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Bored of the Rings: The Harvard Lampoon    by Henry N. Beard & Douglas C. Kenney order for
Bored of the Rings
by Henry N. Beard
Order:  USA  Can
Touchstone, 2012 (1969)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Let me start by saying that I am in no way truly bored of the rings - I've read and re-read the trilogy often, and look forward to Peter Jackson's The Hobbit movie with keen anticipation. But who can resist a parody of even a favorite series of books and movies?

This version opens on a hairy-toed Boggie named Frito Bugger being tempted to give up his Ring by a 'voluptuous elf-maiden', followed by Frito's Boreword to his adventures. There he tells what happened to everyone after the story ended - Arrowroot, son of Arrowshirt turned into a despot; Sorhed moved to Wall Street; Serutan and Wormcast became lobbyists; Goodgulf Grayteeth turned into a guru; Legolam performed at Vegas with hits like You Ain't Nothing but a Balrog; Gimlet started Gnome Depot; while Frito and Spam Gangree play golf.

The Prologue tells the history of the Sty and of the Boggies who dwell there, 'eating and drinking, singing and dancing, and passing bad checks.' The Hobbit story is covered under Of the Finding of the Ring, where we learn how Dildo Bugger encountered Goddam and acquired the Ring.

The tale continues under headings: It's My Party and I'll Snub Who I Want To; Three's Company, Four's a Bore; Indigestion at the Sign of the Goode Eats; Finders Keepers, Finders Weepers; Some Monsters; The Riders of Roi-Tan; Serutan Spelled Backwards Is Mud; Schlob's Lair and Other Mountain Resorts; Minas Troney in the Soup; and Be It Ever So Horrid.

The inscription on the One Ring reads: 'This Ring, no other, is made by the elves, / Who'd pawn their own mother to grab it themselves. / Ruler of creeper, mortal, and scallop, / This is a sleeper that packs quite a wallop. / The Power almighty rests in this Lone Ring. / The Power, alrighty, for doing your Own Thing. / If broken or busted, it cannot be remade / If found, send to Sorhed (the postage is prepaid).'

If you somehow missed this delightful parody in 1969, don't miss it now. And it would make a welcome holiday gift for anyone who is either enthralled or (amazingly) bored by Tolkien's epic trilogy.

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