The following is a complement to my previously-appearing parody of Appendix A in the style of Bored of the Rings. This text is inserted before the original final chapter Be It Ever So Horrid. Some of the sentences in the first five paragraphs are “borrowed” from the original text, with new material interspersed. With the exception of this linking material, the entire chapter This Is The Way We Scrub Our Stye and the eight paragraphs of the revised chapter Be It Ever So Horrid are my own invention. The original text of Be It Ever So Horrid resumes at the end. As in my Appendix A parody, Hoggit and Hoggiton replace Boggie and Boggietown.
I feel that this ending and my parody of Appendix A serve to round out an otherwise complete parody of The Lord of the Rings. I hope you enjoy it.
Note on the spelling of names: Many of Tolkien’s names have diacritical marks over some of the vowels, like ' and ^. In the original, 7-bit ASCII text-only version of this parody, such vowels were represented by two characters, the vowel first, then the diacritic; thus Lu'thien Tinu'viel and Adu^naic. Since HTML can handle international character sets, in this version I have used the actual one-character representations; thus Lúthien Tinúviel and Adûnaic. If your Web browser can’t deal with the international characters (even text-only Lynx should be able to), you can view the original 7-bit ASCII version.
Unlike Bored of the Rings, I have adopted British spelling conventions throughout. If you find a Briticism that I’ve missed, please let me know so I can fix it.
So it was that the Great Ring was unmade and Sorhed’s power destroyed forever. Arrowroot son of Arrowshirt and Éorache were soon wedded, and everybody who was anybody in Lower Middle Earth attended the wedding. Gladwrapiel and Cellophane came, as did Orlon Half-Witted and his beautiful daughter, the Lady Arwench. At the reception, Goodgulf the Wizard blessed the newlyweds, prophesying that eight monocled and helmeted offspring would soon be smashing the palace furniture. Pleased by this unexpected news, the King generously made Goodgulf Wizard Without Portfolio to the newly-conquered Fordorian lands and gave him a fat expense account, to be voided only if he ever decided to set foot back in Twodor.
Not a few observers noted the lascivious glances that passed between the King and the Lady Arwench soon after the Wizard’s benediction. Several weeks later, on one of the darkest days ever to dawn in Twodor, Queen Éorache was found dead at her breakfast table, stabbed as she fell over backwards onto a dozen salad forks. Some of the historians of the realm remarked upon the similarity between the Queen’s demise and that of King Chloroplast the Green; a few who had the temerity to do so in public mysteriously disappeared, and the rest took the hint. The Lady Arwench, properly veiled and attired in a respectful black mourning swimsuit, stood next to Arrowroot at the funeral; and when the beefy Queen of Twodor and Roi-Tan was securely walled up in her crypt, her favorite merino ram lovingly embalmed at her side, Arrowroot proudly announced his betrothal to the fair Elf-maiden. Orlon her father kicked up his heels in sorrow, for by her choice she was sundered from the Auld Elves, and their parting extended beyond the end of the world.
King Arrowroot now set about the reorganisation of his realm. To Éorwax, the late Éorache’s cousin and now King of the Rubbermark, he sent a rich weregild of sheep-dip and nose-plugs; and in return Éorwax renewed the Oath of Churl, the promise of fealty and non-aggression first sworn long ago by Churl the Dumb to Carrion, eleventh Steward of Twodor. To Gimlet the Dwarf, Arrowroot granted a scrap-metal franchise on Sorhed’s surplus war engines. To Legolam the Elf, he granted the right to rename Chikken Noodul “Ringland” and run the souvenir concession at the Zazu Pits. Lastly, to the four Hoggits he gave the Royal Handshake, and one-way tickets aboard Gwanho back to the Stye.
Of Sorhed, little was heard again, though if he returned, Arrowroot promised him full amnesty and an executive position in Twodor’s defence labs. Of the Ballhog and Schlob little was heard either, but local gossips reported that wedding bells were only centuries away. Of Serutan the defrocked Wizard there was no word, however, and Isinglass lay deserted and silent.
It was but a short time after Arrowroot’s second wedding that Frito, Spam, Moxie, and Pepsi, still clad in their tattered Elven-cloaks, wearily trod the familiar yellow-brick Inter-Shire Turnpath back to Hoggiton. The flight from Twodor had been swift, and apart from some air pockets and a mid-air collision with a gaggle of migrating flamingoes, was quite uneventful.
As the Hoggits strolled up to the City Gates, they were greeted by an astounding sight. Hoggiton, in their absence, had been transformed. Orderly streets with well-paved sidewalks now lay where meandering, muddy ruts had once run. Rows of newly-painted houses with whitewashed fences, neat gardens, and trimmed hedges replaced the squalid, filthy hovels of Bug End. And everything was clean—even the pebbles at their feet smelt of Lemon Pledge and glistened in the afternoon sun.
“W-w-what’s happened to the Stye?” gibbered Moxie, his jaw wagging like a rusty hinge.
“Yes, what?” chimed Pepsi, retrieving his astonished eyeballs whence they had fallen at his feet.
“There’s been deviltry at work here, and no mistake,” said Spam, thoughtfully scratching his backside.
At that moment, a group of uniformed Hoggits marched smartly out of the guardhouse at the Gate and surrounded the travellers with a ring of glittering, razor-sharp putty knives.
“What business brings ye to our humble country, O strangers?” said a chain-mailed guardsman sporting a tin watering-can upon his head. “We are not over-fond of outlandish folk at our borders in these troubled times.”
Spam peered warily at the soldier. “Why, you oughta know Spam Gangree from no strangers, Clotty Peristalt,” he cried, “nor Master Frito Bugger, nor Masters Pepsi nor Moxie neither.”
“Aye,” said Clotty gravely, “I ken who ye be; but Rules are Rules, and since ye have come from Outside, therefore ye be Strangers, and subject to proper Query and Challenge, By The Book.”
“By The Book indeed!” snorted Spam. “What kind o’ tom-foolery is this, anyhow? Hoity-toity-talkin’ guards at the Gate, new paint on ev’ry house, no potholes in the streets—what’s Hoggiton coming to these days? You never were much o’ one for regiments an’ regularity, Master Peristalt—’ceptin’ in meals an’ stools, o’ course.”
Clotty looked sheepishly at the ground. “Aw buggerit, Spam,” he whispered, “things is differ’nt now since...” He cleared his throat, and his voice changed, as if he were reciting lessons learned by rote. “We are now much better off than at any other time in our history. Efficient planning and resource allocation have allowed the Stye to become a model of peaceful, harmonious, and productive society for all Lower Middle Earth. We must not allow undesirable outside influences to disturb our prosperity.”
Frito, who had been silently taking all this in, suddenly spoke up. “I think I have the answer,” he said as a 25-watt light bulb appeared over his head. “Look there.” Frito pointed a quivering finger at the bright insignia on the guardsmen’s trashcan-lid shields. It was a Dragon’s head, tongue a-loll in an idiotic grin, with great round ears like black bowling balls...
“Aiyee!” screamed Moxie. “It’s Dickey Dragon!”
“And that means that Serutan the Wizard is at work here in the Stye,” said Frito.
“But I thought Goodgulf had expelled him from the Magician’s Union,” said Pepsi. “His pitchfork was broken.”
“Serutan has many powers besides magic, or so Goodgulf told me,” explained Frito. “He still has his persuasive voice, and around here that seems to have been quite sufficient.”
Spam stamped his foot. “Well, I may be naught but a simple-minded Hoggit, but I’m not gonna set aroun’ here an’ let some two-bit ex-Wizard tell me how I’m gonna live. No sir, I’ll not stand fer it!”
“Then sit, traitor,” said Clotty Peristalt sternly. “For such talk is slander against the State, and the penalty is Death, By The Book.” The ring of soldiers began to close in upon the Hoggits.
“O snap out of it already!” snapped Spam, tweaking Clotty’s pock-marked nose. “All this law an’ order an’ such, it just ain’t nacherl fer Hoggits t’ live that way. Tell me, Master Peristalt, how many baths ha’ they made ya take in the last week?”
“Seven,” admitted Clotty.
“An’ how many times didja hafta change yer underwear?”
“An’ brush yer teeth?”
“An’ you like that, Master Peristalt?”
There were a few seconds of ominous silence, then a terrible cry erupted. “No!” shouted Clotty. “I’m sick an’ tired of it! I hate it! I hate it!”
“Well,” began Frito slyly, “if you dislike it so much, why don’t you, like, uh, put a stop to it, y’know?”
“Like, uh, revolt,” suggested Spam.
“Like, uh, rebel,” prompted Moxie.
“Like, uh, have a revolution, y’know,” added Pepsi.
Clotty pondered long in silence. Finally, the single relay that was his brain gave an audible clunk! and he looked up decisively. “Revolution it is!” he cried. “Down with the New Order! No more dieting! No more garbage collection!” The other guardsmen stared at him stupidly; but then their own mental relays tripped in a flurry of clunks that sounded like flashbulbs popping at a presidential press conference, and they joined in with subversive outbursts of their own, like No by gosh, we won’t wash! and We love our toxic waste! Frito pointed the aroused Hoggits in the general direction of the Town Square, and they set off, each one firmly resolved to wrest his right to be slothful and slovenly from the do-gooder government. All except for Pepsi, who had to go poo-poo and was looking for the nearest filling station.
As the band of rabble-rousers marched through the streets of Hoggiton, the townsfolk peered curiously out of their spotless windows, muttered to themselves about the shameful decadence of modern society, and promptly joined ranks. By the time they reached the Town Square, nearly three hundred (give or take a thousand) swearing, shouting, and spitball-shooting Hoggits were calling for the impeachment (and the head) of the Mayor.
“The Mayor?” said Frito incredulously. “You don’t mean that good old Warty Fastbuck has got anything to do with this?”
“Warty ain’t the Mayor no more,” said Clotty. “He got voted out last Arbour Day, tho’ it was one o’ the fishiest elections I ever seen. You an’ I both know that there ain’t but nobody in the Stye dumb enough t’ want the job o’ Mayor ’ceptin’ ole Warty, so nacherly there warn’t nobody but Warty on the ballot—that I’ll swear on a heap o’ stingwort. I warn’t the onliest one t’ be plumb pooped outa me pants when we opens the ballot-box and sees that ev’ry vote cast was fer somebody named Shark-eye. Ev’ry one! As the whole Board o’ Elections is standin’ around scratchin’ its armpits an’ wonderin’ what’s the deal, in walks some tall feller in a red Union-suit, claimin’ t’ be this very Shark-eye an’ demandin’ t’ be sworn in as Mayor.”
“So what happened?” asked Frito.
“Well, the Board tried t’ disallow his claim, on account o’ he hadn’t filed no petitions t’ get hisself ont’ the ballot in the first place. But Shark-eye says, Why, most certainly I filed the proper petitions. Why don’t you just go and look yourself? So Dungo Liverflap, head o’ the Board, opens up his filin’ cabinet, an’ what does he pull out but a proper signed petition, all dated, stamped, sealed and official-like! I don’t remember ever seein’ no such petition—but right there on it was my very own X-mark, jes’ like I always scrawl it; an’ lotsa other folks’ X-marks was there, too. So by an’ by the Board says, We don’t rightly remember any o’ this, but all the papers is here, fair an’ square. Papers don’t lie, so we musta elected this Shark-eye Mayor! An’ ole Dungo Liverflap pulls out The Book an’ swears Shark-eye in right then an’ there!”
“But what happened to Warty?” asked Frito.
“Nobody rightly knows,” said Clotty with a shudder. “After Shark-eye took over, things started t’ change around here mighty quick. All the garbage was t’ be picked up, folks couldn’t have no run-down houses no more, the streets was all levelled off an’ paved. Shark-eye gets some o’ these renegade Elf interior-decorator-types in t’ bee-yootify the town, an’ sooner’n you can snarf a watermelon, droves of architects are swarmin’ in, a-goo-gooin’ an’ a-ga-gain’ over this an’ that, handin’ out medals an’ ribbons an’ awards an’ such fer such purty designin’. Yecch! Whadda all those egg-heads come up with? That simperin’ Dickey Dragon character, who’s s’posed t’ be the yoonifyin’ theme fer the Stye, so we sees his face plastered everywheres, from lamp-posts t’ garbage-cans. The reg’lar Hoggit-folk begun t’ get a bit upset, seein’ as how the Mayor o’ the Stye ain’t really s’posed t’ do very much in the way of actual govermint, an’ Shark-eye was doin’ more than the last fifty Mayors ever had nightmares about doin’. So ole Warty Fastbuck, he stands up an’ says, ’Nuff’s enuff! Next thing y’know they’re buildin’ a bypass straight through Warty’s bedroom, an’ Warty hisself is hauled off t’ the Black Holes for violatin’ some Rule or other. A couple days later, Shark-eye puts up a flag on top o’ City Hall, bearin’ a remarkable resemblance t’ ole Warty; not surprisin’, since it was ole Warty, or his skin rather. After that, folks got mighty co-operative with Shark-eye, seein’ as how back-talk was bein’ dealt with; so we’ve gotten neat, an’ clean, an’ even ar-tick-yoo-late. Not willingly, mind you, but discretion is the better part o’ stayin’ alive, as we say in the Stye.”
Frito looked up, fearfully expecting to see the grim remnants of the late Mayor still fluttering from the flagpole. A hideous vulture was perched at the top of the pole, licking its beak hungrily, but only a white Dickey Dragon pennant waved idly in the breeze.
The crowd of Hoggits in the Town Square was growing even more rowdy and boisterous. They pelted the windows of City Hall with apple cores, old sweatsocks, and the contents of chamber-pots. Dickey Dragon posters and billboards were obscenely defaced, and Dickey Dragon dolls were burnt in effigy. Moxie and Pepsi, their faces flushed with excitement and ale, stood on the front steps and led the riotous mob in a loud protest song:
Who’s the wielder of the club
That bludgeons you and me?
Who has caused our misery?
Dickey Dragon! (Shark-eye sucks!)
Dickey Dragon! (Shark-eye sucks!)
Forever let us hang the Mayor high!
HIGH! HIGH! HIGH!
Come along and sing our song
And join the massacree!
Diiieeeeeeee Shark-eye the lousy Mayor!
As the fired-up Hoggits were about to begin another rousing chorus, there was a bright flash of light, and a billowing cloud of greenish smoke emanated from the second-floor balcony of the City Hall. Moxie and Pepsi ran screaming from the steps, and the rebellious crowd fell back speechless, all eyes aloft in terror. As the smoke cleared, the Hoggits could see a tall figure clad in a glowing red Union-suit standing at the balcony railing. His long, barbed tail thrashed back and forth like that of a wary, stalking cat; St. Elmo’s fire danced from the points of his polished black horns. He stroked his pointed goatee with the air of a philosopher counting angels on the head of a pin, and his rude cackle echoed through the silent Square.
“Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha,” he cackled.
“Aiyee!” shrieked Clotty, “it’s Mayor Shark-eye!”
“Serutan, you s-s-stinkin’ worm!” yelled Spam, trying to keep his knees from knocking. “H-h-how dare you come b-back here an’ ruin our S-s-stye?”
The defrocked Wizard put up his hand in a gesture of resigned annoyance. “Well, well, Master Spam Gangree,” he said mockingly. “I am indeed most sorry that you do not approve of the recent, shall we say, improvements? which I have so generously brought about here in this charming homeland of yours. However, I do not believe I asked you for your opinion.”
Spam’s unprintable retort died in his throat as Serutan slowly clenched his fist. Spam’s larynx closed off, his tongue clove to the roof of his mouth, and he was stricken dumb.
“And if it isn’t the two idiots, Moronoduc Dingleberry and Paraffin Gook,” sneered Serutan, unable to conceal his scorn. “I truly marvel that your pitiful brains are even able to keep your hearts beating and your lungs breathing at the same time. Goodgulf Greyteeth must be stupider than I thought if he would willingly concern himself with the likes of you.” Serutan crossed his arms and blinked, and suddenly their hearts stopped beating, and their diaphragms were paralysed. Yet, remarkably, they did not fall dead, though whether by the force of the Wizard’s spell or the natural indifference of Hoggit physiology to asphyxiation could not be said.
Grinning evilly, Serutan cast his mesmeric gaze upon Frito, who squirmed like a bowlful of tapeworms. “Hail the Ring-Bearer, the estimable Frito son of Dorito!” His soothing words oozed with honey and cyclamates. “To you we owe a great debt of thanks for so courageously and expeditiously disposing of foul Sorhed. Long have the free peoples of Lower Middle Earth awaited the downfall of the Barnyard-dôr! I grieve that your finding me here distresses you. But those who leave home and return oftentimes find that life has gone on without them, and it’s on your feet, lose your seat, as they say in the Stye.” He chuckled aloud.
Frito struggled to speak. “This is our home,” he said brokenly, fighting off the Wizard’s spell. “We liked it the way it was, however rustic and inefficient you think it might have been. We don’t like what you’ve done here, we certainly don’t like Dickey Dragon, and we absolutely positively don’t like you, Serutan, or Shark-eye or whatever you want to call yourself. Just go away and leave us alone! Besides, the Magician’s Union could get pretty testy if they find out you’ve been practising black magic without a license.”
At this the defrocked Wizard became enraged. He stamped his cloven feet, swung his barbed tail around his head like a lasso, and began to foam at the mouth. “Testy?” he spat, “I’ll show you testy! You pathetic little rodents! How dare you mock the power of Serutan the Great, Keeper of the Dark Flame and Lord of Hocus-Pocus? I am the Mayor of the Stye, and I am the Master here!”
Serutan drew himself up to a set, looked in for the sign, then wound up and fired a screaming strike of glittering ball lightning right at Frito. Frito tried to get out of the way, but the vicious 95 MPH fastball caught him belt-high in the gut, knocked him off his feet, and burst into flames. “I’m done for now,” thought Frito as the hair on his belly began to singe, “so what the heck.” He began to scream bloody murder.
Spam, Moxie and Pepsi each tried desperately to move toward Frito, but the Wizard still held them in his iron grip. The rest of the Hoggit crowd began to disperse, needing no further convincing as to who was Boss in the Stye; and Serutan laughed approvingly from his balcony, and turned to leave Frito to his fiery fate.
Suddenly a buck-toothed little girl wearing a blue-and-white-checked gingham dress and ruby-red slippers, with a mangy runt of a dog yapping at her heels, came rushing in with an old oaken bucket full of water. She ran over to Frito, reared back, and clumsily slopped the contents of the bucket in his general direction. She missed him completely, but the spray of water sloshed up onto the balcony of the City Hall, drenching Serutan instead.
“Aaaaaarrrrrrgggghhhh!!” screamed the Wizard. “Now look what you’ve done!”
As the Hoggits watched in horror, streams of smoke and steamy vapours began to rise from Serutan’s body. “I’m melting! I’m melting!” he wailed as he dwindled and shrank and oozed away into a puddle, leaving only his robes, horns, and hooves behind him. The dreadful slime rolled over the edge of the balcony, where it dripped onto the steps of City Hall, eating deep pits into the marble steps.
“My! People certainly do come and go around here!” spoke the little girl, picking up her dog, who was lapping at the hissing goo.
Spam, Moxie, and Pepsi found that they could move once again. They cautiously approached the steps, staring up at the smoking balcony. As the rivulets of melted Wizard dropped a black horn onto the fizzling steps, the trio flushed with realization and incontinence. “Serutan is dead!” they cried joyfully.
“Shark-eye is dead! Hurray!” shouted the rest of the Hoggits, throwing caps and diplomas into the air. “Long live the Stye! Long live the little buck-toothed girl!” The crowd grabbed the girl, hoisted her up on their shoulders, and began to march around the Square, singing “Ding-dong! The Shark-eye’s dead!” They also grabbed the little dog; but of this we will say no more.
“But what about Frito?” said Moxie, glancing at Pepsi.
“Yeah, Frito?” said Pepsi, glancing at Moxie.
“Frito!” gasped Spam, glancing in horror at the crackling blaze that was his master. “Oops, almost forgot.” He grabbed the bucket, filled it from a convenient horse-trough, and dashed it over the fire. Remembering his Hoggit Scout training, he stirred the smouldering embers thoroughly, then shovelled fresh dirt onto the ashes. “Lo, Master Frito,” called Spam hopefully, “are ya okay?”
The mound of dirt stirred. Two blackened hands were thrust up, and then an amorphous mass rose and opened its mouth. “Yes, Spam,” said Frito Bugger’s voice, “I’m okay.”
Spam grinned weakly.
“But when I get my hands on you, you won’t be!” screamed Frito, his clenched fingers lunging for Spam’s throat. Spam turned in terror and sped across the Square, with Frito right behind him, cutting loose with a stream of choice epithets which even old Uncle Bimbo, after years of four-letter Scrabble, could not have matched. The two Hoggits vanished in the distance, but Frito’s angry shouts rang out even above the din of the celebration in the Square.
Moxie and Pepsi exchanged “What, me worry?” looks. “So what’s eatin’ Frito?” asked Moxie.
“Yeah, eatin’?” echoed Pepsi.
The next few weeks in the Stye were filled with both celebrating and cleaning up the mess that Serutan had left behind. Actually, “cleaning up” is not the word for it, since most of the evil Wizard’s reforms had consisted of picking up trash, closing open cesspools and the like, and the Hoggits were only too glad to return to their former, squalid habits. Soon the gutters of Hoggiton were crawling again with flies and mosquito larvae, and everybody agreed that things were pretty much back to normal.
The dim-witted little girl whose errant bucket toss had resulted in the dissolution of Serutan was hailed as the saviour of the Stye and was richly rewarded. The Hoggits held a great feast in her honour, at which they presented her a gleaming golden statuette cunningly engraved with adulations, valedictories, and Variety headlines. The Hoggits begged her to stay and be Queen of the May, but she said something about a prior engagement with a Scarecrow at a Tin Woodsman’s house and she really ought to be on her way. After a tearful good-bye, the girl and her runty dog skipped off down the yellow-brick Inter-Shire Turnpath, and were not heard from again.
In the meantime, Frito Bugger lay in bed in Bug End, wrapped like a mummy in Vaseline gauze, nursing the third-degree burns which covered 95% of his body. Spam Gangree hovered tenderly over him, nursing some third-degree injuries of his own. Two purpled eyes and a crooked nose were grim reminders of Frito’s fierce (and completely uncharacteristic) rage, though Spam had quite forgiven his master.
“Alas, Spam, I am wounded forever, my Ring is gone, I shall never be healed!” moaned Frito in his agony.
“Hold on, Master Frito,” said Spam. “Things ain’t as bad as ya might think. Lemme show ya somethin’ I pinched from our friendly Wizard Goodgulf before we left Minas Troney.” Spam disappeared into his bedroom. After various sounds of rummaging under the bed, accompanied by a sickeningly liquid crash and loud curses (“Not the chamber-pot, I hope,” sighed Frito), Spam returned. He held out two pinkish slips of heavy paper proclaiming in black Elf-runes:
Velour/Valium Tropical Cruise Lines, Ltd.
Uttermostest West Vacation Junket
GET OUT OF LOWER MIDDLE EARTH FREE
Cardbórd the Shipworm, Captain
Registry: The Grey Harbours, Oleodor
This card may be kept until needed or sold.
“I’m sure you’ll be gettin’ better,” said Spam hopefully. “But if ya don’t, an’ ya still feel down in the dumps, then we can leave our cares behind us, an’ be peaceful an’ restful forever!”
“Not to mention all those scantily-clad native Elf-maidens on the islands of Valium, eh, Spam?” winked Frito slyly. “Yes, I guess I’ll get well again.”
[resume original text]