Saturday, December 11, 2004

LOTR Mania

Today I had the interesting experience of accompanying five fifteen-year old girls to an instore appearance and book signing by Sean Astin (Sam Gamgee from the LOTR movies). Mr. Astin was there with his wife and adorable daughters and amiably signed copies of his book, "There and Back Again, An Actor's Tale," as well as any other LOTR merchandise the mob of mostly adolescent girls had for him. As he was leaving afterward, four of my five charges exhanged high-fives with the little guy and all agreed that they would never wash their hands again. Somehow they all conveyed this thought while hyperventilating.

About four years ago I made a strategic error which has haunted me ever since. Hearing that LOTR was being made into a live action film and wanting to have somebody to see it with me, I convinced my then-eleven-year old daughter to read the trilogy. I thought I was being oh so clever. She dutifully read the books, but wasn't really much impressed by them. The movies have been a different story though. She loves all three of them and has taken to following in detail the careers of virtually every actor with a speaking part in them. Her friends all seem to share this passion. I have had to attend midnight premiers with my daughter and her posse, this book signing, and indulged my daughter on our vacations to Southern California as she stalked the streets of Venice and Santa Monica hoping to spot Viggo Mortenson or Elijah Wood. I have spent hundreds of dollars on VHS, DVD, and extended DVD versions of the three movies. All because I didn't think, four years ago, that any of my "normal" friends would be willing to see these films without me. Perhaps not a miscalculation on the scale of starting a land war in Asia, but one for which I am continually paying.
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