The Fellowship at the Airport
Part One: Getting there is Half the Fun
The Fellowship departed Rivendell at dusk, thirty minutes later than
they had planned in order to have enough time to check in for their 8
pm flight on Anduin Airlines. They are tightly wedged into the rental
van and all are feeling a tad testy.
Aragorn: Well, don’t you all glare at me. It was Mr. Big Man of Gondor here who thought HE should drive and held us all up.
Boromir: No, we’re glaring at you because your cheapskate foster father
wouldn’t pop for a ten-passenger van and made us all crowd into the
seven passenger size.
Aragorn: (defensively) Well, the hobbits don’t take up as much room as
we Big Folk, but it was indeed fortunate we were able to fit Pippin
into the “way back” with the luggage.
Pippin (somewhat muffled) Well, I don’t feel very fortunate! Sam’s pans are digging into my bum and I have to go!
Frodo: We told you not to have any more Athelas Infusion before we left, Pippin. You’ll just have to hold it until we get there.
Sam: (worried) I hope my pans weren’t injured by all Pippin’s fidgeting back there.
Legolas: (in a mysterious voice) The stars are veiled tonight. I cannot see the map.
Gimli: Then turn on the map light, you big braided dolt.
Aragorn: (confidently) I know my way just fine. I grew up around here, remember.
Boromir: Yes, but Lord Elrond told me that you were the last one of
your Junior Ranger pack to earn your Map Reading badge. That does not
exactly inspire my confidence. Why don’t you pull over and let me drive.
Merry: Um, Aragorn, there’s a sign up ahead. It says, “Road Open While Detour is Being Repaired”.
Aragorn: Aw, dang! It’s been so long since the real road was open that
I don’t know my way from here! That detour’s been there since still my
future ada-in-law still knew how to smile.
All the Fellowship except Gandalf, who’s still out for remodeling: WHOA! That’s a LONG TIME!
Pippin (from the way back) Now I’m hungry too! Sam, do you have any munchies in your pack?
Sam: (threateningly) Stay out of my pack, Pippin! You don’t know which part I’ve got the set rat trap in.
(An audible gulp comes from the back seat)
Frodo: Aragorn, I don’t mean to pry, but I think we’ve already passed
that sign that says “Aunt Loth’s Famous Pecan Lembas” three times.
Boromir: Oh, for crying out loud. Why don’t you pull over at that
filling station and get directions, and Mr. Hair Bladder back there can
do his thing.
Aragorn: (in disbelief) Pull over and get directions?? What kind of Man are you, anyway?
Boromir: Look, I made it all the way from Minas Tirith to Rivendell in
one piece and in record time, and showed up just in time to join the
Council and go on this little clambake. You can’t even get out of the
dell you grew up in! And you’re going to be King? Puh-leeze.
Aragorn: Do you want to step outside? Once we stop, that is?
Gimli (loudly) All right, lads, the smell of testosterone is getting a
bit ripe in here. Look, there’s a sign with an airplane-shaped symbol
and a sign pointing to the right ramp. Why don’t we try that way?
Aragorn sharply jerks the wheel, nearly unleashing everybody’s supper, and barrels up the ramp.
Merry (whispering in Frodo’s ear) I think we should have just let the
Ring lay on the table and sneaked out when we had the chance.
Frodo: (petting the ring) I tried. But it gave me the puppy face.
(After accidentally going up the “Arriving Flights” ramp and getting
turned around, the van pulls up outside the Anduin Airlines terminal
with only one hour before take off.)
Aragorn: Everybody out! I can only sit here for three minutes, and then
I have to turn this rental in on time or Elrond will take the penalty
out of Arwen’s dowry! OUT!
(Four hobbits, one dwarf and one Elf tumble out of the van and scramble
onto the sidewalk. Aragorn vrooms off, forgetting one very important
Boromir: Our LUGGAGE!
He pulls out his horn and blows three sharp blasts, the Gondorian code
for “Bring back the supplies, you ruddy idiot!” The van screeches to a
halt, and Aragorn drives backwards back to the curb, nearly running
over two old ladies in polyester sweat suits and an off-duty cabbie.
Once all the luggage is removed, Aragorn said, “Now, go get in line with your stuff, and remember, only one carry on each!”
Frodo: Does that mean I can have my Long Trips Bag in addition to my ring?
Aragorn: (rolling his eyes) Yes, Frodo, you can take your Long Trips Bag too.
Aragorn vrooms off again, and the four hobbits, one dwarf, and one Elf lug their stuff inside and get into the check in line.
Part Two: Checking In
After some initial confusion of sorting out whose pack was whose-and
Legolas having a hissy fit because several of his arrow fletchings got
bent- four hobbits, one dwarf, a Man and an Elf all proceeded to enter
the terminal to wait for Aragorn’s return. Pippin made a beeline for
the restroom, Gimli “accidentally” got Legolas caught in the revolving
door, and Boromir tapped his foot impatiently and kept looking at the
clock on the wall while the hobbits investigated their surroundings.
Sam: (inhaling deeply) Mmmm…is that fish and chips I smell? Can you smell it, Mr. Frodo?
Frodo: (sniffing) Oh that does smell wonderful. After weeks of bland Elven food, it’s almost too good to be true.
Merry (inhaling deeply too) I think so, Sam…and look, the sign says
there’s a pub upstairs. Maybe we’ll have time for a pint and a nibble
before our flight! Here comes Pippin-let’s all go!
The hobbits are about to bolt up the stairs when Boromir neatly snags
all of them by their jackets using only one hand (an accomplishment
he’d grown rather proud of lately).
Boromir: Hold on there, you four. You can’t go upstairs until you’re checked in and have your boarding passes.
All four hobbits: Oh, snakes and adders!
Legolas: None of us can check in until Aragorn returns. Lord Elrond
booked our tickets, and he gave Aragorn his Gold Mallorn Card to pick
them up at the check in counter.
Gimli: (under his breath) Knowing Lord Cheapskate, he probably booked us in the cargo hold.
Legolas: *snort* (Gimli looks up at him with surprise and pleasure)
Aragorn tries his standard “bursting through the doors” grand entrance,
but that was a little hard to pull off in a revolving door.
Aragorn: All right, everyone stay close while I get our boarding passes printed off.
He pulls out a sheet of paper and a gold credit card, and punches in some numbers.
His face grows pale as he stares at the screen.
Aragorn: All right…I’ll finally have to agree with you all about my future ada-in-law being a cheapskate.
Boromir: (warily) What is it?
Aragorn: (red faced) Well, apparently Anduin Airlines offered a buy one get one free ticket if…if…
Gimli: Out with it, lad!
Aragorn: If married couples book at the same time. He booked us as
Frodo and Samantha Baggins, Merry and Pippa Brandybuck, Gimli and
Legatha Greenleaf, and…
Boromir: I swear, I’m going to cut my throat here and now.
Aragorn: Elessa and Boromir Dunedain. I’m sorry guys, I really am…
Sam: I wish I’d just let Gandalf turn me into a toad back in the Shire and been done with it.
Gimli: (grimly) I think his crown is so tight it cut off circulation to his brain.
Frodo: And I thought being Mr. Underhill was bad enough. Oh well, let’s make the best of it, Sam.
Merry: (picking up his bag and putting his arm around Pippin) Come along, my little apple dumpling, we don’t want to be late.
Pippin: Coming, my little meadow muffin.
Gimli: Touch me, Elf, and you’ll have a halberd buried where it hurts the most.
Boromir: (through clenched teeth) Maybe Faramir SHOULD have been the one to have the stupid dream.
The kiosk spits out the boarding passes, and the very grumpy Fellowship
joins the line to check in their baggage. There were no problems until
Samantha and Frodo Baggins came forward.
Baggage agent: (to Sam) I’m sorry, but you cannot take those pans onto the plane. It exceeds carryon regulations.
Sam: (stricken) I’ll not have my pans thrown in some dark cargo hold!
They’ve known only love and care and Brasso all their lives! They’ll
Frodo: (thinking) And this is the one who’s to be my trusted companion on this trip. I am seriously done for.
(out loud) Sam dear, it’s only a forty minute flight. Stop making a scene, check the pans, and let’s go.
Aragorn: All right everyone, up the stairs we go, to Gate E-9.
Boromir: Not quite, Elessa dear. We still have to go through security.
Aragorn: Oh, crud.
Next Up: Going Through Security, or, What DO Dwarves have on under that armour???