A Boy and His Lob

Author: Ignoble Bard

Nominator: Dwimordene

2007 Award Category: Genres: Humor - First Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Other Ficlet

Rating: Teen  ✧  Reason for Rating: Implied masturbation, mild profanity.

Summary: Legolas makes a pet of a giant spider with a unique talent.

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Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 10

"Charlotte's Web" is one of my childhood favorites – it's almost an inherited taste. My mother used to read it to the first-grade students she taught thirty years ago, and would get all teary-eyed and weepy about poor, self-sacrificing Charlotte. Imagine my surprise to find this story, which is sort of like "Charlotte's Web," except crazier and with more sexual innuendo (or, you know, *any* sexual innuendo). I know someone out there in fandom has written a story about Legolas taming one of the spiders of Mirkwood, but this takes it one step further: Legolas acquires his very own arachnid pet, on which he lavishes affection, though of course he doesn't tell anyone about the spider. In Mirkwood, having a pet spider is probably like owning a pet skunk that hasn't been de-skunked – likely to get you run out of town and the pet taken away to a Tragic Fate. Anyhow, Legolas discovers that his pet is smarter than it looks, and is able to make webs that have words in them – words it has heard Legolas say, no matter how inflammatory or revealing. I'm sure readers can imagine the comic potential this sort of pet brings with it… In any case, IgnobleBard's sense of humor shines through in all its irreverent glory – this story is maybe not for the kids, but for everyone else who's ever loved "Charlotte's Web" and laughed 'til it hurt over a parody of a favorite book, you might give this one a try.

Reviewed by: Oshun  ✧  Score: 9

All of IgnobleBard's stories are great and his use of language in his serious ones, is measured and elegant, but there is something about his comedies that really seems to cause him to let loose and soar. This one is no exception. Legolas is charming, snarky, adolescent and devious. Haldir has--whoops, I cannot specific, for that would blow the greatest line in the story. I will leave it as this. He is rather attractve and appreciated by Legolas. The pet spider is a horror (speaking as a mom; it really set my teeth on edge and scared the daylights out of me). It is just so big. But what is not to love about a spider that can write and spell and execute his work in tengwar. The doilies are wonderfully hilarious and I know of what I speak, I grew up in a working-class Irish family and in my childhood doilies graced every available surface. (As I recall they dominated the decor of our house, but did not make ["it pop."]) Anyway, this is a very funny story and one of the better take-offs on a children's book that I have read in this fandom. I have a requested a sequel, but I doubt I'll get my wish. Stories like this one tend to be one of a kind.

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 6

This was one of the first stories by Ignoble Bard's that I've read, and it captured my interest right away. It is hard to write humor that does not feel cliched or forced or modern, and this story captures so much of that. It never becomes too adult, but parts of it feel delightfully naughty. Yet there is more to this piece than just that. When Legolas is sulky because his last pet ate a chambermaid, it made me chuckle out loud. My own brother might have reacted the same way (had we grown up to Mirkwood), and it gives the piece a quirkiness that really, really pops (to borrow a phrase from the author). If you like to laugh at things that are just a little risque without completely leaving PG territory behind, this piece is a nice fun read.

Reviewed by: Imhiriel  ✧  Score: 6

A hysterically funny premise, consequently executed throughout the story. Legolas' reasoning for taking the spider for a pet were so twisted and odd, but from Legolas' PoV clearly understandable (even after the episode with the black squirrel...). The way the spider's behaviour towards Legolas is told is equally amusing, and once it begins expressing its gratefulness and adoration for its "master", it gets even better, piling gag on embarrassment on gag. I believe I came to pity the death of the poor spider, and this: ["...Legolas held its hairy foot and sang a wordless song as it slipped away."] is my favourite of many memorable lines, as is the image of Lake-town decked out with these particular doilies. The modern terms and concepts fit somehow into this odd story, increasing the impression of Legolas as a pubescent teenager.

Reviewed by: Jael  ✧  Score: 6

A Boy and His Lob is yet another giggle-worthy effort from the pen, er, keyboard of the master humorist. In this tale, Legolas's adolescent infatuation for a certain visiting Marchwarden collides with his humanitarian (does this word even apply to an Elf?) impulse to take in an orphaned spider with an unusual talent. As you might expect, the results are hilarious -- and very embarrassing for Mirkwood's young Prince. I got a kick out of Emo-Legolas resenting the fact that as ["prince"] he ["must sit at the king's table"] when he would far rather be chatting up Haldir. Life can be so very cruel sometimes! I found Thranduil's pragmatic desire for wine and money, even at the price of his son's dignity, especially amusing. Fortunately, Haldir seems to share Legolas's tastes in interior decoration -- among other things. What a great little story!

Reviewed by: Rhapsody  ✧  Score: 5

[spoilers here] Now first of all, movie Haldir does have a nice ass! Secondly, Legolas as a adolescent was such a treat, especially with his pouting about previous pet, no matter if they killed others. And when I read [the tiny, shoulder-high spider], I wondered if Legolas had been asleep during geometry classes, because... [shoulder-high] to become the size of a [war horse]! How big is his room! But alas, the drama prince does not get what he wants and emotionally he wants to get rid of his [doilies], but leave it up to his father to turn this in an lucrative deal. This piece is a brilliant satire (just be careful what you utter during a moment of relief), lovely written and yes, I do want to know how grateful Haldir is up in that talan!

Reviewed by: dkpalaska  ✧  Score: 5

Oh, my - my sides are still aching. I remember rolling on the floor when I first read this a while back, and I think it has only improved with "aging". The whole premise is so improbable and tongue-in-cheek, and IgnobleBard's lovely writing carries you through with just the right balance between ridiculous and delightful. The comedic timing and pacing is perfect, turning out one quirky lunacy after another. I love the oddball characterizations; while they are decidedly NOT behaving like Tolkien's Elves, they are still Elvish, with many hilarious plays on fanon situations and attitudes.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 3

Here's Legolas as a bratty teenager. A REALLY bratty teenager! This is certainly one of the more unusual variations of the young-Legolas-and-his-pets stories I've seen. Outrageous and punkish; but it works as a story, and is funny.

Reviewed by: Gandalfs apprentice  ✧  Score: 3

I started choking, I was laughing so hard. Somehow this piece is even funnier than the first time I read it. The ultimate statement on doilies and interior decorating! I will never be able to read about Legolas in Haldir's flet without seeing that doily in my mind's eye. Woo hoo!

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 2

Well, at least ONE spider within Mirkwood can see the heart of Thranduil's heir better than he can. Nice spoof.