'Hobbit' midgets sue Hollywood 'Hobbit' midgets sue Hollywood

By our correspondent who knows a mathom when she sees one, Mercedes Dannenberg
London Hard on the furry heels of the recent discovery of the remains of a race of 'Hobbits', a group styling themselves the 'Farthingstone Four', have issued proceedings in the High Court for 200 Million in damages against the Tolkien Estate and NewLaid Cinema of New Zealand the makers of the popular 'Lord of the Rings' films and novelty pipe-smoking midgets

The undersized plaintiffs, who claim to be the direct descendants of the miniature mushroom eating hominids discovered in a cave in Indonesia by US Special Forces searching for Osama Bin Laden, have caused a storm of protest by their allegations that far from inventing the fictional world of Middle Earth, Professor Tolkien stole the ideas that have spawned a multi-million dollar industry from a family of real 'Hobbits' living quietly in southern England.

If the claims of the 'Farthingstone Four' are upheld by the High Court, it could result in the biggest law suit in legal history. As we went to press, lawyers on both sides of the Atlantic were girding their loins for a litigious feeding frenzy which could bankrupt Hollywood's major studios and force the wealthy Tolkien family, who have made millions from their illustrious relative's creation, to get proper jobs.

Utterpants caught up with Odo Bolger-Baggins, the garrulous leader of the Farthingstone Four — a 52-year-old unemployed fox hunter — at his 'Hobbit' shaped bungalow in Penge, and asked him why anyone should take his claims seriously.
"Because we're bleedin' 'obbits', that's why!" he retorted defensively.
"But we understood that Hobbits were furry midgets, less than four feet in height?" we pointed out. "You're over five feet tall and must weigh 140 pounds. How do you account for the discrepancy?"
"Balrogs!" bristled the corpulent 'Hobbit."
"We beg your pardon?"
"Balrogs," he repeated. "In them days Balrogs kept us undersized and undernourished on account of the fear and terror the winged, fire-breathing demons inspired in our ancestors. There aint no Balrogs no more, leastways not in Penge, so we've grown a bit taller, like, over the centuries."
"I'll say," we replied. "And filled out a bit too, by the size of your paunch."
"That'll be the fried taters, like as not," retorted Mr Bolger-Baggins proudly.

"So your claim to be descended from these Indonesian midgets appears to rest solely on your name and the fact that you smoke a pipe and eat a lot of mushrooms and chips?" we asked.
"It's true that we does eats a mighty lot o' mushrooms and smokes a barrel o' pipeweed."
But surely half the population of Penge eat mushrooms and smoke pipe tobacco?" we objected.
"That's as may be," retorted the 'Hobbit' smugly, "But they don't be 'avin' hair growing on their feets, does they?"
We confess that the magnificently furry appendages which the 'Hobbit' then exposed to our reporter's startled gaze leant considerable weight to his claims. Claims which he backed up by showing us his ears which were — not to put too fine a point on it — ridiculously long and pointed.

“This is a spectacular development," commented one anonymous movie mogul. "You could say it’s the most important Tolkien related discovery ever. What’s even more amazing is that Mr Odo Bolger-Baggins has relatives in New Zealand. If I were Peter Jackson, I'd start liquidating my assets."

"The finding of what we have provisionally called 'Homo Tolkiensis' in England suggests that there may well be more mythological species to be discovered in other parts of the world," enthused Dr Hugo Bracegirdle, associate professor in archaeology at Oxford University. "Indeed, I received some dried leaves from a lady in Windsor only the other day which may well prove to be from the famous 'Mallorn tree' immortalised in 'The Lord of the Rings' and hitherto thought to be pure fiction."

He may well be right. The controversial claims of the Farthingstone Four have prompted a frenzy of litigation by people claiming to be descended from races thought to have been invented by fantasy writers. Kerri Shaughnessy, a twenty-three-year-old hairdresser from Purley, has issued proceedings against J K Rowling — the author of the Harry Potter books. Kerri claims Rowling based the idea of the 'Veela'— a mythical race of beautiful young nymphs with long, flowing hair — on her, and is suing the reclusive millionairess for £10 million. Not to be outdone, twenty-eight schoolboys from Ohio have filed a suit against Steven Spielberg, claiming they are directly descended from time-travelling robots.

"Hollywood deserve to get taken the cleaners over this," commented a leading barrister we couldn't afford to consult, but who agreed to let us listen to him shouting down the telephone to his American client.
"Why's that?" we asked.
"Anybody who's taken in by a bloke who's had hair grafted onto his feet and stuck a couple of novelty ears onto his head is clearly a few frames short of the full reel."

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© 2004 utterpants.co.uk /061204

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