Topic: "Who did it?" (2)
Sam is at the bedside of the gallant Howard. His operating systems are signing off one-by-one, and if the analogy were carried to the extreme, he would be an undisturbed blue screen. Preparations for this moment have ensured that no one will attempt to salvage the hard drive.
Frodo remains at the Shire, coordinating activities there and doing his utmost to maintain the strength of the American economy. The creatures of the Shire all miss Sam, as does Frodo. Frodo wishes for Sam that this last cycle of life will be a peaceful moment for the gallant Howard, and not revert to the nuance of a Dylan Thomas poem ("Rage, Rage, Against the Light; Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night.").
Once, after the gallant Howard first stood all alone, he came to the Shire to spend time with Sam and Frodo. He loved the Shire because of its' devotion to native plants and restless little natives. Not unlike Frodo, for whom he always had great affection, the gallant Howard knew far more about the out-of-doors than he did the in-of-doors. So when the occasion arised that Sam was not present, and dishes needed washing, the operation of an automatic device was unfamiliar to them both. Being relatively intelligent Hobbits, they figured that the mysteries of such a device were not unsurmountable. That proved to be correct, however the solution to perform the actual cleansing selected by the two miscreants proved faulty.
Remember the movie, "Mister Roberts?" Henry Fonda played the lead and Jack Lemmon played Ensign Pulver, Laundry & Morale Officer, in this adaptation of a great Broadway play. In the movie Pulver finally blew up the Laundry and doused the entire ship in soap suds, remember that scene?
Frodo and the gallant Howard were confronted by a similar scene when the soap suds started pouring out of the automatic dishwasher from every conceivable crevice at an alarming rate. It took several minutes for the two of them to finally figure out how to halt the unwanted production of the glorious bubbles. By that time however, all of Sam's kitchen was covered in at least three feet of bubbles. It should be noted that the creatures of the Shire had all mysteriously vacated the in-of-doors and had been out-of-doors as soon as they had become aware of the joint efforts of Frodo and the gallant Howard in the first place.
Finally, the kitchen was devoid of bubbles, and, in fact, the kitchen to Frodo's eye, looked cleaner than at any moment prior. The two cavaliers decided amongst themselves that they would simply omit the afternoons' events from their discussions with Sam. It was as it is in the common parlance, "No harm, no foul."
Frodo was betrayed by the grinning gallant Howard, who announced to Sam and all the world that "your boy" (referring to Frodo) had quite a time while Sam was in absentia.
Sam received flowers and several expensive gifts. Frodo glared at Howard of the big mouth. Then he started to laugh.
Today, with tears in his eyes, Frodo laughs again about a moment in time that will always symbolize the friendship of Frodo and the gallant Howard. Turning on the dishwasher will never have quite the romance it did on that day, not so long ago.