Inkling Challenge: Take the Fellowship to Work/School

by NorthStar

A Fellowship-At-Work tale
I took the Fellowship to work - I don’t think I’d do it again.

Scene One: Older lady at the counter, here to register her car, squints at NorthStar, cocks her head and then sniffs, demanding “What is that in your nose, young lady?” NS sighs, and patiently explains that “it’s a nose ring – actually, more of a stud.” Legolas rushes over “Did somebody call me?” “You wish,” sneered Gimli from the corner where he is perusing some literature on a lifetime hunting permit. Legolas makes a face at the dwarf behind his back. “Well, what is it,” continues the old lady, leaning uncomfortably close. ‘It’s a diamond,” replies NS, stepping back and stomping squarely on Gimli’s booted foot. He doesn’t even notice, for he is busy digging something out of his capacious bermuda shorts pockets. A moment later, he whips out a monocle, which he swiftly fits into his eye. He turns to Legolas and says “make yourself useful, pretty boy and give me a boost” Legolas rolls his eyes, but obligingly swings Gimli up onto the counter, where he peers at NS’s nose, tsk-tsks loudly and then, leaning back, says “that’s no diamond, lass. You’ve been had.” NS blushes and murmurs something, sounding suspiciously like “cubic zirconia.” “Hmm, never heard of that one. Now, if you were into silver, I’d recommend mithril – never rusts, timeless elegance…”

Scene Two: After getting in on a conversation about gardening with some local members of the Red Hat Society, Sam shows some photos he took of the gardens and outbuildings at Bag End. The ladies exclaim over the detail and proliferation of the garden, the layout and design. Sam basks in their admiration, puffing up a little with pride. Suddenly Sam feels a shadow looming over him. It’s the Code Enforcement Officer. Ralph examines the photos with interest. “That’s a good-looking garden you have there, buddy. Nice stone wall. Do we have a permit on file for that? “ “Uh, no. ‘Least not that I know of. Umm, Mr. Frodo? Frodo?”

Frodo is nowhere to be found. As it turns out he wandered down into the Fire Station and joined a group of second graders taking a tour. At the moment of this conversation, Frodo is happily ensconced in the fire truck, turning the flashing lights off and on. Merry and Pippin have discovered the industrial kitchen and are deep in conversation (and flour) with the ladies of the Fire Auxiliary who are baking pies for the bicentennial celebration Tales of the spread of food have brought a shine to their eyes and a song in their heart. (The “lobster debacle” will later be noted in the town record books). Poor Sam is on his own.

“So, “ continues the CEO. “Is this in shoreland zoning? I see a stream over there. Doesn’t look like a 75’ setback from the wall, either. And you do know that moving that much earth requires a soil disturbance permit from the DEP, right?” Sam shakes his head, mutely. “Oh, man – this looks like a LOT of fines. “ Tears spring to Sam’s eyes. NS, seeing this, intervenes. “Ralph, this homestead isn’t in our town. Its in Middle Earth. There are no fines for landscaping without a permit there.” “Middle Earth? Where’s that, some unorganized plantation up north?” “Its not unorganized – we have a Shirriff and everything, and…” “Its ok, Sam. Don’t worry” NS puts her arm around him comfortingly and bending (way) down, whispers something in his ear. He smiles happily, and putting away his photos, heads down to the kitchen, where the smell of blueberry pies has begun wafting through the air.

Scene Three: Aragorn is reading the community bulletin board when in comes an older person seeking general assistance. He is asked to wait while NS completes a phone conference. The applicant looks Aragorn over, noting his scruffy beard, unwashed hair, crusty fingernails and tattered T-shirt. Leaning in, the applicant says, “you here for (whisper) assistance, too?” Aragorn, not understanding, says nothing. “Ain’t no shame in asking for help, son; you look like you’ve fallen on some hard times. Though a strappin’ young guy like yourself should be able to find work around here, down on the docks or somethin’. You ain’t old yet like me.” Aragorn, offended, turns to the man and says “I do work – you think fighting the Dark Forces for a reunited Eriador is easy? Its not – those Uruks are something else, alright. And I’m not so young – I just had my 88th birthday a few days ago.” “Sure, sure,” says the old guy, backing away just a bit. “Whatever you say, son.” NS comes to the counter and says, “ready for you now, Mr. X.” The old man nods and follows NS into the corridor, leaving Aragorn to peruse the bass-fishing regulations in peace. Once out of hearing range, the old man whispers to her. “I hope you can do something for that poor guy. He’s got some problems with reality.” “I do not!” shouts Aragorn from around the corner.

Sigh. These boys. You may be wondering where Boromir was during this interlude. He was next door, looking for "Gondorian Brew" at the pub. Finding none, he settled on "Pete's Wicked Summer Ale" and promptly got blasted and was found later sleeping peacefully during the bicentennial celebration, in the arts and crafts tent.