In which Jason and Kristina of Knuckle Salad discuss the trailer for the movie “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”
J: Wow, the trailer for The Hobbit has all kinds of stuff going on it. Pigs in harnesses, dwarves with spider webs in their beards, threadbare antique furniture—it’s essentially the video for the Nine Inch Nails song “Closer”, if Trent Reznor had eaten second breakfast on his eleventy-first birthday. The dwarves in this movie are short, hairy and have enormous ears. Looks like there’s going to be some a cappella dwarf singing as well. I usually feel uncomfortable if someone starts singing in front of me without musical accompaniment, but the other dwarves just put down their pipes and start singing along like the cast of Glee, if everyone on Glee was my grandfather.
K: If everyone on Glee was your grandfather, I probably wouldn’t have quit watching two years ago. That is, unless they kept the story lines all the same, and your grandfather was yammering about sectionals all day and trying to sleep with his teachers (also played by your grandfather), whilst coming out as a gay man and also as a lesbian and also as a surprise virgin. On second thought, even that might be better than regular Glee. But I’d definitely need them to tone down the kissing, and I’d like to see more subplots involving newspapers and butterscotch. Basically, they should start with the blueprint of Glee, but let it move in its own direction—much like they will with the inevitable American version of The Hobbit, starring John Krasinski.
J: In addition to pipe smoking and fence hopping, looks like there will also be a good amount of suspender tugging in The Hobbit. I know there’s also sword fights and magic rings and whatnot, but Martin Freeman will be undeniably be sporting some nice thick suspenders to hook his thumbs into. I’m afraid people who were wishing for some bottomless hobbit nudity or a peek at Martin Freeman’s digitally miniaturized bare ass will just have to go wanting, because those hobbit trousers are going to be firmly locked in place. Also firmly locked in place: people who wish for bottomless hobbit nudity.
K: Funny you should mention suspenders. I was just thinking about suspenders today, and how in England-English, when you say suspenders you mean garter belts. So if anyone reading this is British, you’ve just filled their polite little heads with all kinds of sexy hobbits in stockings, hooking their thumbs seductively behind the satin straps on their hobbit thighs.
J: What ruins the imagery of Bilbo Baggins in satin stockings for me, other than everything about it, is that in my imagination he’s chewing a piece of straw and looking very pleased with himself.
Speaking of risqué underwear on diminutive fictional characters, I once went into a Victoria’s Secret to buy lingerie as a Christmas gift for a girl I was dating at the time, at her request. As an unaccompanied man amid all those women’s undergarments, I felt a little like an unaccompanied Cookie Monster in a store that sold cookie jars. Sure, there aren’t any cookies anywhere, but you’re still not entirely sure he isn’t getting off on this.
K: Are you describing Cookie Monster as diminutive? I think of him as pretty big for a muppet, like the size of a large woman, but that’s probably wrong. I was wrong about Smurfs for years, too. I thought they were a few inches tall, but they’re three whole apples high! Coincidentally, three apples is also how much Hello Kitty weighs, but she’s five apples high. Apparently that’s how you measure fictional characters. I wonder how many apples a hobbit is.
Well, hang on, I went to school. The average height of a hobbit is 3’6″ and the average red apple is five inches tall, so a hobbit must be a little more than eight apples tall, if you can stack them that high. Unfortunately, I can’t find a record of hobbit weight averages. But according to Tolkien’s maps, the Shire is right about where England is, and the average Englishman is about 5’10″ and weighs about 185 pounds, which—assuming the weight of men and hobbits is similarly distributed—means that a hobbit might weigh, in pounds, only around 108. If the average red apple comes in around five ounces, the average hobbit might weigh the same as 345.6 apples. But I don’t like that number. It’s too big to mean anything to anyone. How do they do apples? In bushels? A bushel is roughly 9.3 gallons, and if the average person contains 16 gallons of blood, and we apply the man-to-hobbit ratio we’ve already determined, a hobbit must contain about 9.3 gallons of whatever is in a hobbit. That’s one bushel! Eight apples high, one bushel heavy. There. Now there’s no reason to see the film; all your questions have been answered right here. Everyone owes me $12 ($10 if you’re reading before 4 p.m.). PayPal is fine.