Long-term readers will remember well the case of the American college student who rattled her tin online to raise cash for a bigger pair of jubs. Successfully, as it turns out, and now a US couple has adopted the web begging process in an attempt to finance the construction of a real-life Hobbit Hole.
We'll cut to the chase on this one, since we don't reckon El Reg fans need an explanation as to what a modern-day Hobbit Hole might look like. Here are the pertinent bits of the website's Q&A section:
What is the point of this website?
We hope to build a Hobbit Hole. Yes, we mean a subterranean dwelling as described above. No, it will not be in Middle Earth, and no, we are not (completely) insane. We are actually quite serious about doing this.
How is this website supposed to accomplish that?
Partially by focusing our efforts, documenting our progress, and (hopefully) partially by accepting donations from others who would like to see this become a reality. If a girl was able to attract enough donations online to enhance her bustline, then hopefully enough people are also interested in seeing a Hobbit Hole become a reality.
So what inspired this project?
As you have probably detected by now, my wife and I are huge fans of the The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings series, and other books about the fantastic realm of Middle Earth created by J. R. R. Tolkien. We are approaching our six month anniversary and have lived thus far in an apartment. Our landlord is wonderful and must have come straight from Heaven, so no complaints there.
Then why do you want to move out?
Because our next-door neighbors on both sides came straight from Hell. They have this little girl that runs around incessantly, sounding like a 3 year old Goliath training for the Olympics. We are also quite familiar with their musical tastes, as we can hear each piece quite distinctly, especially in the early hours of each Saturday and Sunday morning. Even coffee begins to lose its flavor on five hours sleep after awhile. The silence, seclusion, and privacy of a Hobbit Hole would be a true dream come true.
Are you die-hard environmentalists?
No, not really. I mean we don't like polluting and we think recycling is a good idea, but those aren't the main reasons behind this project. We just want a unique home straight out one of our favorite fiction fantasy worlds, to be our retreat from the outside world. We're actually quite huge geeks and fans of technology. Between the two of us we have 2 Sony Clie PDA's, 2 Desktop computers, 3 Laptop computers, and about a dozen video game systems. Broadband Internet access will be a must, as will Digital Satellite HDTV, so we can continue to enjoy Buffy, Charmed, The Daily Show, and our DVD collection. If you want to know more about us, you can bore yourself with our livejournals, mine and my wife's.
And what will I get out of this?
The satisfaction of helping someone with a crazy dream? If you want something more tangible, then rest assured I'll definitely keep this site updated with news on our progress and eventual pictures. Maybe I'll even end up giving tours of the Hobbit Hole if several people's donations stand out above the rest. I can't give tours to thousands of people, but if you donate a grand as opposed to donating five bucks, such a request wouldn't be out of line.
Enough. Try this for size: I'm a forty-four year old journalist and my neighbours annoy me. I like buildings in the style of Catalan architect Gaudi so I'd like you to give me money to construct a scaled-down replica of Barcelona's Sagrada Familia cathedral. If you give me enough money, I might let you in for five minutes to grab a few pictures. If you donate just ten bucks, I'm afraid you'll just have to imagine what it's like to live in such a structure. But you will at least have the satisfaction of having allowed me to escape my nightmarish existence.
In summary, here's a bit of fundraising advice for our wannabe Hobbits: sell the Clies, the three laptops, one of the desktops and all of the video game systems. Then use the money raised to finance said Hobbit Hole. It's a start. Working will also help generate more funds. A mortgage will cover the rest. Happy Xmas.