In a hole in the ground there lives a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell: it is a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.
Bilbo Hatton reaches for his third slice of pie to replenish the energy lost on the morning’s exercise. “Hobbits don’t like exercise”, says Hatton. But Hatton knows the exercise will be worth it, as evening will see battle with Merryweather in the old town square.
It had all begun at Gandalf’s party the previous Saturday. Merryweather, drunk on hobbit-beer, had started making crude and unwelcome sexual advances towards Belladonna Took. Ever the gentleman, Bilbo Hatton had attempted to lead Merryweather out of the little round door, but Merryweather escaped Hatton’s grasp, and with a deep, fruity laugh, struck Hatton in the sternum. Inclined to be fat in the stomach, Bilbo Hatton was not badly hurt, but Old Don King stepped in and proposed a ‘grand settling’.
Like many other hobbits, Merryweather had frittered away much time as a youth sitting in the fields smoking a pipe and blowing smoke-rings. Some hobbits, however, had reason to believe Merryweather had being putting something other than tobacco in his pipe – allegations that he was not quick to deny. “Merryweather’s had a tough upbringing”, said Merryweather. “Merryweather doesn’t think Bilbo Hatton has ever seen his father shot for scrumping apples from the orchard. Tonight, Merryweather’s gotta do what Merryweather’s gotta do to bring down Bilbo Hatton!” Bilbo Hatton was more relaxed about the forthcoming battle. “He says he’s going to kick my arse in the ring? Well he can kiss my fucking arse!”
On the night of the fight, Hobbits from all over the land gathered to encircle the two bitter rivals. Dressed in bright colours (chiefly green and yellow) and wearing no shoes, Hatton and Merryweather engage cautiously. Their feet, with their naturally leathery soles and thick brown hair, move swiftly in an attempt to gain the advantage.
Merryweather strikes out with his long clever fingers and Hatton spits blood everywhere. Gandalf (for the referee is he) flinches as his staff becomes dotted with specks of Bilbo Hatton’s deep-scarlet blood. “Thank you, Merryweather!”, Hatton says at last. “We don’t want any adventures here, thank you! You might try over The Hill or across The Water.” But Merryweather pays no attention, driving six crushing body-blows into Bilbo Hatton. Hatton drops to his knees and vomits the pulpy remains of 2nd breakfast all over Merryweather’s hairy feet.