From The Hood : Looney Toons In Hobbiton

The unionth are dethpicable!

By Lyndon Hood

[The two delegates from Warner Brothers enter the Prime Minister’s office.]

KEY: Welcome to New Zealand, gentlemen, pleased to meet you. Might have done yesterday, except obviously that was Labour Day, when we take a day off to celebrate… um, having a long weekend. So. How can we bend over backwards for you?

WB 1: Well howdy, Mister Prime Minister Sir. Nice, I say, nice digs. Allow me to introduce mah associate. Does the accountin’ and such. [Aside to Key, but clearly audible] No too bright. Surprised he don’t write his ledgers in crayon.

KEY: Um, hi. :–)

WB 2: Good day, Thir. I hope we can work together to remedy thith dethpicable thituation.

KEY: I hope it’s not as bad as all that…

WB 2: Well, you have to underthand our dithappointment. We were all ready to thtart filming when all of a thudden little bird told us, well he told us he tought he taw radicalised actors. “Theriouthly?” we said. “Theriouthly?” After all, your people had alwayth been tho co-operative before…

WB 1: I believe they was described as like mexicans, I say, mexicans, with cellphones.

WB 2: But when our representative thent back word ‘he did, he did taw a radicalised actors’, well, well we were forthed to reconthider our optionth. It’th a hard world! Exthchange rateth! Companieth changing handth! It’th ath if a giant anvil was poised, poised over the whole producthion!

WB 1: The rabbit was furry, I say, furry-ous. Angry-like.

WB 2: We need to be reathurred about your thtability!

KEY: But you’re not necessarily going? It’s just, when Sir Peter said you guys were coming to definitely move the production overseas… ?

WB 1: As it turns out that may have been just a touch, I say, a touch not true.

KEY: Oh well, it wouldn’t be the first time someone smelled a rat in this argument. :–)

WB 1: Why, I say, why that ain’t no rat, boy. My associate is a duck. [Aside to WB 2, but clearly audible] Boy’s as sharp as a bowl of cornflakes!

KEY: :–) ?

WB 2: [Glowers at WB 1] Why, you, I oughta…

WB 1: No need, I say, no need to thank me, son.

KEY: But that business is all sorted isn’t it? :–) Surely now that the unions have…

WB 2: Unionth! Where?!

WB 1: [To Key] Now, son, I’m going to request you not use the word ‘unions’ …

WB 2: Gah!

Key: Sorry. :–)

WB 1: … in front of my associate. Why, if anyone some much as mentions unions …

WB 2: Lord pertherve uth!

WB 1: … or even the chance of unions he gets a labour-movement in the head.

WB 2: Dethpicable varleth! Thcum of the Earth!! Worse than… politicians!

WB 1: (Don’t pay him no attention.)

WB 2: Worse than movie executiveth!!

WB 1: Shut your mouth, boy! [To Key] So if y’all mean to say ‘unions’ …

WB 2: Destablising my production! Introduthing untheratianty! Causing crop thircles! Vampirising cattle!

WB 1: … it’s best not to use the word ‘unions’. Instead, say something except ‘unions’.

WB 2: Inthuffithiently exthplained inthernathional boycotterth!!

WB 1: It ain’t too hard, really. Just don’t mention unions.

WB 2: It’th horrible! It’th unbearable! It’th dis-dis-dis-disgusting! After everything we’ve done for them to get them to do what we want them to for uth! To be treated in thith manner! Conditionth! Don’t tell me about conditionth! Heaven knows, I have worked under the most trying conditionth imaginable! A duck’th got to eat, you know! And did I complain?! You bet I did!! Ooo-ooo!!!

[WB 2 countinues by shouting incoherently while bouncing between the walls, floor and ceiling.]

WB 1: [to Key] There, see boy, now look what you done. We’ll best just talk between ourselves a while. Now I, I say, I can see where these unions are comin’ from. They have their pride. Pride of LIONS, that is. EAT YOU ALIVE! [To the still-raving WB 2] Hear that boy? That’s we call a J-O-K-E. You need to lighten up a l’il!

KEY: Well sir, as you can see from our reaction, we don’t hold with unions – with, um people – going on strike in this country :–). Well, apart from medical staff or teachers. Seriously, our lives and our kids maybe – but we have a rule: don’t mess with the hobbitses.

WB 1: And they-all don’t mind how, after makin’ the most successful movie trilogy ever, we just took to threatenin’ to cut you loose the second anything went wrong?

KEY: Not really. :–)

WB: Touched in the head, are they?

KEY: Well, I reckon everyone expects you guys to act like a bunch of tossers. And you’re not our tossers, so we don’t mind so much. :–)

WB 1: Y’all sure do seem to want this-here movie, boy.

KEY: We do. It is… precious to us.

WB 1: Why that’s just, I say, just what I was hopin’ to hear. [To WB 2] Come down from that bookshelf, boy, you ain’t an encyclopedia! We got some negotiatin’ to do. [To Key] Just between the two of us, we ain’t too surprised how them U-N-I-O-N-S come out of this, considering who they was fighting against. Would y’all like to meet our industrial relation advisor?

KEY: Oh yes!

WB 1: Well okay then. COME, I SAY, COME ON IN!

[Third Warners delegate arrives, very quickly.]

KEY: Oh, hello :–) Mister… um …

WB 3: Meep Meep!

[Third Warners delegate leaves, very quickly. Key is left trying to shake the hand of a dissipating cloud of dust.]

WB 2: [Settling back down, dabbing at self with handkerchief.] Oh my. Oh my lord, what must you think of me?

WB 1: Don’t ask questions you don’t want to hear the answers to, son. [To Key] So I think you’ll agree this ain’t been the ideal start to a film project.

KEY: Yeah, nah. Someone said to me that we won’t have wait for the porn version to come out because with the way everyones going at it from every side it’s already an enormous clusterf…

[WB 2 blows his nose with a loud HONK.]

KEY: … :–)

WB1: What I was sayin’, boy was – seenin’ as how we are so beleagured, what can y’all do for us?

KEY: Well, for starters our economy is recovering strongly.

WB 2: Is that tho?

KEY: Well, or it could be going badly. If you’d prefer. Really, I just wave the same table of statistics around and say it’s good or bad depending on what I feel like. :–) And we’re quite keen to ‘clarify’ the law around contractors for you.

WB 2: You would path actual legithlation thpecially for uth?

KEY: Oh, no. Well, that is, we probably could, but we don’t have to. See, we’ve got this thing called the major events law. Or if that doesn’t work maybe the earthquake act, which basically lets me write any law I want.

WB 1: Earthquake? Son, I thought you was trying to convince us this country was stable?

WB 2: What a two-bit tin-pot banana-republic way to operate! What about your legithlative branch?

WB 1: Branch? Branch? Laws don’t grow on trees, son! [To Key, but clearly audible] Don’t mind him. Boy’s two reels short of a feature.

WB 2: IF I could finish, I jutht wanted to clarify; we were told thith wath a Democrathy?

KEY: Oh, it is. Unless you’d prefer…

WB 2: Oh, no no no…

WB 1: No…

WB 2: No…

WB 1: Maybe…

WB 2: We can put that athide for now. How about taxth breakth?

KEY: Oh, increased tax breaks aren’t really on the agenda… :–)

[WB 2’s eye’s get very, very big and he blinks adorably]

KEY: … I mean, the Government’s only really offering stuff other people have bear the consequences of … :–) :–)

[WB 2’s big, adoreable eyes become very shiny. A single teardrop forms.]

KEY: … That is, I, well, maybe if …

WB 1: [To WB 2] Quit leaking, boy, you look like a ministerial office. [To Key] So anyhow, I think we have what all we came for, capitulation-wise. Now what part was it you was after?

KEY: Part? You mean, in the…

WB 1: Only I can’t help, I say, can’t help but notice those eight-by-ten glossy photos of your face in that there folder.

KEY: Well, I though, you know, if the subject came up, I should be ready… :–)

WB 2: I’d say he lookth like a hobbit.

KEY: Not a – oh I don’t know – a human warrior? :–) :–)

WB1: Born hobbit.

KEY: Really? Um, wow! :–)

WB 1: Yessir. Amiable-like. Mind you, it’s not our department. [Ostentatiously taps the side of his beak.] Anyhow, we must be getting along! Got ourselves a decision to make!

WB 2: Thank you, thir, for a very conthtructive meeting.

KEY: Oh, well, it was the least I could… :–)

WB 1: Very friendly country. Everyone you meet wants to help out.

KEY: … obviously very important to… :–)

WB 1: Folk, I say, folk like us fit right in.

KEY: Bye then :–) … pass on my regards to Mr Bunny :–) … Oh! Hey! You forgot your photos!

[Slight pause]

KEY: :–(