Preparing for December 17

by Mrs. Frodo

In light of the fact that so many of us seem to be in the same graceful Elven swan boat when it comes to trepidation about Dec. 17, I have decided to set forth some humble suggestions on what one might want to have around, or do, to prepare....

1. Borrow, hire, rent or steal a tractor-trailer. Load it to capacity with the highest-quality facial tissue you can get. Then locate the dumpster closest to the theater.

Round up all your most tolerant non-Ringer friends (kind, noble, selfless strangers may be substituted if available). Divide them into two equal groups. One group will stretch from the rear of the tractor-trailer to your seat in the theater. The other (equipped with rubber gloves and heavy-duty garbage bags) will extend from your seat to the dumpster.

2. Things (other than your metric ton of facial tissue) which might be handy to have about:

Valium (alternately, a strong chamomile-clove-lavender infusion).

Paper bag (useful in controlling hyperventilation).

If asthmatic, your rescue inhaler.

Smelling salts.

Eye drops (for you, not for Sauron. He can’t have any. He wore out our patience a long, long time ago).

Naturally, plenty of sponges. You need to save the tissues for their primary use.

Ground cayenne pepper to place on nails. May head off nervous chewing––then again, may simply heighten experience of the Sammath Naur.

Pillow––for hugging, for sitting on, and also for stuffing your face into if you feel a scream coming on.

Mouth guard, if you have one, for when you feel your molars begin to wear away on the grueling trek through Mordor. If you have no mouth guard, a brand-new hard rubber dog toy would do the trick. Either way, this really is better than chewing off your finger, no matter how much it might identify you with Frodo.

Speaking of Frodo––a Frodo plushie to hold, rock, croon and sob over. Not a bad idea to enclose it beforehand in a soft plastic bag to prevent dampness and mildew.

3. Scope out the theater ahead of time for the best seats, if this is possible. If the establishment disapproves of taping-off of seat, simply get there good and early the day of the show. If you see somebody ahead of you going toward your precious, say loudly, “Hmmm, how is that guy who was sitting in those seats the last movie? That was some accident he had, wasn’t it!” Wave your hand in front of your nose for emphasis.

4. Once in your chosen seat, tape a sign to the back of the seat in front of you which says “IT’S JUST A STORY! FICTION! MAKE-BELIEVE! IT ISN’T REAL, FOR CRYIN’ OUT LOUD!” After it’s in place you’ll forget it exists, of course, but once the Ring is an ex-Ring you may notice it again, just in time for its secondary use––shred it up to use as confetti for:

a) The Field of Cormallen. Other things to bring to this singular occasion: noisemakers, a crude effigy of the Eye with an oversized pencil or a Sting/Glamdring/Anduril letter opener thrust into it, and placards saying things like “FRODO #1”, “ARAGORN RULES” and “SAM FOR MAYOR”.

b) The Grey Havens. Also suitable: “Bon voyage!” pennants.

5. Last but not least: if you make it all the way through the movie to the last credits, you will need a tee-shirt which boldly states “I SURVIVED ROTK!” in all the languages of Men and Elves. You will have earned it!