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An Immodest Proposal Pt 2.: The Column

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Here is the sample column I sent to Above the Law.  You can read about that in the previous post.

Pop Law: Frodo and the Attorney of Personal Injury

Editor’s Note: The following appears as Appendix B12.8 in the forthcoming re-issue of Return of the King,

and is reprinted with the generous permission of the Tolkien estate.

Frodo: Thank you for fitting me into your busy schedule Mr. Hermwyn. I know this was short-notice.

Hermwyn: No problem Frodo. Who am I to refuse a meeting with the Hobbit that saved Middle-Earth?

Frodo: You’re too kind. I had a lot of help along the way. And, if anything, it was Gollum that saved

Mouth of Sauron? More like Mouthpiece of Sauron, amirite???

Middle-Earth by being such an enormous douche and falling into Mt. Doom.

Hermwyn: That is true. So — what can I help you with today?

Frodo: Well, I want to explore what my options are to sue Sauron for the injuries I received when I was in

Mordor. Specifically, when his giant spider Shelob stung me.

Hermwyn: Hmmm…I see.

Frodo: The way I see it, Sauron should’ve known that Shelob would do something like that. I mean, she’s a

giant spider after all. They tend to sting people and drink their blood. What do you think?

Hermwyn: Frodo, this is a difficult question.

Frodo: Really? I talked to Eremong over in Minas Tirith before talking to you and he thinks I have a case.

Hermwyn: Well, you do, it’s just…

Frodo: What? I want my money!

Hermwyn: Okay kid, let me spin this out for you. First, the good news: you do have a case. We can

definitely get Sauron for your injuries since he would be strictly liable for any injuries caused by Shelob.

See, we’ll go to him and say, “Hey, pal, you needed to keep that spider of yours on a leash or something to

keep her from running around and stinging anyone.” He’ll, of course, point out that you were a trespasser

and, therefore, owes you no duty of care whatsoever. We’ll come back and say, “Listen dude, you keep her

there as a guard dog. You know she’s there, you know what she does, and you don’t remove her. Why?

Cause you like having a giant spider watching the Secret Stairs over by Cirith Ungol. And since she’s your

guard dog, you are required to at least post a sign to warn everyone about the danger. And since you did

not, you owe my client for damages for his injuries that Shelob caused.”

Frodo: Sounds good.

Hermyn: Well, sort of. He’ll come back and say that Shelob wasn’t a watch dog but rather a wild animal

that happened to take residence on his land. He may have a point here, since his relationship with Shelob is

ambiguous at best. But I’ll get that orc…uh..what’s his name…the one that found you?

Frodo: Gorbag.

Hermyn: That’s right. We’ll get him to testify that Shelob is Sauron’s guard dog over there. He owes me a

favor anyway. I got him off on an Ag Assault charge years ago. Denethor wanted to toss him in the

dungeon but I took care of it.

Frodo: Well, this all sounds good. Let’s do it! I need me some Sauron money. Those Sackville-Bagginses

are sucking me dry.

Hermyn: Yeah, but here’s the thing kid: you really want to get into a legal pissing contest with the Lord of

the Dark Land? I guarantee you he’ll come at you with destruction of property and trespassing. Plus I’m

hearing all sorts of rumors of Mordor orcs preparing negligence lawsuits against you relating to the

destruction of Barad-Dur. That might end up as a class-action. And Faramir was just in here yesterday

asking about suing you for Boromir’s portion of profits from your book.

Fordo: Faramir?

Hermyn: Yeah, your buddy Faramir wants some of your book dough, pal.

Frodo: I can’t believe it.

Hermyn: Believe it. From what I can see, you’re in for a tough year my friend.

Frodo: Well…what can I do?

Hermyn: You want some advice? Here’s what you do. I’m hearing that, in a few weeks, Gandalf and some

of his elf pals are saying “Peace out” to Middle-Earth and taking a boat across the sea. If you want, I can

make some inquiries and see what it’ll cost to get you on that boat. After that, if you name me your agent, I

can make sure that your book royalties are forwarded to the Undying Lands. From what I understand, suing

someone over in the far green country is costly and time consuming. And maybe this will get the orcs to

drop their lawsuits and give Eowyn enough time to spit out some kids and keep Faramir too busy to sue

anyone.

Frodo: Eowyn. Huh. She’s such a crown-fu****.

Hermyn: Don’t I know it. Who do you think handled Aragorn’s restraining order against her?

Frodo: Good job.

Hermyn: Thanks. So what do you say Kid? Go with plan B?

Frodo: Yeah…that makes the most sense. I need to get out of here anyway. Sam and Rosie are the most

annoying couple anywhere. Top, Middle, or Lower Earth, you name it. They’re irritating.

Hermyn: I bet. Okay, I’ll check with Gandalf and see what I can do about the boat. This really is the best

plan, Frodo. In fact, even if you had a case against Sauron, I’d doubt we could sue him anyway.

Frodo: Why?

Hermwyn: Well, to sue someone, you need to service them with notice. And you just don’t walk into

Mordor and serve Sauron…

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Written by B. Michael Krol

April 29, 2013 at 1:07 pm

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