'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.
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.
"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.
“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
© 2004 utterpants.co.uk /061204