Topic: "Hello? Central?" (3)
To imply that Frodo's mind wanders from time-to-time is not an epiphany. He readily admits that the most innocent of observances will instantly recall an event or time which helped to shape his Hobbithood. The consideration of Mother Nature is similarly what must have struck the fancy of Charles Darwin, the imagination of Samuel Clemens, and certainly the curiosity of Benjamin Franklin. Why, pray tell, can't Frodo then be afforded the luxury of social commentary based on the considerations of life in the Shire?
While proceeding at a snail's pace in his motorcar to and from Mount Doom, Frodo has had plenty of time to notice those who steer the consumers of fossil fuel. He has noted that the physical characteristics of some pilots are extremely similar depending on the size and style of the motorcar. Although not universally true, it is indeed highly probable that a "mini-van" of any make or model, of any color whatsoever, with a noticeably wide rear end, is directed by a past puberty female, probably also past that of her offspring, who is talking on a cell phone. Frodo has noted this in 22 of the last 25 such motorcars to block his path this past day.
Carl Reiner and Alan Arkin starred in one of the truly great comedic films of all time, "The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming." For memory sake, remember dear reader that the Soviet submarine ran aground off the coast of "Glockester," where Reiner and his family were vacationing. In their attempt to avoid detection and escape without causing an international incident, the Soviet sailors had to paralyze communications on the island. In this case, at that time, there were no cell phones, and the sailors were able to bind and gag the local telephone company operative, in a chair hanging from the wall on a hook. When the islanders discovered the presence of the perceived invaders, their inability to communicate led first to the proverbial "Keystone Kops" chase scenes, and then to the poignant conclusion which left a lump in the throat of every one who has ever loved a movie.
Frodo's point is that none of the events at "Glockester" can ever again occur as a believable framework in truth or ficition because of the little piece of technology that seems to occupy the ear of every inattentive driver on America's highways. Every teen-ager on the island would've had a cell phone to call in the Marines, the Air Force, and anybody else that would've acted to blow that submarine right out of the water. In addition to the fact that there is no more Soviet Union, there is a whole generation out there that will never understand why Frodo's eyes sparkle when he hears "One-ringy-dingy; two ringy-dingy; Hello, is this the party to whom I'm speaking."
Ernestine, please come home.