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Re: Hobbit Tea contest

Subject: Re: Hobbit Tea contest
by Mr Burns on 2010/3/22 3:08:09

Without Tolkien, my life simply would not be what it now is. I would not be married to my wife, and therefore our beautiful daughter, whose genetic makeup is (like everyone's) unique, would never exist.

Tolkien has been a big part of my life for as long as I can recall. One of my dad's favorite films was the animated version of 'The Hobbit' by Rankin Bass (who you'll know from having done Thundercats) and I grew up on it like Disney. My father still contends to this day that just as Adam West is the definitive Batman, John Houston is the definitive Gandalf.

Dad wasn't as into Ralph Bakshi's animated 'The Lord of the Rings' but to this day I still find it very enjoyable, with a great deal of narm charm. I only regret that it was never finished, and I wore out a VHS TV-recorded copy by watching it so very many times.

When I was about ten years old I actually read 'The Hobbit' for the first time. I had to steal the book from my brother's collection. He'd received it a a Christmas gift, which is ironic because I'd wanted it and not got it, whilst my brother does not share my Tolkien obsession to this day.

Around the same time, I discovered that Rankin Bass (who did 'The Hobbit') also randomly did an animated version of 'Return of the King'. I thought it very strange, as they'd not bothered doing either of the first two parts. Still, my love affair with Tolkien expanded and continued, and by the time I was 12 I'd nicked and consumed my brother's 'Lord of the Rings'.

Afterward, thoughts turned to other things as soon high school and girls were at the forefront of my thoughts. I never ceased my love affair with Tolkien, and often tried to encourage others to read his main works throughout my high school years. I have at least one very good friend to this day who has a love of "The Lord of the Rings" at least due to my own obsession bleeding onto him a bit. Despite this, I managed little Tolkien reading during high school myself, except perhaps to re-read 'The Hobbit' and 'The Fellowship of the Ring'.

It was in my senior year, however, that I heard a great deal more about an upcoming live adaptation of 'The Fellowship of the Ring'. I began to devour all I could learn of the project, whilst simultaneously re-reading "The Fellowship of the Ring" in anticipation of the first film's release in 2001, the year following my graduation.

My old love affair was rekindled anew as I continued to re-read each part of the trilogy prior to Peter Jackson's respective film release. By the time the credits rolled on "The Return of the King", my only niggling regret about the films was that there was not more of them, and so I began to delve into the areas of Tolkien's works that I'd not glanced at before: "The Silmarillion", "Leaf by Niggle", "Farmer Giles of Ham", "Smith of Wootton Major", "The Adventures of Tom Bombadil", "Roverandom", "Letters from Father Christmas", etc.

It was also around this time, in March of 2004, that I met who is now my wife in an online forum which geared itself to works of fantasy in both literature and film. Obviously, it was my love of Tolkien which had led me to the forum, and Helen and I met on a thread regarding Tolkien-related tattoos. I'd had Tolkien's signature symbol tattoo'd to my leg in November, 2003 in anticipation of the release of "The Return of the King". Helen had her own name transcribed in an Elvish script on her wrist.

This was the icebreaker that led to daily emails being passed back and forth, and I became more and more smitten with her with each passing month. As we did not have a physical relationship, we were forced to get to truly know each other through communication. I quickly found that she was kind, charitable, and the most intelligent person I'd never met. The only problem I saw was that she lived 3500 miles away in England, whilst I was stuck in the USA. However, after several months, she flew to Chicago in August of 2004 and we met in person. It was in Chicago on a breezy, sunny, August day that my wife handed me a gift from England, a box of Twining's English Breakfast tea. I'd never tried hot tea before, but thus began a new love affair. I prefer Earl Grey these days, but I'd never have given tea a second glance if that gorgeous brunette with the English accent hadn't introduced me to it.

Fast forward several years, and we have now been married three years and have a 2 year old daughter. My own Tolkien book collection has become 'our' book collection. It now includes volumes of 'The History of Middle-Earth', which I'd never looked at. My film tie-in sword collection is now 'our' sword collection. My Glamdring, Sting, and Shards of Narsil have joined Helen's Herugrim, Knives of Legolas and Hadhafang, along with my prize, Anduril, which my wife gave to me as a wedding gift.

None of this would have been possible without my (edit: and indeed my wife's!) love-affair for Tolkien.

Thanks for reading!
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