Apologies to anyone who hasn't either read 'Lord Of The Rings' or seen the film.
For both of you, some of this might pass you by.
But anyway, there's this scene at the end of the first book that – for me – kind of sums up the place in which the board of Norwich City Football Club now find themselves.
Forced off the mountain pass as the 'Fellowship of the Ring' endeavour to take their burden south, Gandalf and chums reluctantly decide that the only path open to them now is the one that runs underneath the Misty Mountains – via the dreaded Mines of Moria.
Once this vast, glittering kingdom of the dwarves, it has long fallen into ruin and is now home to legions of evil orcs, trolls and goblins. Pitch black, foul-smelling and one of those dismal corners of the world from where few travellers ever return, it is a bit like League One. That and the bottom three of the Championship.
Anyway two days into their fearful journey, Gandalf reaches this gloomy crossroads. In a chamber that he has never seen before lies three paths – one leading up, one going straight on and one hurrying down.
Wearied by the miles that they had already travelled, he sits down heavily, reaches for his pouch of Longbottom Leaf and puffs at his wizard's pipe – lost in deep and disturbed thought. Much like Messrs Munby and Wynn Jones might suck at a packet of Marlboro's.
Because Gandalf knows that at the end of each path, danger lurks; that one false choice now and utter ruin awaits their Fellowship. So he sits, long into the night and ponders which might be the lesser of the three evils. In which direction lies their salvation?
In the meantime, one of their anxious party hears the first, distant 'boom' coming from the deeps beneath their feet. And it appears to be getting louder….
Back at Carrow Road and after City's start to the season, three choices now face the Norwich board. None will hold much appeal; all three could all too easily lead to ruin.
The first is to carry straight on – to keep on the same path in the hope that something turns up; something clicks. That at some point this autumn, City boss Peter Grant will finally land upon that magic midfield mix that he's looking for; that from there the chances, the goals and the points will flow.
The danger there, of course, is that you then end up being accused of fiddling while Rome burns – either that or of keeping the purse strings so tightly shut that the manager never stood a chance.
Or, equally, of being blind to the disaster unfolding around you; that you were guilty of taking your eye off the ball; too wrapped up in new restaurants, new roads, new flats. And with an Annual General Meeting fast looming, going down the 'Do nothing' path ain't all that appetising.
The second choice is, of course, to get shot of the manager. A year in to his first-ever managerial job and ten games into the new season, you might just have enough time on your side to say: 'It hasn't worked…'
Is that any more appealing? Well, no. Not really. At least in terms of the appointment process, the Turners hands are clean. They weren't involved in the whole, lengthy interview and decision process.
Everyone else that sat in that interview room and held their hands up this time last autumn are left having to all but admit that what they hoped would prove to be a marriage made in heaven hasn't quite worked out as they planned. That, for whatever reason, their dream candidate didn't deliver the dream.
So, along that path comes battered pride – and big expense. There's a compensation package to pay – first to Grant himself and then to whoever you employ to succeed him. Provided they're in a job. And if they're not in a job, why not?
That's the other thing that whiffs down that path – that you have got to go through that whole, exhausting selection process again. Only now you're even less sure as to what, exactly, it takes to get a managerial appointment right. Is there ever a sure thing?
And you're doing it all, again, in the full and recriminatory glare of the Norfolk media and messageboard communities – and all while sat squarely in the relegation zone.
The third and final path is to go back down the big, fat loan route – to go shopping at Harrod's, as the chairman of Middlesbrough reportedly put it, and abandon the hope that you could get away with the out-of-date shelf at Tesco's.
Even that doesn't hold much appeal. On the plus side, it makes the board looks as if they're doing something; clears them of the charge that you weren't ambitious enough to back the manager with your money. Give him a bright, new shiny set of tools and, thereafter, it's up to him.
But even that can stink. Get the wrong loan in – someone who really isn't that keen on an away trip to Burnley on a Tuesday night – and you'll be stuck where you were only with, say, ?1 million less to play with; your hopes of making the books balance that little bit better long gone down the pan.
And, equally, that's one big, public act of faith in the manager; that's when he really, really has to deliver. Because, that way, you have all-but 'bought' into him for another three months.
Even then, the charge comes back that you're just throwing more good money after ill-spent bad; that having insisted there was a squad in place that was capable of competing in this division, the reality wasn't quite the same – that it was only by bolting on another three or four even fresher faces that the Canaries finally gave themselves a fighting chance of making an impression this season.
That if going the big loan path route now means the Turners diving even further into their 'football project' fund, would that extra money not have been better saved and better spent by handing it over to the next man in charge?
Three paths to choose; all three of which have something whiffy lurking in the darkness.
If memory serves, Gandalf in the end decided to take the path that led upwards – only to find his own personal ruin lying at the end of it.
Which path the City board opt to take will, I suspect, be revealed in the next seven days. The do nothing path has, I strongly suspect, already been abandoned. Everyone in the party is in agreement that to do nothing would be to court serious disaster.
All of which leaves them with a choice of two – one of which, they can only hope, leads them upwards and away from the booming drums below. The spirit on show last night could, just, have shown them the path to go.