Month: February 2014

Sauron’s Metallurgist

Can you imagine what it would like to have been Sauron’s metallurgist? Probably not an easy task I’d say. I can imagine it now, he gets called to Sauron’s chamber of evil one day.

Sauron: “Ah Thor Hammerthumb, so good of you to drop by.”

Thor: “You did summon me master.”

Sauron: “Of course, of course. But still … you know … it’s good.”

Thor: “Yes my Lord”

Sauron: “Sooo … those latest swords for the Orcs … pretty good from what I hear.”

Thor: “Yes my Lord. They do complain that the alloy is still too refined, not rough enough to be befitting of an Orc.”

Sauron: “It’s a burden we must all bear when we choose to work with the darker side of things.”

Thor: “Yes my Lord.”

Sauron: “I mean you should see the kind of mess they leave behind when I call them in here to order them to chase down some recalcitrant Elf.”

Thor: “Yes my Lord.”

Awkward pause…

Sauron: “I suppose you must find it trying having to dumb down your genius simply making the type of blunt weaponry they desire?”

Thor: “I serve as I must my Lord.”

Sauron: “Ah yes, of course, of course. And a fantastic job you do too!”

Thor: “Thank-you my Lord.”

Sauron: “I mean who can argue with the evil genius of crude brutality?”

Thor: “Not I my Lord.”

Sauron: “Undoubtedly. And yet …”

Awkward silence…

Sauron: “Thor, I was thinking of making some rings.”

Thor: “My Lord?”

Sauron: “You know, this whole send out the mass of Orcs and beat the crap out of everything … well it’s good, don’t get me wrong, but you know … sometimes I can’t help thinking that there might be more to life.”

Thor: “My Lord? You’re getting married?”

Sauron: “Married? What the hell are you talking about. No, it just came to me the other night. I’m going to make a bunch of awesome beautiful rings to give out to my enemies.”

Thor: “Well certainly Lord that would be a welcome change for my skills …”

Sauron: “You know, I thought I could give them out to each of the races that are my enemies.”

Thor: “Wouldn’t they be a little suspicious my Lord?”

Sauron: “I’ve got it all worked out. Even had my personal poet in to work out the marketing.”

Thor: “Yes but why would they …”

Sauron: (a faraway look in his eye) “Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,”

Thor: “… be a little suspicious?”

Sauron: “Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,”

Thor: “Wait, wait, you’re going too fast, I need to know some details …”

Sauron: “Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,”

Thor: “… yes but what sort of setting do you want …”

Sauron: “One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne”

Thor: “… diamonds, amethyst …”

Sauron: “In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.”

Thor: “… I suppose for you it might be 24 carat, but you know how rough you are on your armour, make it too pure and it’ll get marks on it …”

Sauron: “One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,”

Thor: “?”

Sauron: “One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.”

(Silence descends on the hall and Sauron stands in majesty before his master metallurgist. After a pause …)

Thor: (clears his throat) “Well my Lord, that might be just a smidgeon outside my skill set.”

Sauron: (breaking out of his reverie) “What? Really? It sounded like a good idea to me.”

Thor: “You see Lord, mostly rings are kind of … you know … decorative.”

Sauron: “Hmmm …”

Thor: “I’m really good at decorative … can make all sorts of really pretty things that will make your loved one swoon.”

(Sauron just stares at him)

Thor: “But you know … when you think of like gathering, finding, binding and other -ing style words … it’s not really your normal ring territory. Loving yes … ruling well …”

(Sauron’s stare turns more icy)

Thor: (really quickly) “But maybe if I thought about it a bit more …”

(The stare softens a little)

Thor: (obviously thinking on his feet) “… yeah so, there’s finding … so we could put GPS into there somewhere.”

(A quizzical look appears on Sauron’s face)

Thor: “And, and, and there’s control … sooooo there must be some comms right … Bluetooth … no Wifi or maybe even some models with 3G … yeah 3G … how better to control someone than be able to get data on exactly where they are all the time?”

(Thor was starting to get on a roll at this point)

Thor: “OK cool, so maybe we’re not talking rings then. Maybe right … and you know, I’m just brain-storming here … but maybe we’re talking phones. Yeah phones.

(Sauron steps back and just watches in fascination as the inspiration unfolds)

Thor: “And you don’t just want control, do you, you want to bind them? So we need some sort of centralised mechanism that forces them to keep coming back for more.”

Thor: “A way to hook them and force them to bend to your will. Like … like … like … an App Store. Yeah an App Store! Somewhere that’s the only place they can go to get more features for this ‘phone’.”

Thor: “Which means it’ll obviously have to have a fully featured screen to make the apps addictive … and yes!”

(Thor thrusts his hand into the air almost startling Sauron as he observes the madness unfold)

Thor: “With an app store and good screen, we can get other people to do all the hard work of actually writing the apps that make the phone good for us! We can even charge them for the privileged of ‘selling’ their apps for them.”

(An evil grin spreads over Sauron’s face as he strolls towards Thor and places his arm around his shoulders)

Sauron: “Thor, Thor … while I could be angry that you have ignored my idea of a ring, at this time I’m disposed to be gracious. Please, come into my office, let’s chat more over coffee.”

And that’s how Sauron invented the iPhone.