The tale of the little smoking Thorin card and the fair maiden who looked back at him

This tale appeared in 8 parts on my tumblr from the end of may 2015, while the little smoking Thorin card travelled from Canada to Germany – here now for the first time in its completed form 😉

The Awakening
Once upon a time in a land far far away, a stack of trading cards sat on a desk, waiting to be signed. The actor who showed up to do the deed was in a bit of a silly mood that day, he even bit one of the cards taking a selfie with it, wondering “where ere be they found?”.thetweet

At one point his goofiness got the better of him and he gave in to the feeling that the one thing moody looking Thorin might have craved for all along would’ve been a smoke. So he drew a ciggy and some smoke clouds on the face of the last little Thorin card. What he wasn’t aware of, was the fact that in doing so, he had worked some powerful chaos magic and thus the little card came to life.
And it was enjoying it tremendously: not only was he now looking different than the other cards, he was also having a really good smoke! This made the little card very proud and happy and it too, started to wonder where its journey might take it …

Gloomy Expectations
Crammed into a small pack with other cards, the little Thorin card then waited patiently in the dark for a very long time. But on some days he wished he wasn’t alive at all … the dead eyes of a Thranduil card were mindlessly staring into his back and right before him was a breathtakingly pretty but sadly equally lifeless Tauriel card. Crap.smokingThorin
Would his whole life be like this? Maybe he would end up with a serious collector and buried alive inside a binder for all eternity? Or have some angry kids fighting about him and maybe tearing him apart in the process? The little card shuddered.
But in that exact moment suddenly the light came back – someone had opened up his pack! His little card’s heart skipped a beat as he looked up into a very happy face. He heard his liberator whistling and shouting “Woah look, there’s an extra drawing on that Thorin! You’ll get me a lot of bucks little buddy!” … and his stomach turned – oh no! – he had fallen into the hands of a merciless merchant!

A Fair Maiden
Later on that same day – almost 4000 miles away – a fair maiden was checking her twitter account. Suddenly a commentary from someone she was following caught her eye “Armitage inflation: This is the most I’ve seen a signature card offered for yet” … after taking a look at the price tag of the small picture she found herself thinking “400 dollars or ‘best offer’? The world has officially gone mad”.
servetustweetShe followed the link to get to see the whole picture anyway and there it was: a little Thorin card – who was actually smoking a cigarette and … what was that? She had to rub her eyes and look again: there was no mistake – the card seemed to be rather alive and had now even winked at her twice!
“What the f…?” she thought rather unmaidenly and then she suddenly realized: “Oh no! He had fallen into the hands of a merciless merchant! Someone must help him, or he’ll end up buried alive in a serious collector’s binder for all eternity.”

The Duel
So the fair maiden decided to try and save the little Thorin card – on her own conditions. She set up an ebay account and made the merciless merchant an offer – she hoped – he couldn’t refuse.
ebay2But as he was not only merciless but also very suspicious he told her “Your offer is good but not your feedback for me to accept it!”. So she told him that she was a fair maiden with a pure soul and an all in all totally reliable person, but he kept pestering her – surely Pink Floyd’s “Money” was his favourite song …
So the fair maiden had to stand up to the merciless merchant and virtually wield her magically Visa card to make her point crystal clear. After that he finally gave in and their whole deal even got the ebay fairy’s blessing, who covered for the shipping costs with a 10 dollar promotion code.
Now only one question remained: could the fair maiden trust the merciless merchant?

Not all who wander are lost
The little Thorin card was now on its own for the first time in his life. Travelling in a padded envelope – in the dark again *sigh* – he thought about the face he had seen briefly through the merciless merchants computer screen before he had been all packed up once again: a fair maiden with laughing green eyes and a somewhat stubborn streak. Not bad, he had thought and before he knew it, he had winked at her – twice.
oneway“Since when are we that flirty, eh?” he asked himself for the gazillionth time. The strange thing was, that he somehow felt, that she had really looked back at him. So maybe it was for the best. She didn’t seemed to be the type who would put him away in a dark safe place once she got him and that was the important thing.
“Now why is this taking so long? Where on earth is this wench living? Beyond the mountains with the seven dwarfs?” … he giggled and took a deep drag.


A little “Krautbashing“
“Your item departed a transfer airport in Frankfurt, GERMANY on May 23, 2015 at 7:32 am. The item is currently in transit to the destination.” while the fair maiden kept tracking the little Thorin card’s long journey, itself was completely unaware of its whereabouts.
tracking Suddenly he heard strange voices shouting “Achtung! Achtung!” … this wasn’t sounding like English anymore. The little Thorin card was a little bewildered at first, but then the penny dropped “Holy sh**! It’s the Krauts! They always say ‘Achtung!’ … o.k. Thorin, seems it’s ‘Don’t mention the war!’ from now on.” he thought.

tracking1And then it got very still. “Hey, what’s happening now?” Why am I not moving any longer?” he wondered and a slight feeling of panic arose in his guts “Did I get lost? Hellooo? Anybody?” … uh oh … poor little Thorin card had no clue that he’d arrived just before the long Pentecote bank holiday weekend and would now have to wait for three more days to reach his final destination …

wibbly wobbly timey wimey
From a small town in eastern Canada, his long journey had brought the little Thorin card to a small town in southern Germany – and he couldn’t believe his luck! The fair maiden who had saved him from the merciless merchant had indeed realized, that he was alive and told him upon his arrival that she had a great surprise for him and he should go and have a close look around his new home …
smokingthorinMAIL It took him not long to spot the Tardis in the cupboard! This was the very thing! Now the little Thorin card was able to travel to all the places he’d always dreamt to visit! In the evenings he promised to join the fair maiden for her guilty-pleasure-once-a-day-smoke under the linden tree in the garden and tell her of his adventures in time and space.tardis
Sometimes she would read to him from strange German books and she always teased him endlessly by holding her wineglass under his nose. “Elbling” (Elveling) of all sorts! He wondered if he could somehow convince her to go and meet up with that actor, so he might draw a wineglass for him too?
But that’s another story and will be told another time 😉

The End.


open letter to Richard Armitage #findyourvoice

this was first published on my tumblr in the middle of june as response to Richard’s guest post on the Cybersmile blog, but since it better fits wordpress I’ve reblogged it here today

Hi Richard,

my first membership in an internet forum dates back to 1998. I actively participated in 3 and as the topic for all of them was “dogs”, discussions were emotional, often heated and got sometimes very personal and insulting. The moment I started my own company in 2005 in the pet-industry, I quit the active involvement. Everyone there knew of my company and I was aware of how everything you say can (and will) be used either for good or bad. I’d learned my lesson HOW draining it can get to explain, explain again and again – and there will always be somebody left, who just won’t agree with you, because that’s just how it is. 😉 I joined Facebook relatively late in 2009 and enjoyed it a lot, but of course it gets old after a while too. Twitter to me – as I joined only last year – is still somewhat new and fascinating, but the general social media patterns are there of course. Because I’m curious about people and “what makes them tick” it is somewhat more interesting than Facebook to me – for now. 😉

From what you wrote in that guest post on the Cybersmile blog you clearly lack all this background & your feeling for social media is still a bit “undeveloped”. But when you started tweeting last year you just bravely jumped right in and it was really fun to watch & to participate. You’ve encouraged fans to interact but it seems that not only some overenthusiastic fans, but YOU can’t “keep it light” – because that is just not the way you are 😉 Everyone with his brain working straight knows, that it is simply not humanly possible to answer or even see the current amount of tweets from over 150k people. The rest will have to learn to accept this fact the hard way. So one needs to develop a bit (really just a tiny bit) of a “to-hell-with-it” attitude and just fav what one wants to fav and have fun along the way. In any event one shouldn’t instantly feel ashamed for not noticing that fan B has posted her similar tweet way earlier than fan A and is now royally pissed off, that one favorited fan A’s. But – as you are obviously not built that way – your inner “people-pleaser” won and this more personal interaction with your fans stopped after half a year – the message was clear in your X-mas wishes “No favorites, I promise”. I found this a little sad – because I had the notion that you’d really enjoyed the beginnings – so was it really your will to please everyone that spoiled the fun in the end?

I can (astrologically) see that you are constantly struggling between “carrying your heart on your tongue” and “not saying/doing something wrong” … in a rather personal letter (containing some astrological musings) to you last December, I wrote, that imho you needed to let go of your “inner handbreak” in your personal life from time to time to better tap into / explore your own depths. This is still my opinion. But as I now have your time of birth (that has out of the blue found its way to me through a fellow karmic traveller from the other side of the world, whom you’d told some time ago) I can see you a bit more clearly now.
You are still on the quest for the perfect balance between your security issues / reason and heart. The only advice I will give here and now, is that to reach your life’s goal, it has to be the way of the heart (easier said than done) and it has a lot to do with developing the will to defend one’s beliefs in one’s work and day-to-day-life and trying to rid oneself of vanity but work for a greater cause -> #findyourvoice 😉

So you’ve started trying to do this now, more “out in the open” through your personal messages than your previous charity support, with your engagement @ Cybersmile. Chapeau. Still a bit vague in parts (as pointed out from others), yes – but the will & heart is there. Don’t stop, but – as I know how addicted one can get to all these tech-gimmicks and the www – try to throw the ipad in a corner once in a while, head out upstate / or wherever you can watch the stars and just listen to the nature around you for a while. I’ve enjoyed a rare completely www-/work-free evening last weekend with friends and good food far out in the country side and that’s something that definitely recharges MY batteries 😉 Maybe you should even consider reading the books I’ve sent to you last year – at least “A wild ride through the night” which one might finish in a couple of hours – there will be things that resonate with you.


I think you are on the right path with this – and I like that personal not-so-perfect touch of your message.
Because no one is perfect.
Because we are all just on a wild ride through the night.
This is your design 😉


PS. if you’re up to draw a wineglass for your smoking Thorin at some point, let me know.

PPS. For anyone curious about this book: it is from the exceptionally talented German author/artist Walter Moers (who, perhaps due to his politically completely incorrect but outrageously funny/witty comic books about Jesus and Adolf Hitler – lives undercover somewhere in northern Germany for over 20 years now). Sadly the English translator missed the point of the last sentence (and so in a way the point of the whole book) and translated it just loosely, when it was meant to be word-by-word. I have corrected this in Richard’s copy, everyone else should just replace the very last sentence “It was broad daylight.” with “And there was light.” A brief description is to be found in wikipedia