Letters to Ms Lilly

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Digger:
Hello Mellons!

Good manners make the world a more pleasant place.  These are the words I remember my Gammer telling me over and over again when I was a little girl.  I have come now to understand how very right she is.  However, when one is in a war with foul and evil forces, it is hard to know what the proper thing to do is.  The very issue is this - are we civilized or not?  Of course, our enemies like orcs and boney boys are not.  One expects poor manners from such as them.  However, their rude behavior in no way gives us a license to be rude too.  In fact, when in the presence of boors, orcs and ruffians, it is even more important that we remember our manners.  Keep in mind that our goal is not simply to win a war but to make the world a more pleasant place for us all.  Good manners help us do that - even in battle.

As you  may be aware, hobbits are very conscientious about their manners.  We would never simply buy something from a tradesman without first bowing and greeting them properly.  And a well-mannered hobbit would ask after their health and the health of their families too.  No hobbit farmer would ever consider gathering eggs from their hens without first greeting them and discussing the matters at hand.  Not doing this would shock the hens and likely cause them to lay fewer eggs if not leave.  We know that no self-respecting hen would want to live on the farm of a rude hobbit.  There are simply put good manners and a proper way to do nearly everything.  I remember one time when the Ivy Bush caught fire and folks had to evacuate.  Several of the hobbits forgot their manners and didn't proceed with the correct order and behavior for conducting an evacution from an alehouse.  It was the scandal of Hobbiton and Bywater for months afterwards.

What can we do to be sure we are well-mannered?  That is why I am writing this note to you.  Many of you do not know how to reply to the nasty and mean things some orcs and ruffians say to us in battle.  Some of you may be puzzled about how to properly dress for a goblin invasion.  Others may wonder what to say before beheading a troll.  A few may ask themselves if it is okay to sing while they are slaying orcs.  All of these little things will add up to one big mess if we forget our manners.

I am willing to start a column on our Home Page called 'Letters to Ms. Lilly'.  Here I will answer any questions that you post in this thread or mail me in-game.  I cannot answer every letter, but I will try to give you my best hobbit advice.  The only thing that I ask is that you keep the subject to good manners and proper behaviors.  If the letters come often enough, then I will write more frequently.  If this is a wild and boring idea with no letters, I will assume that you are all properly behaved and conducting your warring properly.  So please ask away!  My first column will await your first letters.

Properly speaking,
Ms. Lilly

Digger:
My Dearest Mellons,

How is this possible?  I have not received any letters or mails.  My column depends on you having questions about behaviors during a war.  The topic is open to anything that may be bothering you or any questions you have.  I do hope you will write me soon.

Sincerely yours,
Lilly Penworth Goodsong

Kethrandir:
Dear Ms. Lilly-

Kerephor recently gifted me a handsome ranger-green robe with an elaborately-embroidered leaf motif and velvet lining.  It is certainly appropriate for more formal occasions, but lately I've begun wearing it everywhere:  trips to the vendors, wine-tasting events at the Hall of Fire, and even on hunting excursions.  I even wore it during an assault on the Lieutenant of Dol Guldur!  On the one hand, our elven fathers were renowned for their finery in all things, and it is such a fine robe.  On the other hand, occasionally I find my hem catching on the underbrush, at which point I'm forced to send it off to Kethorin for repairs.  I don't mind this so much, but I worry I'm overdressing and putting off my less-resplendent partners in fellowship (except for Endingwen, who's always dressed to impress).  What are your thoughts?  As my people fade in influence and power, should our finery fade as well?

Kethrandir, Dressed to the Nines

Digger:
Excellent question, Master Kethrandir.  I look forward to submitting my counsel in my first column soon.  It is a difficult situation you have but I believe Gammer gave me good advice to share here.

Now you other folks need to write me.  Are you sure you know the proper form for inviting other warriors to join your battle?  How should you behave while waiting the arrival of your forces?  And what should you do about that annoying warrior who jumps over your head in the 21st Hall?  Ask Ms. Lilly for her advice and remember that good manners make the world a more pleasant place.

Sincerely yours,
Lilly Penworth Goodsong

Tuiliel:
Dear Ms. Lilly,

I was wondering if you could instruct me in the proper response to the recent overwhelming influx of uncivilized creatures who follow people around the 21st Hall to roll around at their feet, who climb rooftops to taunt passersby, who jump onstage during musical performances, etc. My specific question is this: if I were to mistake one of them for a troll and shoot him (accidentally of course), is it customary to file a report with the local authorities, or is a simple gift of pie to the family sufficient?

Yours in civility,
Tuiliel (who declines to answer questions about the whereabouts of her missing arrows)

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