Tolkien Owes Me $350 For My Air Conditioner

Yes, that’s right. If only he had known the consequences of his writing, his hand might have shuddered and refused to pen the Lord Of The Rings.

I do say this tongue in cheek, but my wallet will in fact be flatter because of his writing.

A few days ago, I wrote these words:

As writers, we need to be careful what we write. We have no control over who reads our words once it is out there.

But at the very moment that my fingers left the keyboard, the Lord had a direct lesson for me as my youngest daughter came running in the house with bad news.

What was the bad news? If you recall, in the same post I also wrote these words:

[J]ust yesterday, I let my kids purchase a “Return of the King” video game.

Well, lets just say that my son got a bit excited about Legolas and his bow, and … err … accidentally shot the A/C compressor at the side of the house using his compound bow and a blunt metal tipped arrow. All the freon came roaring out, and in three frantic trips to the compressor with various tools, I was unable to close the inlet valve. So not only have I lost all freon, but I need to have it repaired.

So, here are the chain of events:

  • Tolkien writes the Lord Of The Rings
  • LOTR books become popular
  • Technology catches up with his amazing vision
  • A set of movies are made
  • A 3D video game is made
  • My son plays said video game
  • My son shoots and kills the Air Conditioner
  • $350 repair bill

So you see, our words DO have consequences so be careful what you write!

Anyway, I was hoping my previous post would be received in the spirit it was intended, and so far it has.

I really believe that Christian Fantasy is an appropriate vehicle for communicating eternal truths regarding the great story that God is telling about He and His own battling the evil schemes of Satan—with good triumphing.

But I myself have a checkered background and used to play Dungeons and Dragons for many years before becoming a Christian, and I had to leave fantasy behind for a long time until my faith became stronger and I was able to see that God’s redemption can extend even to fantasy literature. (To the opening of my eyes, I owe a thanks to Stephen Lawhead!)

And even though I have grown and can deal in strength with fantasy from a Christian perspective, that does not mean everyone can. And it does not mean that I do not have my own weaknesses where I dare not tread.

To those who write and/or support Christian Fantasy—have compassion on our brothers and sisters who consider this sin. Perhaps for them, it is.

To those who, in their faith, cannot endure Christian fantasy—please try and understand that timeless truths can be communicated through fiction as well as fantasy without either the author or the reader turning aside from a solid scriptural foundation. And where we, as a body of writers, fail, please help us in a gentle manner.

After all, we serve the same Lord and are each answerable to Him.

8 thoughts on “Tolkien Owes Me $350 For My Air Conditioner

  1. That tops what me and my friend did, we just shot a fan and punctured a drainpipe when we shot his bow in the back yard years back.

  2. Reagan,

    When I wrote the post I was going off the estimated repair bill. After the technician fixed it yesterday, it needed more freon than we expected. That, along with the extra time, the bill shot up to $430. Oh well! One of those things we’ll laugh about in the coming years!

    Glad yours wasn’t so costly!


  3. Sorry to hear it was more than the estimate. At least you have a good story though.

  4. Robert,

    As a father to 5 kids, 3 of which are boys, this story brought a smile to my face. I’m still laughing.

    Perhaps you could petition Tolkein’s estate for a Bow Lesson Scholarship to recoup the costs.

    Thank you for sharing the story – and it is indeed a delightful story. Now I have something to share with my sons at the dinner table tonight.



  5. My son is 13, and he recommends the video game highly. However, you might want to hide the bows and arrows before installation!

    Glad you enjoyed the story, David!

    Looks like we’ll get to know each other more through the ACFW forums as well. Are you going to the conference this fall?

  6. Robert,

    I would love to attend the conference. I went in 2006 and also attended the CCWC in Estes Park but … It will take a miracle this year!

    You can join me in prayer for that.

    My wife, bless her heart – broke her foot & had emergency surgery followed by a blood clot situation … suffice it to say – we had not met our deductible as yet, insurance wise, so the out of pocket turned into a hideous beast. The meds for the blood clot alone really did us in. Here recovery has been miraculous by the way. Its just the financial setback that bites.

    That deficit coupled with transportation costs has me over a barrel.

    We’ll see what the Lord has in store. I would like to cross paths there if the Lord so wills this year. Otherwise, Yes! I’ll keep an eye out for you on the ACFW forums.

    Blessings to you!


  7. David,

    If my daughter and I get to go, it will be the first one for both of us. Right now it is up in the air, but the AC repair didn’t help matters any!

    I wonder how many govt. “stimulus” checks will go toward the conference!

    Glad your wife’s foot is healing up after that accident, and I will pray for your miracle!


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