Season 1, Episode 15
By Lady Alyssa and Random Dent
Disclaimer: JRR Tolkien owns the Fellowship. Debt to ‘Father Ted’ in the characterisation of Gandalf. General situation debt to the ‘Young Ones’. We don’t own Peak Practice, Jamie Bamber, Delia Smith, Ikea, Global Video (thankfully), complicated cheese, Ingmar Bergman, Boris Yeltsin, The Erotic Witch Project, Pong, the 18th century British navy or knockout whist.
Rating: R (comedic violence; flatmate strife; Language; mental breakdown; gratuitous cheese; winds light to variable.)
Reviews: yes please, please or else it means we have to work. Story notes: ‘Sectioned’ refers to being detained under the Mental Health Act, i.e. Being put into a mental hospital for your and other people’s safety. Delia referred to in the story is Delia Smith, a British cookery person who’s on telly a lot. Scary woman. Oh, yes, and Jamie Bamber is Dr. Matt in Peak Practice (unintentionally hilarious medical drama), also famous for playing Archie in ‘Hornblower’. And we speak no Italian so feel free to correct us.
“Stop stalking Jamie Bamber! Leave him alone, Nell!”
Merry was obviously having the ‘General Practice Courtesan Dream’, where the mistresses of dead kings rose from the grave to molest the cast of ‘Peak Practice’. It was one of his more frequent disturbing dreams, one of the others involving Boris Yeltsin, a laundrette and Saruman, but this one was keeping Pippin awake.
“Stoppit! Run, Jamie, run!” In what could only have been an attempt to rugby tackle the imaginary stalker, Merry threw himself across the bed, much to Pippin’s distress.
This noise requires some explanation. Actually, quite a bit of explanation and we aren’t going to promise that it all will make sense, because, lets face it, this is an explanation involving Pippin. Pippin’s porn collection had been growing exponentially ever since he had found an abandoned matriculation card (the fact that he had been hanging round student pubs for almost 2 months in an attempt to achieve this was not the point) and was busy getting student discounts on every porn title he could find until someone notices that he wasn’t actually called Sarah Jones and he didn’t have long blonde hair. As a result, Pippin now had to perch on top of a small mountain of pornographic publications every night when he went to bed. It was extremely uncomfortable and the rest of the Hobbits had nicknamed him ‘The Porn Dragon’ and claimed that he would be able to tell just by sitting on it if they threw any of it out. What had happened to cause the noise was that Merry had turned over violently causing the underside of his bunk to bulge down into the small space Pippin slept in, landing right on his nose and breaking it. To make matters worse, Merry had now gone from light dream sleep into deep comatose sleep and wasn?t going to move.
It took about 5 minutes of screaming to wake Frodo and Sam, who had subconsciously heard the noise of Pippin in pain and had decided not to wake up.
“Pippin? What are you making all that noise for?”
“Mn’ snuck, tuh bunk by berry”
“I think he’s stuck.”
The amount of noise Frodo and Sam had to make to wake Merry up was sufficient to wake up Aragorn and Legolas in the next room. After banging on the wall for several minutes to shut the Hobbits up they decided to see if Fate had smiled on them and someone had tried to kill Pippin.
Aragorn shuffled into the Hobbits’ bedroom, resplendent in brown paisley pattern pyjamas and carpet slippers, followed by Legolas in an 18th century nightshirt, which is to all intents and purposes a nightie and to the disgust of the Hobbits, still managing to look attractive, even with the hairnet.
“Aragorn, you’ve got to drive Pippin to the hospital, he’s broken his nose.”
“Do, Berry’s broken by dose, bastard.”
Aragorn looked at Pippin. “He doesn’t need to go to the hospital, I can fix that, I’ve set hundreds of bones.”
“Dododododododododo. Ugger off.”
The Hobbits knew Pippin’s psychology.
“Girly girly knicker wearer.”
Pippin launched himself at Merry in retaliation for this last comment. Legolas grabbed him mid-flight and pinned his arms behind his back for just long enough for Aragorn to put his nose back into place.
“AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRARARARARNNNOOOOOO. OO BASTARD! I’g onna get oo for dat.”
“Forgive me if I am not afraid of a mini Hugh Hefner. Do you have any very small bunny girls hanging round the place?”
“Umm. Aragorn. I think in future we could take him to hospital. For pain relief?”
“Give me five minutes to get the feverfew infusing…”
“Or, or, you could just possibly give him an aspirin.”
“I don’t hold with any of that chemical rubbish.”
Legolas sighed. Reasoning with Aragorn was one of life’s more pointless exercises. He had now gone into a long rant about how anaesthetics had weakened the moral fibre of humanity, aided by the introduction of soft toilet paper and sliced bread.
Legolas was getting bored. “Aragorn. Shut up. Pippin ? tomorrow we sort out the porn collection. And get rid of most of it.”
The next morning an enormous heap of porn had appeared in the sitting room. Legolas, being the organised elf that he was, had gone out early to Ikea and had returned with many interesting Swedish storage ideas that Aragorn was out in the garden swearing at. Aragorn could understand a little Swedish, but not an Ikea flatpack. He was having problems assembling his Knep, the Ha‹bol was fighting back and he’d just tripped over his Slugis.
Pippin was sat in the middle of the pile debating what he was going to throw out and what he was going to donate to Oxfam. Legolas had not been informed of this plan, and had therefore been unable to veto it. Gandalf, Frodo and Merry were sat by a slightly smaller pile, having first refusal on Pippin?s second hand porn. The rest of the fellowship had too much dignity, common sense, hygiene and knowledge of Pippin’s… personality to want to even be in the same room as the porn collection.
Legolas stuck his head round the door and threw an assembled box in the direction of Pippin.
“I want over three quarters of this thrown out. And I’m going back to buy you a mattress.”
Pippin looked worried. “Those nasty things wi’springs? They look really uncomfortable.”
“You are sleeping on a mattress.” Something caught Legolas’ eye. “Just how old is some of this stuff anyway? Why hasn’t it disintegrated?”
“He’s a tepid person.” Supplied Frodo.
“Umm, perhaps that his kind of, ummm exuded body heat and humidity is just right for the preservation of paper? Perhaps we should sell him to the British Library.”
“Not after where he’s been.”
Legolas looked at the picture, then went into the kitchen. He returned a few seconds later with the salad tongs and picked the picture up. He looked at it carefully, using his elven eyesight to its fullest extent, and then tried to talk casually to Pippin.
“Where did you get this?”
“Weird beardy bloke drew it.”
“Weird beardy… Italian bloke?”
“Yep. Dead good wi’all the, y’know… bits.”
“Yes, yes, anatomical accuracy, I can see that. Um, would this have been a left handed, bearded Italian around the time of the Renaissance?”
“Yep. Name was Davey I think.”
“Yep. Leonardo Davey.”
“Do you think that it could have been more likely to have been ‘da Vinci’ as opposed to Davey?”
“Probably. Mah Italian’s not up to much. Hey, do you know why he wrote all that Russian down the side of the picture?”
Legolas was shaking quite a lot now. He squeaked “That writing that looks suspiciously like Italian written backwards you mean?”
“Yeah, what’s it say?”
“To the very funny acrobatic dwarf, because I haven’t laughed this much since I was 12 and aunt Lucretia fell into the dung heap.”
“Thought he was going tae wet himself he wiz laughin so much.”
“Do you have any idea how much this is worth?”
“Nope. Not really my style.”
“Yeah, the woman doesn’t look like she’s going to have back problems when she’s older.”
Legolas carefully dropped the picture onto the coffee table and started to giggle manically.
“Of course we can’t sell it through Southeby’s. Who’d believe that an original da Vinci’s been in my housemate’s mattress for over 400 years? Provenance? Provenance? Hobbit mattress porn, provenance? Heeeeeheheeeheeeeehheeehheeee!”
The rest of the room had stopped to look at Legolas. “Legolas? Is everything alright?”
“I have to make some phone calls. If any of you so much as touch that picture on the coffee table I will break your arms and make you eat your own livers, understand?”
Everyone else nodded ferociously.
The next week and a half were somewhat eventful. Legolas managed to sell the picture on the black market for a sum he wouldn’t name, but his first suggestion was that they moved somewhere ‘bigger. A lot bigger. Where I can have my own room with at least 6 inches of soundproofing between me and the Hobbits.’ Frodo demanded a larger kitchen with a central work area and Aga and Sam wanted a big garden. Merry and Pippin had asked for a cellar, but Legolas had decided not to ask why and made a mental note to exclude all houses with cellars from his list of possibilities.
However, the stress of househunting had taken its toll on Frodo. He had been Sectioned. Again. Although to be fair, it hadn’t really been his fault as no one had bothered to warn him that the potential buyers looking round the house were mystic new-age types and that one of them was wearing a necklace with a huge eye on it and because she wasn’t exactly tall and it was on a long chain, Frodo had had an unpleasant encounter with it at eye level. The hoop earrings and rings hadn’t helped the situation either. This meant that the rest of the fellowship were having to cook and clean on their own. Not exactly the best circumstances to be showing people round a house in, as thick black smoke obscuring the view of the kitchen can be rather off-putting.
Even Gandalf had done his bit for the house effort. He spent several days watching programmes on how to sell your house and decided that de-cluttering the house was the best course of action to take and put all the unnecessary items he could find in the shed and taped the door shut. Unfortunately his good work was undone over the next few days when the rest of the household were forced to retrieve the microwave, kettle, bath towels and soap. Gandalf had never used any of these things, so, as far as he was concerned, they were clutter. He had also tried to bully Merry and Pippin into painting all the walls magnolia and as a result every vertical surface was painted up to the height of about 5 and a half feet, at which point they had stopped because they couldn’t find the stepladder (trapped in the shed behind the barbeque). Legolas and Aragorn had not been impressed at coming home from a hard day’s work to find they had to finish off someone else’s DIY.
Then the toilet sprang a leak. In normal circumstances the situation would have been resolved speedily, with Frodo calling the local plumber, the nice efficient bloke from four streets away. However, with no Frodo around, and no one being able to remember the phone number Aragorn decided to try to fix it himself. With polyfilla. And duct tape. Merry and Pippin had retreated to the work surface in the kitchen, wailing that they were going to drown. Water was pouring down the stairs in a biblical fashion when Legolas arrived home from the Arthouse cinema’s Ingmar Bergman season. He found the Yellow pages, turned off the water at the mains, rang a plumber, then in response to Aragorn’s cries for help rang the fire brigade. Their attempts to free him were hampered his comedic predicament, being wedged into, stuck down and duct taped on to the toilet.
So, the house was redecorated again. Several sets of people had looked round the house. Therefore Legolas decided that it was time they seriously started looking for a new house. Reluctantly he had to concede that this would involve taking the hobbits along with Aragorn and Gimli. Legolas was glad elves never suffered form high blood pressure.
“Billiard room! Billiard room! This one’s got a billiard room. Can we have a look?”
“It only says it has a billiard room because they have a billiard table. We don’t. OK?”
“Do we really need the sixth bedroom? This one has six bedrooms and a study.”
“A spare room’s always a good idea.”
“Ah, no sorry, only five bedrooms. Definitely.”
“This one’s got a conservatory. It’d be good for my plants.”
“We can build you a conservatory.”
“I want a greenhouse as well.”
“‘I want’ doesn’t get.”
“Alright, alright. But we need to go and look round some of these houses. Soon. Very soon.” Legolas had the idea of his own room lodged in his head and was savouring the possibilities. Space for the Warhammer and the Hammond Organ.
“Good afternoon, Mr, er…”
“Mr. Green. And these are my… housemates.”
The woman looked at the rest of the Fellowship, and was glad that she wasn’t alone in the house. She started her spiel. “Well as you can see this is the hallway, and through here is the reception room…”
The tour continued. Legolas managed to dissuade Pippin from pocketing anything. Sam had a detailed list of questions sent by Frodo about the kitchen, of which the woman could answer none ? the nearest she ever got to cooking were Marks and Spencer ready meals.
“Och, Is this a load bearing wall?”
“Um…I don’t know, you could get a surveyor’s report.”
“Does that lintel look like it’s buckling to anyone else?”
“No, Gimli, it doesn’t. And neither did any of the other lintels you asked about. Not even the one in the summer house. But could I take this opportunity to ask you about the soundproofing?”
“Well, we’ve never had any problems with it.”
“Yes, but have you ever had four people in the next room trying to learn to clog dance to ‘Mambo Number 5’?” Legolas started staring straight ahead and his eyes took on a strange glazed look.
“I can’t say I ever have.”
“Yes, but in a hypothetical situation would you say that if someone was clog dancing in the next room do you think you would be able to hear it?”
“Well, in a hypothetical situation I hypothetically don’t know. Just like I don’t hypothetically know if the summer house is going to collapse or the cooker is capable of nuclear fusion. If you don’t want to be able to hear people clog dancing next door I suggest you move into a converted castle with walls four feet thick!” The woman started wondering if maybe she should just stay in this house if selling it meant having to deal with people this weird.
“But we only did that once, and we threw the clogs away afterwards and everything.”
“What do you mean? We’ve never lived in a converted castle and even if we did, why would we need clogs?”
“Oh keep up with the conversation.”
“Are those trees yours?”
“What? Pardon? Are those trees ours? They’re in our garden. I’ve decided I don’t want to sell the house any more. Perhaps it would be best if you just left. Now.”
“Well, that went about as well as could be expected.”
“What do you mean? That’s the third person who’s taken their house of the market when we were in it this week.”
“Um, perhaps… I don’t want to be offensive or anything, but begging your pardon, it might actually work a bit better if only me and Legolas looked round the houses.” The rest of the Fellowship turned to look at Sam.
“What’s wrong with the rest of us?”
Sam cowered a bit and took on the expression worn by most men when confronted by their wives the morning after the night before when they’ve come in drunk, deposited an empty curry container on the new living room carpet, knocked over four items of great sentimental value, been sick in and around the toilet and fallen asleep in the airing cupboard, so Legolas took the opportunity to answer the question himself.
“Well, where shall I begin? Pippin, has it occurred to you that some people find petty theft somewhat anti-social? Merry, laughing at family pictures and telling them that their much loved great aunt has a face like a, what was it, ‘bulldog that’s swallowed a wasp’? That’s also something they don’t teach you in finishing school. Gimli, questioning the structural integrity of everything from the roof space to their child’s toast rack that they made at school is a bad plan. And Aragorn, would you please stop diagnosing their trees with all sorts of diseases that are going to make them collapse on the house within a few weeks.”
“But they did have-”
“Shut up. Shut up all of you. From now on Sam and I are the house buying committee. Aragorn and Gimli are the packing up the old house committee and Merry and Pippin are the Gandalf Riot Control committee.”
“What’s the Gandalf Riot Control committee?”
“It’s your job to stop Gandalf from finding out we’re actually moving until the point when the packing committee put the tea chest over his head and shove him in the back of the removal lorry.”
“How are we supposed to do that?”
Legolas held out a small rectangular piece of card. “This is a membership card for the Global Video shop down the road. They have the largest porn collection outside of the Amsterdam red light district.”
Merry and Pippin gibbered appreciatively.
While Merry, Pippin and Gandalf sat watching ‘The Erotic Witch Project’ in the living room, Gimli and Aragorn made a start on clearing out the loft.
“Who on earth does this ukulele belong to?”
“None of us have ever tried to play the ukulele. Sitar, clarsach, balalaika, triangle and wood blocks, yes. Ukulele, no.”
“Alright then, that can go into the rubbish pile.” Aragorn threw the offending instrument through the hatch where it landed with a slight splintering thud on the landing.
“What about this?”
“What is it?”
2It’s a game of ‘Pong’.”
“I think we throw that out too. What about these boots?”
“Get rid of them! Or sell them to a museum that has really thick glass cases, they smell terrible.” There was a pause. “Those aren’t the boots Pippin found on the Somme, are they?”
“What, the ones with bits of feet still in them?”
“No, Pippin only steals things that he can use or sell and you can’t either use or sell something that still has the previous owner…resident.”
“We’d better get rid of them just to be on the safe side anyway.”
Gimli nodded in agreement.
“Hmmm, books, books and…more books. We should probably keep these.”
“Including the pop-up Karma Sutra.”
“Definitely including the pop-up Karma Sutra.”
“What about these mouldy looking ones that look like someone’s spilt their dinner on them?”
“Keep those too. One of them’s Frodo’s autographed copy of ‘Mrs Beaton’ and he’s rather attached except he won’t let them near the kitchen because he thinks they might be unhygienic.”
Aragorn opened a trunk and his eyes lit up. “Ah ha, weaponry! We’re hanging on to this, although maybe we should keep it in better order, some of it’s disintegrating.”
Legolas stuck his head through the hatch. “None of my weaponry?s disintegrating. If you want a bow to work you have to keep it oiled and maintained and I do, so all of my weaponry?s fully functional.”
Aragorn and Gimli sniggered. “I bet all your weaponry’s fully functional.”
“Oh grow up.” Legolas retreated from the loft, stopping only to pick up and tune the discarded ukulele and sit on the loft ladder and play ‘When I’m Cleaning Windows’.
“I think we’ve reached a crisis point. We’ve been living on take away food for the past 5 days and if we don’t go to the supermarket soon so we can cook something fresh we’re all going to get scurvy. And I know all about scurvy, I’ve been in the navy.”
Gandalf, Merry and Pippin took this opportunity to start singing ‘In the Navy’.
“I don’t know why you’re singing that, you were in the navy too. The only difference was that I was an officer and you were press ganged.”
“We know what all the officers were getting up to back then you know.”
“Yes, but at least I didn’t have to spend long periods of time standing in one place so that Nelson could balance the end of his telescope on the top of my head.”
The innuendo in this knocked Merry and Pippin for six. They were so many possibilities for smutty comebacks that their brains actually fused and they were left muttering incoherently about ‘rum, sodomy and the lash’.
“Legolas,” began Aragorn, “You didn’t really…get up to what the officers got up to, did you?”
“Well of course I did. Being an officer in the 18th century navy was a stressful job; the death rates were horrendous and you need to put in a lot of hours to run such a complexly rigged ship. You need something to take your mind off it at the end of the watch.”
“Yes, but, you didn’t have to do…that.”
“What’s wrong with knockout whist?”
There was silence round the table. “That’s what the officers were getting up to?”
“What did you think we were getting up to?”
“Um…um, but… you know what they say about sailors.”
“A woman in every port? I can assure you I was not like that. I was an officer and a gentleman, sir.”
“That wasn’t quite what we meant.”
“Well, of course we weren’t exactly known for our sinful ways aboard my ship. There were others who got up to worse.”
“Oh yes, on the ‘Revenge’ they used to play poker. Sometimes for money. But back to the matter in hand. Gentlemen, we are going to have to cook.”
“Wait, wait, what about when we were in the navy? We just used to eat some lemons. Why don’t we just go to the supermarket for a big bag of lemons and stop to get pizza on the way back.”
“No, we just need fruit. Let’s forget about the supermarket altogether and get ham and pineapple pizza.”
“No, we have to prove that we can survive on our own. What’s really easy to cook?”
“Macaroni cheese. But not the stuff out of a packet.”
“No, I’ve got a better idea. Macaroni cheese with bacon bits in it.”
“To the landrover!”
“So much cheese…”
The entire Fellowship minus Frodo, but including Gandalf who had decided that he was overdue his monthly exercise and that this might just be interesting. However the exercise had fallen by the wayside somewhat when he found out that the supermarket provided wheelchairs and he immediately developed mobility problems.
“Legolas, Elves are good at cooking, aren’t they? Why don’t you choose?”
“Yes, but cheese isn’t exactly elvish. It’s all matured and fermented. Not natural at all and definitely not elvish.”
“Alright then. Everyone choose one and we’ll hope for the best.”
Sam and Gimli made sensible choices, Sam choosing extra matured cheddar and Gimli some Wensleydale. Aragorn went for his usual doubly-evil, matured since the French revolution blue stilton that was tethered in its own pen in a corner of the cheese counter. Legolas wanted some mozzarella since it was low fat and inoffensive, but in deference to his high-class elven sensibilities it was proper buffalo mozzarella. Then Gandalf, Merry and Pippin chose and things started getting silly as Pant ys Gawn, Bishop Kennedy and a strange speckled red concoction calling itself Mexicana with a warning about high chilli content on it were added to the trolley.
“What else do we need?”
“I have consulted Delia.”
“All hail Delia.”
“And we need butter, flour, milk, pasta and bacon bits.”
Butter, flour and milk were all easily obtained with only small disagreements over which type of butter (the cheapest) and flour (also the cheapest, after a dip between self-raising and plain). The milk argument was solved by Gandalf’s protests that it was below the officially recognised Wizard’s dignity level to drink anything skimmed.
“So many types of bacon…”
“We’re not going through that again. Look, economy bacon bits, that’ll do.”
“There’s lots of pasta too…”
“We’re having macaroni cheese, so we’re buying macaroni.”
“Can’t we have linguini?”
“You’re only asking for that because you think it sounds rude. We’re getting macaroni.”
“The expensive kind or the cheap kind?”
“All hail Delia.”
“Says that we should use one of the more expensive kinds, so that’s what we’ll get.”
The rest of the shopping trip was uneventful apart from when Gandalf wouldn’t let Aragorn have his credit card and again when he wouldn?t let the supermarket have their wheelchair back. The Fellowship loaded up the car with their cheese, pasta, bacon, butter, flour, milk and lemons and went home to face the daunting task of cooking.
Because the kitchen had been designed for Hobbits, Aragorn and Legolas couldn’t quite fit, so sat at the kitchen table reading aloud instructions from the Book of Delia to the Hobbits, who were trying to do the actual cooking. Merry and Pippin were attempting to eat lemons while cooking, which wasn’t making it any easier.
“Okay, so you’ve mixed the butter and flour, now, pour in the milk and stir it quickly so that it doesn’t go all lumpy. She says it’s ok if it curdles a bit ? that’s normal.”
“Mmmnnngggg.” This, for the benefit of our reader, is noise made by a Hobbit sucking on a piece of lemon.
“What was that?”
“I think he said it’s working.”
“So now have you made a nicely consistent white sauce?”
Sam, by dint of hitting Merry and Pippin with a ladle until they retreated, had accomplished this task.
“Now, add the cheese.”
Merry and Pippin had grated an immense quantity of cheese and they proceeded to throw all of it into the saucepan. The cheese began to melt, although the cheese to white sauce ratio made it resemble fondue more than the sauce normally used for macaroni.
“Maybe we should add some more milk.”
“All hail Delia.”
“Say to add more milk?”
“Um…hang on a minute I’ll check. Yes, you can add more milk if it’s too thick. Ooh, there’s something else, she suggests adding a pinch of nutmeg.”
Pippin went to the spice rack and found the nutmeg. Frodo, being a proper cook, only ever bought whole nutmeg, which confused Pippin slightly. He tapped the nutmeg suspiciously.
“It’s all in big lumps, should I just put it in?”
“Yeah, it’ll melt…like soluble aspirin.”
“I don’t want fizzy cheese sauce.”
“Well, not quite like soluble aspirin. Just bung it in.”
“I think you’re supposed to grate it…?” Suggested Sam. But he was too late, Pippin had already thrown an entire nutmeg into the cheese sauce.
“Nah, it’s too small, we’ll just wait til it melts.”
Twenty minutes later the nutmeg still hadn’t melted.
“Perhaps we should have grated it. Never mind, we’ll make it like finding the sixpence in the Christmas pudding ? whoever finds the nutmeg does the washing up. Someone heat the water for the pasta.”
“Urgh, I think I’ve got the nutmeg. No, wait, it’s just another lump of overcooked bacon, it’s chewy in the middle.”
The original possessor of the nutmeg had been Gandalf, who in tactical defence of his unbroken record of doing no work around the house whatsoever, had wrapped it in bacon and sneakily levitated it on to Sam’s plate.
“Mning? Hnyah.” For the benefit of our reader this is the noise made by a Hobbit who has bitten into a whole nutmeg wrapped in overcooked bacon and is now attempting to unstick it from his jaws.
To say that the Fellowship were enjoying their pasta al sei formaggio would be stretching the dictionary definition of ‘enjoy’ further than the elastic in Gandalf’s underwear during The Accidental Bungee Jumping Incident. The overcooked bacon was at least adding texture to something which defied all natural laws because at this exact moment Frodo was also eating macaroni cheese with bacon bits in the psychiatric hospital and enjoying his considerably more. The highlight of Frodo’s day when he was in hospital used to be when the really tall doctor who had to duck even to get through the unusually tall hospital doors came to do his ward rounds, but now he spent as much time as possible talking to the catering staff and trying to give them hints and tips.
“I have some important news.” Legolas was looking even more smug than usual, so much so that his smugness had radiated into Sam who had come in with him.
“I’ve found the right house for us, and to stop any of you disagreeing about this, we’ve put in an offer and it’s been accepted, ok?”
The rest of the Fellowship’s jaws hit the ground.
“You did this without saying anything?”
“Of course we did. Who said that democracy works? It just takes longer. And I’ve sold this house too and we have to be out by next Friday, but since we can move into the new house on Wednesday, this isn’t going to cause us any problems.”
“Should we tell Gandalf?”
“No, remember what I said about he tea chest. Anyway, I was wondering if I could talk to you about this. What if we don’t tell him and don?t bother with the tea chest?”
“But that would be cruel.”
“Yeah, think of the people who’re moving into this house, they’ve got kids.”
“It would be like a replacement for corporal punishment. Good character building material.”
“What kind of character could you build out of Gandalf apart from serial killer? I mean, look at Frodo, he’s known Gandalf all his life and look where it got him.”
“Alright, we’ll take Gandalf. Just don’t mention him to the removal companies when you phone up to get quotes, we’ll have to carry the stuff ourselves if you do.”
“If we give him enough to drink that he passes out and tell the removal men that he’s a Guy left over from bonfire night a few years ago that we got too attached to to burn we might just get away with it.”
“Do we have that much alcohol?”
“Surgical alcohol should do the trick. Or failing that, meths…”
“Bloody hell, something in here pongs.”
“What did they say this were again?”
“Dunno, but I got the impression it were pretty important.”
“Really? That girly blonde one said it dint matter too much, and to leave it behind if we couldn?t get it in t’van.”
“Should we just leave it? It’s bloody heavy.”
“Yeah, but it’s probably got something rotting in it. If we leave it here environmental health’ll be down on us like a ton of bricks and I’m not taking this thing all the way to t’tip for them. We’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty today, especially when the short barmy one spent most of the morning hanging on to me leg.”
“Wonder what they’ve done?”
“How do you mean?”
“How many people round here move from three bedroom semis into big five bedroom houses like what they’re going into? They’ve either done the lottery or done a bank.”