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The ring of power, my precious

Yes, after nearly two years of moaning, coaxing, begging, pleading, bribing, fussing, cussing and just about anything else possible, my mom watched the Fellowship of the Ring and the Two Towers on New Year's Eve (Yes, she and dad were living it up!)

You have to understand that all their grandchildren are hooked on these movies and their children who are all grown in their 30s can't get enough.

We sit about chatting about characters like they are old friends.

Often, my parents will look at us strangely and move on so when I spoke to her Wednesday evening on my way to Montgomery, I could tell she was quite distracted.

Finally, she blurted out that she had to get off the phone because the The Two Towers was about to start and she didn't want to miss it.

I nearly drove off the highway because she fought watching these movies for so long and here were were, sharing a middle earth moment.

Yes, I'm a fanatic.

My sister Jennifer personally wrestled some little old woman to the ground in a toy store for the last Gandalf action figure in Alabama a few days before Christmas so her son would have the set.

My older sister got up on the Saturday morning after Christmas to her two sons to see it.

I was suppose to go but work came first.

I, myself, rose up in the emergency room when I was in there with the delirious fever after Thanksgiving and commanded all to protect the ring.

So it is not my imagination that we all have waited patiently for the Return of the King.

Are we obsessed?

I think so, but hey, this is what makes a good obsession.

Follow these rules to see if you're obsessed with The Lord of the Rings:

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If you carry around a burned onion ring in your pocket and call it "My precious," you're gone.

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If you spend 10 minutes when introducing someone giving the lineage, it's over.

n You search Ebay for anything related to the trilogy.

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You try to bake your own Elvin bread to eat for your first breakfast and second breakfast.

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You know what second breakfast means.

n You've covered your home with sod and replaced all the square windows and doors with rounds ones.

Oh, and you lowered your ceilings to four feet tall.

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You have "Frodo has left the Shire," "What would Gandalf do" and "I party with elves" bumper stickers.

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That outdated light saber you got last year with your Star Wars underoos is quickly traded in for a broadsword that glows blue when the Orcs are near.

OK, if these apply to you, then you are hardcore and I'll see you at the theatre for our first showing of the day Saturday morning.

Jay Thomas is managing editor of the Greenville Advocate and can be reached in middle earth at 383-9203, ext. 136 or via email at jay.Thomas@greenvilleadvocate.com.