Surely, should you start here in your read, you would miss a great deal, go back
Yes! and the balls were his own, both large orbs, like goose eggs they were, and Cratchit enjoyed their heft. The bed was his own, the room was his own. Best and happiest of all, the Time before him was his own, to make amends in!
"I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future!" Cratchit repeated, as he scrambled out of bed. "The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. Oh Jacob Marley! Heaven, and the Christmas Time be praised for this. I say it on my knees, old Jacob, on my knees! As I mop up your ghastly spew and my reactive bowels"
He was so abruptly in his own bed after wrestling with the dark spirit itself, crying in desperation, and anger, asserting himself by attempting to rip the balls off death itself, he had not fully appreciated what was before him.
"I am here in this beautifully, dilapidated, empty vagrant dump of a house. -- I am here -- the shadows of the things that would have been, may be dispelled. They will be! I know they will. I will fix that now. I'm going whoop arse."
Cratchit was full of spirit and intention and he surprised himself with a leap off the floor and a swing kick that smashed a hanging lamp some six feet or more hanging. He was giddy with spirit and laughed at his ability at causing mayhem, just because he could.
"I don't know what to do!" cried Cratchit, laughing and crying in the same breath; trying desperately to put on his breeches, he placed them on backwards. He sat down, pulled them off and howled. "I am as whacked as a sailor on leave, I am as happy as hooker in the Vatican, I am as merry as a naked schoolgirl riding a pony. I am as giddy as a drunken man pissing his pants . A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to all the world! Hallo here! Whoop arse. Hallo!"
He had pranced into the sitting-room, and was now standing there: perfectly naked.
"There's the saucepan that the prunes were in!" cried Cratchit, starting off again, and dancing round the fireplace. "There's the door, by which the Ghost of Jacob Marley entered. Gay bladed spirit. There's the corner where the Ghost of Christmas Present, hunk of burning love. There's the window where I saw the wandering Spirits, all having shat themselves too. And that thought had him check his very own face, no, no there was not horse plop, no. It's all right, it's all true, it all happened. Ha ha ha!"
Really, for a man who had been packing on the pounds, his moves were like a tiger, like a gazelle in his leaps. From room to bed to floor, he jumped and frolicked in his exuberance, all accented with roundhouse kicks and quick deft short chops of his hands, like he saw the Ghost of Christmas Present do.
"I don't know what day of the month it is," said Cratchit. "I don't know how long I've been among the Spirits. I got things to do, man. I got to be taking care of business."
He ran to the dresser and began tossing all his garments over his head to the floor. Where is it? Where? There. There it was, a small ledger wrapped in a sock. Left because of it's camouflaged exterior from the purloining clutches of his wife. Wife? Cratchit laughed.
Wife? He laughed again. "See you later bitch". Cratchit laughed more.
He heard bells. As if the announcement of such proclaim was reason in itself for the bells to ring unheralded.
"See you later bitch" rang the clanging.
What could this be?
Running to the window, he opened it, and put out his head. Beautiful. Pristine. Fresh crisp air, filling the lungs, biting his skin. Filling the room and ridding it of the wretched stench of angst. Cleansing it of fear, of indecision, it was buoyant to the spirit and provided clenching of one's jaw, and of one's anus. Cratchit stood straight and surveyed from his post as the Captain of his own ship.
"What's to-day?" cried Cratchit, calling downward to a boy in Sunday clothes, who perhaps had loitered in to look about him. This naked man hanging out a third floor window.
"Eh?" returned the boy, with all his might of wonder.
"What's to-day, my fine fellow?" said Cratchit.
"To-day?" replied the boy. "Christmas Day, bumplug"
"It's Christmas Day!" said Cratchit to himself. "I haven't missed it. The Spirits have done it all in one night. They can do anything they like. Of course they can. Of course they can. Hallo, my fine fellow! Bumplug indeed, what a dolt for me to think that it hadn't happened so."
"Hallo!" returned the boy who had been on his way, but circled back just to see how odd this moment would be, so he could retell this later to his mates.
"Do you know the camp out there near the bridge underpass? The one that looks like Stonehenge?
"Uh, I don't think so," replied the lad,
"An intelligent boy!" said Cratchit. "A remarkable boy! Do you know where all the unemployed, down and out gather to piss and moan of their lot in life?"
"Uh, I don't think so" returned the boy.
"What a delightful boy!" said Cratchit. "It's a pleasure to talk to him. Yes, my buck. You must know, the edge of the waterfront, near the dump?"
"Uh, I don't think so," replied the boy.
"Look you friggin moron, you want to make a schilling" said Cratchit with a more commanding voice that caught him unaware.
"Why yes sir,!" exclaimed the boy.
"Fine, then, go there and tell all who want to work, I have jobs for them, at decent pay, show up to work, cross the picket line and they'll be employed for life."
"Wanker" said the boy.
"No, no," said Cratchit, "I am in earnest. Go get as many men and women who want honest decent jobs, for honest decent pay. Come back with the men, and I'll give you a shilling. Come back with them in less than five minutes and I'll give you half-a-crown."
The boy was off like a pair of victorian panties and twice as slick.
"I'll spring ol' Ebenezer from the asylum!" whispered Cratchit, rubbing his hands, and splitting with a laugh. "He won't believe it. They won't believe it. I have the power of attorney and primary caregiver here wrapped in this sock. I will bring him to the shareholder's meeting. Oh the delight in bringing back ol' Eb. Yes, yes that's what I'll do. This will be the end of all that nonsense." Cratchit laughed at his conspiratorial hijinx with himself. He was absolutely euphoric in his sense of self.
The hand in which he wrote the letters of appeal, the letter of accommodation as to caretaking provider, legal guardian and power of attorney for Ol' Ebenezer, was hardly steady, but write it he did, somehow, and he marched down-stairs and opened the street door, as if off to work, but he neglected a requirement in his joy, he hadn't a stitch of clothing. Not a hat, or britches, waist coat, ascot, shirt, or even a sock, at least one sock would of sufficed. Laughing he stood there. The knockers on the door caught his eye.
"I shall love these, as long as I live!" cried Cratchit, patting them with his hand. "I scarcely ever looked at them before. What an honest rack of womanhood. It's a wonderful set of knockers. - Ahh here's some men.. Hallo! Whoop! How are you? Merry Christmas!"
The men and the woman stood transfixed. Here in the snow stood what they had hoped was there new employer, what was he daft? A crazy man the boy believed, naked standing in the snow, without so much as a sock.
"Gentlemen, ladies, to which, pardon my appearance, as I am not for anyone to feast their eyes on, neither handsome nor hung, I have, indeed, nothing to hide. But, yes, indeed I have employ, I have position, for you all. Work to elevate you from less, work to give you your respect, and the common welfare of your families and ultimately all of us. Your sweat will be your salvation. "
The chuckle with which he said this, and the chuckle with which he explained his position, and the chuckle with which he presented the positions he would hire to his employ, what he expected and what could be expected in return favor, and the chuckle with which he recompensed the boy, were only to be exceeded by the chuckle when he concluded his naked speech to a rousing ovation, and back upstairs he went to get dressed, and he chuckled till he cried.
Shaving was not an easy task,( thankfully, his face, was not plastered with equine excretement) for his hand continued to shake very much; and shaving requires attention, even when you are not hefting your potatoes in one hand and side kicking objects within reach of your leaps and thrusts. But if he had cut the end of his nose off, he'd of laughed at the terrible misfortune, patched it up however he could, and been quite satisfied.
He dressed himself all in his best, found a pair of boots and a cape, adjusted his new found hangage, and at last got out into the streets. The people were by this time pouring forth, as he had seen them with the Ghost of Christmas Present; and he delighted in tipping his cap and walking with his hands behind him, Cratchit regarded every one with a delighted smile. He, again, he appeared an easy mark for the little urchins who had fleeced him many times before. The first, received a warning on Cratchit catching him in his pocket. The second one, having a go at his watch, received a thump upside the head. The third, and last, was pulled into a small alley where Cratchit bit off the top of the little cherubs fore finger and spit it back into his face. That seemed to have ended the street scum's concept of Cratchit, from that point on, he kept his time.
He looked so charmed and content, in a word, blissed. That he was greeting every and all with Merry this and Happy that, smiles and mixing with all, not slinking along the side, skirting man, nor trying to be non-descrip. He was a sight to behold. Radiating himself.
He had not gone far, when coming on towards him he beheld the portly gentlemen, who had walked into his counting-house the day before, and said, "Scrooge and Marley's, I believe." It sent a pang across his heart to think how these old gentleman would look upon him when they met; but he knew what path lay straight before him, and he took it.
"My dear sirs," said Cratchit, quickening his pace, and taking the old gentleman by both his hands. "How do you do. I hope you succeeded yesterday. As far as those who needed help on the eve of Christmas!"
"Mr Cratchit? Bob Cratchit? Thee Bob Cratchit?"
"Yes," said Cratchit. "That is my name, and I fear it may not be pleasant to you. Allow me to ask your pardon. And will you have the goodness" -- here Cratchit whispered in his ear,"Give me back that blank check I gave you and your shake down partner and I'll allow you to be able to walk, unaided from an immediate mishap of some bone to be broken. Surely an offer you can not refuse?"
"Lord bless me!" cried the gentleman, as if his breath were taken away. "My dear Mr Cratchit, are you serious?"
"If you please," said Cratchit. "Not a moment more, as I fear I could do damage to your kidney, or your posterior, with these fine gold inlaided boots. You took advantage of my good nature and I am sorry that I intend to take it back, both my check and my advantage. Make quick on my request or I shall make quick on my declaration."
"My dear sir," said the other, handing the check over. "I understand completely and apologize profusely, I " Cratchit held up his cane for silence, not an inch from the man's nose.
"Don't say anything please," retorted Cratchit. "Come and see me. I may have a position for you, more to your liking, shaking down others, legally, perhaps in sales."
"I will!" cried the old gentleman. The other nodded more than enough to indicate the same. And it was clear they meant to do it.
"Thank you," said Cratchit. "I am much obliged to you. " And with the interaction in the street, and the two gentlemen, Cratchits outward confidence grew.
He went to the asylum, strode to the door, and it being Christmas, pounded on it thoroughly before it was answered. After properly identifying himself and presenting the documentation, he was still being held up by some petty administrative details, requiring one to fill the palm of the hand of some petty little despot.
"I say, if you don't release my charge, one Ebeneezer Scrooge this instant, I will not be responsible for the outcome."
"The out come to what?" asked one of the palms to be padded, "You still have not the, requirements, for such a request."
But the spirits of Christmas filled Ol' Bob with the vigor and energy of the season, and suffice to say, not one of the administrative peons in that room , that Christmas day, ever had seen a flying, roundhouse kick to the head, not in such a manner. The quick dispatch of the second orderly, by means of the official notary stamp, several times pounded on his forehead, left the third to apply the stamp; on the required papers, with traces of blood and hair. But it was all done most proper and in such a haste, Ebneezer Scrooge was standing outside the gate with his new vice President in no time.
The shareholder's meeting was held. The majority shareholder was easily defeated in his quest to eradicate Robert Cratchit and put it to a vote. As, like everything in life, the unexpected occurs and new pathways open. Two businessmen, whom both the Cratchit of old, and the Scrooge of old, had long befriended as powerbrokers to the monied gentry, pressed for Scrooge to assume acting position, Chairman of the Board. Scrooge, having more than enough shares of his own, to leverage the vote, bought even more of his company back, and did gain control completely of Scrooge and Marley.
Immediately, Scrooge and Marley, S&M, was dissolved and restructured as Scrooge, Cratchit, Unlimited & Marley, and the sign went up, by the best signmaker in London, proclaiming SCUM to all.
The union complained and stalled, and had work slow downs with threats of strike. But the new CEO, Robert Cratchit had created, what appeared, from thin air a workforce,. A brilliant move by a rising chief executive officer. All this was helped along by the strangely coincidental deaths, as two leading union organizers and one former major shareholder, were all three found floating in the Thames with a sprig of holly stuck in their arse.
I have dear reader, have leapt ahead of the storyline in my exurberance, I digress, if I may with apologies.
The best of this tale, was the day after the shareholder's meeting, the day after Christmas, when Robert Cratchit raced to the office as to be there early.
Oh he was early there. If he could only be there first, and catch Fred Smyth coming late! As the sloth could not even attend the meeting the day before, as he thought he was to be anointed, surely, he'd be in today, if only to rob the till. That was the thing he had set his heart upon.
And he did it; yes, he did. The clock struck nine. No Fred. A quarter past. No Fred. He was full eighteen minutes and a half behind his time. Not unusual for a man of his ilk. Cratchit sat with his door wide open, that he might see him come into the Tank.
His hat was off, before he opened the door; his comforter too. He sauntered to his desk and then stood transfixed, like he's seen a ghost, for there was Cratchit at his desk, too.
"Hello," meekly said Cratchit, in his accustomed voice, as near as he could feign it. "How come your late?"
"I told you I wouldn't be back till the new year, I'm only here a short while," said Fred. "How is it you are here? At all?"
"A short while, indeed" repeated Cratchit. "Yes. I think you are. Step this way, if you please."
"Excuse me, dear Uncle but, I really haven't the time" annoyed said Fred, I was making rather merry yesterday," he laughed, "but, you? You're suppose to be…"
"Gone? Ha, I'm afraid you have been badly misinformed," said Cratchit, "I am not going to stand this sort of thing any longer. And therefore," he continued, leaping from his stool, he grabbed Fred by both shoulders and kissed him squarely on the lips, "I knew it was you all along Fredo"
Fred trembled, and got a little nearer to the ruler. He had a momentary idea of knocking Cratchit down with it, and escaping. For now he knew, that Uncle knew, and the game was up. His tone was different, his demeanor and how he held himself, his confidence and the mad look of a self assured man in his convictions. Oh the scheming and stealing, wheeling and dealing, were up allright, FredO.
"Tim," said Cratchit, with an earnestness that could not be mistaken, and, unnoticed before, but from behind a curtain in the alcove of the office, stepped Tim."Mr. Smyth here, is not conducive to our endeavors anymore, or ever was for that matter, he is dismissed from his post, effective immediately. Business is business, nothing personel, Fred, my nephew, my brother. Tim, please escort FredO, down to the docks, come back alone this very afternoon, and we'll discuss other matters over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop. Alone," smiled Cratchit. And Tim nodded he understood fully what was said, grabbed his crutch and poked insistently against Fred's back, and to Fred he said, "Bumplug."
Cratchit was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who stopped all this Holly Jolly stuff and applied his craft to taking care of his father's business. Daughters Martha and Belinda, with craft learned on their knees, became the head women of a burgeoning SCUM enterprise, to which photographs of them with themselves, with implements, with others, and with each other; were printed and distributed in all manner, with fantastic return of investment.
The old Cock and Swallow was bought and completely refurbished. Lights, statuary, carpeting throughout, with gaming tables, and spinning wheels, every game of chance or that which to bet imaginable, with food and beverage, follies burlesque shows with great impersonators of the Ghost of Christmas Present, and twice nightly no less.
Permits, and ordinances were easily drawn up and passed by local boards and politicians in order to facilitate any and all of SCUM's enterprises and many entertainment venues,( sometimes a simple indiscreet photograph was enough to sway favor, sometimes a visit from Tim). Why even the recently widowed Mrs. Smyth, had employ in one of the more higher priced suites, entertaining many with her talents, sometimes all at once.
Cratchit became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.
He had no further intercourse with Spirits, but lived upon the principles learned that very night, and ever afterwards; and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, and emphasized in his own special way, God Bless Us, Every One!
I have labored on this Ghastly little book, to lower the intellectual quota of literature, which shall not put my readers out of humor with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their collective consciousness unpleasantly, should you not think to rate this 5* or otherwise.
Merry Christmas and Health and Happiness for the year to come
your faithful Friend and Servant,