By James Haines (aka: Hstaphath)
Scene 1: Bloody Sackville-Baggins!
Narrator: A party of special magnificence celebrating the eleventy-first birthday of the peculiar and illustrious Mr. Bilbo Baggins is in full swing.
(the cheerful music and boisterous conversations taper off as Bilbo gets ready to make the expected customary birthday speech)
Frodo: Old woman!
Frodo: Man, sorry. Have you seen Bilbo Baggins anywhere about?
Lotho: I'm thirty four.
Lotho: I'm thirty four in shire-reckoning—I'm not old!
Frodo: Well, I couldn't just say "hey you."
Lotho: You could say "Lotho."
Frodo: Well, I didn't see who you were.
Lotho: You didn't bother to find out, did you?
Frodo: I did say sorry about the "old woman," but it's getting dark and from the behind you looked—
Lotho: What I object to is that you automatically treat me like an inferior!
Frodo: Well, today is my coming of age birthday as well as Bilbo's eleven—
Lotho: Oh your birthday, eh, very nice. An' how'd you afford this party, eh? By exploitin' the average oppressed working hobbit... by hangin' on to outdated imperialist dogma which perpetuates the economic an' social differences rampant throughout the five shires! If there's ever going to be any progress—
Lobelia: Lotho, there's some lovely food laid out over here and look at these pretty silver spoons! Oh... what do you want?!?
Frodo: How do you do, ma'am. I'm looking for my uncle Bilbo. Have you seen him?
Lobelia: Why should I have seen him?
Frodo: Well, this is his birthday party after all...
Lobelia: This is his ruddy party?!
Frodo: Well... yes. Bilbo's and mine. We happen to have our birthdays on the same day and today is his eleventy-first birthday.
Lobelia: I don't recall getting an invitation to any birthday party, so I don't know what all this nonsense is about. I thought we were all just getting together for some free food and the chance to acquire a little extra cutlery.
Lotho: You're fooling yourself mother. We're living in a feudal society... a self-perpetuating autocracy in which the well-off Brandybucks and Tooks—
Lobelia: Oh there you go, bringing Tooks into it again.
Lotho: That's what it's all about, mum, if only sensible hobbits would—
Frodo: Please, please dear hobbits. I am in haste. Do you not know where Bilbo can be found?
Lobelia: He up and disappeared just a bit ago.
Frodo: Ummm... Disappeared?
Lobelia: That's what I said, you dense little inheritance stealer!
Frodo: Disappeared... oh no!
Lotho: I'm telling you, Frodo, we've just got to form Hobbiton into an anarcho-syndicalist commune shire. We could take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week.
Frodo: What's this? Rather than have a Mayor or Thain?!
Lotho: Yes, but all the decisions of that officer would have to be ratified at a special bi-weekly meeting.
Frodo: Well, yes, I see what you mean, but...
Lotho: A simple majority vote in the case of purely internal affairs—
Frodo: Confound it Lotho—be quiet!
Lotho: ...or by a two-thirds majority in the case of more—
Frodo: Be quiet! I order you to be quiet!
Lobelia: Order, eh—who does he think he is?
Frodo: I'm Frodo Baggins and today is my birthday!
Lobelia: Well, I didn't give birth to you.
Frodo: Something we are both profoundly glad of, I'm sure.
Lobelia: Why do you think it should be such a big occassion that it is your ruddy birthday, hmm?
Frodo: Because this is our party... because Bilbo and I have paid for all this food and drink and for it to be prepared and served. We arranged and paid for the best music, the grandest party tent, and even some glorious fireworks. So here you are, invited or not, taking part in our party. That is why it is special that today is my birthday.
Lotho: Listen... giving out food, drink, and entertainment is no basis for a system of authority and respect. Position and status derives from a mandate from the proletariat— not from some farcical, annual ceremony.
Frodo: Be quiet!
Lotho: Well you can't expect to be elevated to a level of prominence and power just because you threw a piece of stale cake at me.
Frodo: Shut up!
Lotho: I mean... if I went around acting like I was the King of Arnor, just because I bought everyone in Bree an iced bun, they'd put me away!
Frodo: Shut up! Will you shut up!?
Lotho: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.
Frodo: Shut up!
Lotho: Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help!!! I'm being repressed by the over-privileged, ruling classes!
Frodo: Bloody Sackville-Baggins!
Lotho: Oh, what a give away—did you hear that? Did you hear that, eh? That's what I'm on about... did you see him repressing me? You saw it, didn't you?