i Nili o i Ardanole Newsletter:

Your source for Lord of the Rings News, Updates, Poetry, Art, Parody and Satire.


Issue 33, Volume 2, July 23rd, 2004.

Editors: Perian, Xara. 
Primary Reporter: Ivy.
Chief Correspondent: Prongs.
Local Commentator: Rob Stames.
Contributor(s): Lady Morrigan Shadow, Nienna.

In this issue:
If Hobbits Ruled the World... by Xara.
Disturbances in the Story by Perian.
Originality Impossible? by Xara.
Pain by Prongs.

In every issue:
Fanfiction: This Fortnight: Frodo's Correspondance With the Modern World by Xara.
Ivy's Newsletter Trivia.
Xara's Random Fandom.
Ask Samwise.
Comings and Goings at i Nili o i Ardanole by Rob Stames.
Tolkienish, provided by Perian.

Find past archives at http://inili.iwarp.com/

See your name in print! Contribute! Use the form on the site, or send your submissions to Perian@frontiernet.net

If Hobbits Ruled the World...
By Xara
This is but my own hummble opinion, I know I don't speak for everyone.
  "What is so wrong with the world today?" That is a very common question. When you look around, some things just don't seem to be logical. Like the cigarette packets that have in bold letters "SMOKING KILLS" and just beneath this chilling message the price to buy a packet of these lethal rolls of paper. Or the fact that everyone moans and moans and moans about whoever it is in charge of government and then goes right ahead and votes them back in again because the sad truth is there's no one better? A lot of it just doesn't seem to make sense. And it's at such times when I am reflecting on such things that I wonder to myself, "What if hobbits ruled the world?"
  Well, what if they did? You might say they'd be terrible at it, but I think they might have some positive contributions to make. For instance, they could introduce some "plain hobbit sense" into government. Apart from the importance of food, have you ever heard a hobbit express an illogical piece of advice? Like, "Theoden, sit here and rot while your country is overrun by mindless Uruk-hai." Or, "Gandalf, let's go over to the evil side and help him in every way we can so that we can defeat him." Does that sound like the talk of a modern day politician to you? Because if it does, perhaps we really should start considering getting some hobbits in here.
  If hobbits ruled the world, we might safely assume that there would be no famine. If hobbits ruled all the world, perhaps there would be less war as well. If hobbits ruled the world, there would certainly be more conservation. If hobbits ruled the world, we might even assume that they could bring a little more logic. If hobbits ruled the world, breeches would come back in fashion. I know ruling the world is a whole lot harder than ruling a small corner of Middle Earth, but look at how happily the Shire worked as a community ruled by hobbits? Was it because the hobbits never ran into any problems? Certainly not! They had their fair share of wolf invasions and roof-collapses and evil-wizard dictatorships. Was it because the hobbits were sensible? I don't know about you, but I think so.
  Us humans have ruled the world for almost 6000 years now, and this is the world we have to show for it. Time perhaps, to give the hobbits a chance, and let them show us whether or not they could do any better. I'd be willing to give them a test run, would you?

Disturbances in the Story
By Perian

  If you watch people long enough, especially if you are not in the most forgiving of moods, a number of tiny annoyances begin to pop up. Little things which shouldn’t make a difference, but do. For example, a few moments ago I caught sight of someone licking her fingers before each time she turned a page in a magazine. Often though I have seen this done, it still made me want to cry out, "Stop! Please! You’re making reading magazines in public places dangerous and repulsive!" Somehow that only made its way out as "Eeurgh, don’t lick the pages." It was met with a very befuddled "Huh?"
  These annoyances grow stronger the longer you are around a person. To quote musician John Lennon, "It’s because of you! You got the tambourine wrong, [and now] my whole life’s a misery!" Can you imagine how it must have been for the fellowship?
  Aragorn, being above caring about physical and hygienic appearance no doubt felt a serge of annoyance every time Legolas struck a pose with his Lorien longbow, tossing his cascade of clean hair out of his face with a flick of his head. This may be the reason Aragorn, despite his human limitations, strove to remain in front of the fleet-footed megalomaniac.
  The doting Samwise was able to bring even the patient Frodo to exasperation with his attentions. His "mothering" of the older hobbit combined with other factors to lead Frodo not to tell him when he decided to leave the fellowship. This must have been a peak time of Samwise-annoyance for Frodo, as when Samwise joined him, the meekamild Baggins burst out, "Of all the confounded nuisances, you are the worst!"
  The nuisance for Sam, on the other hand, was Smeagol. That simple, steadfast hobbit mind simply could not grasp or tolerate spying, sneaking, or sudden disappearances. He even named Smeagol’s personalities after the two traits which most bothered him - Slinker and Stinker. Of all the characters with annoyances, Sam was the most vociferous about them by far. There can be no doubt Gollum knew of Sam’s hatred of him, and this is what lead the creature to betray them.
  Boromir, though his sense of duty forced him to show only respect for his leader-in-exile, must have felt put-out by the fact that Aragorn neither acted like a king, nor seemed as comfortable around his fellow humans as around elves and hobbits. It isn’t hard to picture Boromir inwardly cringing as Aragorn greeted the Lothlorien elves in their own language. Remember, in Gondor and Rohan Lothlorien was looked upon as wood of sorcery and peril, overseen by a witch. Would someone who associated with such disreputable characters be Boromir’s first pick to usurp him as future leader of Gondor?
  Merry and Pippin spent so much time together that their grievances and friendly irks must have numbered in the hundreds. "You smoke too much." "Merry, you silly ass! Your pack was right here." "Why did you have to go and look into the palantir?" "You’re eating my food!" "Aah! Don’t put your feet in my faces when I’m trying to climb!" "I’m taller than you are." "I’m the eldest, and taller, so there." "Lead on, old one..." "Oh, go eat a pippin."
  Whether height or lack of beards was the more challenging of his companions’ qualities for Gimli to tolerate, they would both be rather repulsive. That is, until he met Galadriel. At that point all prejudices were thrown out of the Window to the West, as they say in Middle-earth.
  In fact, almost all the petty irritations were forgotten in the presence of rather larger ones. So, the next time someone begins to talk to you with his mouth full of food, or accidentally lets go the swinging door as you are walking through, remember that, well, at least it didn’t happen in Gorgoroth.

Originality Impossible?
By Xara
  When Lord of the Rings was published Tolkien was hailed as a genious. No one had ever seen anything like it before. JRR was hailed as the father of fantasy fiction! But were his works truly and utterly original? After 6000 years of civilization and countless thousands more of intelligent human life, with a current world population of around 7 billion people, is it possible that everything about his story was original? The answer is, of course, no! Tolkien was a genious, but he wasn't a miracle worker. The idea that his entire 1000 page literary work was completely original down to the last word is completely impossible. I'm not saying this to discredit Tolkien, but to present to you the truth of literary genious.
  The secret to the achievement of literary genious and masterpiece is not originality, as I've already demonstrated that's impossible. The secret is taking previously established ideas and concepts from many different places, and combining them in a way no one ever has before. Let me explain. In writing Lord of the Rings, Tolkien drew much inspiration from ancient mythology such as the epic poem Beowulf. He also drew on his own experiences in World War One, previous characters and ideas he established in The Silmarillion and the Hobbit, philosophies and morals from his religion and many, many more things besides. He certainly did not do a lot of it conciously as he despised allegory, but the influence was there. None of these things on their own were original, but combining them, and putting his own spin on them in his own context made them appear to readers in a form they had never seen before.
  Middle Earth is a completely unique creation of Tolkien's, but he didn't merely pluck it out of thin air, he drew on previous literature, ideas and concepts, added much of his own of course, and created something new. Try as we might, we cannot avoid being influenced by books we've read before, movies we've seen before, concepts we've been taught before and many other things besides. The trick is to build on previously established concepts and ideas, and make your own contribution to them rather than merely replicate and reproduce the same old same old, and in this way create something new. Tolkien was a master at doing this, and a true genious, he saw and understood what the world presented to him, used some of it, discarded other parts, added his own ideas and created a completely new genre in literature. How many people can say they've done that? But perhaps now we know how, so there's hope for all of us!

By Prongs
  Pain can come in all shape and form … physical pain from a wound, mental pain from tragedy. Not to be morbid or have a glass-is-half-empty mantra going on here but let’s face it, pain is something that all of us will experience at least once in our lifetime.
  The actors of the Lord of the Rings trilogy went through the whole spectrum of pain during the time that they were shooting the movies. Viggo Mortensen (of course I’ll start with him) was the star and the legend of this department. Not only did he chip his two front teeth during a sword fight, but he also broke two toes in an attempt to kick an Orc’s helmet far enough for Peter Jackson’s satisfaction. Orlando Bloom fans will remember that he crushed his ribs while riding a horse (and was teased about if for weeks on end afterwards – aha! Mental pain!). And poor Brent Beaty suffered an injured knee probably due to running around in a hundred pounds of armour for the better part of the year. On top of all the pain that they were already suffering, the three actors were made to run across the plains of New Zealand during the scenes in which they were trying to rescue Merry and Pippin. Yeah, that’s the idea eh? We are already hurting so let’s do something that will make us hurt some more …
  Sean Astin suffered untold amounts of pain when Andy Serkis pulled his curly, blond hobbit wig off his head by mistake ... although, in my opinion, most of that pain was mental … that was a tad embarrassing. He also suffered from mental pain after being teased for hours on end about his weight – everyone heave one big “AW”, eh? And speaking of Andy Serkis, he had to deal with hours upon hours of teasing about the white and blue lycra suits that he wore while playing Gollum – ah, the mental pain rears its ugly head again!
  Moving on from the actors, the Lord of the Rings characters went through their fair share of pain as well. Eowyn longed for the love of Aragorn … the love that he couldn’t give her ... Arwen endured heaps of mental pain when she was discouraged by those around her from living the rest of her life with the man that she loved (man, not elf). Sam went through oodles of grief when Frodo was attacked … once at Weathertop and again in Shelob’s Lair. Frodo was stabbed once by a Mordor blade and, as if that wasn’t enough to deal with, was stung by that giant ugly of a Shelob a few months later. Yeesh, what one has to go through in order to destroy a ring, eh? And of course, the entire Fellowship were devastated when the time came to part ways …
  Enough morbidity for one article though … the time has come to be upbeat and cheerful again. How do I do that? Er … only a few months left for the extended edition DVD … 4 hours of FUN! Yee-haw! Anyway, a shout out to all the members that have gone through crap, be it physical or mental – people care so drop them an email! A special shout out to my brother and Xara who both had their wisdoms removed, to V.G. and Tookie who’s knees are on the mend, to Paddy who has at least one injury weekly and to those who have suffered losses over the past few years. Feel better guys! Take care, God Bless. 
  Next week: a more cheerful article, I guarantee.

Tolkien and the Great War: Threshold of Middle Earth by John Garth
By Xara.

  "Tolkien and the Great War" is an indepth study of the life of JRR Tolkien between 1914 and 1918, with a good dollop of 1911 - 13 thrown in for good measure, and a tiny sprinkling of 1919 to garnish. It is a book that goes bravely where no biographer has but skated over before, World War One. At first glance, one would think that much of such an in-depth book into the life of a man who has been dead for many years, would be mere speculation and without real value, but the majority of this book is constructed on the correspondence between Tolkien and his close friends of the time, the TCBS. The book is dotted with large segments from letters, never before available to the public and huge chunks of Tolkien's early poetry.
  "Tolkien and the Great War" follows Tolkien and his close friends through their life-changing ordeals of World War One. Through the letters they write to one another, the reader gets to feel that they have known these men personally. This book focuses mainly on the TCBS, a band of four forged in the days when they were school boys at King Edward's school. These four boys truly believed that they could change the world, not with war or revolution, but in a cultural revolution, using their artistic talents, in Tolkien's case, his writing. This book follows them from their school days, to university, in and, unfortunately for some only, out of the war.
  Though perhaps not a page-turner, this is an absolute treasure trove for anyone with an interest in LotR and, more especially The Silmarillion and the Book of Lost Tales. Informatively written, highly fascinating, this book is an asset to the bookshelf of any Ringer wishing to further their knowledge and understanding of the man behind the Lord of the Rings, and influences on the telling of the greatest story of the 20th century, if not of all time.

This Fortnight: Frodo's Correspondence from the Modern World

The following account was originally written by Frodo Baggins for the Shire Times with the view of making a successful debut into journalism. The article however was rejected by all hobbit papers on the ground that it was too adventurous and preposterous for their paper and that every gaffer, farmer, squire and self-respecting hobbit in the Shire would have their heads if they ran it. It was therefore transferred to this newsletter and adapted for general viewing by Xara.

  My dear hobbits, I have been fortunate enough to secure a one-week position in the life of a 16-year-old school-goer in the year 2004. Xara, as she calls herself, has kindly allowed me to follow her around in exchange for my 'doing her homework' (whatever that could mean) and so I am provided with a unique oppurtunity among hobbits to experience life as a youth of the future. So excited!!

  Day One: I arrived shortly before lunchtime on Sunday with a ready pen and an empty stomach. My host showed me around the room in which I was to be staying (which is also her own room, she explained that this was a custom of teenagers in this age) and I was shocked and frightened to discover it was covered from head to foot with my face and the faces of my friends! I thought at first that I had fallen into a Sauron-spy-ring, until she explained to me that this was normal practice among her generation. I was much relieved but still a little alarmed, this is obviously a much stranger place than I had first imagined. Xara spent the rest of the afternoon alternating between reading a large heavy book and tapping on something she called a com-poo-ter and failed to have lunch for four hours and, worse, failed to offer me any! Eventually my stomach forced me beyond politeness and I had to enquire after it, to which she looked rather surprised and announced that she had forgotten to have it! How anyone could forget to have lunch is beyond me!
  After the late lunch she set me to the task of following their house cat named Fidget around to make sure that she did not 'escape' as Xara put it and 'terrorise the local environment.' I followed Fidget up the stairs and under beds and into the bathroom where we drank from a bucket full of soapy water (Fidget started it and I thought perhaps I should too as I was following her...it didn't taste very nice), and into a cupboard and then out again and down the stairs and underneath the dining room table and onto a lounge chair and into the kitchen until she finally turned around and I discovered she did not appreciate being followed, and I have the scars to prove it. After a modest and highly unsatisfying dinner we sat and watched a terribly exciting box with people inside it! It was all very fun until the people in the box started getting murdered by a person who must have been standing behind the box because you couldn't see him and I had to stand in front of the box with my sword to protect Xara and her parents from the man behind the box, but they seemed to be annoyed and kept trying to look past me. In the end the murderer behind the box was caught and me and Xara were sent to bed early as we had school tomorrow.
  I am to sleep on the floor next to Xara's bed. A mattress has been made for me out of many blankets piled on top of each other, which is not polite but I've slept on a ledge halway up an almost vertical rocky staircase so I'm not complaining, at least there's no chance of sudden death, unless that cat comes back during the night for another go at me. Then Xara tried to make me wear an old pink nightie as I had no pyjamas, but I said no thankyou I was fine, she seemed quite disappointed after that. This certainly is a strange place.

  Day Two: We were awoken at a most ungodly hour this morning by another box (I am beginning to becoming highly suspicious of all these boxes) that went 'beep' and that Xara said meant it was time we got ready to go. It was still dark outside so I explained to her that the beeping box must be mistaken and tried to go back to sleep but this seemed to greatly annoy her so in the end I yielded and got dressed and ready. We caught a bus, which is a huge box full of people with wheels to the school which was loud and uncomfortable. In the school, bells go off to announce when we must be going to class or break and everyone has their own timetable telling them where they must go when the bells ring. It is all too highly organised for my liking.
  I have learnt many things at my first day of school, and you would be surprised to find that they were not at all things you would expect to learn at a school like cooking and gardening or even reading and writing, everyone could already do that they said. They have lessons called Biology and Maths and English. I didn't understand how any of this would be useful once you left school but Xara told me it was all part of 'getting an education' and that the owning of this education was what people worried about rather than what knowledge the education actually involved. Strange concept. In Biology I learnt about how photos are synthesised (I know what photos are because Xara told me this morning, you get another one of these boxes and click a button on it and it flashes and makes an instant painting of you called a photo! Amazing!) though I didn't understand what flashing boxes had to do with leaves and sugar. And then in English the teacher talked to us for a very long time about the language features of poetry until even I, of all people, began to form the opinion that poetry was incredibly dull! I am horrified.
  Maths was by far the worst class today. The teacher gave us a sheet full of brackets and numbers and letters called algebra and told us to solve them. I didn't understand what it was that needed solving, so I took Xara's advice and put up my hand and asked the teacher and she began to explain the algebra to me, and it turned out that all the strange groups of numbers and letters had different names like binomials and trinomials and polynomials (which I had heard mentioned before and took to be a large bag of brightly coloured sweets, oh how wrong I was) and she wanted me to factorise some and simplify others and sqaure root the ones with the even smaller numbers and the more she explained it the more confusing it became until I pretended I'd heard a noise outside and ran out and hid behind a bin and didn't come out until the class was over.
  Then we caught the bus box back home and I offered to do Xara's homework as we had agreed. She seemed to think it wasn't such a good idea after all but I did insist so she gave me...ANOTHER full sheet of algebra!!! After that I fainted and didn't wake up until dinner time, and by then she had done it herself to my everlasting relief. I think if she doesn't mention the homework again I won't either. People who talk about the carefreeness of youth in this day and age have obviously never been to school! But Xara said it gets ten times more complicated and scary once you leave school! I am very tired and confused and must rest now. But before I sleep I think I shall negotiate a more reasonable waking hour with Xara, I'm sure she'll understand the importance of not rising until you only have just enough time for two breakfasts before elevenses once I explain things to her properly. The only thing that can and should be done in the mornings is eat breakfast, so there's really no need to get up earlier than that as it just wastes time.

  Day Three: Xara said she'd been getting up at that hour for eleven years and that I only had to do it for one week so to stop moaning. It wasn't quite the reply I had expected. I don't think people here are very rational. And so the beeping box woke us up again at the same time and we went through exactly the same routine and got on the same bus box with the same people and came to the same school and the bell went. Xara says it is a routine, I don't like it. This routine isn't much of the adventure I was expecting! Today my name was added to the 'B Roll' so they said at the office and so after the first morning bell rang I had to leave Xara who was on the 'D roll' and go to the 'B Roll Call'. In roll call we all sat in a classroom while a teacher read our names out and we had to answer. When the teacher read my name out some silly boys at the back laughed and pointed at me, though I can't think what right they had to make fun of my name with such strange names as Scott and David for themselves!
  After roll call I forgot which room Xara told me I was supposed to meet her in and got lost and ended up in a place they call the canteen! It was wonderful! I had obviously stummbled upon the school's food supplies! I promptly began to sample the produce, it was all very sweet, and after a while my teeth started to hurt in a strange way. Then a lady saw me in there and started shouting at me, it turns out the food wasn't for free after all, but how was I supposed to know that? Really! If they don't want people to eat the food they should put a sign there saying something like, 'Please don't eat the food!'. After that Xara came looking for me and took me to the music room.
  The music room was so loud I could not hear myself or anyone else speak. There were all these young men playing gee-tars (which is like a eucalele only much, much louder) plugged into more boxes which Xara explained to me on a notepad as I couldn't hear her were called amps. But they were all playing different songs so it didn't sound very good. I can't believe all the different boxes they have here! Their entire society seems to be founded on these boxes! Mostly black too. It's rather unsettling! I think I had rather underestimated the potential of the box before this time. I thought they were only good for storing things in, but obviously I have been much mistaken all these years!
  Luckily for me we did not have Maths class today but in Biology we each had to get up and make a speech about how photos are synthesised and I was the only one in the class whose speech did not earn a lolly-pop, but did earn a lot of laughter I am proud to say, though I wasn't trying to be funny. I felt persecuted and am convinced that teacher is an evil heightist and told her so, and then my suspicions were confirmed when she sent me out of the classroom for the rest of the lesson. After that we took Ancient History class where we learnt about how they dig cities out of the ground which I found fascinating! To think every modern building I have been in so far was found by the ar-key-olo-jists under the ground and dug out with special brushes!! Xara says I haven't quite grasped the concept yet but I think she was a little confused, she seemed to think the buildings in the ground were remnants of ancient societies, but what would those be doing in the ground I ask you? A very nice girl but sometimes I fear she is a little slow.
  We caught the bus box home but instead of doing homework spent most of the afternoon and the night typing on the com-poo-ter box and watching the tee-vee box. Xara said it was because she was entertaining me as her guest but I think it is because she didn't want to do the homework.

  Day Four: Me and Xara got into a lot of trouble today for not doing our homework. The heightist Biology teacher didn't believe Xara when she told her that we hadn't done it because an escaped criminal had been found roaming in our area and the whole street was evacuated, but I can't understand why as she had me convinced until I realised that nothing like that had happened to me last night. This time we were both sent out of the room and made to stay back during our lunch hour to complete it. The scandal!! Being made to miss lunch! At least when it was forgotten we made up for it later but to have to miss it altogether! I am appaled.
  After lunch we had to go to sport. Because I wasn't in any team I watched Xara's team play netball. Playing netball involved actually leaving the school and crossing the incredibly scary road outside the school which had all these miniature bus boxes zooming across it. Xara made me hold her hand and then we pressed a little box on a pole and a big box on a pole across the other side of the road flashed green and we walked, actually walked calmly (well, Xara did) across the road and, lived to tell the tale!! Then we walked down to a great flat grey thing called a court with some hoops on poles where there was another bus box full of girls from another school and then everyone started throwing a ball around on the court and shouting and trying to get it in the hoop, this seemed to be a very important part of netball because when it did go in the hoop half of them would cheer and the other half would sulk and start picking fights and then when the ball went in the hoop at the other end they would all switch rolls. They all wore these pleated skirts that flew up when they went for the ball. Netball seems like a strange game, but I liked it.
  After sport school was over but we did not go home on the bus box. Instead, Xara walked to the shops with her friends and called her mum and told her we had missed the bus box, even though it had stood there outside the school for five minutes waiting to pick us up. And then, while we were waiting to be picked up, we got to have slurpees, which are these wonderful huge cups of icy drink and doughnuts, which are these rings of tasty dough with pink icing, and looked in book shops with so many books I could have stayed there for days!! And 'seedy' shops with no seeds hundreds upon hundreds of small thin square boxes with peoples faces on them which Xara said we could listen to, but I don't understand how. And clothes shops, and Xara tried to make me try on a pink frilly skirt in the changing box at the back but I escaped and hid in one of the round clothes racks. But then a woman who was looking at clothes in the rack seemed to get a fright when I came out of it, and got angry and the shop owner made us leave. But how was I supposed to know she was there and would pull the shirts apart like that just as I was running out?
  After that we waited in a carpark full of the mini bus boxes that for once weren't moving until Xara's mum pulled up in a mini bus box of her own! We went home in it and it was much more comfortable and private than the bus box, which, Xara told me afterwards, was the reason we hadn't gone home in the bus box, but that if anyone asked, it was because the game of netball had gone on past the bell because the other team was late. All these different stories to remember are making things rather complicated, I may have to write them down soon to remember them all!

  Day Five: Today the two silly boys from the 'B' Roll Call were waiting for me when I came out to go to class, and wouldn't let me get past them. They kept stepping in my way which I thought was very rude and told them so, and then they apologised and let me pass, which I thought was good of them, but then when I was walking to the Music room they appeared out of nowhere on the walkway above me and poured a bucket of water over my head and then ran off laughing! I was completely soaked when I got to the Music Room and Xara took me to the office and made me describe them in detail to the deputy-principal, and then I had to find new clothes because I was shivering, but they didn't have any hobbit breeches so I had to wear a school uniform that was too big for me and was old and ugly and everyone laughed at me when I came back to the next class.
  Then in Ancient History I asked the teacher which ar-key-olo-jist had dug this school out of the ground and everyone laughed at me again and the teacher said I was being cheeky and sent me out of the room. After that the people in Xara's grade started to laugh at me when I walked past them and point and call out and so she took me to the library during breaks to seek peace and solitude. The amazing book shops I saw yesterday are nothing compared to the school library. Three levels split on either side with a large space rising three levels through the middle so that you can see every level full of shelves and tables and chairs and desks and squishy chairs and thousands and thousands of books! They even have a box in there that squirts out cold air! It cheered me up instantly and Xara took me around to choose some books that she said I could take home for free which was different to the book shop where you had to pay! But then she said I was only allowed to take three at a time which seemed unfair until she showed me how heavy my bag would be with the fifteen I wanted shoved into it.
  In the afternoon I nearly got run over by the bus box when I was trying to get one of my books which had fallen down the hole next to the road because someone had tripped me up when I was reading it as I was walking to the bus box stop. There are too many boxes in this place and big-people who laugh at things that are not at all funny, like when I wrote a poem about bath-time in English class and read it out to the class. After four days in school the chairs are still too big for me and I still do not understand algebra. And I still have to go again tomorrow. I think perhaps I will tell Xara I am sick, that ought to do it!

  Day Six: Xara did not believe me when I told her I had Anduinian River Fever and could not go to school, so I had to go back again, and the boys from the 'B' Roll Call were waiting outside for me again. They said they were going to throw me off the roof of the school so I threw a book at them, and it was a hardcover and hit one of them with the sharp corner on the head and he started bleeding and they ran away! I am a hero! Who needs swords when you have hard-covers?! But when I gave the book back to the library I got into trouble because of the blood-stains. But that could not darken my mood!
  When I finally reached class I was late again, so I had to go and stand outside. I don't see the logic of that, as doesn't that make me miss even more? But anyway, I didn't mind because it was Maths again. When I finally got to come back inside Xara told me solemnly that we'd been invited to a party. "A party?!" I said, "Great!" She didn't look like she agreed with me though. She seemed to be confused about why we in particular were invited, though I can't understand why, I am a hobbit which makes me interesting and she is my friend which gives her prestige, obviously we are both very popular amongst our classmates. In fact, by the way that they never speak to us, me in particular, I think we are quite reverred.
  In Biology I resolved to seek my justice and get the lollypop of which I was deprived on Tuesday. So as everyone was walking out of the classroom I ducked down pretending I had dropped a pen and hid under the desk. Success!! The teacher went out and I was alone in the room. With my hobbit stealth I crept low and soundlessly, much as uncle Bilbo approached the troll campfire, towards the desk and did a little burglaring of my own. I found the jar of lollypops, a large stack of blank merit certificates which I took the liberty of filling out for myself, and a copy of the test she had told us we would be sitting on Monday, or at least, everyone else would be sitting on Monday, because I won't be here! Hurrah! But I kept it anyway.
  The jar of lollypops was so big I still hadn't finished them, even though I had tirelessly devoted myself to their consumption all day, when we were getting ready for the party in the afternoon. I was very excited, I love parties! I asked Xara if there would be any fireworks. "Not unless someone spikes your drink." She said, and then she looked worried, "Actually Frodo, remember not to take any drinks from strangers won't you? And smokes for that matter." I was indignant! How can she tell me not to smoke at a party?! But she seemed to think that this was a different kind of smoking. In the end she stole my jar of lollypops and wouldn't give it back until I had promised. I'm just waiting now for us to get going, oh, she's calling! It's time to go! Hurrah!!!

  Day Seven: So.....tired....We didn't get up until after lunch today and I have been eating all afternoon to compensate. Apart from the fact that there was plenty of ale, that was not at all what I would call a party. There was a complete lack of dancing, instead people just stood around swaying in an odd sort of way waving their arms around. Most peculiar. The music was so loud I think my ears were nearly blown apart, although once I had had a few ales, or beers as they call them, I didn't notice so much. Finally around midnight I needed a break so I went into what I thought was a side room and turned out to be a brrom cupboard and saw two people doing unspeakable things, I'm surprised I wasn't blinded!! I have been scarred for life! I have been right to the heart of these modern teenager's culture and did not like it at all!
  After the broom cupboard episode Xara took me home saying she should never have brought me. I have grown suspicious again of all these modern boxes that go bing, it seems to me that underneath all their convenience they bring no good at all. I am writing this from back home in my cosy hobbit-hole, at Bag End, and although I was sorry to say goodbye to Xara, I was quite glad to leave the world of the Big People behind. Underneath all the bright lights and the weird and wonderful boxes it does not seem to be a very happy place. My trip has been absolutely the opposite to what I expected, but it certainly has been a learning experience. Now I think I must write a letter to King Elessar (my old friend you know!) warning him about boxes, especially ones that go bing. Goodbye!

Newsletter Trivia.

Still unavailable... With hope, you'll be able to test your mental skills next issue!

Random Fandom.
Xara: A penguin stops you to ask for directions to the Grinding Ice, unaware that the whereabouts of them have been lost to elven knowledge for millenia. How do you reply?
Nienna: I don't know what you're talking about, penguin, but I'll take you to the zoo. "You'll like the zoo little penguin, they'll treat you Aaaaaaaallllllllll respectable-like," as quoted from Billy Madison, lol!
Xara: After ditching you for a creepy guy with a fish fixation your best friend has been captured by orcs and is now imprisoned in a tower full of the stinking creatures awaiting the worst torture Mordor money can buy. You want to rescue him but there's a problem; you've just walked all the way from the Shire barefoot and your feet are already seeing that you get the worst torture Mordor money can buy too! What do you do?
Nienna: Try to rescue my friend anyway. Besides, orcs are HOT! If I get captured maybe I can get a date! Wooooooooooo!
Xara: You're in the middle of writing a great work of literature recounting your adventures, sitting by the Brandywine for inspiration, when Pippin accidentally knocks you in the river. You get out alright but your book is ruined, the ink is smudged and the pages are soggy! How do you punish Pippin?
Nienna: I'd tie Pippin to a tree, wax his feet, and dump all of his Longbottom Leaf into the river. The river ruined my book it can ruin his weed!

Ask Samwise.
  Dear Samwise,
  I'm a little nervous, you understand, about my wife. She's being interviewed for a newsletter, and she has said one or two things about me which, well, I would have preferred to be kept private, you understand. What should I do?
  Anonymous Reindeer
  Rudo- Er, Anonymous Reindeer,
  Best hurry over to the interviewer's smial with a frying pan.

  Dear Samwise,
  A funny thing happened to me when I was working last week. A nurse called me mature. Me of all people. My mouth dropped open in disbelief! Do you think she was smoking something or was she telling the truth? Opinions appreciated.
  Dear Prongs,
  Why shouldn't someone smoking be telling the truth? Oh, wait... Maybe she's a Took. As I see it she sees that part of you you don't see, see? Ooh, that made me dizzy.

Comings and Goings at i Nili o i Ardanole
By Robert Stames
  Life at the site has been dead over the past two weeks ... dead, dead, dead, dead, dead. Oh no, not through lack of interest by any means ... it's just that most of the members are away right now ... some have returned, but mathematically speaking, over 75% of the members are on leave ... but I'll get to them later.
  First, a loud I Nili WELCOME to henjennyftl! We wish you a pleasant stay and hope that you will credit many messages to your name.
  Next, an uproaring WELCOME BACK to Padfoot and Sam! You guys were missed, missed, missed!
  In the "We Are Missing You" section are Ivy, who is on an European holiday, Prongsie, who is studying hard for an upcoming exam, V.G. who is in physical therapy for her knee and Perian who is ... er, to be honest, I don't know what she is doing but Perian, we all miss you so do come back soon!
  Getting to members who are alive on the boards, Xara started school a week or so ago and just made a perfect score on her dreaded "Society and Culture" course! Nice job!
  Padfoot is seeing ghosts. LOL, that woke you up didn't it! Go check out the message boards. And while you're at it, post something.
  Angel had a slight scare when she discovered that she could not access her website anymore ... thankfully, that scare only lasted for a few days and everything is A-OK up in her heavenly abode.
  And on that happy note, I will leave ... just a few words of wisdom here: Don't go out into the sun without your sunblock and POST SOME MESSAGES ON THE BOARDS! Khairete.

POSITION VACANT: Balrog hunter. Hunters desperately needed for Balrogs R Us. Good pay, work outdoors, free life insurance included. Applicants please to send resume to xara229@hotmail.com.

FOUND: a huge iron gate painted bubble-gum pink. Looks like the gate was torn off its hinges and thrown in the Peru, N.Y. dump. Owner please claim as the colour is too loud for our liking.

PERSONALS: Tall, dark, handsome Man seeking companionship.  Must be short, with curly hair and big, hairy feet.  I enjoy long walks in the hills and bubble baths. Contact: sonofarathorn@gondor.gov

Of Places and Geological Features, Part XIII: (Key: q. = Quenya, s. = Sindarin, where known.)
romen (q.): (noun) east, uprising, sunrise. Romenna.
ruin (s.) runya (q): (noun) red flame. Orodruin.
sarn: (noun) small stone. Sarn Athrad, Sarn Ford, Sarn Gebir.
sir: (noun) river. Ossiriand, Sirion, Sirannon, Sirith, Minhiriath, Nanduhirion.

  Dear Editors,
  Nice job on that last issue ... it had the makings of a masterpiece! I particularly enjoyed "Hobbits Know How to Party" by Xara ... it's so true ... the only thing most people care about now-adays is being cool at parties ... who goes to a party to hang with friends anymore eh? Who goes to a party to relax ... if you can imagine, people are more uptight at parties than they are at work ... yeesh, to party like a hobbit ... mmmm

  Aye, they do. I often worry about what the dominant values of our society are becoming. It seems to me we have been robbed of something, though I am yet to identify specifically what...

  Dear Editor,
  Due to the epic proportions of my last letter I have decided to cut my comments, and send what I don't write here to the authors themselves. However I do have one or two things to share with you. Number one; the classified featuring Pippin and the 1/2 pint, COMIC GENIOUS! I don't know who wrote it, but I'd take my hat off to you, if I were wearing one! Truly, that was worthy of my hero, the great Douglas Adams himself! I haven't laughed that hard since my favorite program got axed!! HMPH!! Secondly, wow Peri-o, thanks for advertising my fan fic! Hehe, for once I am not the only one begging people to read my stuff...not that you were begging I mean...wait, I'll stop there before I embaress myself any further. All in all, great issue!
  Dear Xara,
  The highly applauded Pint Advert was written by none other than webmistress Lady Morrigan Shadow. Definitely a classic! Perhaps - well, I just had an idea. *Taps nose.* Hush, hush, staff business. I'll confer about it later. (Are you interested yet, everyone? Stay tuned.)
  Secondly, of course I would mention your fanfic! It's a tremendous bit of writing! To those you haven't read it, read it!

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