If Ever a Whiz there Was
A loud bang, like the last dying breath of
spitting burnt sausages on a barbeque that’s being run by a pyromaniac,
immediately seized the attention of the Fellowship. In the same moment,
billows of ominous smoke began to gather on a small nearby hill; the
thick mist congealing like days old milkshake that no one likes,
forming a tall column against the horizon.
As the smoke began to clear, the Fellowship could begin to make
out a dark shadow in the centre that quickly grew to the size of man. A
deep booming voice broke though the last remaining vestiges,
proclaiming to the awe-struck, but slightly less amused Fellowship.
“Greetings, m….” Before the voice was quickly drowned out by the sounds
of unhealthy, deep-throated coughing.
“Greetin….” The voice began again, before descending into even more
wheezing coughs and splurts.
“Wow! This stuff is really strong!” The voice eventually said
clearly, as a crinkly old man in a dark black cloak stepped out of the
remaining smoke, franticly waving his arms around.
“They should put some sort of warning on this stuff…” He
continued, before reaching inside his volumous garment and retrieving a
small cardboard box. He held it close to his face, then muttered and
began moving it away slowly before muttering again and then began
fumbling inside his cloak once more. A few seconds later his hand
emerged with a pair of small metal glasses which he placed upon his
nose before adjusting the distance of the box a third time.
“Well so it does, right here…” He said to the bemused Fellowship,
marking the location with his finger before noticing the expressions on
their faces and quickly throwing the box over his shoulder.
“Yes, so, anyway…” He continued yet again to his less than enthusiastic
“Greetings, my friends! I…” He stopped, then readjusted his footing
before throwing his arms wide and announcing in a deep tone.
“I am the Great and Powerful Shallallaallla… wait, no…” He stopped
abruptly, thought for a second then began again.
“The great and powerful Kavaballaba… wait, no… Thaphaphephaff…
wait, no… Yiggajjigamigg… oh, just call me Bob.” He finished finally,
the exasperation evident in his voice.
“You are the great and powerful… Bob?” Aragorn eventually asked,
feeling rather confused as to this entire state of affairs.
“Yes, well, ok, yes.” Bob replied before continuing: “ I am the Great
and Powerful … Bob… the sixth wizard! And I have…”
“Sixth wizard?” Merry piped up from the back. “I thought there were
only two wizards… you know, Gandalf and that creepy other fellow,
Sauron, or whatever.”
“No, no, there are three wizards, Gandalf, Saruman and Radagast.” Frodo
quickly corrected Merry.
“I thought he was Dracula?” Pippin interjected between the two.
“Honestly! You’re all wrong. Have you never even read the book?”
Bob exclaimed with frustration, taking control of the conversation.
“There are five wizards: Saruman, Gandalf, Radagast, Allatar and
“So how can you be the sixth? You said there were only five.”
Boromir asked, placing one hand gently on his shiny (and still sharp)
“Yes, well, the books were wrong too. For here I am! The Great and
Powerful… Bob… the sixth wizard! And I have returned to you now…”
“How you can have ‘returned’ to us if this is the first time we’ve
ever met you?” Gimli grumbled from somewhere in the background.
“Surely the usage of the word ‘returned’ implies that you have been
absent after first meeting us?” Legolas agreed, however reluctantly.
“Stop interrupting! I’m the great and powerful one here.” Bob
quickly responded. “And I can say whatever I like. And besides, being a
wizard as I am, you may not have recognised me on our last meeting.
Yes, haha! Argue that one!”
Which was only greeted by even more quizzical looks, although
Aragorn’s hand over Pippin’s mouth may have contributed to the uneasy
“As I was saying. I am the Great and Powerful Bob! The sixth wizard
of Middle-Earth, son of the all-powerful Valar, heir to the Holy Rings
of Betazed! And I have returned to you now at your time of need…”
“I need some afternoon tea, if you happen to have any stored away
in that bottomless cloak of yours.” Pippin jumped in suddenly, as
Aragorn yelped and began nursing fingers that had suspicious teeth
shaped marks in them.
“Some chocolate, a few cakes, a nice sandwich or two…” he began to
count off various snacks and dishes although no one else bothered to
“I need a break…” Frodo muttered.
“I’m not some sort of dinner service, you know! However, I may be
able to help you out. I recently picked up this vial…” And with that,
Bob reached into his cloak and removed a small glass container, the
pinkish hue of the liquid sparkling in the sunlight.
“Apparently it’s able to do wonders with Turkish delight, but well, I
haven’t had much chance to use it, what with these new teeth and all.
This old man stuff really has some deceptive side-effects! My back
hurts, my bones ache, and my eyesight’s about as good as a blind emu on
“What an ‘e-moo’?” Gimli asked Legolas, who only shrugged in reply.
“Maybe it’s what cows send over the internet?”
To demonstrate his power to Pippin, Bob carefully let a single
droplet of the liquid drop to the floor, and as it hit the ground a
small poof of smoke rose up. As the smoke clearly it left a small (for
Hobbit snacks) sized box with a red ribbon tied delicately in a bow on
top. Pippin ran instantly to the new present, ripping off the bow and
gorging himself on the sweet delights found inside.
“So let me get this straight…” Aragorn spoke sternly, trying to
wrap his head round their current bizarre turn of events while
simultaneously nursing his fingers and trying to ignore the mess Pippin
“You’re a hitherto unheard of ‘sixth’ wizard, who has come here to help
“You do know we already have a wizard of our own.” Merry said.
“Mamdav” Pippin tried to say with a mouth full of Turkish delight,
the light powder covering his entire mouth and making an absolute mess
of his clothes.
“Yes, he’s just… delayed at the moment, trying to pry Sam out of a
hole in the ground.” Then after a second Aragorn added: “It’s a long
“I say we run you through!” Boromir shouted, pulling his long sword
“See how magical you feel when you’ve got Bertha here tickling your
ribs.” Boromir smiled menacingly, softly caressing the cool metal of
“Oh, there’s a lot more to me than you’ve seen, my lad. How about a
balloon poodle?” Bob countered, before searching through various
pockets throwing out a long string of multicoloured hankerchiefs, a
penguin, two packs of cards, and a sonic screwdriver until he finally
held a small piece of red material before the disgruntled audience.
“This, good sirs, is a balloon!” Which was instantly met by assorted
gasps and ooooooos.
As if to demonstrate its use, Bob touched the piece of red material
to his lips and began to blow. This resulted in several heavy coughing
fits, such that Aragorn thought he was going to pass out right then.
Waving a hand to the crowd as if to allay them of any fears, when
actually no one had bothered to help the old man, Bob reached into his
cloak once more and pulled out a small pump.
After several failed attempts to attach the pump to the balloon, Bob
finally got it fixed and began to thrust weakly on the piston. Slowly,
ever so slowly, the balloon started to grow bigger until finally it
stood about 10 inches long. With an exhausted look on his face, Bob
detached the balloon and began to mercilessly torture the new shape.
“My ears!” Legolas shouted in alarm above the incessant squealing
and squeaking of the balloon-creature, both hands clasped firmly across
the delicate organs. “My delicate ears! Why did they have to be so long
Eventually, Bob stopped the torture and before him, to the marvel
of the now fascinated crowd, floated a small, mis-shaped red creature.
“What it is?” Merry asked, dumb-struck at the spectacle.
“Well, whatever it is, it’s got five legs and no head.” Frodo said,
trying to resist the powerful magic.
“Tis devilry to be sure!” Boromir exclaimed, shock and fear plastered
across his face.
“Oh you say that about everything Boromir.” Aragorn chided, although he
too was uncertain of what to make of this new wonder.
“Well, as you seem to like it so much Boromir, you can have it if
you want.” Bob said, tying a small piece of string around the
balloon-creature and the other end to Boromir’s sword.
Everyone stared up at it, humbled by the magnificence of the new
creation as the disfigured balloon-creature floated happily in the sky
above Boromir’s head. A sudden “pop!” startled the onlookers as the
balloon instantly vanished before their eyes.
“Wha…” Boromir wailed, still more shock plastered across his face.
“The balloon!” Merry shouted
“The balloon!” Gimli squealed.
“Fa mammoon!” Pippin mumbled.
“Yes, the balloon, wow.” Frodo muttered in mock-delight.
“The creature is finally freed!” Legolas shouted out triumphantly as he
re-stowed his bow over his shoulder.
Everyone suddenly turned to look at Legolas, their menacing gazes
digging deep into the unfazed elf.
“What?” Legolas asked. “You’ll thank me for it later, just you wait
and see. I go saving everyone from evil floating creatures of doom, and
what do I get in return? Nothing, that’s what! I’m not just a pretty
face you know! Well, I am, but that’s besides the point.”
And with that, Legolas turned his back on the rest of the group and sat
down on a large rock to sulk in the corner.
“Can we have another, Bob? You are truly a great and powerful
wizard!” Merry asked, followed by head nods and mutterings of “ayes”
from everyone except Frodo and Boromir, who was on the verge of tears
as he held the balloon-creature’s string in his hands.
“Sorry, my friends, but it’s a one-time only deal!” At which the faces
of the fellowship suddenly dropped.
“However…” Bob said, as he seemed to reconsider, “I could do some more,
If you let me join your Fellowship.”
The rest of the group leaned back slightly, a little taken aback by
this new offer.
“Two wizards are better than one, I always say.” Merry offered his
opinion first, knowing no one would actually listen to it until the
very end of the discussion when Aragorn would claim he thought of it
“Me makes mood murmish melights!” Pippin added, trying to stuff a
few more bits into his mouth in case it was suddenly taken away if the
vote went against him.
“There’s always more where those came from, my friend.” Bob said with a
smile as he winked at Pippin.
“…Balloon…” Was all Boromir could muster, the tears welling under his
“And those, my friend, and those.” Bob added, placing a consoling hand
on Boromir’s shoulder.
“Well I think we should ask Gandalf when he gets back. There’s
something fishy about this...’Bob’ fellow, and I’m not talking about
the two mackerels that are hanging out of his pocket.” Frodo stated
with a strong voice, his stern grimace unwavering in the devotion to
his old friend, even if he did want just a small taste of the Turkish
“Well if you ask me, as I will note that no one has…” Gimli started
to say until something small and furry jumped up and out of view over
the small hill behind Bob.
“Oooo…oooo… a little bunny rabbit!” Gimli proclaimed with delight,
before quickly scurrying over the hill to find it.
“That’s Gimli gone…” Bemoaned Frodo with a sigh.
“Hmmm, it appears that we have little choice. And as a wise Elf
once said to a dandelion, two wizards are better than one.” Aragorn
said finally, drawing the matter to a close.
“It’s four against two, Frodo, with one abstention. You loose!” Aragorn
“Don’t I have any say in this matter, since I am the Ring-bearer
and all?” Frodo quickly put in, dangling the Ring on the chain round
his neck in front of the group.
“You got to make the decision about which way we turn out of
Rivendell when we started, and you got that one wrong too!” Merry said
sharply, still trying to avoid Aragorn.
“.. The Ring…” Bob said unexpectedly, now that the group had made its
decision. And with a flash and some more expanding smoke, Bob had
swiped the Ring from Frodo’s chain and vanished into the mists, leaving
only a trail of cackling, and coughing, evil laughs.
“Oi! The Ring!” Frodo shouted in surprise. “He’s taken the Ring!”
“Get him!” Aragorn cried, although he was still a bit disorientated
by the smoke and worried that he might step on one of the Hobbits.
“Met me must minish mese mast murkish melights…” Pippin mumbled
somewhere in the dimness, holding the box of Turkish delights to his
chest for dear life.
“I’ve got his leg!” Merry suddenly screamed as he grabbed on to
“That’s my leg, you idiot!” Legolas replied almost as quickly.
“Oops, sorry.” Merry mumbled sheepishly as he let go of Legolas.
“It’s hard to tell all these legs apart in the smoke. Honest mistake,
oh, and sorry about the bite marks.”
“…Balloon…” Boromir whispered softly, although no one could tell
where anyone was by now and just decided to sit it out and wait for the
smoke to clear.
“What are we going to do, Aragorn? Gandalf’s going to be coming
back any minute!” Frodo wailed as the smoke slowly began to recede and
the dishevelled group took stock of the recent affair.
“Quick, take the clasp for Boromir’s cloak, dig out Pippin’s gold
fillings, and grab Gimli’s hammer. We can make our own Ring!” Aragorn
“All we need now is a fire that’s hot enough to melt gold, some
ancient Elvish magic, a whole heap of bubblegum and a jewelsmith that
doesn’t charge overtime.”
“I’m afraid it’s a lost cause, Aragorn.” Frodo said eventually,
feeling totally disheartened as Aragorn prepared to wedge open Pippin’s
“The whole quest comes to an end over Turkish delight and a mutilated
“Phewww! Just think how bad it could have been if we’d continued!”
Merry added, just a little relieved to finally be going home, even if
he did have to fight Pippin for the last Turkish delight now that he
couldn’t eat it.
“Not to fear, Gimli’s here!” Came a voice over the hill, and there,
standing proud in the sunlight atop the small hill stood Gimli. In one
hand he held what looked like a half-eaten rabbit leg, and in the other
was the Ring on Frodo’s chain.
“The silly old fool tripped over his own cloak and fell down a
rabbit hole… and I don’t think Gandalf’s going to help him get out of
that one!” Gimli announced proudly, returning the rabbit-leg to Frodo.
“Mmm.. Gimli… wrong hand.” Frodo said quickly, before retrieving the
Ring and hastily throwing away the rabbit-leg.
“So all’s well that ends well. As I’m sure someone once said, sometime,
to someone.” Aragorn said in the end.
“I told you there were only two wizards!” Merry said. “But no, no one
listens to Merry, because then everyone would be ok.”
“Ahmmm… please notice that it was I that slew the foul floating
beast.” Legolas spoke up, making sure that he got some of the credit
for his courageous feat in this bizarre matter.
“You said there were three wizards.” Pippin corrected Merry
wondering if he had enough time to run to where Bob was stuck in the
rabbit-hole and retrieve the vial of Turkish delights.
“There are five wizards.” Frodo corrected yet again, “And here our one
As the group turned to see the familiar large hat bob up and down
over the hill, they were all a little relieved that nothing could
surely go wrong when they got to Caradhras.
“….Balloon…” Was all Boromir said.