Acceptance and Concession Speeches
Oh, my! Something tells me that this story struck a chord with our lovely readers. (Others would say it struck something more like the clapper of a bell… let’s not go there.) My blushes. I had no idea that my perverse preoccupation with boy dangly bits would be so heartily embraced. *imagines a lacy hand, gently embracing…* Ahem!
The fact is, I only wrote this story because I was exceedingly hot. Not like that! Hot as in, it was over 100 degrees F outside, and my house has no air conditioning. I think the heat did things to my brain. It certainly ended up doing things to my hobbits. The fact that this story turned into a sort of mini-saga of passion and fashion is entirely due to the kind reception of this insightful, fun-loving, and slightly perverted reading community, and the gentle prodding of my excellent beta reader. I really am humbled by your enthusiastic response to our hobbits’… enthusiastic response. Here are a few words from some of our cast.
Hertbald Proudfoot, Hobbiton Tailor: “Whilst `ingenious’ is a fine-enough word, what I object to about this award is the notice of `sacrifice.’ Believe me, there are plenty of advantages to embracing a fashion that puts one’s assets on display. I reckon even those who were slow to adopt the measures (now, don’t pick on Mr. Baggins, there were plenty more as reluctant as him), well, I think even they might agree this was an ingenious benefit of clothing, for all that it led to far more disrobing than the Shire has seen in many a year. And now, I’d best be getting back to finishing Mr. Baggins’ and Master Samwise’s Front Drawers. They’ll want to look sharp for the Tookland ball. Affair. Dance. Thank you.”
Samwise Gamgee (offstage, breathily): “Coming, sir!”
Peregrin Took (also offstage): “Whee! I really like this harness thing! Of course, I’ve never been strung up this high before; this theatre is ever so much taller than Bag End. But Frodo has these clever straps that attach to my… oh… oh… Oh, I do like it when he pulls on them like that. As well, I have a lovely view of what he and Sam are up to at this very moment. I never knew Frodo was so flexible; did you? I hope they lower me down eventually. It’s lovely to watch them tumble round like that, but I’m keen to begin tumbling myself, if you understand me. Er, as Frodo is preoccupied, would somebody kindly tug on that strap to the left of his wrist, there? … Ai! Oh, thank you! Thank you very much!... I see that Sam and Frodo have not quite done. Please, would you pull on it again?”
Accepted by Frodo Baggins
"Ladies and gentlemen,
and any hobbits who may be attending this ceremony,
I'm here to thank you for choosing this tale as
runner-up for the Most Ingenious Sacrifice of
Clothing. I rather doubt you have the right story,
for my actions were in no way sacrificial, but
entirely selfish. Indeed, I enjoyed them more than I
can properly express in such formal company." Frodo
pulls out a very new white cambric handkerchief with
the initials FB+SG embroidered at one hem and passes
it gently over his temples. "I wouldn't dream of
describing how well-worn, that is,
I am not at all surprised to concede the award of Best Peep Show to Bill The Pony and this steamy episode of her magnificent "The Making of Samwise" series. OWWEE MAMMA! *loosens collar* Yeah, that scene will work. That scene will work just fine. *stands next to Sam in utter bogglement and plays the scene over and over and over…*
Time ticks away. Elenya stands in the smial’s entrance hall and smoothes down her dress - a lucky find in Monsoon’s sale: a shimmering green and pink pattern set off against a black background, the hem and shoulder straps edged with black beads. She checks her watch for the third time in five minutes. ‘Are you ready, lads? We’ll be late!’ It’s her best shouting-on-the-beach-in-a-force-9 voice, and it booms around the home she shares with them.
Frodo emerges from the depths of the smial first, dressed in immaculate evening attire. He fingers his bow-tie and pats Elenya’s shoulder, knowing how she frets if some allowance for unforeseen delays isn’t worked into the schedule.
‘You’re looking very lovely,’ he says, and Elenya is still blushing when Sam appears with a clothes-brush in his hand. Frodo smiles at him affectionately and submits to an unnecessary brushing down. There is not a speck of dust to be seen, but he knows this is Sam’s answer to nerves. Sam himself looks very fine; he is wearing a black cummerbund around his rather portly middle, and he looks every inch the mayor. The brush lingers a little over the placket of Frodo’s trousers, and it is a measure of Elenya’s preoccupation that she doesn’t notice the look that passes between her two best-loved protagonists.
‘So,’ says Sam with forced casualness. ‘Where’ve the whippersnappers got to?’
‘I think we should go and look for them,’ says Frodo, and it may be the soft purr in his voice which alerts Elenya.
‘Oh, no, you don’t,’ she says firmly. ‘I know your idea of “looking”, and I can tell you now, they’re not in your bed, and there’s no need for you to go with Sam to find out that I’m right. You’ll just come back all rumpled and sleepy-eyed and... and...’ Elenya’s eyes lose focus, she seems lost in a world of her own.
‘Do you think she needs her corsets loosened?’
Elenya blinks. ‘...and they still won’t be here. What do you mean, corsets? I’m not wearing any - ’
‘No, my dear. I can see that, but if those young fellow-me-lads want to join us on this extravaganza, they’d better come soon.’
‘I’m sure they will,’ says Frodo soothingly. A wail is heard faintly from the depths of the smial. ‘There. You see? They’ll be here in two shakes of a hobbit’s -’ The completion of the well-known Shire saying is lost beneath the loud banging of a door, and Tom saunters up to them, whistling. His waistcoat is buttoned askew, and his tie hangs loosely around his neck. The only part of him that can be said to be neat are his feet, the fur brushed to a glossy sheen; the rest of him looks like he’s been dragged through a hedge backwards.
Sam makes a noise that sounds like ‘Tsk!’ He glares at his youngest. ‘What do you think you look like,’ he grumbles. ‘This isn’t some hobbit drinking party. Where’s that dratted Took?’
Tom shrugs and fastens his tie. ‘Stop fussing, Da. Barard’ll be along in a minute. Nice dress, Elenya.’
When Barard does appear, he has just that rumpled and sleepy look that Elenya described. He looks like the cat that got the cream, a resemblance that is only heightened by the way he slips his arm around Tom’s waist and rubs up against him. He unbuttons Tom’s waistcoat and rebuttons it correctly, and Tom is the one who is almost purring. Barard’s own waistcoat is a dark green silk, and - too late - Elenya remembers the effect Barard-in-a-fine-waistcoat has on Tom.
Frodo is standing quite close to the younger hobbits, looking on at their antics with uncle-like amusement, but the next moment Sam comes bustling up carrying a greatcoat. He positions himself firmly between Frodo and Barard, and holds the coat up to make it easy for Frodo to slide his arms into the sleeves. The clothes-brush briefly reappears, then Sam kisses Frodo on the nose. ‘It’s cold out,’ he says, as though Frodo had protested about wearing the coat. ‘I’m not having you getting a chill or worse.’
Ready at last, they step out into the darkening evening. Snow swirls around them as they climb into the waiting limo: Sam’s idea for arriving in style. They sink back in the deep seats, but a little rearranging is necessary when Sam decides he doesn’t want to sit in the corner. He settles between Frodo and Barard and leans back with a sigh. Tom reaches for the neck of the champagne bottle that sits in the cooler. The drinks bubble up in the flute glasses as he pours them out.
‘Don’t you go worrying,’ is Sam’s advice to Elenya as they touch glasses together. ‘Speechifying is no big deal. Keep it short and sweet. They’ll be plenty of friends to cheer. Nothing to wet your knickers about.’ Barard snorts champagne bubbles down his nose, but Sam ignores him. ‘One good thing. Your dress ain’t so low that you’re likely to fall out of it, like some of them strumpets.’
Elenya doesn’t quite know where to look, so she looks out of the window and frowns. ‘Didn’t we already pass Rivendell a while ago?’
‘Probably. I told the driver to go round the block a few times. Might as well get our money’s worth. No point blinking and missing it, is there now? We don’t often get to ride in a limo.’
‘Oh. No. I suppose not.’
Tom tops up Elenya’s drink, and Elenya starts to relax and enjoy the evening. She raises her glass. ‘To my hobbits,’ she says. ‘May you live long and prosper.’ She thinks for a moment. ‘And bonk lustily and often.’
‘Hear, hear,’ says Barard.
‘Da! Like you don’t! May I remind you, it wasn’t us that got the Horny Merry Award!’
‘There’s Rivendell again,’ says Frodo, apropos of nothing. ‘Do you think we’re lost?’
By the time they arrive at the hotel, Elenya is beginning to feel decidedly tipsy. As she steps out of the limo, the red carpet is wavering up and down - although the lads deny this and seem to have no trouble walking straight. Elenya lists like a ship at sea, and Tom props her up on the leeward side. Sam cuts Barard out from Frodo’s side and sends him back to help Tom. The two younger hobbits steer Elenya safely up the steps, and pose beside her for the cameras. Flashes pop around them.
‘It’s making my eyes water,’ hisses Tom.
‘Shut up, love; just keep smiling.’
There is a reception before the main awards ceremony, with more champagne. Tom hovers around Elenya and tries to prevent her drinking too much. Barard has deserted him, unable to resist flirting with so many beautiful hobbit lasses. Peachy is wearing a slinky black dress sparkling with sequins, and both she and Ghyste are resplendent in tiaras. Tom recognises Ghyste’s as the Sad Bastard Tiara, borrowed for the occasion. Mariole is there in a black dress strikingly covered with polka dots, and Maeglian is tall and elegant in a low cut strapless black dress, complete with a long train. Aliena comes running in breathlessly just as they are about to take their seats, looking lovely in a black velvet skirt and jacket and a white silk blouse.
Barard nudges Frodo. ‘Is it me,’ he asks, ‘or do the dots on Mariole’s dress join up to form a -’
‘Here you are, Frodo,’ says Sam, pushing between them and interrupting Barard. He hands Frodo a drink. Frodo takes the drink with an abstracted air. He tilts his head sideways and squints a bit. He’s just taken a mouthful of his champagne when he finally sees what Barard is getting at.
Sam mops champagne off Frodo’s jacket with a large hankerchief, and Barard saunters off laughing to tell Mariole how much he likes her dress.
The room for the awards is huge, decorated with golden mushrooms that shimmer and glitter in the light of a thousand candles. The audience take their seats around tables, and Elenya smiles at Tom in thanks for arranging a large table for them to sit with all her betas, several of whom are winners in their own right. It is an evening to remember, and Shadow, their beautiful host, has done them proud. There is a small hiatus when Sam finds that Frodo is sitting between Maeglian and Barard. He stands glaring at Barard - hands on hips - until the young Took wisely moves.
Elenya leans forward and giggles. She has only just worked out what is going on here. ‘Sham!’ she slurs. ‘You’re jealoush!’ She waves her programme at him. ‘Barard’s an OC! You’re worried he’s jusht here to screw Frodo.’
Tom chokes on his wine. ‘Da!’ he protests. ’Barard does have a life of his own, you know!’
Barard leans over the back of Tom’s chair and runs a hand down Tom’s chest. ‘Mmmm,’ he says, his breath warm against Tom’s ear. ‘And a very good life it is, too.’ Tom closes his eyes and leans back into him.
Six pairs of eyes follow Barard’s hand as it dips towards Tom’s waistband. There is a synchronised squeak of excitement in six-part harmony, and then a sigh of disappointment as Barard straightens. ‘I think you should be more worried about Asher, sitting over there with that beautiful lass, Igraine,’ he says to Sam. It’s a well-known fact that Barard has never had eyes for any but Tom.
Sam has the decency to look embarrassed. ‘Yes, well,’ he hrumphs as he sits next to Frodo. The next moment, he’s blushing bright red.
Maeglian lifts up the tablecloth that falls like a waterfall of white damask around the table edge, and grins widely. Frodo’s hand is busy reassuring Sam that he sees no need to look elsewhere for satisfaction: he can find it right here beneath the placket of Sam’s trousers. Tom rolls his eyes. The world has changed, and now it is the parents who embarrass their children in public by their inappropriate behaviour. Still, there is always a chance of inveigling Barard beneath this very large table and nailing him to the floor sometime during the evening. There is something about Barard in a fine waistcoat that Tom just can’t resist...
Frodo just smiles lazily at being caught out and moves his hand to stroke Sam’s thigh instead. There is a collective sigh of disappointment from the lasses. ‘I think we have a more pressing problem,’ says Frodo. ‘I’m not sure Elenya is in a fit state to make a speech.’
Elenya waves her glass at him. Somehow she has managed to refill it while Tom’s attention was elsewhere. ‘Nonshensh,’ she says emphatically. ‘I’m perfectly shober.’
‘Then say, I’m not a pheasant plucker, I’m a pheasant plucker’s son, and I’m only plucking pheasants 'til the pheasant plucking's done,’ Barard challenges her.
Elenya puts down her glass, and repeats the tongue twister with great dignity. ‘I’m not a peasant fucker, I’m a peasant fucker's shun -’ but the rest is mercifully lost amidst laughter.
‘Ooops,’ says Barard.
‘Don’t you worry,’ says Sam. ‘She’s an old hand at this. Stick her up on the stage, and she’ll come up trumps.’
The lights around them dim, and a spotlight lights up the stage. There is wild cheering and whistling as Bilbo walks on stage to make the awards. Soon they are all hoarse with cheering, and their hands are sore with clapping, as lass after lass goes up to collect her award and make her speech. They all clap extra hard for Ghyste, Mariole and Peachy. When it is Elenya’s turn she insists that her betas and hobbit muses join her on the stage. Maeglian trips over her train and stumbles, but Frodo is there with a steadying hand. ‘I do all my own stunts,’ she quips as she arrives onto the stage with rather less decorum than she’d intended. Everyone gets to hold an award, leaving Elenya free to take the microphone. Tom and Barard hover anxiously on either side of her, but they find Sam was right.
‘Is this on? How do I turn it on?’ Elenya clears her throat and smiles at her audience. ‘You know, it’s a great honour just to be nominated for a Golden Mushroom Award, and I was so excited to be nominated for ten, that if I’d won nothing tonight, it would still have been a great thrill.
‘I’d like to take the opportunity to thank all of you who have enjoyed my stories enough to take the time to vote for me. This year I am delighted that three of my stories have won awards, and I was overcome to find that between them I have awards in nine categories. The competition was very strong. Many of the stories such as “Counterpoint” and “Making of Samwise” are great favourites of mine, and it was lovely to revisit them; others were new to me. A particular gem of a find in the shortlist this year was Grey Wonderer’s “Concerning Hobbit’s Feet”, and if any of you haven’t read it, I urge you to do so. I was very encouraged to see that many of the fics nominated have been written since the last awards - a happy and healthy sign for hobbit fan fiction - and I was particularly pleased that Igraine and Elycia have such well-deserved wins. I’m very happy to have been beaten into second place by them.
‘If I list all the fics I enjoyed in this year’s GMAs, we’ll be here all night, so I would like instead to thank my wonderful betas standing here with me. They keep me questioning what I write with love and tact, and I owe them a huge debt of gratitude for all the time and effort they put into the process of beta reading.
‘The stories couldn’t happen without the lovely characters sharing their lives with me, and I’d like to thank Frodo and Sam, Tom and Barard for giving me more fun than a girl has a right to expect on her own, and for being the means by which I have made so many wonderful friends.
’I’d also like to thank Shadow for once again giving us the Golden Mushroom Awards. There is an enormous amount of work involved, and it’s not easy to find the time for such things with a small baby in your life. Thank you, Shadow. You’re amazing.’
Frodo produces a large bunch of flowers from who knows where, and Elenya presents them to Shadow. Frodo and Sam take the opportunity to give Shadow a kiss, and Elenya is ready to wrap up.
‘Lastly, I’d like to thank my mum. I know - such a cliché. But she tried reading “All That I Had”, and has expressed a wish to read “The Adventures of Tom and Barard”, and how many people have a mum who reads their slash? Erm, apart from my daughter?
‘Thank you. All of you. Whether you like my fics or not, you’re a wonderful fandom.’
As they all troop off the stage, Barard nudges Tom. ‘Maybe they’ll have an award next year for the most gratuitous use of superlatives.’
‘If they don’t make some new awards, we won’t have much chance to win anything.’
‘How about the Cracks of Doom Award for the best cliff-hanger?’
Tom shudders. ‘Don’t encourage her,’ he mutters.
It’s much later, and the evening is winding to its end, when they realise they’ve lost Tom and Barard. Search parties are organised, and Frodo and Sam do what they can to console Elenya. It’s not until Ghyste thinks to lift the damask tablecloth that they find the miscreants in flagrante delicto. It is only thanks to the quick thinking of the lasses that Tom’s bare arse is not on the front cover of the News of the World the next day. As the paparazzi jostle for the best camera angles, the lasses whisk in front of the table, their dresses swirling so the scene fades to black.
‘You could have stood with your backs to us,’ Tom grumbles later, but Elenya just smirks, and Tom carries on his grumbling. ‘Anyway, I thought it was Da and Frodo who were runners up in the Fade to Black Award.’
Elenya smirks some more. ‘You wait,’ she says. ‘You’re still eligible... There’s always next year.’
The next morning they rise late, and view the papers. ‘Damn,’ says Tom. ‘Would you look at this!’ There is a picture of him standing outside the hotel with tears in his eyes. The caption underneath reads, ‘Award-winning hobbit still finds something to cry about...’
An exceedingly lanky hobbit, dressed in rather
sporty attire concluding with a jacket of a most
astonishing green, strolls onto the stage with his
hands thrust nonchalantly into his pockets.
Stopping short, he gives the audience a highly
"I can't do it, Sam. The smell of the greasepaint, the roar of the crowd--"
"Begging your pardon, sir, but all I can smell is popcorn and toffee apples." Sam sniffed. "And a hint of strawberry ice cream."
Frodo stared at his foot hair, teased into elaborate whorls only that morning with the help of Marigold's curling tongs, while Sam babbled on about the proper way to tackle a sherbet fountain. Life was so unfair; he'd much rather watch Sam's vigorous demonstration in the comfort of Bag End.
"They're saying things in the Green Room," he muttered, scuffing his toes against the edge of the backing flat.
Sam paused, his lips still pursed around an imaginary liquorice stick.
"The other Frodo and Sam, of course. They made an unseemly jest about my copper bath and then they--" His voice fell to a whisper as Sam's eyebrows rose. "They suggested a foursome."
"Did they now?"
Frodo nodded. "In the bath."
Sam folded his arms and glared in the direction of the Green Room door from behind which came muffled sounds of laughter and the occasional 'Oh, Sam'.
"Then it's just as well I left that jar of whortleberry syrup by the tea urn. We'll be home before they've finished buttering their muffins."
He turned back to the stage and straightened his blue twill waistcoat.
"You want to watch out for those other two though," he added. "Shameless, they were, with their hands in their breeches. Mind you," he continued, with an assessing sideways glance at Frodo, "I've rarely seen such a fine pair of--"
"They weren't real."
"But I saw them," Sam objected, "standing up tall and proud like the Widow's best brown loaves."
"Spirit gum." Frodo bit his lip and hoped that Sam wouldn't take it into his head to make the long journey to Gammer Buncewort's <i>Horny Hobbit</i> in Michel Delving.
"They're held in place with spirit gum."
"I don't think so, Mr. Frodo. That fair-haired lad was pulling at them both something fierce and they didn't come away in his hand."
"No, Sam, the feelers." Frodo wiggled his forefingers suggestively.
Sam struggled to reply, but before he could utter more than a squeak of interest, the door of the Green Room burst open and two dishevelled hobbits tumbled out.
"Oh dear." Frodo shook his head with a rueful look at Sam. "You underestimated them. Perhaps if you were to accept the award on my behalf, I could run home and secure the smial while they're giving their concession speech."
Sam's shoulders slumped.
"Too late, sir; they've spotted us. And they've brought the whortleberry syrup with them. If this doesn't make the front page of <i>The Daily Delver</i>, I'll eat my hat."
"I expect it will prove more palatable than the next few moments," Frodo said. "One ribald joke from either of them and I'm going home directly, post-awards party or no."
He spun on his heel, and with Sam as a sturdy defensive rear guard and two excessively sticky hobbits close behind, he sallied forth into the limelight to receive his Golden Mushroom.
And even though, as it turned out, Sam did become familiar with the taste of his own headgear, his pain was offset by the knowledge that four could fit in the bath as effortlessly as two with the help of a little whortleberry syrup to ease the way.
"I didn't mind losing to those other fellows," said Sam Two, from the depths of Bag End's second-best bed in its second-best bedroom. "At first I didn't care for the curl of that Frodo Baggins's foot hair, but he's nice enough once you get to know him."
"You got to know him twice, as I recall," said his master.
"Aye, so I did. It's not always such a bad thing, taking the hinder part," answered Sam Two, in a philosophical tone. "Not so bad at all."
Sam: Mr. Frodo? Will
you come out and say thank you to the nice voters?
I wanted to congratulate Elenya on her victory in this year’s “Most Intriguing Foot Fetish” category and to thank everyone that voted for my story, “Concerning Hobbit’s Feet” but Fredegar Bolger has insisted on saying a few words instead. GW
“I am sure all of you know me by now and those of you that don’t, probably want to know me. In an effort to put my best foot forward, I agreed to allow Grey_wonderer to write about me. Little did I know that this would cause every lass in the Shire to flock to my door and demand to see what I like to call, ‘the head of the Bolger family’. For months now I have done nothing but drop my trousers and pleasure the lasses of the Shire. I have been hard pressed to see to all of their needs but I have tried to rise to the occasion. I have had some stiff competition but I have been able to over come all of it until now. In spite of the fact that I am hung like a Rohirrim Steed, the story of my enormous gift has only managed to win the runner-up spot in this erection, er sorry, that’s election. I don’t blame myself. I have pushed myself to the very limits of my endurance and I did think that I had nailed this one! The fault is not mine for I gave it everything that I had and I have quite a lot. I know that you lovely folks at “West of The Moon” were impressed with me but when push came to shove, I was forced to stick up for myself. Grey_wonderer simply petered out on me and lost her grip on the prize. Next year, I hope that the talented winner of this year’s ‘Most Intriguing Foot Fetish Award’, Elenya, will decide to work with me closely and then I might have a chance to go the distance. Sadly, Grey_wonderer just peaked too soon and we all know how unfulfilling that sort of thing can be. I don’t want to leave you with the idea that I am some blow hard who can’t admit when I have come up short. I simply picked the wrong author to bring my story to its proper climax and after all the climax is the most important part of any story! Congratulations, Elenya!
- Fredegar Bolger-
An error was made in the nominations phase for this year's Wet 'n Wild Award. Willow-wode's Rites of Passage, Bag End, Chapter 10, which won the 2004 Wet 'n Wild Award, was nominated, and the fact that it should have been disqualified was not caught. Likewise, the GMAs went through 3 weeks of open voting with no one catching that this mistake was made, and as it turns out, ROP, Bag End, Chapter 10 got the most votes in this category again this year. The error was discovered only yesterday, when the results lists were being formatted for posting. Therefore, in the interests of fairness, we have decided to let this result stand, and award the 2005 Wet 'n Wild Award to Willow-wode. Had this error been caught during the nominations or open voting phases, the story would have been disqualified, but we feel that it's neither fair to Willow-wode nor to those who voted for her to remove it at this time. We regret that this error occurred, and vow to avoid similar errors in the future.
-West of the Moon
I am delighted to concede the award of Best Wet 'n Wild to Willow-wode. Granted, a wet Frodo is a glorious thing, no matter what the incarnation. But I have yet to see such wild wetness as what Willow had wantonly whomped so wonderfully well next to the water wheel, whilst whining watchers whimpered, woefully witnessing. Wow. So here’s to you and your wild hobbits, Willow. Long may they hump.
Sam shuffles towards center stage. He looks nervous and satisfied all at the same time. “You see, Mr. Frodo, he’s like that. He’ll be walking along, minding his own business, hauling brew or dashing out of the rain or somewhat, and afore you know it, he’s caught in a web or hauled into a closet or tumbles down a well, and his breeches come off and… well, there you are. Ain’t his fault, or no one else’s, particularly. He’s just like that, is all I mean to say.”
(Offstage) “Sam! I seem to have… that is, someone left open the trapdoor leading to the orchestra pit, and I took a bad step. I’m all right; I’m hanging by my waistcoat, but on the way down I seem to have snagged… well, it’s quite embarrassing, really. But if you could fetch me a spare pair of breeches from the dressing room—and underlinens too, I’m afraid—if you’d be so kind as to help me out, I believe I shall be able to make myself presentable in time for the next award.” Then, quietly, “Oh, bother. I hope no one sees me like this.”
Sam’s smile definitely slides into the satisfied end of the spectrum. He nods to the audience. “You see how it is. That Mr. Frodo, he gets me going and coming—if you follow my meaning. And now, I’ll be going, afore Mr. Frodo gets too… cold. Thank you all for your kind attention.” Smirking, he heads into the wings. “Coming, Mr. Frodo!”
*Frodo and Sam approach the podium, arms tightly wrapped around each other. Their eyes meet. Frodo nods encouragingly and steps back a few paces*
Sam: “Somehow it don't seem right to get an award for lovin' Mr. Frodo. I've done that heart and soul my whole life -- never expecting one whit in return, neither. So that day in the barn was a real eye opener and no mistake. It makes me feel all warm and tingly inside just thinkin' about it. I'll certainly never look at rope again in quite the same way...”
*Frodo clears his throat.*
Sam blushes and continues: “I reckon 'bout now I should be thankin' Toby, Jon and Arni for bringin' the two of us together. And as soon as the Healer says they're up to receivin' callers, that's exactly what I'll do... But, for now, I'll just say a big thank you to all the folks out there who read Miss Melanie's story and cheered us on. We appreciate that, we truly do. I only wish I had fancier words to tell you just how much this honour means to us.”
*Sam half turns, and Frodo moves forward to kiss him passionately*
Frodo: “I couldn't have said it better if I'd tried, Sam-love.”
Award accepted by the author.
Seriously, you didn’t expect Frodo and Sam to stick around for this speech after they read Melanie Athene’s “Bound,” did you? One read-through of that story and they nipped off to the stable faster than you could say “Roper of Tighfield.” I am truly delighted to concede The Tie-Me-Up Tie-Me-Down Award to a writer of such magnificent bondage. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll think I’ll nip off to the stable myself, and see what the lads are up to... Oh, my.
I would like to thank everyone who voted for
“Hourglass” and I am delighted to be accepting this
award on behalf of Asher, who is now undergoing
behavioural therapy. He mentioned that he would like
to give credit to the lovely Blackbird Song, who
managed to curb his wilder excesses.
Because Lily is in a state of award-induced psychosis, Frodo Baggins will be accepting the award on her behalf.
Frodo Baggins at your service. First, in the small time I’m allotted, let me say, “Vote YEA on the proposed bill to emigrate tall rugged men into the Shire! Here, see my t-shirt? For your support and donation of only five Shire pennies, you too will receive this lovely t-shirt . . .
Ah, all right. I am told that I am not to use this podium for political speeches. Very well, then. Let me continue to the matter at hand. It seems that Lily is currently in a state of psychogenic fugue, er, make that shock, having never won anything before in her entire life except for a cheap pink plushy raccoon at a two-bit carnival. She is, therefore, completely overwhelmed with emotion. (I do believe I spotted her just a moment ago chugging an entire two-liter bottle of Sam’s Choice Diet Cola, her usual ‘therapy’ of choice when she is attempting to calm down).
I myself am hard-put to explain this award, especially in light of the fact that the story in question gave me nightmares. Well, it actually WAS a nightmare, wasn’t it, induced by illness brought on by the Morgul blade? Yes, yes, of course, a horrid nightmare. *shudders*
Lily and I are both terribly gratified and express our sincere appreciation for your votes. We are, I repeat, overwhelmed with emotion. Lily because she never thought she would actually win a writing award and is most honored, and me because well, to be truthful, the pairings in the other stories in this category were much nicer.
I mean, good heavens, the lovely Claudia put me with two extremely hot and very experienced Peredhil twins . . . how could a troll possibly compare? And Ariel—oh, dear Ariel, thank you for allowing me to finally satisfy my lust for that magnificent golden-haired vision after all these many years. And I don’t mean Glorfindel, though he counts, too. And Mariole . . . sweet Mariole, who spared me Lotho’s fate, though I must admit that Grima Wormtongue can be quite deliciously offbeat. Compared to a troll, he is positively the bomb! And then of course I mustn’t forget Elderberry Wine, who allowed old Lobelia to finally “get some.” Perhaps Lobelia will stop pinching *my* bottom now, thank you!
So you see, I was quite shocked upon hearing the news. And Lily was truly shocked and delighted to hear that her warped and twisted little story had received such an accolade. For that she will remain forever grateful, humbled, wonder-filled, awestruck, and sincerely in your debt.
Now, I am in need of some good man-lovin’ for a change. About that proposed bill . . .”
Award accepted by the author, as all the characters
who appeared in her story are dead.
I am thrilled to concede the award of Most Unusual Pairing to the splendid writers who celebrated two of Middle-earth’s most beloved trolls: Bill Huggins and Lobelia Sackville-Baggins. Some people might argue that Bill Huggins and Lobelia Sackville-Baggins would, in fact, make a lovely couple, but I for one think they are far too closely related. I personally subscribe to the theory that Bill and Lobelia are actually two halves of the same person, once joined at the hip, ripped apart by a hurricane. The boy parts landed in Wilderland, where they rampaged a while before they stiffened up, and the girl parts ended in the Shire, where they caused ongoing irritation ever since. While this tragic story may never be penned, I am delighted to see that our clever readers recognize its significance. As for all the kind people who voted for either of these stories or for my cheerful tale—what in Middle-earth were you thinking? :-D Cheers.
SAM: (toes floorboards bashfully) Erm. Mr. Frodo 'splained to me as how I've got to do the honours, seeing as it's my story and all, so he's gone off to warm the bed, as it were. (eyes glaze over for a moment) Ah. Truth to tell, I reckon he's a bit out-of-sorts, begging your pardon, because, well, he doesn't quite understand this 'runner-up' thing, you see. Mr. Frodo, he's afraid that I might want to go and try out the Winner's paces, if you follow me.
FRODO: (calling from the bedroom) Sam! Aren't you done yet?
SAM: (raising his voice) In a bit, Mr. Frodo! (whispers confidingly) He's a silly hobbit sometimes, you know. Not that I blame him, for that was one heckofa kiss, but he's got no call to worry so. I think my Mr. Frodo's the most fairest hobbit that ever lived – from the tipmost hair on his beautiful head to the tiniest nail on his furry toes. And glory and trumpets! Such soft lips he has, and the sweetest breath, his mouth all tasting of summer and spring; that little gap in his white teeth that the tip of my tongue just fits into –
FRODO: Sam, if you don't come here right this minute, I shall start without you!
SAM: Oh lordy!! (hurriedly) So I'd like to say right quick, that I'm very grateful for the honour paid me and Mr. Frodo, this 'Runner-up for the Pucker-Up award', for then he'll want to practise, don't you know? Just to get it perfectly right, like. (sighs happily) I've hoped for years and never thought to see this day, so –
SAM: Er - Mr. Frodo ain't being rude, mind, he's just –
PERVY HOBBIT-FANCIERS: - Horny!!!
SAM: (mutters) He ain’t the only one. (clears throat) So - on behalf of Annwyn and my dear Master, thankyouverymuchindeed! (raises his voice) I'm coming, Mr. Frodo! I'm coming!
(fade to black)
The Golden Mushroom Awards were great fun, and the author would like to express her admiration for all the hard work evident behind the scenes, and her gratitude to all who voted for this story. Thank you very much indeed.