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Friday, October 06, 2006

Today is October 6

That probably doesn't mean anything special to you. But that's because you are not nearly as much of a loser as I am. When I hear "October 6", what do you think pops into my head, unbidden? Perhaps this will give you a hint:

October the sixth is the day the Nazgul attacked Frodo and the gang on Weathertop. No normal person would know this. However, I am not exactly normal.

I am no fair-weather friend to the Tolkien books. I didn't discover them when Peter Jackson made them cool. The Hobbit was the first big book I ever read. My mom started reading it to me as a bedtime story, but she only wanted to read a chapter a night, so I took it and finished it.

For quite some time, I was close to being obsessive. I knew everyone's genealogy. I even slept in a position that I felt was evocative of the four hobbits at the centre of the story. The calendar details were easily accessible at the back of Return of the King: years and years of trivia that no normal person would ever read. I was home-schooled at the time and I had plenty of extra energy to devote to the minor details. I always thought that Samwise Gamgee was cheated out of consideration as the true hero of the story.

So it's pretty funny that my son likes to pretend he is the villain. Well, not really. Gollum is more like a cross between a villain and a tragic hero. Michael enjoys him for his obsessive-compulsive qualities rather than his paranoid schizophrenia or uncontrollable murderous impulses.