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Thursday, January 2, 2014

How Low Can a Hobbit Go?

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One Christmas season tradition the eldest of my “hobbits” insist on enacting year after year, is the Boxing Day pilgrimage to the movies.

It began in 2001 with the release of the first “Lord of the Rings” movie. 

Thaddeus was eleven, Jonah ten, Hagar eight, Padraic six and little Lulu only five. My little hobbits sat enthralled, falling in love with Tolkein’s fantasy world (and one of us in particular, falling in love with the handsome Aragorn).

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We arrived late for the screening of the second installment in 2002, which meant I sat in the very front row with the youngest two hobbits whilst Thaddeus, Jonah and Hagar sat by themselves dotted in various locations around the theatre.

I could identify their whereabouts by the odd snap and fizz of the illicit coke cans we’d secreted inside of my backpack.

By the end of the movie my neck had frozen in a painful lock and I made sure we arrived VERY early for the final part of the trilogy in 2003.

We continued to attend other Boxing Day premieres over the years but it never seemed the same until in 2013 the first chapter of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, was released.

“Can you take us all to the movies Mum?” requested my twenty-three year old, Thaddeus (by ‘take’ he meant 'pay for' of course).

So I did, however Lulu and Hagar were too cool for school to go to the flicks with mum and siblings so it was just the four of us.

This year, Thaddeus insisted we go again to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and this time only my two eldest babies attended… my shout of course.

“I’m thirsty. Do you have any water in your bag?” whispered Jonah when the lights went out.

“No, why don’t you buy yourself a drink?” I suggested to the twenty-three year old young man.

“Haven’t got any money.”

I fished around in my wallet and extricated my last three five dollar notes.

Jonah took them and in the darkness I noticed a moth flying away into the light as he stashed the money safely in his wallet.

“Well?” I hissed. “Are you going to go and buy a drink or what?”

“No. I don’t want to waste the money on soft drink,” he replied, eyes glued to the screen.

I sat for a while in the dim theatre wondering what had just happened…

Naturally, the boys solicited a Macca's meal after the movie from me... as was our customary traditional, fifteen year old treat.

“They may be twenty-three and twenty-four years old now, but they’re still my little boys and just poor Uni students,” I thought quietly.

It wasn’t until the next day I recalled Jonah, on Christmas Day, waxing lyrical about his impending holiday when he will be flying down to Melbourne with mates to see the 
Australian Open Tennis Tournament.

It’s hard living the high life on casual wages… no wonder he has to fleece his mother out of her last cent.