When last we met, we were in another universe, and Joe was deep into a hard-hitting interview with The Hobbit, while the Joe-ma-Tron was being washed and waxed and having its power source (three AAA batteries) replaced. The J-m-T is a green/hybrid vehicle, so it can also run on a watch spring if the batteries are depleted. Anyway, Bilbo Baggins was proving to be an affable interviewee, so Joe bears down on the chubby little bugger, and goes for the jugular:
Joe: Your encounter with Gollum has to be a high point of your adventure. Frankly, he comes across as a tad unbalanced. Do you ever worry that he may be skulking around, seeking to reclaim the ring?
BB: No. He’s too much of a dork. I’m sure we’ve seen the last of him.
Joe: Hmmm. You might want to consult with Gandalf about that.
BB: That glory-grabber? He’ll just swoop in to shoot off some fireworks and leave the hard stuff to me or my nephew Frodo.
Joe: You heard it here first, Zoners!! The Hobbit hot dishing!!
BB: Who are you talking to?
Joe: Never mind.
BB: And are you serving some kind of hot dish? I am rather hungry.
Joe: Maybe later. Anyway, speaking of Gollum, you proved to be quite the riddle master in your duel of words with him. To what do you attribute your skill in that arena?
BB: Riddles are an ancient tradition in Bag-End. All the Bagginses are master riddlers. Our motto is, “Riddle me that, riddle me this, a Hobbit riddle can never miss.” You wouldn’t have some nice cakes on you, would you?
Joe: Sorry. How about some bubble gum?
BB: Bubble what?
Joe: Oh. There’s no bubble gum in this universe? Maybe I can import some and make a killing. Anyway, you played quite a large part in this adventure, and yet you seem to be an unassuming little hobbit.
BB: Yes, I assume nothing. But if one has the proper friends and attitude, why, a hobbit, or even a man, can achieve miraculous results.
Joe: Having a wizard as a friend helps!
BB: And having a hobbit as a friend helps the wizard!
Joe: What about a dwarf?
BB: Can I have an eagle instead?
Joe: You seem to favor having help from above.
BB: Now you’re getting the idea.
And so the interview concluded. The way home was a bit more eventful than I had planned, as I first wandered into a universe quite similar to ours, but not quite right. Joe was a degenerate rock star and Mrs. Zone was a celebrity advice columnist with her own reality show, “Manner Up or the Hammer Comes Down.” I saw you there, too. You were a bit taller, and I wasn’t at all surprised how famous you were.
But I had seen enough. I whipped the Joe-ma-Tron into a back flip with a half-gainer, and was once again in my own safe harbor. Ah, Auntie Em, there’s no place like home.
I learned a lesson that has many life applications, though. Turns out a nasty goblin had hidden in the Joe-ma-Tron and returned to our universe. Fortunately, one hiss from the Joe Zone Resident Feline Monarch and the goblin evaporated – evidently some basic cross-universe incompatibility with goblins and cats. So I made a quick trip to a local shelter, and took a few felines back to Bilbo to help out with the goblin situation.
I understand they came in handy in later developments.