrowshirt, true son of Araplane and true King of all Twodor."
O. And we have another fine parody of Tolkien's nomenclature.
Yes, this recaps the really extended one from Chapter VI (Riders of Roi-Tan) based on the list in the actual LotR Book III: "Arrowshirt!" said Stomper. "Arrowroot of Arrowshirt!" In a flash he had drawn gleaming Krona from its holster and flailed it about over his head as he cried, "And this is Krona of he who has many names, he who is called Lumbago, the Lodestone, by the elves, Dunderhead, heir to the throne of Twodor and true son of Arrowhead of Araplane, Conqueror of Dozens and seed of Barbisol, Top of the Heap and King of the Mountain."

I notice that in his introduction to Farahslax he has dropped the “Arrowhead” relation and turned Araplane from a realm to a father, but that’s probably perfectly acceptable compression, given how fast the story needs to move at this point in the narrative.

"Let us all go to the House o' Healing," said Arrowroot finally as he inspected his mangled fingers, "for there are many wounds that I would heal."
P. "for there are many wounds that I would heal" certainly sounds like it's straight out of LotR, but the phrase is nowhere to be found in that book.
Yes, it’s certainly Tolkien-sounding, and seems meant to belong to the bits of this book that parrot his style just before mocking it. The closest I can come to their source for this is, in fact, from the correct chapter: “…men came and prayed [to Aragorn] that he would heal their kinsmen or their friends whose lives were in peril through hurt or wound,…” (LR V.8, bolds by squire)

I love the confrontation between the two competitors for Eorache’s beefy charms: veiled insults and threats, stomped foot, crushed hand, “The two stared at each other with unabashed hatred.” Quite a change from, “…a light of knowledge and love was kindled in his eyes, and [Faramir] spoke softly. ‘My lord, you called me. I come. What does the king command?’” (LR V.6)

Goodgulf was roundly congratulated for giving the attack signal with his flag.
Q. If Goodgulf had not given the "attack signal", who would have? Or would anyone have?
There’s only so far we can go with gags like “white robes for white flag” stapled to a pool cue!

…the green giant and his trusty Vee-Ates had been most foully ambushed on the way back from Isinglass by a black herd of Sorhed's wraith-rabbits.
R. I had thought the Vee-Ates demise was inspired by the vampire rabbit in "Bunnicula", but James Howe published that ten year later, in 1979. He must have been a BotR fan!
I admit I’ve never heard of “Bunnicula”. What really worries me is that these wraith-rabbits may have descendants in Rhosgobel.

"Heed my words," Arrowroot commanded, stomping a boot.
S. "Stomping a boot"! Whence comes of course the nickname "Stomper".
Yes, there is that side of him. But as I noted just now, he rather effectively stomped Farahslax’s wounded foot out of childish aggression, not childish pique.

Arrowroot donned a white apron and a plastic stethoscope and ran hither and yon seeing after the patients.
T. The plastic stethoscope, necessary component of every child's "doctor" kit! You can actually hear pretty well through those things.
Well, OK. I don’t think the point is that Arrowroot’s ridiculous masquerade as a doctor might actually be more effective than we are supposed to think!

It occurs to me just now that there is a heck of a lot less “vocab” in this chapter than we have been used to encountering in our reading of Bored of the Rings. That is, there are far fewer references to obscure mid-century American trivia, merchandise, trade names, TV shows, and other bathetic substitutes for Tolkien’s elaborate proto-medieval wordplay and Elvish vocabulary. Why would this be? (Or am I missing it?)

Not that there isn’t still, at points, just some purely excellent comic prose. I still smiled, after many readings, at these:
“Moxie and Pepsi shed bitter tears for the loss of their fecund carrots and danced a little jig of despair.”
“…Eorache, looking at Farahslax like a dog gloating over a pound of minute steak.”


Yards of twisted crêpe paper and glowing fold-up lanterns bedazzled the guests' eyes. Goodgulf himself hired the two-piece all-troll orchestra to serenade the diners from a low dais of old orange crates, and all drank largely from the kegs of rot-gut mead.
U. The feast scene is obviously based on the authors' frat parties. I remember using twisted crepe paper strung bleacher-to-bleacher to make our gymnasium look "classy".
This is quite a clever scene, I think, for all that it recalls Bilbo’s party at the beginning of the book with its gravity-feed troughs and gravy-encrusted faces. I was never in a frat, but I did see Animal House. What really makes me associate this banquet with college parties is the scary degree of intoxication, which is comic but also drives the plot, weaving and banging into lampposts, forward.
”…the guests, plastered elves, drunk dwarves, reeling men, and a few schnozzled unidentifiables staggered…” [the last bunch are obviously the “banshees and not a few Republicans” of the chapter’s introduction to Minas Troney!]
“…Goodgulf blearily observed…”
“…the stinkoed boggies…”
"‘Where d'ya sh'pose they are?’ Moxie asked…”

But that bump, that fatal bump, 'twas his downfall. 'Twas water on the brain. 'Tis ninety-percent fatal. Forced I was to amputate. Sad, very sad."
V. That simple phrase speaks volumes: "Forced I was to amputate." The rest is best left to the imagination. Or not.
Isn’t it a classic scene in 40s and 50s films when the gowned and masked hero surgeon emerges from the operating room through swinging doors, to tell the waiting family the good or bad news? That’s what I’m getting here, anyway, complete with medical gobbledegook to explain the prognosis. But… but… eerily enough, we’ve also all seen Aragorn, messed up and with a face lined with care, push open another set of double doors, entering center screen to deliver bad news to a waiting court – haven’t we?

"If you be the true King of Twodor," Magnavox fluted drunkenly, "you will fulfill the propheshy and deshtroy our enemiesh. Thish you musht do before you a King be. Thish deed you musht perform."
W. Magnavox, the amalgam of Mablung and Damrod! Not quite the Last Debate, is it.
More like the Last Debauch! And as I said, there’s a lot to be said for this approach to explaining the universal acceptance by his new subjects of Aragorn’s suicidal grand strategy.

Arrowroot blinked anxiously.
"Enemies? But we here are all comrades--"
"Psssst!" coached Goodgulf. "Sorhed? Fordor? Nozdruls? The you-know-what?"
Stomper bit his lip nervously and thought.
"Well, I guess it behooves us that we march to Sorhed and challenge him, I guess."
Goodgulf's jaw dropped with disbelief,…
X. What did Goodgulf expect? That Arrowroot would abdicate his hard-won crown? Never challenge a drunk king!
It’s actually a little hard to guess what Goodgulf, hardly the most sincere of actors in this group of jokers, was thinking when he reminds Arrowroot about the Enemy. As you say, what was he hoping Arrowroot would say to Magnavox’s challenge? But the final line “Goodgulf's screams were lost in the roar of alcoholic approval from the hall” is another classic, and also cleverly anticipates the soon-to-come dust-cloud!

I am, once more, reminded of yet another spin-off from this tale, again decades later, channeling this scene with comic resonance. From Shamus’ great, great spoof “DM of the Rings”, ep. 133:


”Those who still ride with the King of Twodor will live forever in song and legend! The rest may go."
It is said that the dustcloud did not settle for many days after.
Y. This. This is PERFECT. Death-dealing hangovers. Ruined billboards. Those sent to return the stragglers, not returning themselves. The demotivational speech.
The dustcloud.
I love it.

Perfect – agreed. How it should have been, even in the real thing. Nursing a whopper, indeed.

And may I join them now, after a marathon like this? Excellent post, dernwyn, thanks for the memories once again.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
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Kimi
Forum Admin / Moderator


May 23, 11:01pm

Post #3 of 11 (1325 views)
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Dipping a careful toe [In reply to] Can't Post

in waters unfamiliar (I've never read BOTR, but why let that stop me?)

Forced I was to amputate (and given the purported diagnosis of water on the brain... yes, well) made me think (as well as the classic scenes of 40s and 50s scenes that Squire mentioned) of the infamous scene in "King's Row" with the sadistic doctor and the famous line, "Where's the rest of me?", which is also related to thwarted romance.

Kudos for keeping this occasional series going, Dernwyn!


The Passing of Mistress Rose
My historical novels

Do we find happiness so often that we should turn it off the box when it happens to sit there?

- A Room With a View


sador
Half-elven


May 27, 8:14am

Post #4 of 11 (1112 views)
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"Great hordes of the North wildly (whatever). Roi-tan had come at last" [In reply to] Can't Post

A. A little smokers' humor here, with the black cloud from the smudgepots being dispersed with a health warning! That note had not been on cigarette packs for long at this point, the first time it appeared was 1966.
As early as that? Over here I think it only appeared much later.
Of course, todays smudgepots would come with a warning: OIL BURNING MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO THE CLIMATE.

B. Ever hear the sound effect of those metal sheets? Just a couple can set up a pretty nice rumble.

Quote
"At that moment the rock quivered and trembled beneath them. The great rumbling noise, louder than ever before, rolled in the ground and echoed in the mountains. Then with searing suddenness there came a great red flash. Far beyond the eastern mountains it leapt into the sky and splashed the lowering clouds with crimson. In that valley of shadow and cold deathly light it seemed unbearably violent and fierce. Peaks of stone and ridges like notched knives sprang out in staring black against the uprushing flame in Gorgoroth. Then came a great crack of thunder."


- The Stairs of Cirith Ungol

C. The release of pigeons is a nice effect. Not doves, but - pigeons. They probably headed straight to the streets of Minas Troney.

Quote
Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye.
Four and twenty blackbirds,
Baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened
The birds began to sing;
Wasn't that a dainty dish,
To set before the king.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRtpRz6fOww

D. Note that all directions are covered, easy to do when the city is a mound in the midst of a plain, but they'd have to go long distances roundabout to get lined up! Dwarves from the north, Roi-Tanner berserkers from the south. From the east, the band of Green Toupées and the host of Elves (never underestimate sharp fingernails!). From the west...well, no doubt Arrowroot and his party's strategy was their inconspicuousness.
Or perhaps the King of the Dead was less than impressed.

E. Information on warbadgers is sparse. They appear in fantasy gaming, or as legendary "were-badgers".

Quote
“That’s just like the weasels; they’re to stop comfortably in the banqueting-hall, and have feasting and toasts and songs and all sorts of fun, while we must stay on guard in the cold and the dark, and in the end be cut to pieces by bloodthirsty Badgers!"

- Wind in the Willows, chapter XI


6. That's a rather un-spectacular end for the Lord of the Nozdrul, considering what happened to his counterpart in LotR!
Why not? Especially if he accompanied it by words such as:

Quote
Caesar, now be still:
I kill’d not thee with half so good a will.



7. I'm imagining the gulls converging on the airborne Nozdrul as if they were cast-off fish-and-chips. "Mine!Mine!Mine!"
From high culture, to somewhat less high!

Quote
And I ran, I ran so far away
I just ran, I ran all night and day
I couldn't get away

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIpfWORQWhU

8. Now why didn't the Dwarves of Erebor think to use rubber-tipped arrows on Smaug?
Contrary to the propaganda, Dwarves actually are notoriously slow. It took them seventy-six long years, until in 2013 they actually came up with a similar plan, in The Desolation of Smaug.

9. Ah, our bold Wizard and brave Arrowroot.

Quote
From below the table rose a sharp, barbed blade. Stomper leaped up.
"Oh Dragonbreth! Gilthorpial!" he yodeled, waving his cleaver around like a madman. He lunged at the nearest wraith with his unwieldy sword. "Banzai!" he screamed. "No quarter asked or given! Damn the torpedoes!" Taking a vicious swipe, Stomper missed his mark by a good yard and tripped on his scabbard.
The nine stared at the writhing, foaming maniac with round, red eyes. The sight of Stomper filled them with awe. They stood speechless. Suddenly one of the stunned creatures began to titter, then chuckle. Another guffawed. Two more joined in, chortling loudly, and finally all nine were in the throes of hysterical, side-aching laughter. Stomper, puffing and enraged, stood up and tripped on his cape, spilling his silver bullets all over the floor. The whole dining room roared with unbelieving hilarity. Two Nozdrul collapsed to the ground, helplessly giggling. Others staggered about, great red tears rolling down their scaly cheeks, gasping for air and incapable of holding their maces. Haw haw haw! Stomper got to his feet, his face beet-red with anger. He lifted his sword, and the blade fell off the handle. Haw haw haw haw haw! The Nozdrul rolled and writhed on the ground, clutching their ribs. Stomper replaced the blade, took a mighty wind-up, and firmly embedded the point in the cement pig. HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW!



J. A very clever way of dispensing with narc bodies! But who's going to do the giftwrapping, and what will they use? The poor postal workers...
Eorache is an Amazon, is she not?

K. Hosing down the stained ramparts! Love the image that evokes. I wonder if dragon tastes like chicken.
I'm not sure that is quite proper. You see,

Quote
The Royal Cook has already made the Dragon's Tail for that Christmas, being a who believed in getting things done in good time. It would not do at all to offend him by bringing in a real tail at the last minute. He was a very valuable servant.


L. Although Elladan and Elrohir did not die in battle, the names Handlebar and Hersheybar make a good parody of Tolkien's alliterative nomenclature.
At first, I thought it was a spoof of Halbarad; but then I noticed that Herefara and Herubrand would make better candidates.

M. Alas, the poor monocles! Legolam's sprained left pinky seems a somehow fitting wound-parody for Legolas's apparent invulnerability. Gimlet's "mackintosh" is not so grisly when one remembers Beorn's "trophies". Comments on the other injuries?
Gimlet's trophy reminds me of Queequeg trying to sell his head.
But of course, Pepsi and Moxie losing a bit of their earlobes, suggests that they went to battle wearing their silly-looking plastic face masks. In times such as those, you cannot be too careful.


14. Well, this is quite a reversal of Tolkien!
A bit exaggerated, but not so much:

Quote
'And here in the House of Elrond more shall be made clear to you,' said Aragorn, standing up. He cast his sword upon the table that stood before Elrond, and the blade was in two pieces. 'Here is the Sword that was Broken!' he said.
'And who are you, and what have you to do with Minas Tirith?' asked Boromir, looking in wonder at the lean face of the Ranger and his weather-stained cloak.



15. And we have another fine parody of Tolkien's nomenclature.
As squire pointed out, it is not the first time.

16. "for there are many wounds that I would heal" certainly sounds like it's straight out of LotR, but the phrase is nowhere to be found in that book.
In the context of meeting Farahslax - I expect Arrowroot's feelings go along the lines of:

Quote
I'd rather be a hammer than a nail,
Yes I would, if I only could -
I surely would.



Q. If Goodgulf had not given the "attack signal", who would have? Or would anyone have?
Well, if we accept squire reading of the "release of pigeons" - there was only so long it could have been postponed...

R. I had thought the Vee-Ates demise was inspired by the vampire rabbit in "Bunnicula", but James Howe published that ten year later, in 1979. He must have been a BotR fan!
Well, I never heard of "Bunnicula" before; but Beard and Kenney were to early to read Watership Down either.
I was reminded of the huge rabbits sent by the Black Rabbit of Inle, in chapter 31.

S. "Stomping a boot"! Whence comes of course the nickname "Stomper".
I wish he wouldn't do it that often. He might break a spur.

T. The plastic stethoscope, necessary component of every child's "doctor" kit! You can actually hear pretty well through those things.
Well, I said nothing of Kehaar, but here I must make a second reference to Watership Down, and El-ahrairah masquerading as a doctor in ch. 15, "The King's Lettuce".


21. The feast scene is obviously based on the authors' frat parties. I remember using twisted crepe paper strung bleacher-to-bleacher to make our gymnasium look "classy".
Well, I never was in a frat party.
But I wonder if Pepsi and Moxie actually danced on the table (like in the film-scene at Meduseld), and sand the national anthem of the Sty, We boggies are a hairy folk?

22. That simple phrase speaks volumes: "Forced I was to amputate." The rest is best left to the imagination. Or not.
How does one amputate a bump on the head???
Better not ask.


W. Magnavox, the amalgam of Mablung and Damrod! Not quite the Last Debate, is it.
It probably would be the last, I think.
I mean - this one would surely teach them.

I must also point that they authors remembered the black nose-patch of the squealing Magnavox from the previous chapter.

X. What did Goodgulf expect? That Arrowroot would abdicate his hard-won crown? Never challenge a drunk king!
Either torpid disinterest, or something along the lines of

Quote
We hardly need the strength of thirty
When we can win by playing dirty.

But I guess he did not remember that the dumkopf vould do anything to melt der heart of a fraulein, I thinking.


25.This. This is PERFECT.
Death-dealing hangovers.


Quote
praying for their fate to be quick, painless, and, if possible, someone else's


Ruined billboards.
Like the fallen king in Journey to the Cross-roads.

Those sent to return the stragglers, not returning themselves.

Quote
For I need you not, nor your little band of gallopers, as swift to fly as to advance

- The Voice of Saruman

The demotivational speech.

Quote
A day may come when the courage of Men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship...


The dustcloud.

Quote
All we do,
Crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see
Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind


I love it.
So do I!

Thank you, dernwyn - and who knows, I might go back sometime to your previous post!

Thinking about things I don't understand


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 7, 7:02pm

Post #5 of 11 (937 views)
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*digs down* [In reply to] Can't Post

A. That is the biggest problem with this chapter: it tries to condense too much into too little space. But at this point the authors were no doubt in the we've-gotta-hurry-and-finish-this-turkey stage.

B. But it's EPIC stagecraft and fakery! Laugh (For some reason this is reminding me of a Doonesbury cartoon, but I'm not sure which one.)

C. Ooh! That second meaning of "release of pigeons" had never occurred to me!

D. Good point about the compass directions spoofing Tolkien's "moral geography". I like that term.

E. I'd found "war badgers" references in some online games...hm, can't re-find them now, all Google is giving me is beer ads. I remember there was one in WoW.

F. Agreed, for proper impact that scene should not have been cut back-and-forth to.

G. Ah, the return to Fergus! I'd forgotten about the inscription. Very prophetic.

H. They never did get around to writing Valley of the Trolls, did they. A parody title whose significance has long since passed.

I. Good point, some slapstick Stomper would have worked well here.

J. Another thing that slipped my mind: that "postage is prepaid"! Perfect here, then.

K. It's too bad the Vee-Ates didn't show up here, that "ghastly salad" description was clever.

L. We do get an "eor-ful" of those names!

M. I figure that Goodgulf probably got the injury while trying to get himself out of the diving suit.

N. Hey, that's right, there's no mention of Frito and Spam at all up to this point!

O. By this point, they may have figured that no one would remember Stomper's earlier pedigree anyway. Or they themselves probably forgot about it. Similar to Tolkien forgetting Thorin's lineage, leading to a mis-labelled map of Erebor, which required him to come up with an explanation for the seemingly wrong name on it.

P. Meanwhile Eorache is oblivious to the confrontation between those two! Delightful.

R. My kids were big Bunnicula fans. Who can't love a sequel titled "The Celery Stalks at Midnight"?

T. Hm, that's right, there's a drop-off in the number of cultural references the further along this gets. Lack of inspiration by this point, maybe?

U. Animal House is the classic! All of us who have experienced campus life know how unbridled some students get once they're no longer under parental controls.

V. No! Not that enter-the-hero scene at Helm's Deep! (I prefer Legolas' "You look terrible.")

W. "Last Debauch" - love it!

X. I LOVE DM of the Rings! Hoo boy, now I'm going to be spending too much time reading it again.

Y. Thanks for adding to the pile - er, chiming in!


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

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 7, 7:07pm

Post #6 of 11 (935 views)
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Thanks, Kimi! [In reply to] Can't Post

I've never seen King's Row, and now I'm not sure I want to (I get squeamish watching things like that!), so thank you for the warning!

You've never read BotR? It's short, it's readily available, and it will ruin your concept of Tolkien forever! Well, maybe not the latter, entirely. But it is full of '60s Americanisms, so many of the references might be too obscure!


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

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"


Solicitr
Gondor


Jun 7, 8:24pm

Post #7 of 11 (937 views)
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For [In reply to] Can't Post

anyone unfamiliar with the style of humor of the old Lampoon while Beard and Kenney were the editors, I give you "Deteriorata:"


Quote
You are a fluke of the universe. You have no right to be here.
Deteriorata. Deteriorata.

Go placidly amid the noise and waste,
And remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
Avoid quiet and passive persons, unless you are in need of sleep.
Rotate your tires.
Speak glowingly of those greater than yourself,
And heed well their advice, even though they be turkeys.
Know what to kiss, and when.
Consider that two wrongs never make a right, but that three do.
Wherever possible, put people on hold.
Be comforted that in the face of all aridity and disillusionment,
and despite the changing fortunes of time,
There is always a big future in computer maintenance.

You are a fluke of the universe.
You have no right to be here.
And whether you can hear it or not,
The universe is laughing behind your back.

Remember The Pueblo.
Strive at all times to bend, fold, spindle, and mutilate.
Know yourself.
If you need help, call the FBI.
Exercise caution in your daily affairs,
Especially with those persons closest to you -
That lemon on your left, for instance.
Be assured that a walk through the ocean of most souls
Would scarcely get your feet wet.
Fall not in love therefore. It will stick to your face.
Gracefully surrender the things of youth: birds, clean air, tuna, Taiwan.
And let not the sands of time get in your lunch.
Hire people with hooks.
For a good time, call 606-4311. Ask for Ken.
Take heart in the bedeepening gloom
That your dog is finally getting enough cheese.
And reflect that whatever fortune may be your lot,
It could only be worse in Milwaukee.

You are a fluke of the universe.
You have no right to be here.
And whether you can hear it or not,
The universe is laughing behind your back.

Therefore, make peace with your god,
Whatever you perceive him to be - hairy thunderer, or cosmic muffin.
With all its hopes, dreams, promises, and urban renewal,
The world continues to deteriorate.
Give up!

You are a fluke of the universe.
You have no right to be here.
And whether you can hear it or not,
The universe is laughing behind your back.

You are a fluke of the universe.
You have no right to be here.
And whether you can hear it or not,
The universe is laughing behind your back.


(The author was Christopher Guest, excuse me, the Right Honourable Christopher Haden-Guest, Baron Haden-Guest (The Princess Bride, This is Spinal Tap, A Mighty Wind, Best in Show)).


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 7, 10:04pm

Post #8 of 11 (921 views)
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"There is always a big future in computer maintenance" [In reply to] Can't Post

Prophetic words, those.

What a paean to the '60s - early '70s that was! Been a looong time since I last heard that...on my transistor radio. Laugh


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

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"


squire
Half-elven


Jun 8, 1:29am

Post #9 of 11 (902 views)
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I remember that - from National Lampoon's 'Radio Dinner' comedy record album [In reply to] Can't Post

And it was a poster too, I think, on many a dormitory wall in the mid-70s.

The funny thing for me was, being one of the younger Boomers, I had missed the original work that 'Deteriorata' is mocking: Desiderata, a profound-sounding but banal essay/poem from the early 20th century. A 1971 recording of it had been a hit among the more serious/idealistic hippies the year before.

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, 1948

It does kind of beg to be spoofed, much like a certain heroic fantasy epic very popular in the same years. But 'Deteriorata' came out of the National Lampoon, the national magazine that Beard and Kenney (the BotR writers) founded with a few other wits after graduating from Harvard. They didn't write 'Deteriorata', they just published it. Tony Hendra wrote it, and Christopher Guest wrote the music for the audio production heard on 'Radio Dinner'.



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


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Solicitr
Gondor


Jun 8, 4:42am

Post #10 of 11 (889 views)
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Quite right [In reply to] Can't Post

I goofed above; Lord Haden-Guest wrote the music, not the words; those were indeed Tony Hendra (Ian the band manager in Spinal Tap).

Sheesh, must be showing my age if I just assumed everybody was familiar with Desiderata. Belongs to an era when if you wanted to watch something on the TV, you actually had to wait for a particular day and time.......


(This post was edited by Solicitr on Jun 8, 4:42am)


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 8, 12:20pm

Post #11 of 11 (855 views)
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One more into the fray... [In reply to] Can't Post

A. The smoking warning probably took a while to cross The Pond. Climate warning? Good point! Back when this was written, few gave a thought to such things, even when we daily awoke in our dorm rooms to the stench of the mill-factory river only a mile away. Tongue

B. Very nice, comparing this to the ride-out of the Witch King!

C. Probably more than 24 pigeons in this "pie"! (My own kids loved the "snipped off her nose" line in that poem, especially if conveyed with the appropriate hand motion.)

D. The authors missed some great parody by skipping those chapters!

E. Why is it that badgers get all the bad rap in children's literature!

6. Shakestoor it ain't.

7. Great elephants, how did you find that?

8. I actually like much of DoS, a lot better than cowardly Dwarves cringing in a cave!

9. Yeah, the authors could have had a lot of fun describing Stomper's antics here.

J. Touche! Points for Sador! They used Eorache's Amazon connection!

K. And thus Chrysophylax was spared from the question, "Do you feel like dinner?".

L. Fortunately Tolkien did not retain the name "Teleporno". The authors would have had a heyday with that. (And the book might have gotten banned.)

M. Call me Ishmael...

14. Well, Boromir wasn't too sure of Aragorn at first, but he was subtle about it!

15. Nor the last.

16. He'd rather be a forest than a street?

Q. What's funny, is that no one had told anyone in the city about an attack signal. I can see the rescuers all standing around the fringes of the battle, just waiting...waiting...waiting...Probably until the pigeons got antsy enough that their release was required.

R. Oh, Watership Down! I've got to re-read that. Classic.

S. Or does stomping a boot spur him on to action?

T. Definitely gotta re-read that book. I've forgotten too much of it.

21. I was never at a frat party either, in fact my small college had no frats or sororities, but our Music Committee (or whatever our title was) did some wild stuff. Tongue
Love the idea of Moxie and Pepsi doing the table dancing.

22. Nope. Best to not know. Maybe like Aragorn did to that Orc at the end of FotR?

W. The idea of a nose-patch reminds me of Tycho Brahe.

X. Ja.

Y. Hey, I've got "Dust in the Wind" on my mp3 pod! Very popular to those of us feeling the effects of the end of Vietnam.

Thanks for hanging in there, sador!


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

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"

 
 

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