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"Long, Long Ago"


Hello and welcome to the 86th issue of JABB. As you may have noticed TBAA has been on hiatus for the duration of the Olympics, therefore we at JABB had precious little to work with. You can only do so much with jokes about Andrew's alien suit... Luckily for us, this is a sweeps month so we present to you the second installment of the Triple S (Stupid/Sweet Sweeps Stunt)! Many thanks to Jennie and Jennifer for helping write this.

PS If anyone ever has trouble understanding some of the elements in JABB (i.e., who the heck is Chiwawa and where is Dyeland??), feel free to email and ask.


Jennie, Jennifer, and JenniAnn had gathered in the latter's chamber to take turns dramatically reading J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Fellowship of the Ring." They passed the book around to allow their voices to rest, and tried not to stretch each other's sleeves out of shape during the scary parts. Suddenly their reading was interrupted by furious pounding at the door as Daisy raced in.

"Army! Army's coming! A falcon spotted them entering the Whispering Woods! A bunch of guys with bows and arrows and stuff! Well, stop gawking! Come on!" Daisy said, exasperated, as she ran out to meet Andrew and make plans.

"Robin Hood? Did the guys seem merry at all to you?" Jennie called breathlessly after her as the three followed in Daisy's wake.


Andrew, the three girls, Daisy and a slew of others who had heard the news were hiding near the Wood's border in a grove of trees.

"Andrew, what should we do?" JenniAnn whispered with desperation. The Dyelanders had never fought anyone! They didn't even have a decent pitchfork, let alone actual weapons!

"And I left my lightsaber in my other purse!" Jennie added sarcastically, hefting a branch she'd picked up and trying to see over a nearby stump without making herself too visible.

"We need to wait and by no means does anyone go near them until..." Andrew was suddenly interrupted by a voice from the approaching army.

"This is most strange. Legolas, I think we've gotten lost," a male voice said.

"Legolas???" Jennifer exclaimed excitedly as she, Jennie, and JenniAnn bolted towards the army, completely ignoring Andrew's orders.

Frowning in exasperation, Andrew motioned the others to stay where they were and edged closer, keeping cover but trying to get into position should a rescue be in order.

As the three somewhat-crazed girls approached the company, they screamed Legolas' name excitedly in unison. A look of alarm crossed Legolas' face and he cast wildly about, evidently expecting an attack at any moment, automatically reaching to knock an arrow to his bow.

The girls stopped in their tracks, mouths hanging open as they digested the sight before them. Real elves, pointy ears and all, were standing before them on the road. (Several of them were pointing real arrows at them, too, including the one who just HAD to be Legolas.) Jennie tried vainly to hide the branch behind her back with one hand, while grabbing the back of Jennifer's shirt with the other to keep her from flinging herself at Legolas. JenniAnn stuffed her fingers into her mouth, but couldn't quite stop the squeaking noise that escaped her throat.

Both groups stared at each other with wide eyes for several seconds, before Jennie caught sight of several hobbits peering at them from one edge the group.

Forgetting about arrows, restraining Jennifer, or any vestige of dignity or self-preservation, she dropped her branch and flung herself on her knees in front of them with a squeal of delight.

"Hobbits!" she exclaimed, delightedly. At the shocked expression on their faces, she lamely added, "I've always wanted to meet hobbits..."

Andrew chose this moment to come forward before any harm could come to anyone.

"Hello, my name is Andrew. I'm the president, umm leader, of this group. Welcome to Dyeland!"

At these words a soft murmuring was heard through out the crowd of newcomers. "President? What's a president?"

"Dieland? Do you suppose they mean to kill us?"

"Well! Someone needs to say something!"

The arrows were still drawn in the bows, and the moment stretched tensely out between the two groups.

Finally Legolas unbent his bow and cautiously approached Andrew. "Just what do you intend to do to us?" he asked in a stern voice.

Andrew's eyebrows shot up, then a puzzled crease appeared in his forehead. "I was just about to ask you that same question," he replied. "How did you get onto the island?"

"You didn't bring us here?" A crease mirroring Andrew's appeared in Legolas' forehead.

"No," Andrew replied, the crease in his own forehead getting deeper.

"Well, then, what did?" Several members of the party looked about them apprehensively, tensing as though expecting an attack. Nothing happened. The still-hidden Dyelanders held their breath, not daring to make any move.

"Well, the falcon that warned us that your army was approaching described a bright light just before he saw you. He thought it was an angel, in fact, but thought the color was awfully greenish."

Legolas raised one eyebrow at the use of the word "army" to describe his hunting party, but let the comment pass. "Angels?" he queried instead.

"Uh, like your Maiar, only...well, not," answered Jennie from the ground. "They occasionally appear to us mortals around here," she added as an afterthought, glancing at Andrew.

"And how do you know so much of us, if you weren't expecting us?" Legolas now glared suspiciously at Jennie.

"I was reading about you in a book," she replied in a small voice, looking desperately at JenniAnn and Jennifer for backup.

"Book?" Now one of the hobbits was looking keenly interested.

"Frodo?" Jennie replied, looking quite overwhelmed and receiving a bemused nod in response. She nodded back thoughtfully and fell silent.

Finally JenniAnn removed her fingers from her mouth and came to Jennie's rescue. "Oh, yes, we have TONS of books up at Dyeland Castle! Not to mention the other castles. Almost everyone has a library of their own in Dyeland!"

"I hate to break this up but I'd really like to know how they got here. I mean if this is going to be happening all the time we should probably know. Hobbits and elves are one thing but we could end up with orcs next time!" Andrew stressed the last word in hopes of getting the conversation back on track. Instead he only managed to further confuse the newcomers who wondered why this "human" in strange clothes knew about orcs.

"Yes, Andrew. You're right. But really now... You want to discuss some great mystery out in the soggy woods with upwards of fifty people hiding out in the trees?" With JenniAnn's words a few more Dyelanders crawled out from the bushes. "I suggest... a party!!!"

JenniAnn's suggestion was met by joy from Jennie and Jennifer and the hobbits, who were always good for a party. Andrew, the elves, and the Dyelanders were a bit more skeptical but figured anything was better than the stare-down in the woods, especially with evening approaching.


Later that evening the Dyelanders that had not been present during the first meeting in the woods were rushing in to see the guests. Frankly, they could not yet believe that actual elves and hobbits had come to Dyeland. Some of them were still wondering if JenniAnn hadn't simply kidnapped Elijah Wood and company. But when all the questions of identity had died away the party really got started. The night was one of dancing, friendship, good food, and good conversation.

"...but really, I don't like it with the currants," Jennie was saying to Sam, one of the hobbits, as they hovered near a table full of snacks and appetizers, "so I leave those out, and I add mushrooms instead!" she finished triumphantly. Sam's eyes got wide.

"Mushrooms?" two other hobbits nearby appeared to have caught just that part of her explanation.

"Oh, I was explaining one of my favorite dishes, it's called quiche," she replied.

"Keesh? Funny name for food," said the hobbit who'd spoken, although he was now looking avidly interested.

"Hm...maybe I'll have to bring you to my keep and whip some up so you can taste it and decide how funny it is," Jennie replied, trying to remember if her place was presentable enough for company, "I've got plenty of room if you'd like to stay with me for a bit, and we can tell stories!"

By this time several other hobbits had joined the conversation, and Jennie decided she'd fallen for that one just a little too easily when they all agreed enthusiastically to the plan, but she didn't mind at all.


Jennie's brow was furrowed with concentration as she tried to figure out how best to answer the latest question from the hobbits. This time there were some elves waiting for her answer as well. "Movie? - Why do I keep having to answer all the tough questions?" She grinned. "It's like a play...a story acted out? Only they um...well, they do something called filming it, so they can put it in a little box and you can watch it whenever you want to, sort of like you can read a book whenever you want to without having a storyteller there."

The hobbits and elves looked somewhat confused, but it seemed like they understood a little of it. Jennie thanked her lucky stars that she'd worked several summers at the local Renaissance Faire, because at least she'd seen actors try to explain things such as CDs in 16th century terms before. This made her explanations a lot easier. "I've got a whole bunch of movies back home. When you're visiting, we'll have plenty of time to see some." Mentally, she made a note to have whichever elves came along stay on the second floor, as they'd be more comfortable there.

In another corner of the room the two leaders, Andrew and Legolas, were surveying the scene.

"You have a very contented group it seems." Legolas said as he took note of all the happy faces.

"Yes... very happy. But not sane all the time." Andrew answered with a smirk.

"Are they unwell?"

"Oh no... Nothing very serious. Just some of them need help sometimes. Take JenniAnn, her parents had to get her a guardian just to keep her out of trouble. Then there's Jennifer..."

"Which is she?"

"The one who was very excited when she saw you. I've been thinking finding her a guardian may not be a bad idea. Especially with her all by herself on that island."

"Ahh..." suddenly Legolas' posture improved and he continued in a very proud voice.  "Andrew, I would be very happy to help you. My party and I were looking for adventure and have found it. We would be very grateful if you would let us remain here for a time. In exchange, I will watch over Jennifer."

"Legolas... I think I just might take you up on that offer..." Andrew responded as he and Legolas shook hands.

"So you really didn't notice anything when you were out hunting? No bright lights? A sudden feeling of movement?" JenniAnn asked the dark-haired elf who was curiously examining the electric lamp next to her near one of the ballroom's picture windows.

"Amazing... Oh, no, we had only just started our trip. If you hadn't come to us I believe we would have never realized we'd moved. This...Andrew... yes? You called him a president? What did you mean?"

"Oh he's our leader. Makes decisions, keeps us safe. That sort of thing. Like a king except we elected...umm chose him. He's actually an angel of death."

Eldadaan reacted with a start. "Death? But doesn't that worry you?"

"Andrew, worry us? No. He doesn't bring death. He ... makes life better around here." JenniAnn smiled at Andrew across the hall and then finished. "We love him."



Newsletter 87