(Frodo walks into Bag End after making a trip to the Lime Dragon. It is dark and spooky. Suddenly–)
Gandalf: (his hand reaches out of the dark to grab Frodo’s shoulder and freak him out) Is it as secret and safe as possible?!
(settles down and rifles under his hazardously messy bed and finds the Sock.)
Ahh… here it is… (Gandalf grabs the envelope, runs downstairs to the laundry room and throws the envelope into the washing machine) What are you doing?!
(the envelope gets soggy and disappears, revealing the Sock)
Gandalf: Hold out your hand, Frodo. It’s quite awesome…What can you see? Can you see anything??
Frodo: *sniff* Nothing, there’s nothing…My eyes hurt…Wait…There are skooky-looking markings. It’s some form of Yiddish, I mean, Elvish. I can’t read it.
Gandalf: There are few who can… The language is that of Sockdrawer, which I will not utter here.
Frodo: Sockdrawer? Kewl. Oh, wait…
Gandalf: In the common tongue it says:
One Sock to rule them all
One Sock to find them
One Sock to bring them all
and in the dryer BIND them!
(but if Gandalf had used the language of Sockdrawer, these are the words he would have spoken:
Ash zôk kabottlecap,
ash zôk kameatloaf.
Ash zôk kabumbershoot,
agh burzum squishi-potato! )
(later, around the table, eating a lot of snacks [helpfully provided by our sponsors: Denny’s Pizza Shack and Rug Emporium and I.H.O.R.F. – International House of Rancid Fish])
Frodo: BANUI! That’s really obvious product placement! What are we, a struggling indie film on a budget crunch???
Banui: Well, kind of, actually…Veassë and I spent all our money on CDs…
Frodo: WHAT?? Does this mean we have to go short on…FOOD??
Frodo: Right. Drama. Evil Sock. Okay. (looks terrified)
Gandalf: (clears throat) This is the One Sock. Knitted by the Dark Lord Sockron in the bleach of Mount OxiClean. Taken by Isildur from the foot of Sockron himself.
Frodo: Bilbo found it…in Gollum’s apartment…
Gandalf: For a lot of years, the Sock lay quiet in Bilbo’s keeping, prolonging his life, delaying old age, keeping its jokes inside, but no longer Frodo. Evil is stirring in Sockdrawer. Duh. The Sock has awoken. It’s heard it’s master’s call. (And probably finally got around to reading those 327.0 emails in its inbox…)
Frodo: (sobbing) But he was destroyed, Sockron was destroyed… He imploded! It was on national television!
The Sock: Knock, knock…
Gandalf: No, Frodo, the spirit of Sockron endured. It wasn’t in the script, anyway. Sockron has returned. His Sorcs have multiplied, and his computer software has gotten better. His fortress of Barad-dûr has been rebuilt, in the land of Sockdrawer.
Sockron needs the Precious Sock to take over the whole entire world so that he can tell stale jokes all day long and laugh evilly whenever he wants to! Frodo, he must never, ever, ever, ever, ever find it…
Frodo: Okay, okay, chill. We can stick it back under the bed. We keep it hidden. We just don’t mention it, right? I mean, if I were Sockron I wouldn’t look under my bed if someone paid me. Well, technically if I were Sockron, it wouldn’t be my bed, but you get the idea. Wait- if I were Sockron, then would Sockron be me? Or… (Gandalf glares at him exasperatedly and he takes a hint and shuts up) Well, anyway, nobody knows it’s here. Except the audience. Right?
Gandalf: Um, well, uh, not exactly… There is one other who knew that Bilbo had the Sock… I looked everywhere for The Creature Gollum, but Sockron found him first… I don’t know how long they tortured him, but amidst the endless screams and inane babble they discerned three words…
Gollum: Shire… Baggins… Fiiish…!
Frodo: Shire? Baggins? But that will lead them here… Fish? That’d lead them to the deli down the street…
Deli Owner: Who goes there?
(Sockwraiths ride him down and squish him)
Frodo: GANDAAAAAALF! THE SOCK IS SCARY! IT TELLS JOKES! I DON’T WANT IT! YOU’VE GOTTA TAKE IT AND LOCK IT UP SOMEWHERE!!!!
Gandalf: Um, Frodo, I can’t take your sock…
Frodo: I’m putting the Sock on a restraining order!! TAKE IT AWAY FROM ME! IT’S SCARY!
Gandalf: IT’S NOT IN THE SCRIPT, FRODO!
I can’t. I don’t want to. And red’s not really my colour, anyway. Understand, Frodo, I would use this sock from a desire to do good, but through me, it would wield a power too great and terrible to imagine. I mean, I might start telling stale jokes.
Frodo: (shudders at the thought) But it cannot stay in the Shire.
Frodo: (oh, darn) *sniff* What must I do?
Gandalf: Ummm… (consults travel plan) You must leave and leave really fast.
Frodo: Where do I go? Will there be pencils?
Gandalf: Get out of the Shire… No stops at Blockbuster on the way, hear me?? Head for the village of Bree. NO PENCILS, for the last time!!
Frodo: Bree. What about you…?
Gandalf: I’ll be waiting there, at the Inn of the Hopping Horsey, if I can get any time off.
Frodo: *sniff* The Sock will be safe there?
Gandalf: No, duh, it won’t. I have to see the head of my order…maybe he can tell me why my paycheck’s been delayed. He is both wise and powerful. He’ll know what to do. (I think, anyway.) Keep warm, stay away from Ominous Characters, and follow the Yellow Brick Road. Wait…wrong movie. Never mind.
Frodo: *sniff* Okaaay…
(suddenly, there is a noise at the window. The security alarm starts blaring)
Gandalf: Get Down! (he reaches out the window and yanks Sam through it and onto a coffee table spread with a banana deep-dish pizza) Confound it all, Samwise Gamgee! Have you been eavesdropping?
Sam: I ain’t been droppin’ no eaves, sir, honest. I was just cuttin’ all the stuff under the window there, if you follow me…
Gandalf: Then why were you using a shovel??
Sam: (realizes he’s lost) Well I, uh, heard raised voices…
Gandalf: What did you hear? Speak!
Sam: Well, nothin’ important… that is, I heard a good deal about a Sock and a Dark Lord and somethin’ about stale jokes– But, please, Mr. Gandalf sir, don’t hurt me…don’t turn me into anythin’… unnatural!
Frodo: Turn him into a pencil, Gandalf!
Gandalf: No? Perhaps not… I’ve thought of a better use for you… (looks evil)