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A Christmas Carol.

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  • A Christmas Carol.

    'Merry Christmas, Bob Cratchit! Here's five guineas for your Christmas dinner - and don't worry about coming in to work till the twenty-eighth!'

    'Oh thank you, Mr Scrooge! Merry Christmas to you too, sir!'

    Ebenezer Scrooge left his office and started walking down the picturesque snowbound streets, whistling Jingle Bells.

    God, he loved Christmas.

    Pausing only to stop off at Asda for some emergency supplies of sugared almonds and chocolate liquers - and throw coins into the hat of some rosy-cheeked carol singers - he walked back home.
    Then he froze in his tracks. For, as he unlocked his front door, the knocker suddenly turned into a ghastly and horrible face. The terrifying likeness of Bruce Forsyth, presenting a Christmas Come Dancing Festive Special.

    But when Scrooge looked again, it was an ordinary knocker once more.

    He went in, got himself a mince pie and a glass of Bailey's, and sat down in front of the fire. Then a terrible moaning noise filled the room, and a ghostly spectral figure floated into the room, rattling the chains that it was wrapped up in.

    'Who are you?' Scrooge cried in terror.

    'It is I, your old partner, Jacob Marley. Don't you remember? We did karaoke together at the Christmas party every year, before I was killed by a malfunctioning Christmas cracker.'

    'But what are those chains you wear?'

    'I wear the chains I forged in life. Behold, Ebenezer Scrooge, these storecards from Toys R Us - puchased in order to acquire toys that the ungrateful little *******s had either broken or forgotten about by New Year's Day. Behold these boxes of sugared almonds, which absolutely everyone hates, and are destined to moulder away at the back of a cupboard until somebody notices them and chucks them out. Beware, Scrooge, lest my fate become yours.'

    Looking out of the window with terrified eyes, Scrooge beheld a host of translucent, tormented spirits floating about in the night air. One was attempting to jam a large, lopsided and moulting pine tree into a pot. Another was wailing forlornly over a blackened turkey, which it held before it in skeletal hands. One was insanely running round with a jampacked supermarket trolley, shrieking that there were only three shopping days left and they still didn't have any brandy butter.

    It was a sight of unearthly horror, and Scrooge shivered.

    'Tonight,' Marley's ghost told him, 'you will be visited by three ghosts who will show you the error of your ways. Farewell, Scrooge.'

    The spirit vanished.

    Scrooge took a few deep breaths and calmed down a bit. He decided it was probably some sort of hallucination caused by digestive problems, as he'd managed to eat three times his own bodyweight in mince pies that day at work. He didn't even like mince pies. Deciding it would be a good time to go to bed, he put on his novelty Christmas pyjamas, went into his tinsel-bedecked bedroom and fell asleep.

    He was woken by a spectral figure standing over his bed, which resembled a small sleepless child bothering its parents at half past midnight on Christmas Eve.

    'We are going back to the Christmasses of your past,' the small figure told him.

    The spirit guided him out of his bedroom window into the frozen night, and Scrooge became weightless as he touched the spirit's hand. Together they flew through the dark night air, before landing in front of a house that glittered and sparkled with Christmas lights and decorations.

    'Spirit - this is the house I grew up in!' Scrooge exclaimed delightedly.

    'Behold your past Christmasses,' the sprit replied.

    They both stood at the window and looked in. Scrooge saw his ten year old self and his sister glumly sitting in front of the telly, where the Queen's speech was droning on interminably. Across the room, an old lady sat snoring like a log cutter, with an empty bottle of Irish Mist beside her hand.

    'I'd forgotten about that,' Scrooge said, frowning. 'Nan always made us watch that crap whenever she came round for Christmas Day.'

    He surveyed the familiar scene for long seconds. He and his sister hissing to their parents that they were missing the Indiana Jones movie on ITV. Their parents hissing back at them to stop being a nuisance, Nan might wake up and hear.

    'Senile ratbag,' Scrooge said quietly. 'And she smelt of ****.'

    The childlike spirit took his hand, and they flew off again. Suddenly, they were looking through another frosty window, at a large and crowded office party. A fat red-faced man was dancing a jig on a table top, waving a large jug of mead in one hand. At the sight, Scrooge was unable to stop himself from crying aloud, in sudden recognition of his former employer.

    'Old Fezziwig, bless my soul! As I live and breathe, it's old Fezziwig!'

    He paused, surveying the scene for long seconds before speaking again.

    'Christ. he was an embarrassing old ****er.'

    His frown deepened.

    'Died of liver disease two years later, if memory serves.'

    The pallid spirit took him back to bed, where he slept. Then he was woken up by a noise outside his bedroom door. Scrooge stepped out to find the room beyond was transformed. The floor was covered in torn wrapping paper and discarded bits of satsuma peel and the packaging from various plastic toys, along with treacherous roller skates and spiky little action figures. Scrooge felt a sharp stabbing pain in his foot and cried out.

    'Sorry about that,' a loud booming voice told him. 'It's those bloody pine needles. Get stuck in the carpet, you know. Hoovered up only this morning.'

    Scrooge looked up at a huge figure dressed as Santa, with a wonky cotton wool beard, bleary eyes and a nose as red as a strawberry. The ****ed-looking giant swayed on his feet, waving a huge bottle of Warninks advocaat.

    'I am the ghost of Christmas Present,' the spirit announced, and then was sick on the floor.

    The spirit transported him to a small, crowded house he recognised as belonging to Bob Cratchit. Mrs Cratchit was in the kitchen, staring at a giant turkey and wondering how the hell she was supposed to fit the damn thing in the oven. Bob and the children were staring blankly at Strictly The Celebrity X Factor's Got Talent On Ice, Get Me Out Of Here - Christmas Special. All apart from Tiny Tim, who was tugging ferociously at his father's sleeve, saying he wanted the Megatron and Optimus Prime and the Transformers mothership, and if he didn't get them tomorrow morning he was going to scream and scream until he was sick.

    The sight struck sudden terror into Scrooge's heart. Unable to prevent himself from speaking, he cried aloud.

    'Spirit, tell me - I implore thee! Will Tiny Tim get his arse smacked for being such a spoilt, annoying little twat?'

    The spirit shook its head slowly.

    'I see an obnoxious little brat running about at half past four on a Christmas morning. I see Optimus Prime and the Megatron under the tree, unwrapped greedily and with no thanks whatsoever. I see a huge tantrum because Mrs Cratchit didn't get the right batteries for the Transformers mothership, so the lights won't light up. I see his parents running up to his bedroom to placate him, and promise him they'll get him the right batteries as soon as the shops are open on Boxing Day - instead of giving Tiny Tim the sore arse he so richly deserves.'

    'No!' Scrooge howled. ' Spirit, tell me it is not so!'

    But the spirit stared at him sadly and led him back to his room, where he fell back into tormented dreams.

    When Scrooge awoke, there was a dark figure standing beside his bed, skeletal, menacing and enigmatic in a black-cowled robe.

    'Are you the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come?' Scrooge asked it breathlessly.

    The shape said nothing. He had no choice but to follow the cowled and spectral being down the stairs and into the kitchen. Its bony, skeletal hand beckoned towards the open larder door.

    Within, Scrooge beheld an extraordinary and terrifying sight. The shelves were packed solid - yet there was nothing that any normal person would even think about eating. There was a half eaten cold turkey, and some flat, pallid and depressed-looking mince pies. There was a big thick wodge of smoked salmon that had been half-price in Marks, and suddenly looked completely uninviting as nobody had bought any lemons to go with it. The spirit's bony finger drew Scrooge closer, and beckoned to words on the smoked salmon's packaging.

    USE BY - DEC 26TH

    A shiver ran down Scrooge's spine. There was some really weird **** like duck liver pate and champagne flavoured marmalade, cold stuffing and cold roast potatoes, and a big ****-off lump of half-eaten Stilton. There was a giant mountain of nuts that made you lose the will to live just to look at them, sugared almonds and candied fruits, and indescribably sickly chocolate liqueurs. Most terrible of all, a full bottle of Warninks Advocaat, the lumpy yellow fat looking like it had been sucked out of somebody's arse during routine liposuction.

    A terrible sickness sank into Scrooge's heart.

    The spirit led him out of the house and into the dark night. They proceeded into a desolate winter graveyard, the scene icy cold and forbidding. As if hypnotised, Scrooge walked to the gravestone that the figure pointed to. And the words stared back at him, cold and uncompromising.



    'Spirit - please tell me,' Scrooge cried aloud. 'Are these things that will be, or things that could be? I must know, I implore thee -'

    Then suddenly, Scrooge woke up. In his own bed.

    He sat up and looked out of the window. As he saw the gentle morning light, he realised it was Christmas Day!

    Thank the heavens, it was not too late after all!

    Scrooge jumped out of bed, and began to dance a mad frenzied jig round the room.

    He rushed down to the kitchen and took the huge turkey from his larder. Then he carried it over to the window, throwing it open wide. He leaned out and hailed a small boy passing by.

    'Ho, my fine young fellow! Do you know the butcher on Old Miggins Lane?'

    The loveable urchin stared back at him, wide-eyed.

    'The one that had a turkey as big as me in the window, till some muppet with more money than sense went and bought the ruddy great thing yesterday morning?'

    'That's right - well here it is, with the receipt!' Scrooge threw the turkey down to him. 'Tell the butcher I want my ****ing money back, and bring it right to me. And don't delay, or I'll kick your arse square!'

    Scrooge turned away from the window.

    'Bah, humbug,' he said contentedly.

    Then Ebenezer Scrooge went to take his decorations down.

    THE END.
    It's my opinion as a laymen, if in doubt , seek professional advice.


    "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Large Whisky in one hand - Cigarette in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO, What a Ride"

    Libertarian party member for smaller government and more say for the individual.


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