As is so often the case the story begins with a perfectly innocent beer. We
were in a supermarket--I can't remember the proximate cause; we were probably
looking for fish (we've eaten practically nothing but fish all week so if you
want any problems solved, preferably involving aunts and silver cow creamers,
I'm your man)--and I wandered over to the manly aisle to see what local beers
look like. Here was one reduced from twelve dollars and some to four dollars
and some. I picked it up, "Bolg" beer. According to the bottle Bolg is an
Orc, "spawn of Azog the Defiler." He keeps the dungeons of Dol Guldur. Some
marketing guy had decided that the best way to sell a Belgian tripel ale made
in Washington...was to associate it with an Orc who tortures dwarves and so on.
Those of you who don't know Tolkein, both of you, will need to be told that an
Orc is a big beast which seems horrible and fierce and yet somehow loses every
battle to our heroes, who are a fraction of his size. So anyway, Belgian style
beer...Orcs. I decided that this was odd enough to be worth four dollars. I
purchased said drink and then began to wonder why the lord of the Rings series
was not filmed on the Big Island of Hawaii. I mean, they have the mountain of
doom, with lava flowing. They have desolate lands that are next-to-impossible
to cross. Staging a battle on hardened lava would be a challenge. "No one
move or you'll cut your feet." But the clincher should have been that every
place in Hawaii has a vowel surplus...just like Lord of the Rings.
The beer was great, so I hie'd me back for more. Ha! They'd let someone else
who knows beer onto the island. I had to settle for a stout called Smaug.
I came away with my iPad, which is fine for traveling except about every two
seconds Apple asks if I want to sign into the Cloud. I must have annoyed an
algorithm, which I imagine to be some kind of dragon living near the Mountain
of Doom. We once went on vacation to Mexico. Outside our room there were
crocodiles. I'm guessing it was the same marketing people who took the beer
contract. "Want to make the resort family friendly? We usually recommend
crocodiles." The was a big sign, "No molestare los crocodilos," or words to
that effect. I had no intention of molesting any such thing; it was the other
way about that bothered me. Anyway, all computers should now come with a
warning label, "No molestare el algorithm."
Hobbit one, "Let's go look for the ring under the mountain."
Dwarf, "That will wake the Algorithm of Dworg."
Hobbit two, "I must visit the tinkling caverns of Waimeayahooya."
Gandalf, "You should have gone before we left."
Marketing Man, "Have a beer. Or a crocodile."
Smaug, "Sign into the Cloud."
The first publicity material for my next play came out while we've been away.
Nothing quite like publicity material to remind a writer that it's nearly time
to finish writing. Fortunately, while standing in the ocean's shallows and
staring at nothing in particular, I got into conversation with the other god,
who is holidaying with us--yup the chickens are entirely in the care of locums.
There may be hell to pay when we return, but we have talked of bribing them
with offers of yacht club membership. (Chickens here seem to belong to yacht
clubs). Anyway in the shallows E. suggested a solution to the problem that has
been bugging me about the play--I have no idea how to write in a nineteenth
century Ohio voice. E. suggested the Eddie Izzard solution, which is to have
God and Noah and so on be voiced by James Mason and Sean Connery and so on,
voices Izzard can "do." So look out for General Grant as played by Michael
Caine. Lee will be played by someone from Kentucky. I know what that sounds
Boy that Smaug's good. So good I'll plug the maker, Fish Brewing of Olympia,
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