LOTRO: The Adventures Of Opopa 1

24 Jul

Chapter 1

BINGO

‘Mama was queen of the mambo, papa was king of the Congo
Deep down in the jungle, I started bangin’ my first bongo
Every monkey’d like to be in my place instead of me
‘Cause I’m the king of bongo, baby, I’m the king of bongo bong’

Opopa was as surprised as the rest of the Bird and Baby when he lurched from his barstool, it had been his home and resting place for over a year, it even had a name, Sid … a slight foreshortening of, “Oh shut’ap n sid’own!”, uttered loudly many a time by fellow drinkers at Opopa. Sid started to cool as Opopa’s fatty arse left its resting place and walked off. It was a happy stool in that it knew that it would soon be warmed up again by said buttocks, these little occasional trips were an infrequent but regular occurrence. Sid would prove to be disappointed, as much as an inanimate bar stool can be, in that Opopa shocked everyone by leaving by the main door, a waft of fresh air and sunlight crept into the bird and baby but was quickly overcome by the fumes of ale, weed smoke and the general gloom generated from small overcrowded bars full of customers. The regulars were a mixed bag as always, mostly jolly hobbits whiling their lives away with an occasional adventurer from rarer parts, a noticeable increase of their like of late, odd times indeed. Everyone expected Opopa to reappear, embarrassed, more red in the face than normal, having taken the wrong door to the ‘facilities’, it had happened before. All were further shocked when they gathered after a small passage of time spent staring at the door expectantly, that he had either passed out or gone off. A momentary moments silence was shared among the drinkers, glasses raised and then normality once again interceded and the Bird and Baby went back to normal.

Sid continued to cool, he did what all bar stools do in this situation which was send subliminal signals out to all n sundry that, ‘Drinking was good.’, ‘The bar was where to get drinks.’ and that, ‘Although one drink is good, two or more is better!’ and finally ‘While you’re standing waiting at the bar why don’t you pull up a barstool and rest those aching footsies.’ When the unsuspecting barstool has reeled in a victim it then reinforces its hold with messages that reinforce comfort and remind the user of the proximity to the bar, indeed that, ‘Others are more likely to spill or even steal your drink the further away from the bar you are.’

This is obviously a triple symbiotic relationship for all concerned, the punter, the stool and of course, the publican who can sell more drinks which explains there very existence as they are always so bloody uncomfortable, realized always after the fact; the barstool would have done well, would it could, to evolve softer wood. Some barstools counter this by wearing a hat, but many think that they interfere with the telepathic signals.

‘I went to the big town where there is a lot of sound
From the jungle to the city
Looking for a bigger crown
So I play my boogie for the people of big city’

Opopa breathed in the fresh air and sobered up quickly. The sun was shining in the persistent shire spring, it was warm and dazzling. His thieving instincts had kicked in all of a sudden; somewhere there was loot up for grabs. Not the free loot that appeared daily in the form of hobbit presents which had maintained him in the laconic lifestyle he had been having. Loot, loot that had never been, loot that never ever before had been! New Loot, the world had never, ever, ever, seen. And it was coming soon, and coming to Michel Delving. Opopa knew this, one legged at birth and fitted with a small peg leg throughout his life; you could not tell outwardly that it was so. Internally he knew he was hopping when others saw him walking. He hoped that others would not use a saw and see him hop. Life is a see-saw of possibilities sometimes.  Anyway, this wood had somehow imparted its latent telepathic powers into Opopa who had become a burglar of repute, a repute of idleness, not so much for skill or daring-do, but he was always there for a free hand out!

Sometimes he was too early!

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Opopa checked the mail box in the Auction House again, and again. It was still empty!  Confused Opopa walked back to the Bird and Baby. Sid had been taken but it was not hard for Opopa the burglar to steal it back. Sipping his beer he slid back into his normal daily routine of doing nothing much. At some point he absent-mindedly mumbled, “Bingo, what kind of name is that for a hobbit…”

‘But they don’t go crazy when I’m bangin’ in my boogie
I’m the, king of the bongo, king of the bongo bong
Hear me when I come
King of the bongo, king of the bongo bong’

The next day the same sense of forelooting incentivized Opopa to return to the postbox and would ya ‘Adam n Eve it’ there was a letter. A letter from a Bingo Boffin…

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‘Request for assistance!

Hullo there, and well-met! I hope this missive is not intruding upon anything important. And if by unhappy chance it I, then I am sure you will disregard it and take no offence. But it is my very sincere hope that it does not intrude, and instead is met with some degree of interest and curiosity in the matter I propose. For, you see, I have need of some help worth a small matter, and…

Well I say ‘small’ matter, but I do not know how long it might take. It could end up being quite a ‘big’ matter as these things go! But we will not know until it is quite underway. Will we?’

If you are interested in learning more, I ask that you please seek me out at my comfortable hobbit-hole just north of the town hole, in Michel Delving. Being the principal town of the Shire.

Yours in need and looking forward to your positive reply

Mr. Bing Boffin, Michel-Delving’

After shaking the envelope a few times, just in case he had missed something, a small gem or other small precious item would be nice! Opopa was intrigued. He decided to follow this up. ‘Once the path to loot had been started it must be followed to its conclusion.’ a personal motto of his, which also contained a hidden ending clause of, ‘…unless it passes close to a bar’. And that ‘closeness’ was applied very subjectively, and often, by Opopa.

Opopa’s extrasensory senses guided him north, a virtual arrow pointing the way to Bingo. It was almost as if he had a visible mental map, yeah just up and right in his field of vision, it even showed monsters as red dots at times. Sometimes that was real useful and at other times it drove him quite dotty. There Bingo was, in the distance, outside a hobbit hole… flaming gold ring burning brightly in the sun, the usual indicator that his forelooting sense was active. Sometimes his powers overcompensated almost as if teasing him, yes he knew that was a door next to Bingo, why it should state in glowing white writing in his head was beyond him.

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‘They say that I’m a clown
Making too much dirty sound
They say there is no place for little monkey in this town
Nobody’d like to be in my place instead of me’

Bingo looked like a normal hobbit his most stand out feature being his shiny bright hair; he was jolly and eager to start conversation with Opopa, not bothered by his raffish looks or slight odour of stale ale and weed smoke.

“A pleasant day to you, friend. If you have a moment or two to spare, do you think I might trouble you for a spell?”

‘Not bloody likely!’ thought Opopa, who knew nothing of spells, but Bingo continued before he could voice his concerns…

“My name is Bingo, of the Delving-field Boffins, and it is so rare to see new folk on the path that runs by my hole. It is a pleasure to meet you!”

“Well you did send me a letter, and I have been in these parts for quite some time, thereover in the Bird n Baby actually…”, Opopa points over in the direction of the pub…

Bingo continued oblivious to Opopa’s words, “I have been feeling a mite lonely these days, you see, and could use a festive occasion on the horizon to put a spring in my step and to occupy my thought. Perhaps a dinner-party would do the trick? Yes, that sounds capital! I will invite my neighbours, and you as well, of course!”

“Well I don’t know…a dinner party?” Opopa had run off with a nice silver candlestick in his pocket after the last dinner party he had been invited to, and he smiled inwardly at the thought of free good food, fine wines and home brewed ales, in fact he possibly started to salivate. He was getting a bit tired of the same pub grub and nice as the beer selection was at the Bird n Baby it was a little limited. Variety was of course the spice of life… “Yeah! Sure. But how can I help?”

“Could you run down to the Michel Delving market and assess some of the produce on display? Tell me what foods look particularly delicious, and that may give me the spark of inspiration for a course or three to serve at my party!” Bingo points behind over Opopa’s shoulder, “The market is to the south-east of my hobbit-hole.”

‘Why not?’ thought Opopa, and he turned around and headed off to the market.

‘Cause nobody go crazy when I’m bangin’ on my boogie
I’m the, king of the bongo, king of the bongo bong
Hear me when I come
King of the bongo, king of the bongo bong’

Well if variety was the spice of life, the market was close to death: there were some delicious greens, ripe apples and a small mountain of potatoes. With nothing else to inspect Opopa wandered over to a hobbit sat next to a pie, there was a golden forelooting ring above his head which another instinct always warned him away from, something to do with lots of work for small reward, but today he decided to get close to that hobbit and his pie! It sure did look tasty and smelt wonderful, but Hugo, who’s pie it was, refused to hand it over. Unless he was to return it to Holly Hornblower in Hobbington, it was something to do with being spoiled with bad berries. The Green Dragon is in Hobbington but it is fulla too many arty, poety types which interfere with the drinking too much for Opopa’s taste so he declined.

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“Well that’s that” He exclaimed to no-one in particular and decided there was nothing else to see, his lootification inner sense informed him that four items inspected was quite sufficient for Bingo, which did give him slight misgivings about the upcoming dinner party fare.

‘Bangin’ on my bongo all that swing belongs to me
I’m so happy there’s nobody in my place instead of me
I’m a king without a crown hanging loose in a big town
But I’m the king of bongo baby, I’m the king of bongo bong’

He hadn’t noticed before that the Bounders statue had been worked upon yet again. He had contributed Bounder Tokens to that but in far from large amounts enough to be memorized on the actual plaque attached. And the gardens and bushes all looked rather nice. He spotted Polo hiding behind the statue. ‘Cor blimey!’ He thought. ‘That’s all this kid does all day, and why does he hide there in plain sight?’ He promptly demonstrated to himself that the new pink flower bushes made a much more superior hiding place. Polo smirked at Opopa but it was not that strange to Polo as he had seen drunk Opopa doing much stranger things!

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Opopa picked off the last pink petals as he walked back to Bingo who looked pleased to see him so quickly returned. After Opopa had explained about the apples and the potatoes and the greens, Bingo was not down heartened and seemed more fired up than ever about his dinner and now suggested that some cookery books in Tuckborough be referenced… The lootification sense was still pulling strongly at his soul so he decided to persist in the endeavor to help Bingo.

Thoughts of a cold beer tried to distract him, the slight pull of Sid tried to exert itself, even from this distance, they had built up quite a rapport by now. “The loot is strong within this one.” Muttered Opopa to himself as he mounted up on his pony for his trip to the library…

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‘King of the bongo, king of the bongo bong
Hear me when I come, baby
King of the bongo, king of the bongo bong’

Manu Chau – ‘Bongo Bong

The madness will continue…

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