This is a serving of humour from a joke that got started at the Prancing
Let me not offend too may folk, and know that this is my favourite chapter of FOTR... that is why I delight in making fun here...
When NescaFrodo came at last up onto the flet, he found Legolatte
seated with three other Elves, drinking coffee. They stood up,
and one of them uncovered a small silver cylinder, that gave out
a jet of steam, and a slight aroma of beans. They poured him a
cup of coffee, and spoke words of welcome in the Elven-tongue.
NescaFrodo spoke haltingly in return, then burned his tongue on the coffee.
"Careful! The brew is hot!" cautioned the Elves. "We seldom serve
coffee, for we dwell now in the heart of the forest, and do not
willingly have dealings with any other folk. But it is bloody cold
on this flet, and we have hang-overs. I am Haldiroast, and these
are my brothers Rumilstone and Oraffine. They have no speaking
lines in this story." Rumilstone and Oraffine gave their brother
dirty looks, but remained silent.
"We have smelled the aroma of your brewing, and messengers from
Elground have passed by Loriandadanish on their way home. We had
not heard of half-caffs for many a long year, and did not know that
they still drank coffee. I see that it does stunt the height and
encourage the growth of excessive hair! I thought that that was
an old Entwife's tail!" He dumps his cup of coffee over the edge
of the flet. A shout of pain comes from below, followed by cursing in Khuzdul.
"A Dwarf!" said Haldiroast. "That is not well! We have not had
dealings with the Dwarves since the Days of Dark Roast. They are
not permitted in our land. We cannot allow him to pass. They do
not use coasters, and leave cup-rings on the furniture!"
At the talk of rings, NescaFrodo stirred uneasily and clutched the
coffee-ring that hung round his neck beneath his tunic. "But he
is trusty and true," he said, "And Elground himself chose him to
be my companion. Also, he makes the best cinnamon rolls you have ever tasted!"
"Very good! Then he shall be permitted to pass within, but he must
go blindfold through Loriandadanish! But you are all weary now,
and tonight you will stay with us in the flets and rest before going
on tomorrow. We Elves will keep watch."
NescaFrodo bowed and thanked his hosts many times. "But will you
not rest also? Surely you are tired from patrolling the borders of Loriandadanish?"
Haldiroast, Rumilstone, Oraffine, and Legolatte laughed. "Sleep?
Elves do not NEED sleep!" They refilled their cups with fresh coffee and began to play cards.
NescaFrodo lay awake for some times after all his companions were
asleep. Sanka was snoring lustily beside him, and NescaFrodo dug
an elbow into his ribs to silence him. The forest was very quiet.
The Elves were sitting with their arms wrapped about their knees,
shaking violently from the caffeine, speaking in whispers. At last,
lulled by the wind and the soft perking of the coffee-pot, NescaFrodo dropped into a troubled sleep.
Late in the night he woke. Everyone was asleep, and the Elves were
gone. The wind was still. A little way off he heard a harsh laugh
and the clink of coffee-mugs. The sounds died slowly away. A head
appeared suddenly through the hole in the flet. NescaFrodo clutched
his chest in alarm, and said the grinning Elf, "Don't DO that!"
Haldiroast chuckled at his tasteless joke. Then he said, "Did you
see it? There was something in this tree that I have never seen
before. It ran away when the gobblings passed below. They crossed
the Nimrodeli- curse their foul feet in its creamy water!- and went
on down the old road beside the river, where the IHOP is. Three
could not challenge a hundred, so we went ahead and left a trail
of beans for them to follow. We must go as soon as it is light."
The company prepared to leave, after the morning coffee had been
consumed. They said goodbye to the river Nimrodeli, and it seemed
to NescaFrodo that he would never hear again a running stream of
cream so beautiful, for ever blending its innumerable coffees in
an endless course of beverage choices.
They went back to the path, and saw signs of the passage of the
gobblings; crushed paper cups discarded upon the road, half-chewed
coffeebeans scattered about, swizle-sticks tied into knots. The
crossed another stream, then Haldiroast turned to them and said,
"As was agreed, I shall here blindfold the eyes of the Dwarf."
This was not to the liking of Gelimli. "The agreement was made
without my consent. I will not walk blindfold, smelling the coffee that others drink!"
"Toss him in the river," said Haldiroast. The brothers picked up
the Dwarf and swung him toward the brown waters. "Okay! Okay!
Blindfold it is!" cried Gelimli.
He grumbled as they bound his eyes. "May your coffee- stains never rinse out!" he muttered.
Araromagorn said, "It is hard for the Dwarf to be thus singled out.
We will all be blindfold, even Legolatte."
"Me, too!" cried Rumilstone and Oraffine. "I'm not letting you
guys have all the fun!" said Haldiroast, and they blindfolded all
of the company, and then themselves, and promptly got lost in the forest of Loriandadanish.
Legolatte peeked out from under his cheesecloth blindfold. "Alas
for the folly of these days! Here all are enemies of the one Enemy,
and yet I must walk blind, while the sun is merry and the coffee
is brewing under leaves of gold!"
"Folly it may seem," said Haldiroast, passing Legolatte a thermos.
His blindfold was pushed up to his platnum hairline like a sweatband.
"Indeed in nothing is the power of the Dark Coffee more clearly
shown than in the estrangement that divides all those who would
drink coffee with cream and sugar. We live now upon an danish sinking
in a sea of espresso, and our hands are more often upon the dental
hygiene device than upon our coffeemugs."
Mochamerry had been listening to their talk. "In our land, there
is a substance known as 'kouphymayt', that sweetens and lightens
the coffee. It is farmed west of my land, the Shire, where half-caffs
live," he said, then ran into a tree.
"Happy folk are half-caffs that dwell near the Cream!" said Haldiroast.
"Some there are among us that sing that the Dark Cofffee will be
sweetened, and that pastry will come again. Yet I do not believe
that. My coffee-mug is half empty, not half full! Alas for Loriandadanish
that I love! It would be a poor life in a land were no cappuccino trees grow!"
They blundered blindly through the forest, finding their way to
the Cafe of Green Tea by the smell of the percolating coffee.