The Gobfather, Goblin King of the Moisty Mountains

The Gobfather, Goblin King of the Moisty Mountains
from The Wobbit A Parody

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Saturday, March 3, 2012

#11 Promo's Afterparty (from The Superfriends Of The Ring)

Promo came in soon afterwards. He glanced about the condo and then quietly asked "Is Uncle Bulbo gone yet?"

"Yes, at last," said Pantsoff. "I thought he'd never leave. Oh, he left something for you." He handed Promo the inter-office envelope. 

"Don't bother unwinding the string. Inside is his will, his trust documents, and his tax records. I think he left you his ring, too."

"Oh, great," said Promo. "How long do I have to keep that stuff? Five years? Seven years? Forever? I hate filing." He stopped complaining for a moment. "You said his magic ring is in there too? Cool! I'll never have to pay a cover charge to enter a nightclub again!"

"Promo, you've inherited Bulbo's fortune, so stop thinking small for a change. Actually, don't think about the ring at all. Just put it away. Keep it secret, and keep it safe!"

Later that night, the last remaining guests were removed, some in wheelbarrows by gardeners looking for new income streams. A final handful of wobbits refused to get into the barrows under any circumstances, wheeled or otherwise, for fear of the dread barrow-wights. Librarians and middle-school teachers were brought in to explain the various definitions of the word "barrow," but when this didn't help, the gardeners left and movers with hand-trucks arrived. Thus accomodated, the final wobbits were carted off, standing upright in their hand-trucks and unworried by the possibilities of barrows or wights.

Night slowly passed, like unconscious wobbits in wheelbarrows. But finally, late the next morning, even the most unconscious of them were up and around again. They eventually gravitated to the Bunkins ancestral condo. When a sizable crowd had gathered, muttering questions about Bulbo and his whereabouts, Promo stepped out of the aluminium screen door and read a prepared speech.

"Bulbo Bunkins has left the building. He is leaving Wobbiton to pursue other interests. He's been under a lot of stress lately, and would now like to spend less time with his family. You are trespassing on private property. The Shirriffs will be arriving shortly. Unless your name is on the posted list, get the hell off my lawn." The crowd grumbled and dispersed grudgingly, leaving only those that found themselves listed. Promo called their names one by one, and handed out some deeply disappointing gag gifts, reading the labels aloud:

For BORA BUNKINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bulbo; on a flaming bag of dog crap. Bora's annual holiday letter was so self-serving that most of the Bunkinses quickly threw it away unopened. Bulbo hoped that the humor (or "humour" as the wobbits would say) of his gift would be appreciated by all.

For LADLELARD DORK for his VERY OWN, from Bulbo; on a flaming bag of dog crap. Bulbo was insecure as a writer, so he telegraphed his jokes by capitalizing the punchlines. Ladlelard never picked up after his dog, an immense dachshund. Immense, relative to a wobbit.

For PHYLO CHURROS, hoping it will be useful, from B.B. on a flaming bag of dog crap. Phylo enjoyed leaving flaming bags of dog crap at his nieghbor's front doors on All Hallow's Eve.

For the collection of OUZO BUTTCHRUNCHER, from a contributor; on a flaming bag of dog crap. Ouzo collected flaming bags of dog crap, and his collection was admired throughout Wobbiton. At least, by wobbits that liked that sort of thing.

For EARLOBIA SNACKBAG-BUNKINS, as a PRESENT;  on a flaming bag of dog crap. Bulbo had taken a lot of crap from her over the years, and now could return the compliment with impunity.

Bulbo had hoped to indulge his love of irony by selecting an individualized and truly insulting gift for each recipient. But as is so often the case, he waited until the last minute and then had to make do with whatever was at hand. He had been busy with the party, after all. At least the notes were personalized.

Despite the hostile nature of the gag gifts, Bulbo also had put aside a great many real gifts that were wanted and welcomed by poor wobbits from the bad side of Wobbiton. These wobbits were so poor they couldn't live in anything as nice as a hole. To many of them he gave bottles of fortified buckie-wine. No wobbits wear shoes, so even the poorest wouldn't want them, but many of them enjoyed the legwarmers Bulbo gave away. To the very poorest, most of whom were in his employ, Bulbo finally made payment for their unused sick days. This was in accordance with a decision made in arbitration years earlier that Bulbo had avoided paying out. When you're the richest wobbit in town, things tend to go your way. 

After everyone else left with their gag gifts, Earlobia Snackbag-Bunkins and her husband Oboe barged into the condo to hassle Promo. Their conversation was rather offensive. Perhaps not as offensive as a flaming bag of dog crap, but still offensive. They offered Promo unsolicited advice on planning a yard sale of Bulbo's belongings, hinting that they would take some of the hard-to-sell items off his hands if he asked them nicely. As they talked they poked around Bulbo's home office. Earlobia found a pile of musical items left behind by Borin & Company when they surprised Bulbo at brunch sixty years earlier. He had been meaning to return them, but kept forgetting. There were noseflutes, cowbells, some forgotten fiddlesticks, and a pair of spoons that Borin's nephew Bufu had played beautifully. 

Realizing they were not suddenly going to be offered some sort of settlement, Oboe tried a new approach. "This whole business stinks. And I'm not just talking about the gag gifts. The will says you're the sole heir, Promo? Sole heir, my Aunt Fanny! I demand to see the will!" Promo went to the mantle, got the red rope envelope and gave it to Oboe, who began unwinding the string.

"I'll be in the kitchen," said Promo. "Let me know when you've got that open."  He really wished he could vanish, and then he noticed that Bulbo's ring had mysteriously found it's way from the string-tied envelope into his pocket. He fidgeted with it for a moment, and then remembered why he came into the kitchen.

He started making some grilled cheese sandwiches for himself and Maryellen Buckiebrand. Mary was hanging around to avoid returning to Buckiebrand Hall, where it was his night to do the dishes. The two of them were done eating when Oboe called to them from the other room that he had the envelope open. It was a very long string, and the Snackbag-Bunkinses were almost as old as Bulbo. They did not benefit from the uncanny side-effects of a magic ring to keep them in perpetual middle-age, so they weren't as vigorous or as insulting as they had been in their prime. But they gave it their best.

"I'll be dipped!" said Oboe. "This will looks legit! Come on, Earlobia, let's get out of here. Curses, foiled again!" As they walked past the pile of dwarven musical accessories, Earlobia picked up a pair of claves and a few fiddlesticks.

"Just let him try to stop us!" she said to her husband. "We're old, and we're entitled, will or no will."

"And after waiting sixty years!" she said. "Fiddlesticks? Spoons! Let's take the spoons, too!" Loaded with musical knick-knacks, they stepped out of the condo and stumped off. They would have scuttled, like most wobbits, but for their advanced years. Earlobia stopped for a moment, trying to come up with a more memorable parting line.

Oboe turned to her and said "Forget it, dear. It's Wobbiton." 

As they continued to stump back to their own hole, they passed Pantsoff, who was heading towards Bulbo's condo. When he arrived there, he banged on the rattly screen door with his staff, which made the door even more rattly. 

"Little pigs, little pigs, let me come in!" he shouted as he opened the door.

"Thank goodness it's you, Pantsoff!" said Promo. Never before had anyone ever said that to Pantsoff. "I thought it was Earlobia back again to steal more of Bulbo's old junk. I was ready to use his ring to disappear! Hey, what else does it do, besides providing eternal middle-age and making you disappear. Could I use it to turn the Snackbag-Bunkinses into llamas?

"Easy there, junior," said Pantsoff. "All the facts aren't in on that thing. The last sixty years just haven't been enough time for me to research the ring fully. I keep scheduling time to work on it, and then something else comes up and then the research has to be planned forward a few more years. You know how it is. So, why is it that you had the ring in your pocket at all? Is that secret? Or safe?"

"Well, um, I..."

"Just as I thought. The ring is already calling the shots, just as it was starting to do with Bulbo. Didn't you notice the effect it had on him?"

"Yes," said Promo. "It made him invisible and very rich, and it kept him from ever getting old."

"No, I mean besides that," said Pantsoff. "Any mood swings, irritability, rashes, fevers, that sort of thing?"

"Not that I noticed." 

"Well, be very careful with it. Try not to wear it, or handle it, or look at it, or think about it too much. But make sure you always know where it is, secret and safe."

"Should Mary be hearing all this?" said Promo. "He's in the kitchen."

"Son of a—" said Pantsoff as Mary walked in. "Mary, from now on you have to keep it secret and safe, too. Understand?"

"Whatever," said Mary as he went to take a nap in the guest room.

"With all these side effects," said Promo, "isn't it kind of dangerous for me to keep it here."

"Oh my, no!" said Pantsoff. "No need to worry. Just as long as it's secret and safe, and you're not looking at it longingly or thinking about it."

"Great," said Promo. "Are you staying for dinner again?"

"I wish I could, but I can't. There's a guy I've got to talk to about this ring. Gotta run. You'll see me later, unless I see you first. Good-bye now. Bye!"

Promo saw him to the door. Pantsoff walked off at a surprising pace, but bent, as if carrying a great weight. Like a sack of gold coins, one of which was discovered to be missing the next day. Promo didn't see him again for a long time.

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:  

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