Richard: I’m not an expert in substance abuse because it’s not abuse if you show up to work on time. However, I have a theory that J.R.R.Tolkien is a gateway drug.
It starts innocently enough with a summer reading of The Hobbit. Your interest piqued, you plow through the Lord of the Rings trilogy in the fall. Then you start The Silmarillion, get 20 pages in, say to yourself, “What the hell?”, and move on.
Within a year, you’ve devoured all the Ursula K. LeGuin and Roger Zelazny Barnes and Noble has to offer and find yourself in the Piers Anthony aisle. You start trolling websites for bumper stickers like, “You shall not pass!”, and the next thing you know, you’re buying non-ironic replicas of Bilbo’s ring with inscriptions in Elvish. WHICH IS NOT A LANGUAGE YOU CAN LEARN ON ROSETTA STONE AND IS THEREFORE NOT AN ACTUAL LANGUAGE. (Please tell this to those who make wedding vows in Klingon and/or Esperanto.)
Eventually, you have to purchase an étagère to display your Dwarven dust-catchers. This one looks downright tasteful compared to many I’ve seen — sturdy and nicely proportioned — but something about it seems vaguely SkyMall-ish. And while the dagger and figurine and dragon are nicely arrayed, I wonder about the coin collection: necromancy and numismaty seem unlikely bedfellows.
If you’re looking for a Grindr bedfellow with a passion for fantasy and five-dollar blinds, you could do worse. But remember, honey: there’s no Betty Ford for this kind of addiction.