In a dark room, at the end of a dark corridor, contained in what can only be described as a dark castle, sits a circle of cloaked figures. We cannot see their faces, by the virtue of them not having any, but none the less it is quite a tense situation. There is a leader of these nine and he stands to start the Ringwraith conference.
Ringwraith leader: Hush, hush. I'm ready to start - listen please. Look, it's your time your wasting. Right, thankyou. To the first business of the day, then. The health and safety inspectors will be coming today, to see if we are conforming to their regulations, alright?
(There are groans from the eight)
Leader: Alright, alright. If we all chip in and do our part then the time will just fly by. You know that old Mary Poppins song.
Ringwraith #1: A spoon full of sugar?
Leader: No, the other one.
RW #2: Tuppence a bag?
Leader: No! The one about cleaning up.
RW #3: Supercalifrad...thing?
Leader: No - the one where all the soldiers are walking into the chest!
RW #1: I think you'll find that's a 'Spoon full of sugar'-
Leader: Look, it doesn't matter about the song, okay? All I'm saying is if we all get tidying as soon as today's meeting is done, the quicker the job will be finished. Okay?
(There are resigned groans from the eight)
(Another ringwraith arrives, and tries to tip toe quietly to his seat)
Leader: Oh, look. There's always one, isn't there?
RW #9: Sorry, Sir. The bus was late.
Leader: Oh yes, of course - the bus was late. I'd like to remind you all that the buses in Mordor have been running on time each and every day since Sauron was elected into power. You remember the Conservative days, don't you? Couldn't catch a bus if you had fifty-feet arms!
RW #9: Sorry, Sir. It won't happen again.
Leader: It'd better not, #9. We can't be taken seriously as the Eight Riders, can we, eh?
RW #9: No.
Leader: Who's ever heard of the Eight Black Riders going forth, eh? Exactly. We'd be the laughing stock. What do you want, #5?
(One of the RW is frantically waving his hand in the air.)
RW #5: Can I go to the toilet, #1?
Leader: Do you have to?
RW #5: It's a bit...non-negotiable, Sir.
Leader: Oh, fine. Go on. We'll all just wait, shall we, sit here twiddling our thumbs and wait for your return?
RW #5: If you could Sir, that'd be great-
Leader: I was being sarcastic!
(RW #5 acknowledges this and then leaves the dark room rather quickly.)
Leader: Honestly, I don't know sometimes. You're a blooming useless lot. What do you lot see when you look in the mirror? Eh?
RW #7: Well, not a lot.
Leader: Exactly! You're all just useless-
RW #7: By the virture of our having no face, Sir.
(Leader stares at #7.)
Leader: Oh. A smart alec, are you, #7?
RW #7: I like to think so. I composed my first Death march when I was four and had learned how to ride a horse menacingly by the time I was nine, Sir.
Leader: Oh really? Well perhaps you could recite to me the Ringwraiths code of honour?
RW #7: Okay. (He rises). Ringwraiths are sworn by alleigance to the Dark King, to uphold, honour and obey all orders of nastiness and terrible proclamations. A ringwraith is a servant, a friend and a menacing sight when seen on horseback. This is the Ringwraith's code of honour, which I adhere to by the letter.
(there is a long pause.)
Leader: Ah! See, know it all. Clever clogs! It's 'THAT I adhere to by the letter'. Hah! Just for that show of insolece, I want 100 lines of the following by 10:00 tomorrow, 'I will not pretend to be cleverer than what I am...especially when I am not...cleverer than what I am.'
(RW #5 comes back in, looking relieved and smelling hygienically washed.)
Leader: Ah, the prodical Toileter returns. Well perhaps we could get on with the main news of the day. We have been given orders to find a halfling by the name of Baggins. Bilbo Baggins. This order comes direct from the man upstairs, so don't think you can flunk it like you did that Elven woodshop yesterday. This Baggins character has apparently come into possesion of the One Ring and will apparently destroy us all if left to his own, maruadering and warrior-like devices. This beast lives in the Shire, South-farthing, alright, so don't think you can all bunk off to the 'Dark Lord's Burger Bar' like you did last time, alright?
(There are murmurs from the nine)
Leader: Good. Then we shall Ride Forth at 0500 hours. Okay?
RW #8: What time is that, Sir?
Leader: Don't you know the 24 hour clock, lad?
RW #8: Is that the one with Mickey Mouse on it, like the one what me Mum got the other day?
Leader:...no. Alright, we will Ride Forth at 5 in the morning.
(There is no response from the nine)
Leader: That's when Mickey's big hand is at 12 and his little arm's at 5.
(A wave of understanding murmurs passes over the nine.)
Leader: Right. Good. That's settled then. But before next time we meet, I want you all to learn the 24 hour clock. I sound stupid saying 'We shall Ride Forth at about 'alf seven.' Honestly, in my day we all had to learn the 24 hour clock or we'd all be beaten with a big stick. Anyway, dismissed.
RW #2 (who has a strangely resonating scouse accent): Sir?
RW #2: What exactly are we to do to this...Baggins fellow?
Leader: Well...kill him, I suppose. Whast did you expect we were going to do to him? Throw him a party?
RW #2: Well no, but...killing is just so...brutal. I think in these days of fee-thinking, we should be spreading the word of peace, man.
RW #2: Well, it's like...peace, man. We've all got to get together, you know. Give peace a chance, all that.
RW #2: Couldn't we just...rough him up a bit?
(there is a mumbling of general but non-comittal agreement from the nine).
Leader: Rough him up a bit?
RW #2: Yeah, man.
Leader: Rough him up a bit?
RW #2: It's just a suggestion, you know.
RW #4: I agree, albeit in a way that doesn't offend you, Sir.
RW #6: Me too. also in a way that is in no way out of line of what you would expect of us, Sir.
(There is another long silence.)
RW #9: Can you still beat us with a big stick, Sir?
RW #9: Well then I agree, but I reserve the right to withdraw my agreement, should the stick law be re-introduced.
(There is a silence that is longer than any that has passed before).
Leader: Okay. You may...rough him up a bit. But do it very roughly, mind you. If my boss hears about this he'll throw me of Mordor quicker than a Balrog on heat. Honestly. Have you lot no face?
(Another painful silence.)
RW #7: As mentioned hitherto, Sir, no we haven't.
Leader: Ha blooming ha. Right go on, dismissed. Scram. Get lost.
(The nine disperse and leave).
Leader: Honestly. For their sake it's a good job they abolished the Conservatives' hard line on Idiots.