D.A.R.E. Teaches Hobbits to Say ‘No’ to Smoking Leaf

Listen up, little hobbits: Say No to Gandalf.

“Icons & Legends—Gandalf Smoking Pipe” by Sofia Pereira

Listen up, little hobbits.

You’ve heard your friends talk about him before. He goes by many names: Mithrandir, Incánus, Tharkûn, the quote unquote “Grey Pilgrim,” the so-called “White Wizard.”

Same thing.

We’re talking about a vagabond with substance abuse issues who peer-pressures impressionable little halflings like you, an unkempt man, who will, at some point during your hundred years in one of these verdant hills, show up at your round door without warning, and tempt you to join him in smoking leaf.

And I’m here today to tell you one thing: Say No to Gandalf.

I know what you’re thinking. ‘But he saved the world of men! He’s worldly and chill!”

Then why’s the 2,000-year-old hanging out with 3-foot teens?

Is that who you want to be?

I’m speaking to you today from the heart, guys. Every one of you young Boffins, Bolgers, Brandybucks, Burrowes and Chubbs, I’m speaking to you right from the feels.

You know why?

I’m not proud of it, but it’s true: I got high in the last age.

And you know why I smoked that Hobbiton Hash? You want to know why I hit that Khazad-Dûm Chron?

It wasn’t cause my pony crushed my old man on a rabbit hunt.

It had nothing to do with my mother going to East Farthing to fuck Farmer Maggot.

It was cause of Gandalf.

If the protector of Middle-Earth smoked a little leaf, what was wrong with having a toke with a Took? Who gave an orc shit if I hit the Bracegirdle’s Ereborian vape?

I picked up the habit at the bright young age of 43.

I got lazy. And I got fat. I had the munchies all the time. Second breakfast just wouldn’t cut it for me.

Guys, I was doing thirds.

The Bamfurlongs suspected me of stealing mushrooms. I lost my job at Puddifoot’s Farm. The Sackville Baggins’s chased me out of the Shire, and before I knew it, I was spending so much on my new habit (and food), I couldn’t scrape two ducats together.

I started slinging Fangorn Funk on the Buckleberry Ferry just to get by. Next thing, I was begging for change in the village of Bree, and turning tricks for dwarf women outside the Prancing Pony. But it wasn’t until I found myself indebted to the Haradrim, working at a Mumakil pen shoveling Oliphant shit, that I really hit rock bottom.

Look, I don’t need to tell you Gandalf was irresponsible.

You guys know this stuff already.

Plenty of Gondorian scholars agree that the wizard’s substance misuse delayed his reaction time when he faced off with the Balrog in the Mines of Moria; if Mithrandir hadn’t been impaired by the leaf’s lasting effects, they say, he would have got his grey ass off the battleground with a greater sense of urgency; he wouldn’t have been within range of his enemy’s whip, which caused him to plummet to his doom, and marked the beginning of the end of his traveling troupe.

The leaf dissolves fellowships.

It nearly destroyed me, too.

But I’m ok now. I’m all right, you know? But, Old Man Willow, it was a journey. And I’d rather not go there and back again.