Thursday, November 6, 2008

Frodologist teen goes missing on Nission

The parents of a seventeen year-old Frodologist boy were distraught today as the dawn of a new week brought no news of their son’s apparent disappearance. Hah, good pun. Slightly tasteless though. Benjamin Baggins was entering the second month of his six month-long Nission when his parents reported to Faith authorities that they had not heard from him in over two weeks.

Frodologists will be able to discern from Benjamin’s chosen hobbit surname that he is a devoted member of the Faith. As such, he enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to embark on his Nission when it was handed down to him on his seventeenth birthday. His whole family was brimming with anticipation as he pulled the details from the envelope back in April. “Our two elder sons were sent to Easter Island and Western Sahara. We were hoping Ben would get sent somewhere as important,” said Ben’s mother.

Trouble in Paradise

As it turns out, Ben was to spread Frodo’s Word among the coca growers of Columbia. “We were so excited,” his mother recalled. “Colombia is on the mainland, and it has a population too. Our other sons were so jealous.” But now it seems like proselytizing in a dangerous drug-peddling backwater isn’t the paradise they all thought.

Benjamin has been out of contact for more than two weeks now. Entering the second month, he was due to begin evangelizing on the use of the semi-colon. Faith authorities aren’t sure what it is about the semi-colon that offended local inhabitants. Benjamin’s mother surmised that it might the ambiguity of the punctuation mark. “It’s sort of goofy looking, stuck between a colon and a period as it is.” But Frodo’s Minions on Earth are keen to raise the profile of the semi-colon in what is increasingly being known as the Era of the Hyphen.

Your Nission, should you accept it...

Some readers may be unaware of the importance of the Nission in the life of a Frodologist. After ‘Mission’ was trademarked by the Church of Latter Day Intellectual Property Thieves Saints, Frodology turned to the next best thing. Since however ‘Islam’ translates to ‘Next Best Thing’ in English, authorities decided to avoid ambiguity and coin ‘Nission’ as the name for the Frodologist coming of age evangelical adventure.

From the early days of the Nission, however, it was apparent that the boys’ experiences would be a far cry from Indiana Jones, as more and more of the teens’ Nissions served as scripts for M. Night Shayamalan films. Several boys have gone Nissing, such that critics in the liberal press are now calling the rite Nission Impossible.

Now Frodologist authorities are having to rethink their plans for correct punctuation. Benjamin’s disappearance suggests that Colombian farmers have rejected Frodo’s message and are not ready to accept the sanctity of the semi-colon. In accordance with suggested best practice, Mr. and Mrs. Baggins have refrained from alerting the police, believing that prayer stands a much better chance of finding Benjamin. Should he not turn up, prayer will also be a useful tool for parceling up their memories so that they can be repressed and painfully remembered two decades later.

Meanwhile Mrs. Baggins remains distraught, but her voice carries an optimistic timbre. “We factored in the risk of our kids going nissing when we decided to get pregnant,” she reasoned. “Why do you think we have so many kids?”

“Probably because you never had sex education,” opined the interviewing reporter.

“That was a rhetorical question,” answered Mrs. Baggins.

“I know, I chose to ignore it and give you my opinion. Didn’t you read the word ‘opined’?”

“How could I read it? The article hasn’t even been published yet. And I didn’t realize this was an interview.”

“Oh it’s not. The author’s just practicing writing realistic dialogue. He probably should have stopped several lines ago though.”

“Yeah no kidding, it’s just getting sad at this point.”

“Yet here we are…”

“Do you want to come in for a cup of tea?”

“Sure, that’d be nice. Not like this is going anywhere.”

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