Friday, October 21, 2005

Friday Feature Presentation: The Lord of The Smokerings

The last time I tried to quit smoking, the world had just experienced the phenomenon of The Two Towers. In celebration of both monumental feats, and to chronicle my struggle, I wrote this parody.

Now that The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe is coming out...

The Lord of The Smoke Rings Episode I: The Smelly Ship of the Nico-ring

A great dread has fallen upon the land. The wrinkled eye of Philip Morris peers across the waste, seeking quitters and those who haven't yet started. The black lung wizard - SalemMan - has fallen under Philip's smell and has used his mighty powers to construct a cigarette factory in the hinterlands. Amassing a vast army of precancerous organs to destroy anyone who won't suck a cig, he has sent his nine accursed smokeringwraiths to sniff out the most cancerous smoke ring of all.

One Smokering to fry them all. One smokering to fill them. One smokering to addict them all and in the darkness, kill them.

In a safe, happy, smokefree keep far away lives a tiny bat who has unwittingly brought the evil weed of despair to her cave. For Philip Morris' reach is vast, and the smoke ring which has lain quiet for centuries, is about to awake and seek its master.

Batbo Battin has no idea of the smoke ring's power. She plays with it, thinking she can quit any time. Because when she has her smoke ring, no one can see her - they're too busy coughing and tearing - and Batbo thinks that's pretty funny.

That is precisely what SalemMan wants her to think.

Gandalf The GreyFace convinces Batbo to part with the smokering, foisting it onto her clear chested niece, Fraidy, and telling her if she doesn't throw it into the Ashtray Mountains, someone else will - maybe even Legless TobaccoLeaf, or Arrogant son of ArianScorn. Fraidy won't have that, nosirree, so she hustles off with Scam Gangrene for an adventure the likes of which you've never seen.

Despite her better judgement, Fraidy does end up with Legless and Arrogant and a handful of other losers including Gimme, who suffers stunted growth from smoking as a child, and Bored O' Me - the insolent prince of Groandor who needs a smoke so badly, he's willing to kill for it.

Fraidy: "Scam, it's getting heavy. I can't do this."
Scam: "What's getting heavy?"
Fraidy: "The smokering, you doofus. I need to inhale it."
Bored O' Me: "Give it to me, shaftling. I'll bear the load."
Arrogant: "No, I'll bear it."
Bored O' Me: "No. I will."
Arrogant: "No, me!"
Fraidy: "I can't stand it! I can't stand it! I must do this alone!"
Arrogant: "You can trust me."
Fraidy: "But can you trust yourself?"

A moment of silent awe

Arrogant: "Fraidy, I would have gone all the way with you."
Bored O' Me: "Not if I got there first."
Gimme (aside): "Can we kill the freak and make it look like an accident?"
Legless: "Leave it to me. I'm sElfish. We have powers."
Gimme: "Too bad you have no legs."

Arrogant's Dream Sequence:

TarWench of ElderLung: "Sleep, my love. Gather your strength. You shall be Nonsmo-King. It is your path."
Arrogant (mumbling): "I shouldn't be Nonsmo-King. But I want to."
TarWench: "You must."
Arrogant: "But the toxic gases of my father flow in my veins."
TarWench: "Never fear. I shall suck the poisons out of you with a gentle kiss."

Arrogant awakens with the DTs. At his side is CO-Wins, the beautiful but deadly lady of RoamingHand.

Arrogant: "Uh oh."

And so, the black cloud of doom wheezed across the Marches. The Smelly Ship disbanded, with Fraidy and Scam on the dark path to Mordor, and Arrogant, Legless and Gimme running and running and running. Oh yeah, Gandalf GreyFace bought the farm.

Legless (whispers): "There goes Arrogant listening to the rocks again, pretending to know what he's doing."
Gimme: "Yeah, the brown-noser."
Arrogant (rising): "Someone's coming. Hide!"
Gimme: "Wish I was coming."
Legless: (giggle)
Arrogant: "Shhhhhh."

A stunned moment as a great, stinking army thunders past

Arrogant: "Just as I thought."
Gimme: "Dorks..."
Legless: "And they've got Murky and Flippin."

The Dorks spread like cancer, some in the service of Philip Morris, some of the traitor SalemMan of Blistergard. They hung out on streetcorners, overrunning nursing homes and elementary schools, forcing cigarettes on young and old alike until even the smokeringwraiths coughed and choked on their demonic steeds, hacking and spewing their filth across Middle Earth. But through it all, Fraidy and Scam trudged onwards, with nothing but Elven Llamas to eat. One dank night, they sensed a third party in their midst...

Scam: "Look! What is that?"
Fraidy: "Glum."
Scam: "Me too, you durn whiner. But who is it?"
Fraidy: "Smeargol."
Scam: (slapping Fraidy on the back) "You must be choking on the Llamas, Mistress Fraidy. I knew those sElfish folk were up to no good. No good at all."
Glum: "Dude! Want a fag?"
Scam: "Get away from us, ya fairy! We're not that sort of folk!"
Glum: "Precioussssssss."
Scam: "Flock this Mistress Fraidy. I didn't sign up for no funny business."
Fraidy: "Scam! Scam! Come back!"
Glum: "Guess it's you and me, dudette."

Deep in the bowels of Smirkwood, Murky and Flippin stumble cluelessly about. Having escaped the Dorks - who wanted to shred and smoke them - they're at a loss over what to do next. And they're hungry... and cold...

Flippin: "Here. Let's chop down that tree and build a fire at least."
Murky: "I dunno, Flip. A minute ago it winked at me."
Flippin: "Are you daft, man? Trees don't wink!"
Murky: "Well, that one did. I saw it with me own eyes."
Treeweird: "That you did, boy."
Flippin: "Wha?"

Chop chop chop *screeeeeeeeeeeee* THUNK

Murky: "Now you've gone and done it. Who's gonna march on BlisterGard when the war begins?"
Flippin: "Well you might ha' told me there was to be a war!"
Murky: "Do I have ta tell you everything ya nitwit!"
Mysterious White Man (from behind): "Boys! Silence!"

The Globbits turn, wide eyed...

Murky: "Bless me. He's back."
Flippin: "And awfully white lookin too."
Mysterious White Man: "You think? Darn it all! I tried everything - blush, eyeshadow, hair dye..." Falls sobbing

Murky (glaring at Flippin): "There there now, Blandalf. It's not like you can help it."
Blandalf: "It's the chemo. It washes me out."
Murky: "O' course it does. There there."
Blandalf: "Arrogant's going to laugh at me."
Flippin (stifling a snicker): "Now who would do something like that?"
Murky (wiping an eye): "No one's going to laugh, Blandalf. Besides, the Smelly Ship was disbanded. We don't know what became of any of them."

A scuffling in the woods...

Arrogant, Gimme and Legless: "We're here!"

Much hugging, back slapping and muffled mirth upon seeing Blandalf.

Arrogant: "We must run to RoamingHand. King Thalidomide has fallen under SalemMan's smell."
Legless: (sulk)
Gimme: "You can't hold it against him, Legless. He didn't know what effect he'd have on you all those years ago."
Blandalf: "And I have new powers now that I've been irradiated."
Legless: ( perk)

Blandalf points staff ZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzap

Blandalf: "Stand and run, Legsofass."
Legsofass: "eeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyooooooooooore."
Gimme: "At least I have someone to ride now."

In the Halls of King Thalidomide, Wormtongue has constructed a massive, multi-armed Hooka. Stoked with powerful black tobacco - fresh from the farms of BlisterGard - the Hooka puffs out smoke for hours on end, filling the vast keep with noxious fumes. Gray-faced and drawn, King Thalidomide sits listlessly, uncaring of the raging death occurring in his lands and in his house, unheeding of his niece CO-Win's pleas. SalemMan has released the Dorks in blighty numbers, instructing them to wreak havoc at every turn. The end of Middle Earth is nigh. RoamingHand needs a savior, and needs him quick.

Fraidy: "This is some bodacious weed, man. Where'd you score it?"
Glum: "I have sourcessssss."
Fraidy: "Most excellent."
Scram (crashing through the brush): "Don't inhale it Mistress Fraidy! Don't do it!"
Fraidy: "Scram! You came back!"
Scram: "I couldn't stop myself, Mistress, the road goes in a giant circle. We'll never make it to the Ashtray Mountains at this rate."
Glum: "I know the way, dudes."
Fraidy: "You must take us."
Scram: "Hush. What's that?"

Yet another army advances...

Glum: "I'm history."
Fraidy: "Get back here, Glum."
Scram: "Let the fairy go. Look a' what's coming."
A manly voice from behind... "Bind them."
Fraidy and Scram: "Whaa?
Manly voice: "I am Pheromone - younger and better looking brother to Bored O' Me."
Scram: "It's Gimme you'd be wanting then."
Fraidy: "Shut up, Scram. We never saw your brother, Pheromone, and we don't know who the skulker is that's following us, either."
Pheromone: "Liars. You just wait til we get to Groandor."
Fraidy: "But we have to go to the Ashtray - "
Pheromone: "You'll go where I say you'll go!"
Scram (whispers to Fraidy) "Sounds as if Dad liked Bored O' Me better."
Fraidy: "Nevertheless, all is lost, Scram. The longer I have the smokering the weaker I grow. We'll never make it now."

On the road to Groandor...

Pheromone: "So then, Da says why can't you be more like Bored O' Me? and I says, Because I'm better looking dammit. And younger too. I have qualities. And Da says, qualities my a$$.. So you see what I'm up against, Fraidy. You must give me the smokering."

Fraidy's eyes roll back in her head.

Scam: "Can't you see what a burden it is?"
Pheromone: "I can't see beyond my inequalities."


Scam: "Smokeringwraiths!"
Pheromone: "Not to worry. We sprayed for them last week."
Scam: "Fat lot o' good it did you, too. Where's Fraidy?"

Fraidy climbs the battlements. The smokering's power has taken over. With a trembling hand, she offers it to the wraith...

Smokeringwraith: "Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee."

Fwap, whirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, thunk. The smokeringwraith is smoted.

Fraidy: "Must. Have. Cigarette."
Scam: "No Mistress Fraidy. I must have my soliloqy or this damned movie won't end."
Fraidy: "Have at it, Scam. Not that you'd have anything of interest to say after 6 hours and too much popcorn with fake butter."
Scam: "See, in the stories of old, people quit smoking all the time! They did it on their own. Cold turkey! Surely they felt weak, betrayed. Maybe they wished the burden hadn't fallen upon them. At some point, they wanted to start smoking again. I figure, they must have made a choice to stay smokefree. They held onto something..."
Fraidy: "Like your neck?"
Scam: "Something bigger than themselves. There's clean air in this world, Mistress Fraidy. There's clear lungs and phlegm-free laughter."

Another moment of silent awe

Fraidy: "Thank you, Scam. All it took was one short speech from a simple garbageman to cure the world of its ails."
Pheromone (kneeling): "At last we understand each other."
Fraidy: "You mean we can continue our mission?"
Pheromone: "Not on your life, Fraidy. I didn't know Scam was a garbageman - have you seen the kitchen? Oy Vey...."




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