Recently Dom and I FINALLY managed to watch “The Hobbit”. Now Dom is a massive Lord of the Rings fan and had been desperate to watch it, and although we sadly missed the whole 3D high frame-rate experience it was great to finally get to see it, even if it was one of the last screenings of it any cinema was showing.
I enjoyed the film, although with it being composed of about 90% epic battle sequences and lasting just under a decade I did begin to tire of it at times. Fortunately Mr Jackson did have the good sense to break up the huge panoramic sequences with the odd rather more intimate scene between Bilbo and Gollum.
As I watched this most important precursor to the Lord of the Rings series, seeing Gollum covet the ring so deeply reminded me of my relationship with my own wedding ring. I can often be found idly fiddling with it, usually whilst searching for material for the next BvG post, and it (or rather what it symbolises) certainly wields great power over me. Not only that but I have noticed that ever since I’ve been wearing it, when I’m out on the town I seem to have become completely invisible to women. Well, that’s my excuse anyway…
As the scene progressed and I watched Gollum go through absolute desperation at losing his ring I had a sudden and slightly concerning flashback to an event that had occurred just a week before. Having stepped out of the shower in an apartment I was sharing with a colleague on a working weekend I heard the worrying pinging sound and reflected flash of light as my own wedding ring slipped suddenly from my finger and bounced with alarming velocity from the nearest surface. My happiness at the idea that I had lost enough weight for my ring to actually be able to physically slip from my finger was only momentary however as I looked down to pick it up and could not locate it.
My wedding ring generally never leaves my finger and I admit that I felt immediately nervous at its absence as I looked around and still could not locate the precious object. However, I reasoned, it was only a small room and couldn’t possibly have gone very far. This knowledge assured me in my search right up until my eyes, still scanning the room, came to rest upon the open lid of the toilet.
Now not to be too graphic for a Monday morning but as I slowly moved towards the human waste disposal receptacle I could but pray that if the ring were to be found in such a dark, fearful place that it would prove to be the only thing I discovered there. As I summoned the courage and peered over the edge of what I feared could prove to be Mount Doom I looked into the fiery depths of hell to find… nothing. Aside from the shallow (worryingly cloudy) waters there was no sign of my precious ring.
I looked hopefully around the room unsuccessfully for a few more minutes before realising a dreadful truth. The ring is a heavy metal with a big hole in the middle… it certainly wouldn’t float, but it might be light enough to move through the water to the dreaded U-bend and disappear from view… with the ring no-where to be seen there was only one thing for it: I would have to investigate.
I searched the apartment for protective gloves, for anything I could use to protect my hands from any residual un-flushed material, but could find none. With no guarantee that either my colleague or the cleaners would not arrive in my absence there was no opportunity to go out and buy any. It was now or never and I was going in without protection.
Getting down on one knee for the second time in connection with a ring, my arm swung slowly over the bowl and, closing my eyes now, I moved my hand cautiously towards the (in my mind steaming) liquid below. As my wrist passed the safety of the toilet seat I sensed the tips of my fingers approaching the surface of the water. Pausing for a moment I opened my eyes and took a deep breath, steadying my resolve and bracing for impact before taking the plunge that would leave me feeling unclean for the rest of my life.
It was then that I saw a glint of light. Moving towards the source, my hand still hovering within the bowl ready to dive on order I saw it. Inside the hollow tube of a roll of toilet paper seated on the floor in front of me rested a gleaming, glistening piece of metal. Despite its attempts to escape, the ring had returned to its master.
So really I know how Gollum feels. One day the ring may find another way to escape, and perhaps like the sorry character of Tolkien’s stories I will be reduced to little more than an animal, crawling around in only a loin cloth and eating scraps found from the floor. Only in my case it’ll be less the power of the ring and more that I’m unable to look after myself after being thrown out of the house by a wife angry at the loss of my wedding ring. I believe Gollum’s ring transformed him over many centuries. I think it’d take about 20 minutes for my own transformation to take place.
But for now the ring is safe in its rightful place upon my finger and I’ve learnt a valuable lesson that Dom, at least, is deeply grateful for:
Gentlemen… you really do need to put the toilet seat down!