To most people, the sleepy Shire village of Hobbiton would not seem a very likely candidate to win the title of 'Worst place to live'. However, behind the quaint, rustic exterior lies a vice ridden haven for some notorious villains, drug lords, pimps and prostitutes.
Entering the village on the Bywater road, the first hint of trouble ahead is visible on the road sign which declares, "Welcome to Hobbiton - Twinned with Harlow". If this wasn't warning enough, scrawled beneath is a message from one of the town's rival gangs which reads "Don fuk wiv da Bukland boyz".
The first building you pass on your left is the Green Dragon Inn. Once a delightful hostelry welcoming weary travellers to the village, it is now a place of darkness, at night playing host to the Spearmint Oliphaunt night club and lap dancing joint with its notorious owner / madam, Eleanor 'lucky legs' Cotton.
Beyond this, and to the right of the road, where Jeb Proudfoot's family grew prize winning mushrooms for more than 2 centuries; there now lie vast open fields. In these fields there is only one crop; the root cause of all the recent troubles, the notorious pipeweed, Longbottom Leaf. The very name inspires fear into the decent citizens, and lustful desire into the younger, less scrupulous inhabitants.
Barrels of the leaf change hands for upwards of 20 silver pieces and the rival drug lords protect their business with ruthless efficiency. Earlier this year, several members of the Bracegirdle Massiv were killed as they left the Golden Perch near Woody End, in what is believed to be a hit organised by Hobbiton's leading drug baron, Busta Baggins.
Busta Baggins owns all of The Hill and Bag End. It is now a dark place, inhabited by his extended family and frequented by all sorts of queer folk. Try to enter the gate at the entrance to the lane and you will be waylaid by a grey old beardy man with bushy eyebrows and a big stick, who screams "YOU SHALL NOT PASS" persistently until you turn and leave, or some Hobbit heavies come along to help you on your way.
All around the village lie the Hobbit victims of this evil industry. Once decent folk are now reduced to petty crime. Theft is rife, and muggings are on the increase.
But buying more leaf is not what the crime is about. Rather it's to help buy the very expensive, soothing unguent which alleviates the pipeweed's only known side effect, known as 'Sauron's Bane'. The effect is so called because over use of pipeweed is renowned for making you feel like you've dropped your ring into a pool of lava.