Acceptance and Concession Speeches
I, Celeborn, Lord of Lorien, healer extraordinare -- and usually pathetically overlooked in nearly every story -- would like to thank everyone for recognizing "Mind to Mind" for what it is -- a story about ME. Finally. In this story, shirebound graciously allowed everyone who couldn't escape her wicked pen to become ill (Frodo), injured (Elladan and Pippin), or mentally confused (Merry). And who did they look to for most of the healing? That's right. Not that wizard, not my arrogant son-in-law who usually gets all the credit, although he did help a little -- but ME! To be fair, though, Pippin did help keep Elladan alive, and Frodo helped Merry a little, too -- but I understand shirebound can’t write two sentences without mentioning Frodo, poor girl. I’ve just learned to live with that. To conclude, I think shirebound should stop writing her hobbit-centric nonsense and continue to let people see what I can really accomplish, if given a chance. Oooh, I was so amazing in this story! You should have seen Galadriel's admiring looks, let me tell you. Now, maybe my sweetie will think twice about sailing West so soon.
(Febobe enters, accompanied by a rather pallid Frodo. At once she motions for a chair, promptly prodding Frodo into it and tucking his cloak, along with a few stray blankets carried in the crook of her arm, about him. The expression on his face is particularly telling at this moment: the word nauseated might come to mind, but Febobe has already turned to face the audience. . . .)
Febobe: It is a tremendous honour to accept this recognition from the Golden Mushroom Awards participants - all the readers who make the fanfiction community such a special place. I am deeply touched, and wish to thank you all so very much. You have honoured me above words. . .
Frodo (in a desperate stage-whisper): Febobe!
Febobe (stage-whispers back): What is it, sweetheart? Are you feeling left out?
(Frodo shakes his head anxiously.)
Frodo: The reason we were late getting here. . . .
Febobe: Oh! Yes! (She promptly turns back to the audience.) Ladies - and any gentlehobbits, gentle-elves, and other gentlemen - I fear I must beg to be excused. Frodo wanted to say a few words today, but the journey here hasn't settled well with him, and - well - we're remembering a great deal about just *why* we placed in this category, shall we say. . . .
Frodo (desperate plea): *Febobe!*
Febobe: All right, all right, I'm coming! (To audience) Again, thank you for this wonderful honour. I hope to bring you as much joy through my future writing as you have brought to me on this occasion. (With that, she hurries to gather up Frodo, promptly fleeing the stage. Almost immediately, the sound of retching can be heard offstage. . . .)
Elenya hears the sound
of sobbing before she even opens the door, and there’s
Frodo crying his eyes out in Sam’s arms. She briefly
wonders whether to take notes, but decides discretion
is the better part of valour and there are few things
worse in this world than one of Sam’s glares.
(A rather shaky-looking Frodo walks back onto the stage, huddled in his cloak, curls a tousled mess...but he is clean, and for anyone within range, he smells of ginger and peppermint. Crossing to the middle of the stage, he looks nervously about, sniffling shyly, and begins to speak.)
I *am* terribly sorry about that - I don't think the ride settled well with me, especially after what we had for supper. Those people at the hotel didn't understand about my stomach, and Febobe had no kitchen to make anything for me herself. (He sniffles dramatically.) I wanted to come along, though; Febobe and I thought it would be nice for me to be here to thank you all for this extra-special honour, though I must confess it makes me very nervous to see the names of these things...Febobe brought some ginger, though, and a few other things, and I trust the contents of her bag more than I do her writing or Aragorn's remedies, so I think I'll be all right for a little while.
While I would like to thank you all for the honour, I feel compelled to defend my character, however, against these accusations of being a "crybaby." Let me ask *you* - if you had been forced from your home, had to travel on foot for miles upon miles through forest and town and marsh, been chased by the Nine Riders, stabbed, then had to travel for weeks on end *wounded*, on low and inappropriate rations, in cold, wet weather, then ended up taking the thing on for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles MORE, through snow and ice and dark scary places past balrogs and lost Gandalf, then been attacked by a great big man, had to leave all your friends behind save a single stubborn dear companion who could not be dissuaded, and then gotten lost in more mountains, travelled through foul, reeking marshes full of the dead, been bitten by a GIANT SPIDER, left for dead while her poison worked, tortured by orcs, and had to travel on through a dark land without light and with almost no water or food or rest and no decent air. . .and then had your finger bitten off by this creature whose life you had spared, even though that DID save Middle-earth - wouldn't YOU feel entitled to a good cry?
(Frodo glares at the audience, sniffling as his blue eyes fill back up with tears.)
Please excuse me. I think I need to go find my pillow and blanket now, and that cup of broth Febobe promised me...mushroom...for when my stomach settles...
(Pulling an oversized pocket-handkerchief out - bright blue - he dabs at his eyes, then blows his nose - rather loudly - before bowing.)
On behalf of Febobe, Sam, and myself, thank you very much for this great honour.
Sam walks to the center of the stage. He blinks under the spotlight, frowning. Apparently giving up on being able to see his audience, he begins to speak.
“Now, there ain’t no one wants to see Mr. Frodo honored so much as I do. He’s just that good. And I’ll admit there’s been a bit of distress round here, ain’t no use in denying. But this… damsel business…”
(Offstage, quietly: “Sam.”)
Sam turns to the curtain. “No, Mr. Frodo, I’m determined to put in my spoke. These here folks, they ought to hear the truth. And the truth is,” Sam faces stage front again. “Mr. Frodo is the finest hobbit that’s ever lived and breathed, in this or any other age. And that’s the whole of it. That’s all that matters, and I wanted you fine folks to understand that.”
Sam pauses, head lowered. Then he reaches up to dab at his eye.
“Sam.” Frodo steps just out of the wings. “Sam!”
Sam sniffles, then says, “It’s the truth, Mr. Frodo. That’s the whole thing wrapped in a bundle, right there.”
Frodo holds up his arms. His head still down, Sam walks towards him, on into his master’s arms. Timidly, he lays his head on Frodo’s shoulder. Frodo hugs him, and gently pats his back. He murmurs into his hair, “My dear Sam.”
Frodo returns to the stage, beaming: he looks a little less distraught now, and seems almost excited as he takes center stage.)
Ladies and gentlehobbits, once again it is my pleasure to thank you for this honour, though admittedly I remain a bit mixed in my feelings about saying thank-you for being frozen nearly to death! I suppose, however, that it is a good thing: if Febobe's going to do it to me anyhow, for you to award her effort is another matter, and. . .
(He pauses, frowning in thought.)
You know, this *really* is very concerning. This award could contribute to the neglect and chilling of hobbits everywhere. . .isn't there a Hobbit Welfare and Protection Agency to which I could report this? (As a chorus of head-shaking ensues, he looks increasingly worried, alarm in his blue eyes.) Well, in that case...I truly hope that it will not encourage authors to commit wanton freezing of hobbits, and that they will consider consulting with those who believe in kindness to holbytla, such as my own author, who has, in fact, just now promised me special presents in recognition of the occasion. She says I may have a down comforter and pillows and quilts, and ginger-cinnamon tea to ward off chills. And for supper - chicken soup with mushrooms, if my stomach keeps improving!
(His smile further broadens, and he leans forward conspiratorily.)
See, I *did* sail West after all. This is just the part they never mention. But frankly, with all this FrodoHealers nonsense, mostly I wish I'd stayed in the Shire. Except for the comfort part. I like that.
(Febobe returns to the stage, visibly attempting to stifle a laugh, and crosses to stand beside Frodo.)
And I *am* sorry about that, Frodo. I'll try to write you into some nice fluff to make up for it, all right? (She turns to the audience.) Thank you all so much for this tremendous honour. The Golden Mushroom Award voters have proven so warm this year, and I cannot thank all of you enough for allowing us - my Frodo and myself - into your reading time and into your hearts. Bless you all, and thank you. May 2005 bring you joy, peace, happiness, and of course hobbits!
“Oh dear,” moaned Frodo.
Merry pried open an eye and saw his elder cousin, a curled parchment dropped on the table beside him, bent over the untouched bowl of steamed oats. He was holding his obviously aching head and looking a bit green about the gills.
“What is wrong now?” he asked, meaning, of course, above and beyond the fact that the three of them; he, Frodo and Pippin, were nursing the worst hangovers in their collective memory. Sam, curiously, had arisen from his evening spent sleeping it off by the fire as if his sturdy frame was well accustomed to such accommodations and, with vile cheerfulness, had prepared them all a bland but nutritious breakfast – which not even the insatiable Pippin had been interested in eating.
“She’s won the bloody award! No good will come of this, I tell you!”
Merry sighed, understanding.
Pippin blinked an astonishingly bloodshot pair of green eyes.
“Why ever not? Surely this is a good thing?”
Frodo eyed him with murderous contempt, though whether it was for his naiveté or the fact that the young Took had been so instrumental in facilitating their current condition, it was not clear.
“But don’t you see, Pip?” explained Merry. “She has a reputation to uphold! She is the most reviled, loathed and hated fanfic author in all of hobbit fandom! No one reads her fics! No one acknowledges her existence. She has cultivated this rebellious image for years! Doggedly flying in the face of convention and defiantly liking what she likes no matter the cost to reputation, life and limb! Don’t you see that winning this award blows that carefully constructed façade wide open and denies all she has asserted so defiantly?”
Pippin blinked again. His mouth opened in sudden comprehension and then shut again. He sank into his chair, silently, the impacts of the event piercing his ale fogged brain.
“Does that mean she’ll have to give back the leather jacket?” he asked in a very small voice.
Frodo scoffed. “Oh, undoubtedly,” he growled. “The motorcycle too, I would guess. There will be no living with her from now on, mark my words.”
(From the wings of the stage, a lone, warbly tenor rises) :
UNKNOWN TENOR: Wheeennnn Shirish eyes're smilin', sure it's—
SECOND VOICE: Pippin, hush. I swear, I can't take you anywhere!
PIPPIN: (comes onstage waving expansively, with MERRY on his heels) I'm just getting myself in character for this particular award. It's my job, you see. Since after all I was the one who began our lovely origami-esque tangle of hobbits, all thanks to my brains and a nice bit of that marvellous pipeweed… (sees audiences, blinks) Oh. Hullo, all.
MERRY: (sighs) Well since we're here, we'll do our best to thank these fine folk for awarding us…
PIPPIN: I thought they were awarding Willow for writing the story.
MERRY: Ah, she keeps saying that she's just our scribe. That's why she asked us to accept for her, Pip, remember? (MERRY pokes PIPPIN with his elbow)
PIPPIN: I remember. She works hard, yes, but we work… hoy, do we work. Exhausting, it was. I know there's this rumour that hobbits are insatiable little weasels, but… (PIPPIN hiccups and looks very pleased) Okay, maybe we are insatiable little weasels… Merry, where is Frodo? Shouldn't he be here, too?
MERRY: Don't use 'okay'. It's anachronistic.
PIPPIN: Anachro… okay. (smiles doofily and leans against MERRY) Yep. Whatever.
MERRY: Seeing as how my cousin here is in no shape to form a coherent sentence—
PIPPIN: Hoy—I got the main thing done for Willow, didn't I? You and Frodo, with me, in the sack. An' it took some doin', I'll tell you… where is Frodo?
MERRY: (grinning reminiscently) Sleeping it off. At any rate, we would like to thank you, on Willow's behalf and ours, for both of the splendid accolades given this story. We all worked hard for it and we appreciate it.
PIPPIN: (dreamily) Yeah. Hard. Work. Mm. Hoy, Merry, this stuff is fantastic. I can smell colours. Honestly. It's… it's… (PIPPIN sees the presenter standing by in her slinky sequined dress.) Ooo. Shiny.
(MERRY gives an apologetic grin and ushers PIPPIN offstage)
‘Hello, I’m Sam Gamgee and I’d like to welcome you to a special edition of “Gardener’s Question Time”, live from the Golden Mushroom Awards, 2004.
‘I’d like to thank all of our viewers for voting for us in the category “Most Inappropriate Use of Human/Elf/Dwarf” for our sterling work in thoroughly traumatising the elves. As the result of our success, a number of you have written in asking for our help in solving the problems you’re having with eavesdropping Elves. Now, as anyone worth his salt will tell you Elves are tricksy creatures. If an Elf takes a fancy to your home and garden it can be very difficult to persuade him otherwise and, once they’ve got into the habit they’re very difficult to keep out.
‘So, what should you do if an elf decides that he would love to lurk around your house? Well, you could take a twelve-bore shotgun to him, but however tempting that may be, I’m afraid that’s against the law under the provisions of the Protection of Elves Act FA113 (consolidating the Elves Act FA26, the Elves Act FA45 and the Elves (Further Protection) Act FA92) and you may be liable on summary conviction to imprisonment in the Halls of Mandos for a term not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or both. So, frankly, I find it’s best to scare ‘em off and I’ll show you how.
‘My lovely assistant, the former Ringbearer Frodo of the Nine Fingers – what he lacks in quantity he makes up for in dexterity – will now bring in an elf that we caught sneaking around our smial while we were… ahem… otherwise engaged.’
A spotlight hits the entrance stage right as Frodo brings on Legolas, who is tightly bound and muzzled and has been dumped in a wheelbarrow. He positions the elf centre stage and joins Sam.
‘Now,’ continues Sam, ‘whilst Elves seem to enjoy sneaking around in the undergrowth observing your average hobbit at play, they are easily embarrassed by overt displays of physical affection when they know that the hobbit knows that they are watching.’
‘Unless they are half-elven, of course,’ adds Frodo, helpfully.
‘Let’s not confuse the viewers with Elven family trees, eh love? Just come over here and kiss me.’
‘It’d be a pleasure, Sam,’ says Frodo and slips his arms around Sam’s strong neck before diving in for a good snog.
Legolas writhes against his bonds, but cannot escape and his eyes are drawn back to the pair enjoying the old tongue sandwich. A moan escapes from behind the muzzle and he thrashes his head from side to side, possibly trying to knock himself out, as Sam’s hands disappear beneath the waistband of Frodo’s breeches.
Fortunately, rescue is at hand in the unlikely form of a bearded shape, which stomps across the stage and stands with his hands on his hips and his legs akimbo.
‘What,’ says Gimli, for it is he, ‘are you doing with my elf?’
‘Oh, it’s Your Elf, is it?’ says Frodo, archly, as he drags his lips from where they were superglued to Sam’s.
‘You know what I mean, you oversexed hobbit,’ says Gimli, ‘my elf as in not one of the other thousands of identikit blonds running around on this island.’
‘If you gave him what he wanted he wouldn’t have so much time on his hands,’ admonishes Sam, whose own hands are definitely very much occupied.
‘Mmmnnn,’ adds Frodo, ‘why don’t you just let him have a go at your petty dwarf?’
‘You two,’ says Gimli, ‘are quite incorrigible.’
‘We’re encourageable, too,’ says Frodo, ‘you just need to say the word…’
‘Now, now, Mr Frodo,” admonishes Sam, “you’re getting a bit overexcited. I think it’s time I took you for a nice lie down before Gimli has an apoplexy.”
“Oooh, yes!’ purrs Frodo, ‘Take me, take me, Sam!’
‘Right... that’s enough, Sir, let’s be having you,” says Sam sternly.
‘Show him your big chopper, Gimli!’ yells Frodo as Sam throws him over his shoulder and strides off stage.
‘Hobbits,’ grumbles Gimli, wheeling a shell-shocked Legolas in the other direction. ‘Can’t live with them, can’t chop them into tiny little pieces and boil the flesh from their bones.’
I quite enjoyed my time with him, you know. Every wizard ought to have a hobbit about; keeps you on your toes, you might say, and they're fine cooks besides. I never ate so well, before or since, as I did when I had Frodo traveling with me. Of course he did corrupt me a bit, if you want to call it that - pipe-smoking, I mean. Had to give that up when I returned to Valinor; naturally they couldn't have it there.
All the same, he was a remarkable person, and I miss him very much. We were on the road for a long while, as you count time, but it sped by far too quickly for my taste. I'm happy that you've enjoyed hearing about our adventures. He deserves to be remembered, my Donkey. Thank you for reminding me of him once again.
I am delighted and honored that "Some Nameless Place" was chosen as the Runner-Up for the 2004 Golden Mushroom, "Best Lost in Rivendell" Award. In recognition of this distinction, I promise to keep the Fellowship (or at least Gandalf and the hobbits) away from all West-of-the-Moon facilities, equipment, and flammable personnel. In return, I must ask that no one at the awards ceremony demonstrate to any of the hobbits the use of matches or cigarette lighters and suggest that all of those steno burners under the buffet dishes be decently covered. Leaving a clear path to the fire exits might also be judicious. My deepest thanks to the voters and West-of-the-Moon for their kindness, perspicacity, and flame-retardant qualities.
I am gratified and honored that "Home Cooking Hobbit-Style" was selected to receive this year's Golden Mushroom Award in the "Best Abuse of the Culinary Arts" category. As the instigator of various cooking disasters through the years (a pan of brownies baked into a concrete discus comes to mind; even the dog couldn't eat them. Also, it is very important to remember to puncture both egg yolks and potatoes before placing them in a microwave), I felt that this story would resonate with a large audience. Good intentions with bad results seem to be a universal theme - that we can laugh afterwards makes it bearable. My heartfelt thanks to the voters and West-of-the-Moon for bestowing me this grand award.
"Canohando, stop! Unstring the bow, there's a good fellow. They like you!"
No human likes an Orc, runt. Are you sure they don't shoot little ones like you?
"No, of course not! They've given us an award."
"It's a Marlin Perkins Award, for the Wild Kingdom. I hope I never see anything wilder than you and Lash."
And Yarga - don't forget him! There's no one wilder than Yarga. All right, I won't shoot. Tell them to cook it, though.
(Frodo rubs his fore as if it aches) "COOK it?"
I don't eat raw meat anymore, runt. You know that."
Oh - right. Thank you, everyone! I'll explain to him about the Award later. Come on, Canohando." (Takes the Orc's hand and leads him back into the shadows.)
Accepted by Samwise
There’s a small cough and an unusually nervous looking Pippin comes out to the podium, and smiles a little fixedly at the audience.
“Umm. Thank you all very much for voting for Nickey’s story in the Most Dramatic Use of Drowning category, she’s very grateful and pleased, if somewhat surprised.”
He looks off-stage anxiously before heaving a deep sigh.
“But I am actually here as a representative of the true star of this story, who is unable to be here tonight, due to having roots, rather than legs, and being stuck in the middle of the Old Forest, and… Yes. Well.”
“Old Man Willow would like it to be known that he was much maligned by Nickey, and that the Old Forest isn’t dangerous at all, and that any hobbit children who want to trip merrily through his woods would be very welcome… AND I CAN’T DO IT!”
Pippin takes a determined breath and sticks out his chin.
“I don’t care that Merry almost got himself caught again, and that Old Man Willow is threatening to pinch off his toe if I don’t say what he wants. I don’t care, Merry will just have to live with without it, it’s only a toe, after all, and it’s his own fault for going in there again in the first place, and I refuse to put anyone else in danger, but Merry always thinks he knows best, and he never listens to me, and I don’t know why I bother, and I’m NOT going to…”
There’s a twitch of the curtain and then a slightly sheepish looking Merry edges on stage.
“…be blackmailed into…”
Merry clears his throat.
“…something I’m going to regret later…”
Pippin looks round, squeaks in a very girlish way and launches himself at Merry.
“MERRY! You’re all right! You got away! I’m going to kill you for worrying me like that! You are all right, aren’t you?”
“Yes, yes, I’m fine, Pip, stop fussing. It was cheap at the price.”
Pip glares at him suspiciously, “Price? What price?”
Merry looks even more embarrassed, “I promised Old Man Willow that… Well. That he could have the award.”
Pippin looks outraged. Merry continues hastily, “Nickey’s already agreed, she says she feels guilty for all the things she’s put us through this year.” He pauses and a becoming flush suffuses his cheeks. “But there was one other thing…”
Pippin folds his arms and glares. “What?”
Merry looks down and points. Pippin looks down and gasps.
“Sorry, Pip. I couldn’t help it. I had to.”
Pippin is doubled over in shock, it is only slowly that Merry becomes aware that he is actually laughing. He stares at the audience in an agony of embarrassment, and then glares at Pip. “It’s not funny.”
“Oh yes it is!”
Merry begins to lead a gasping Pippin off stage with a number of apologies, but just before they disappear behind the curtain, one more thing can be discerned.
“So how long does foot-hair take to grow back, Merry? Or are you going to have one bald big toe for the rest of your life…?”
I am honored and gratified that "Riding the Nightmare" was selected the winner of this year's Golden Mushroom Award in the "Best Excuse for a Search Party" category. Considering the blood, violence, gore, hobbit-abduction, malevolent supernatural apparitions, non-consensual inter-species interaction, Elf-torture and horror in general, I applaud the Golden Mushroom voters for their open-mindedness and courage, and for their ability to rise above horrendous puns. I am truly honored to receive this award, and thank the voters and West-of-the-Moon for possessing not only a strong stomach but also a strong sense of humor.
Well, this award just begs for a Pippin-fic, doesn’t it? And I’m pleased and proud to have had mine chosen for it. I should probably thank my son, (whose nickname, btw, was ‘The Blur’), who was unwitting inspiration here and my immediate answer when a friend who had just read the fic asked, ‘Do kids really talk that way?’ Yes, in fact, they do. Trust me.
I thank the readers for continuing to read, I thank the voters for voting and I thank WOTM for enabling my addiction to smut and for giving us all such a hoot with these awards. And, as with every fic I write, I thank Shadow for her dead-eye beta and her ever-present support.
PIPPIN: (at podium) Hoy! I AM NOT a RUG RAT!!!
(A woman, clad in what is obviously her Best Frock, comes onstage, nearly trips over her own feet, curses, then slings her heels off and runs over in bare feet to grab PIPPIN.)
PIPPIN: I am NOT! Tell them, Willow, tell them that I am not either a—
(WILLOW claps a hand over his mouth and wrestles him offstage. There are more struggling sounds, and voices from offstage.)
PIPPIN: Am NOT!!
WILLOW: You are so! The winning story says so, too!
(Several more clatters, then a strange, ripping sound. PIPPIN's protests become muffled.)
WILLOW: (comes back onstage, pulling up one shoulder of her best frock and tossing a roll of duct tape in one hand) I do so love this stuff. (looks about and turns red) Erm. Honestly, the hobbits use it on me all the time—it won't hurt him. (clears her throat and steps up to the podium) Thanks to all of you for thinking of bratty!Pippin in RoP, and I bow in the direction of Aratlithiel, who deservedly passed me by in this category, because she just has that extra special way with cheeky boys. (grins and waves)
(more commotion from offstage)
WILLOW: (looking nervously off-stage) I'd better make this quick—I might have the duct tape now, but no doubt the others will be showing up soon and you'd be surprised at how quickly a small number of little people can duct tape you to your writing desk… (clears her throat and once again pulls her frock up onto her shoulder) Anyway, I also wanted to thank all of you for declaring the fight scene in Bag End primo reading. Nice to know I am an author respected for her sex AND violence… ohh, dear.
MERIMAC and FRODO show up, stage right, each with a rope in their hands.
MERIMAC: (crooks one finger) Here, writer, writer, writer…
(WILLOW cuts and runs. Mass and sundry hobbits follow, including PIPPIN, still duct taped and swearing, thankfully muffled.)
Accepted by Frodo