Thursday, September 22 finally dawned. Before the gates were opened, wobbits were already lined up hoping for free breakfast burritos and hazelnut lattes. Bulbo had hoped that by having his party at noon on a work-day he would avoid an unmanageably large turnout, but this was not the case. Wobbits far and wide took sick days and arrived, ready to start eating and drinking. Most of them had not returned their RSVPs, and many of them weren’t invited at all. Bulbo met his guests and party-crashers in front of the crater Pantsoff had created when he “relocated” some poorly-placed playground equipment. The crater was filled with gifts that Bulbo handed out to all and Sundry. The latter, Mr. Blotto Sundry, was an acquaintance of Bulbo’s from The W Bush, a small inn on the Buythewater road.
Wobbits give gifts to others on their birthdays. Not very good ones, of course, but it kept the Wobbiton gift-wrap industry booming. And it was a welcome diversion at work to have a birthday gift distribution a couple of times a week. Nobody really liked the gifts: chia pets, ginsu knives, blankets with sleeves, but they liked the excitement of getting them. They were usually cheaply made, often with the logos from various dwarf banks or investment companies on them, a sure sign of re-gifting.
Finally the incredible delay caused by the gift-bottleneck at the entrance was over. Everyone had received their gift and found a seat, and the drinking and eating began. There were three official meals: brunch, cocktails, and happy hour. These events were marked chiefly by the fact that there was food available with the drinks that flowed constantly. The rest of the time everyone was drinking as much as possible, since a rumor was circulating that the open bar would become a cash bar once the fireworks started.
The fireworks were by Pantsoff, and they were surprisingly good. Pantsoff claimed to be an expert at almost everything, but he was actually great at two things: fireworks and popcorn. He could magically turn anything into popcorn, such as goblins, wolves or debt collectors. This was a much sought-after skill for parties such as Bulbo’s, which relied on plenty of cheap snacks. His fireworks were equally famous. He let off the larger rockets and effects himself, but he had a large inventory of firecrackers and sparklers that he freely gave away to any wobbit child that asked. “Don’t forget to stop, drop and roll!” he would say with a smile. His show featured a variety of flashes and and explosions, all of which ended up spelling something like “Visit Enron’s Last Waffle House! Try our new Chicken and Waffle Platter!”
Keep coming back for more of Superfriends Of The Ring. To read my loving, insightful, full-length parody of The Hobbit, order a copy of my eBook The Wobbit on Amazon for only $3.00: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004ZR9ELK .
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