Tag: literature

Hamlet, Act VI

A scene from the sketch comedy stage show Bride of Mondo Show produced in Los Angeles, California in 2001. Check out other Mondo Show videos.

Chorus Chris Stacy
Horatio Forrest Harding
Hamlet Matt McCann
Ophelia Niki Magarity
Laertes Michael Patrick McGill

Written and Directed by Ryan Garns

Produced by Christine Rosenberry and Ryan Garns

Original Video Production by WienerDog Productions

This Hobbit For Hire, Part 2

J.R.R. Tolkien meets Dashiell Hammett
Bramble Fardbottom: Hobbit Detective

Image adapted from Schlüsselbein2007

Continued from Part 1

As a hobbit private eye, I’ve seen every hard-luck case walk through my office door: trolls needing lurid photographs for a divorce case; eldar lords needing a skip trace on a delinquent wizard. But they were all homely librarians compared to my latest client: a multiple personality anorexic in a loincloth holding me at gunpoint. And, no, it wasn’t the loincloth holding the gun.

“We intends to search your offices, Bramble Fardbottom,” he said. “We warns you that if you attempt to prevents us we shall certainly shoot you, gollum, gollum!

I let him turn my office upside down and, predictably, he found nothing.

“Where is it?! Where is the precious?!” he screamed.

“I told you, Mr. Lorre, I don’t have it.”

“Peter Lorre! He thinks we looks like Peter Lorre, precious!” He jabbed his .38 into my ribs. “Come. We’re going to see the Fatman.”

###

Twenty minutes later we arrived at the Middle Earth Hotel, a swanky high rise for high rollers looking to spend God’s money in ungodly ways. Peter Lorre marched me into the penthouse suite, a room large enough to fit another hotel. Seated by the fireplace was the man of the hour: the Fatman — a rotund blob of flesh in its late 40’s with a bird’s nest for a beard. He looked up from the book he was reading and smiled, like some evil host of Masterpiece Theater.

“Mr. Fardbottom,” said the Fatman jovially. “So good of you to come. I’m Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson.”

“So you’re behind all this,” I said. “I told your gunsel that I don’t have this ‘precious’ that he’s all worked up about.”

Jackson chuckled. “Not ‘precious’, Mr. Fardbottom, but the ring.”

“The ring,” I said as it all started to click inside my head. “That seems to be a rather popular item lately.”

“Quite. You were hired this afternoon, were you not, by a lovely young Elfish woman by the name of Tinúviel with regards to the ring?”

“That’s right,” I said.

“So…” he held out his hand, “the ring, if you please.”

“I haven’t got it.”

Jackson frowned. “That is unpleasant news. I don’t like to receive unpleasant news, Mr. Fardbottom.”

“Then why don’t we skip to the sports section?” I swung my fist at Peter Lorre and sent him flying over the sofa. I started toward Jackson when I noticed a heater had magically appeared in his hand.

“A valiant effort,” he said. “Shall we dispense with the games and get back to business?”

“Look, I don’t even know what the hell this ring is all about.”

“Then allow me to educate you,” he said. “The One Ring is the most powerful ring in all of Middle Earth. One of its many powers is the ability to make one invisible.”

“If you want to be invisible, why not just make another Frighteners?”

Jackson scowled and continued. “The ring also offers great power to whomever should possess it. It gives its owner–“

“–The power to rule the world?” I interjected.

Jackson shook his head. “Lucrative merchandising rights. Movies, T-shirts, video games, graphic novels, Comic-Con appearances — the ring is a veritable cash cow. You see what I’m getting at, Mr. Fardbottom?”

“I’m beginning to,” I said.

“I derive all of my power from the ring. I am powerless without it.”

“I know,” I said. “I saw King Kong.”

“Yes,” Jackson frowned. “But to truly understand the power of the ring, one must understand the history behind it…”

Jackson walked over to the bookshelf and pulled out a large, hard-bound volume.

“This is The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien,” he said. “It is the history of Middle Earth. Allow me to read it to you so that you may understand why I seek the ring.”

“Actually, I’d rather–“

Jackson began reading aloud: “Ainulindalë, The Music of the Ainur… There was Eru, the One, who in Arda is called Ilúvatar…”

I went out like a light.

###

I awoke hours later to find Jackson and Lorre had left me all alone. It was rather clever of Jackson to slip me that literary mickey. My temples were throbbing, my head was spinning… I hadn’t felt that lousy since reading The Da Vinci Code.

Just then there was a knock at the door. I found my gat and got on my feet. Another knock.

“Who is it?”

“Mmfrefrr…” said the voice on the other side.

I quickly opened the door. It was a Dwarf in a dark overcoat and a fedora pulled down over his face, carrying a large bundle wrapped in shredded newspaper. He was bleeding under his coat.

“The ring…” sputtered the Dwarf, and he fell face first on the floor, dropping the bundle.

I examined the body. He was dead all right — shot in the belly. In one of his pockets were three strands of golden hair. I picked up the bundle and began to rip it open. I searched for the contents, seemingly to no avail. Then I found it. It was a ring.

“I’ve got it…”

The wailing sounds of police sirens grew louder from outside. Not wishing to explain the situation to Johnny Law, I quickly pocketed the dingus and made my way out from the fire escape.

###

About thirty minutes later I arrived at my apartment. I turned the lights on and saw Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson pointing a gun at Tinúviel.

“Bramble…” whimpered Tinúviel. The poor kid was in tears.

“Ah, Mr. Fardbottom,” said Jackson. “As you can see, we’re all here. Come in, sit down, be comfortable.”

I felt something jabbing me in the back and turned around. It was Peter Lorre playing Wild West again with his .38.

“Now, if you please, Mr. Fardbottom,” said Jackson. “Hand over the ring.”

To be concluded…

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This Hobbit For Hire, Part 1

J.R.R. Tolkien meets Dashiell Hammett
Bramble Fardbottom: Hobbit Detective

Image adapted from Schlüsselbein2007

These are the mean streets of Hobbiton. What was once a quaint little farming town nestled in the heart of The Shire has devolved into a seedy red light district of greed and corruption. It’s a town of drunkenness, prostitution, and cocaine-laced pipe-weed. This is my beat. I’m a private eye.

Business had been slow that day. I had just opened a fresh pack of Luckies when there was a knock on my office door. The door opened and in walked a pair of long, shapely legs — and what they brought with them didn’t look bad either. The ears poking out from her silky blond hair told me she was of Elven persuasion. The nape of her neck told me I could be easily persuaded.

“Are you Bramble Fardbottom: Hobbit Detective?” she asked.

“That’s what it says on the door. What can I do you for, dollface?”

“My name is Tinúviel. I come from Rivendell. I need you to help me find… a ring.”

“Keep flashing those baby blues and I’m likely to offer you one.”

She threw me a fake smile, like I was runner-up in the Tired Pickup Line Competition. “Not that kind of ring, Mr. Fardbottom. I’m looking for the One Ring.”

“One Ring?”

“Erm… it’s a special ring. Special to me, that is. When heated, it reveals a Tengwar inscription around the edges. Rumor has it that it was last seen around Moria, perhaps now in the hands of the Dwarves.”

“Sentimental value?”

“Uh… yes,” she smiled.

“I charge 25 dollars a day, plus expenses.”

She looked disheartened. ” I-I’m afraid I can’t pay you right away…”

“I get it,” I said. “All that high society living in Rivendell has depleted the trust fund and now you’re living beyond your means? Sorry, sister. I don’t work on credit.”

At first she looked like she wanted to slap me. Instead she smiled and set one of her high heels on my desk, arching her leg as she straightened her stocking, allowing my eyes to trace the full curvature of her calf.

“Perhaps there’s something else of value that I could pay you with?”

I jumped up on the desk and stood on two phone books so I could grab her by the shoulders and look her in the eye.

“You’re coming on pretty strong, angel buns. You trying to make me for a sap?”

“Mr. Fardbottom, please,” she whimpered. “I’m desperate. I’ll do anything to get the ring.”

“Anything?”

She grabbed the back of my head and pressed her lips hard against mine. Her teeth cut into my lower lip, igniting the tip of my Dark Tower of Barad-dûr looking to breach her unassailable Helm’s Deep. She pulled away and we gasped for air.

“You’ve got yourself a private dick,” I said.

###

The clock read five and Tinúviel had been long gone. I was ready to call it a day when there was a knock at the door. It opened slowly and in crawled a bony, anemic looking man with giant eyes and a bad comb-over. He wore nothing, save for a tattered cloth wrapped around his nether regions. He carried with him the odor of dead fish.

“We founds it, Precious,” he murmured to himself. “We founds the hobbit detective…”

“Can I help you?”

“Yesss,” he said slyly. “Allow us to introduce ourselves–“

“No need,” I interrupted. “You’re actor Peter Lorre, aren’t you? I’m a big fan.”

“…Peter Lorre?”

“You were great in Casablanca,” I continued. “So what’s with the getup? You researching for a role as a heroin addict?”

He frowned and turned his head. “Fat, stupid hobbits,” he said under his breath. He began to cough violently.

Gollum! Gollum!

“That’s a pretty nasty cough you got there.” I held out my pack of Luckies. “Maybe you should switch brands. These are filtered.”

“We wants to hire you to find my precious!”

“Missing dame?”

“No. It is an, ah, ornament that has been — shall we say? — mislaid. We’re prepared to pay the sums of five thousand dollars for its recoveries.”

“Hey, do you mind if I ask you for an autograph?”

I turned to get a pad of paper and a pen out of a drawer in my desk. When I turned back, Peter Lorre was sticking a .38 in my face.

“You will pleases,” he said, “clasp your handsies together at the back of your necksies. We intends to search your offices, gollum, gollum!

To be continued…

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