Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Teal Worm: Regulating Become The Final Blue Lake Bean!

I was looking out the window this morning at my obnoxious willows, remembering how just the night before I'd had to knock them back again, and not looking forward to having to rake up and break down the leafy mess today, either. That was when the thought crossed my mind that the Elves of Middle Earth-particularly the ones living in Lorien-must have spent 3/4 of their doomed yet beautiful lives raking leaves. Seriously. When they weren't wafting around in their designer sneakers reflecting on how much better than everyone else in Middle Earth they were, they must have been dealing with some fairly serious compost issues.

Frankly, it'd serve them right. The elves had a really annoying attitude. Every time someone needed help they had to bitch and plead and coax and flatter up the stupid elves until they'd deign to lend a hand, but oh hell yes if the ELVES said 'Jump' you better ask 'how high'. So I like to think of Galadriels husband out grousing and sweating, riding the lawn mower around the Naith. Of course I like to think of Galadriel crouched up on her flet beaning passers-by with water balloons too. I would have.

Still, someone must have been doing the landscaping. Lorien and Rivendell seemed pretty well maintained. The Mirkwood elves were just a disgrace, though. Their woods were all dusty and infested full of cobwebs and sticks and pine cones and deer crap all over the place. Then some random shadow of evil comes along and and blots out the sun and all the animals turn black and the water turns into Lunesta; hell, they don't care. Why should they? They've a bunch of alcoholics. They don't drink water. They've got a castle full of wine. They only go outside at night to have bonfire keggers so they could care less about some lingering shadows.* It never occurs to them to sneak out of frame and do a little landscape maintenance like the other elves (because it wouldn't do to be seen actually sullying ones hands, of course. They're ELVES.)

Anyone that does yard work in Middle Earth seems to get treated like a high-functioning tard, though. Farmer Maggot ends up with the entire Nazgul coterie tearassing through his magic mushrooms and nobody even offers to hold a damn box lunch social for the man afterward. And forget poor Samwise Gamgee. Sam gets totally shafted. He puts up with Frodo's increasingly useless ass halfway across the continent, risks his life numerous times, and in the end what does he get? Jingly Jack Snot is what he gets. "Oh, yes, well, ahem....I mean, of course you did manage the entire expedition, tote luggage, cook all the meals, go hungry, fight monsters, and finally carry Frodo AND THE RING up the side of Mt. Doom just so he could punk out at the last moment, but, um....see...that doesn't count, exactly. No, Frodo was the designated RingBearer. HE gets to sail off to Club Med. You were just the kitchen bitch."

What he did get, was he got to see the last of Frodo, which I'll bet was more than a small relief. After all that whining and complaining and fainting and staggering around muttering about giant eyeballs and being a useless pain in the ass, once he's finally back home Frodo basically sits there like a bowl of cold oatmeal and plays that 'Ah me, I am a broken, broken man' shit for all it's worth. It's a beautiful day, but he's all huddled up next to the fire with the blinds drawn sipping weak tea and milk and please flump up my pillow and would you mind picking up my newspaper it fell on the floor there. Meanwhile Sam's outside pulling Frodos' weeds and mowing Frodos' lawn and you notice how there's never any mention of him drawing a paycheck for any of this either. You know Sam was thinking "Holy shit, get over yourself already. Is it really that bad? You're the best connected Hobbit in history; I mean geeze, hit up Gandalf for some magic powder or something. Seriously."

And the older I get the more this bothers me. For some reason it seemed perfectly reasonable when I was a kid; well, Sam was a devoted servant, right? So naturally he was satisfied with a pat on the head. Now that I'm older I can see what a fantasy of the entitled classes this crap actually was. What I would really like to see is someone write "The Further Adventures of Samwise Gamgee: The Quest For Back Pay". Or maybe "Samwise Opens a John Deere Dealership In Laurelindorian and Refuses To Accept Credit" because you totally know the elves would try and pay him off with fruit and magic vials and shit. But Sam would say "Cram it up your beautiful doomed ass, bucko."

Lengthy digression:
As long as I'm on the subject, what the hell was up with Tom Bombadil? Yes, I read the Silmarillion, I know all that. But I mean, what was he on? One minute he's being all intense and cryptic and acting like an asshole, and the next hes Mr. Rogers on acid, dipshitting around all over the landscape like he's forgotten to take his Ritalin.
This was possibly the stupidest, most annoying character in the entire Trilogy. I may be the only person alive who thinks this too. Everyone else just loved him. I thought he was a mental case.

Everyone with a little unexplainable 'extra income' back in the early 70's invested in a tavern and named it T. Bombadils** and they were always, invariably, without fail, PURE HIPPIE SUCK. I swear to God there must have been a hundred Tom Bombadil-themed taverns all over Portland and they were all draped in asparagus fern and barn board and served lousy sandwiches on whole wheat bread that had too many alfalfa sprouts on them. They all sold Red Hook beer and Heineken and Guinness and nobody ever drank it. One place up around 20th and Burnside even went so far as to have lovely murals with 'Fayre Ladie Goldeberrie' and 'Thom Bombadil' yeeeech it is to cringe. You'd expect a place like that to be full of lovely flower children, but you'd be wrong. Nobody but secretaries ever went to these places and they all died slow, lingering deaths. The places, not the secretaries.
*The Mirkwoodians had a really shitty-ass attitude in general, though. You say a dragon is attacking? Sucks to be you, huh. Oh wait, its attacking our WINE SOURCE? Well why didn't you say so Holmes? Hand me my trebuchet-oh wait, giant diamond? You'll have to excuse us for a second while we go chase down that shit.

*Or something totally 'offbeat corporate wacky' like Clinkerbunker, Buggerasshole and Frinks, or Mr. Boppies Electric Turtle Prison Ltd. or some shit like that. Again, always full of secretaries, these places. Portland was a really strange, sad place in the early 70's.


  1. Damn right. Firstborn's reading the Fellowship of the Ring right now, and I'm just waiting for the chance to bring up the class issues. Maybe in the car, when he can't get away from me.

  2. I think the elves had a sweet deal with cities up in the trees. Just sweep the leaves and debris off over the edge and it'd be clean and shiney.
    I never thought about the ground and raking tho. I think it's for the gnomes to look after.

    Up until I was bout 5 my brother had me convinced that there were cities of gnomes that lived under the trees and grass that put out the leaves in the spring, changed their colours in the fall and then tucked them away for the winter.

    I was a gullible little sod.

  3. alala: I know. And i keep trying to remind myself 'hey, its just a wonderful story, take it as it comes' but i've always had a hard time with that whole relationship there. I'd have left Frodo sit by the side of the road the first time he acted up. yeah, cook your own damn dinner, asshole.

    geo: they lived in the middle of an aspen grove, by the way it sounded. you'd be sweeping leaves almost constantly. and there'd be all crud dropping in your food and stuff all the time. that whole 'bringing the outdoors in' design theme only works in a mild climate.


    Secondly, the whole point of Sam was to be a new kind of hero that would undermine the Norse/Germanic concept of the superhero who conquers through strength. Sam was meant to be a hero who triumphed because he embodied Christian values, specifically perfect Christian* lurve.

    And thirdly, he does get something in the end: he gets to boink Rosie Cotton! And make fat little, curly-toed hobbit babies with her! Which actually kinda proves that he is the real hero of the book and not Frodo, because we all know that it's the hero who gets the girl in the end.

    *slightly homoerotic

  5. cb: that given, still....a check would have been nice, too. maybe a new car. and you don't know that the Western Lands weren't full of hot naked hobbit broads and single malt whiskey either. it still comes out the same: Frodo gets to whine and pee and act like a little puke and he gets rewarded; Sam does ALL the work and takes ALL the responsibility toward the very end and gets kiss my ass and would you please trim back the hedges. ( like apsaragus ferns too.)

  6. and asparagus ones. crap.

  7. What happened to the secretaries?

    Don't just leave us hanging.

  8. oh man you are so confusing

  9. What was with that lembas crap?

    It's a leaf for fuck's sake. It's not even a coaca leaf, or a cannabis leaf, just a leaf that boosts your energy like a glucose tablet.

    No chicken madras in Middle Earth, no kebabs, no enchiladas.

    I'd have been so hungry I'd have eaten an elf.

  10. Very pretty words ya got going on there!
    Yes, I was in your neck of the woods this last week. But I was kept so busy - SO BUSY. And being incredibly sad I probably would have forced you to push me under a bus. I will be back and in better spirits. I promise!

  11. Oh come on, I liked Tom. Figured he was on acid all the time or something, and I never could find out just what.

  12. mj: they all ordered cream cheese bagels and cream of cream soup with a side order of sour cream and a Diet Pepsi and weigh 300 lbs now and are considering gastric bypass surgery.

    SSA: oh quit being so linear you engineer you.

    garfy: i thought the lembas was a biscuit thing that was wrapped in the leaf. in any event it didn't sound terribly exciting. and i bet elves made very tough, stringy eating.

    gale: you looked pretty good though, judging from the pictures. see ya next time then!

    joeVegas: yeah,and he had a cool house too I have to admit, but he was kind of a dick, too. I liked Goldberry. I liked the evil willow tree. I liked the Barrow wights. Him, not so much.

  13. I totally agree with you on Tom Bombadil. Best thing Peter Jackson did was cut him out.

    I was not aware of the tavern phenomenon, however. Now I will have nightmares.

  14. The story of sam and Frodo could just as well be Me and Mr C and the quest for the cafe :-)