Frodo Baggins, a hobbit from the Shire, has been fined for ignoring social distancing and lock down guidelines and could face prison if he continues to flout the law.
Local magistrate, Turnywise Bracegirdle of Hardbottle, issued a stark warning today that repeat offenders ignoring the lock down could face jail time if fixed penalties fail to dissuade them from flouting the rules.
A police spokesman for the Eriador region of Middle Earth said on Wednesday last week:
“We received repeated calls from members of the public complaining about social gatherings at the Baggins residence. A number of dwarves and a wizard were issued a fixed penalty for being in attendance and we are now in a position to issue fines to individuals if infractions persist.”
Baggins, an unemployed land owner, who locals describe as ‘living off the land and the rent of impoverished tennants’, received an additional fine at the end of last week for going outside his home in the company of three friends on what police describe as ‘an adventure’.
The police said, “we are grateful to the public for bringing this person and his cohorts to our attention. We are dealing with the matter using new legislation.”
In a missive to a local paper – the Arthedain Enquirer – Baggins appeared to excuse his own behaviour, saying “I must take the ring to Mordor. I need to get to the Prancing Pony to meet Gandalf.”
The Prancing Pony, a pub in the sleepy town of Bree, has been closed since the lock down began and locals say the wizard Gandalf hasn’t been seen in the region for ‘many a moon’.
The police responded this week, saying, “whether or not Mister Baggins has pressing matters in the dark land of Mordor or not, he must follow social distancing guidelines and remain at home.”
Police are also thought to be carrying on a separate line of enquiry into the matter of stolen property, a charge made against Frodo Baggins by Smeagol, grotesque denizen of dark places. But this is thought to be unrelated to the recent issuance of fixed penalties.
Woody Bolger, a resident of The Shire and one of Frodo Baggins’s tennants, spoke to local reporters, saying, “The Bagginses are one of the most respectable of Hobbit families, not only because they’re rich, but also because they never have any adventures or do anything unexpected.”
Asked if he knew why this had recently changed, Woody went on, “you could always tell what a Baggins would say on any question without the bother of asking him. But in the case of Frodo he’s got far too much of old Bilbo’s blood in him. He was always going off on adventures too.”