Happy Fool-of-a-Took Day, everyone! Gird your loins and get ready for some lame humour, because it’s that time of year again! The time when The Starry Mantle becomes The Derpy Mantle, when the srs bsns of cosmetics and lore are set aside, and when we turn our collective flaming lidless gaze to some of the bizarre and terrible screenshots I’ve taken and rejected this past year. It is also that time of year when, like Boromir, we take up our [Exquisite Premium Rattles]… and simply maraca into Mordor.
This year, I’d like to talk a little more about the working conditions for the models here at the blog. Being a model for the Starry Mantle is, I’m afraid to say, no piece of cake for any self-respecting toon. I really don’t treat them very well at all, and I’ve repeatedly and brutally quashed their attempts to form a union. The indignities I submit my poor models to (all in the name of good screenshots, of course!) are seemingly endless. Take for example this poor hobbit-lass who was clearly fed up with constant harassment from the frankly lecherous snowman I paired her with:
I told her I’d report this travesty immediately to the Department for Enforcement of Hibernal Propriety, which seemed to placate her. I don’t think it needs to be said that I did no such thing. They charge an administrative fee to process complaints!
But don’t blame me, you’d do the same. The models are not exactly skilled labour and they barely earn their keep. I rescued this one from that back alley in Bree (you know the one, don’t pretend otherwise) and she’s been following me around ever since. She has this same expression on her face At. All. Times. It’s like being in a PUG… there’s always one.
Lunch-breaks? Nope. I can’t afford to feed the models on this blog’s budget! This dwarf was so hungry after our shoot that I finally I told him he could just eat the shrubs if he wanted. He thought he had died and gone to Dwarf-heaven. Just look at the twinkle in his little eye! I am the best employer.
Part of the problem with dealing with my models is that they make a lot of mistakes and it’s really hard to correct them, because they won’t listen. (Also I’m not entirely sure that some of them can understand verbal speech.) Sometimes I just resort to more
abusive physical assertive means to let them know they need to wake up and smell the quarterstaff. But fear not! I always try to aim a little above their heads. Keeps their Evade rating up!
I’m afraid health benefits for the models are also quite out of the question. They tend to get pretty run down after a while. It’s easier to just deploy the [Long-handled Shovel] or invite them over for wine and Barrow-brie when they seem to be getting a bit past their prime. I’m not even sure what happened to this next elf-maid. During our shoot, I thought she was emoting /groundroll over and over. I just shrugged and let her get on with it, artistic temperament and all that. Unfortunately it turned out she was actually having some kind of fit and she’s just kind of looked like this ever since:
Another perk I simply cannot provide is the luxury of bathroom breaks. The clock is always ticking during an outfit shoot you know! Truth be told I think the dude modelling this Lossoth outfit actually kind of liked the uncomfortable feeling of a full bladder, if the expression on his face is anything to go by. Hmm, maybe I should look up the Department for Enforcement of Hibernal Propriety after all.
Now that I’ve unburdened my soul with confessions about my deficiencies as an employer of models, what else has been going on behind the scenes of the blog since last April? It seems that some of the models in their spare time have been trying to devise a magical means of flight because I make them walk to all their shoots with a permanent Hounding Fear debuff on them. Uphill in the snow. Both ways. While lagging. Here’s what they’ve come up with so far:
This elf was even trying to start up her own Forochel quidditch league until I told her she was totally thinking of the wrong books. One of my hobbits, however, had made a little more progress working on the Problem of Flight, as they call it. I think her solution had something to do with the beer. Just look at how smug she is.
It wouldn’t be Fool-of-a-Took Day if we didn’t have a look at some of my models’ encounters with
nasty murderous wild animals throughout this past year! Middle-earth is rife with rabid beasts, it seems. But it’s not always a complete disaster, like the time our shoot was interrupted by this homicidal and/or suicidal craban. I got to check off one more avian species in my Peterson’s Field Guide to Middle-earth, and my dwarf model got to have lunch:
I’m proud to say that this year the models fought back a little. They really do take a lot of abuse so it’s not surprising that they can get a bit savage themselves from time to time when they’re assaulted by marauding beasts. This wolf learned An Unexpected Lesson:
In that very moment a new character class was born: the Veterinary Proctologist! (Role: DPS; Difficulty: advanced.) I can’t wait to get mine to level cap. My metalsmith alt is going to craft a [Reforged Speculum of the Second Age] for her! God, I hope the legacies don’t suck.
This past year I co-hosted an NPC look-alike contest and I decided that to promote it I’d go get a screenshot with Gandalf in Rivendell. Having run into Bilbo in the Hall of Fire, I inquired as to Gandalf’s whereabouts and was told that he was visiting Frodo in Bilbo’s chambers. I knocked politely at the door to Bilbo’s room, but there was no response. Hearing raised voices and fearing the worst, I broke in only to find a most terrible scene:
Frodo had grown tired of Gandalf’s incessant “words of wisdom” and had told him to GTFO. Well, Gandalf persisted with his lecturing, so Frodo dropped him. Just shocking. “Frodo, what the hell,” I cried, but he explained that Gandalf had been giving him dirty looks and blowing pipeweed smoke in his face all morning. It had nothing whatsoever to do with the vile influence of the evil One Ring constantly pulsing and throbbing in his mind. “Also, YOLO,” he added.
“Sounds legit,” I said to myself, and hit Print Scrn.
Well, that’s been a sampling of my adventures behind the scenes this year at The Starry Mantle, but what about the adventures of random people surfing the Internet? Let us once again delve into some of the more unfortunate, inexplicable, or just plain nonsensical search terms that brought traffic to my blog. As they did last year, my crack team of analysts have carefully reviewed the search terms and sorted them into scientifically devised categories, two of which are oldies but goodies from last year, and one is making its debut.
The “And Now For Something Completely Irrelevant” Category
- Water turtles — Hmm. I think there might be something prophetic about this one. Like maybe next year my models are going to get attacked by lots of turtles. I don’t doubt it. If I had a lunch budget for the models, I’d be slashing it. Since I don’t and it seems like soup’s on, I will now charge the models for the privilege of eating on the job!
- Mantle ladies wear jackets sold to Russia — Okay, it’s weird that this brought someone to my blog (four someones, actually) but why search this in the first place? What does it mean? In the name of science, I GIS’d it and found this. I don’t even
- Perhaps musical instrument — Perhaps. But then again… perhaps not. /mood_cryptic
The “Biological Misconceptions” Category
- Elven egg — I guess it makes sense, I mean, have you ever seen a pregnant elf? Me neither. Actually, it must be very convenient. The mum and dad can just take turns sitting on it while the other gets to take a break and go do ~beautiful elvish things~. I just had to GIS this one too, and here’s what came up. It’s got nothing to do with eggs, but it did make me lol a bit.
- Durin’s folks — There’s nothing funny or ridiculous about this one really, since no doubt this person was searching “Durin’s Folk”, i.e., the race of the Dwarves, but the addition of an s to “folk”, making it into a plural, makes me picture Durin’s disapproving parents (if he had had any and not been made out of the stuff of the earth by Aulë). “All the other Fathers of the Dwarves woke up with wives, and you can’t even find a girlfriend?” “Are you sure you want to build your Dwarf-mansion in this cave? It’s a bit dank, dear, is all I’m saying.” “Again with the reincarnation? Oy, if we’d known we were raising such a showboat…” Nothing’s ever good enough for Durin’s folks.
The “Internet Perverts” Category
- Naked stag riding — Alright! Let’s not be shy about it! This person knows what they want and they are not afraid to ask for it. “Is this a thing?” I asked myself, and GIS’d it. Public service warning: do not GIS this. (Seriously, it is waaaayy NSFW)
- Sam Gamgee full body — He is a strapping young Hobbit-lad, after all. And virile, he had like 13 children!
- Old dwarf pictures — I well and truly hope that this person was searching for “pictures of old Dwarves” and not “pictures of old dwarfs”, if you take my meaning. Either way, as with last year I feel compelled to have one for the pervs, so have a picture of a saucy old dwarf. Look at that coy smile!
Well, I think that’s quite enough “humour” out of me for another 365 days! Thanks very much for reading, and I hope I was able to give you a smile on this Fool-of-a-Took Day. I’ll be back next Wednesday, 10 April, with a new outfit.
But before I sign off for today, I’d like to try one more thing. I’d like to hear from you guys! Email me a funny caption for the picture below. If your caption makes me laugh the most, I’ll email you a code for 500 TP. I’ll choose and announce the winner this Friday, so please make sure to send something in before I choose (very scientific, I know). Have fun everyone!
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