This play is just not coming together, our rehearsal of Act Three has just been a disaster!
Act Three: The Second of the Three Spirits
Narrator: Awaking in the middle of a prodigiously tough snore, Uncle awaited the appearance of the second spirit. Yet now, as the clock finished striking...Nothing.
Uncle: Where’s he got to then? I do so hate to be kept waiting…
Narrator: As Uncle lay upon his bed, the very core and centre of a blaze of ruddy light seemed to come from the adjoining room. He got up softly and shuffled in his purple slippers to the door. The moment Uncle’s hand was on the lock, a strange voice called him by his name, and bade him enter. He obeyed.
It was his own room. There was no doubt about that. But it had undergone a surprising transformation. The walls and ceiling were hung with living green, the crisp leaves of holly, mistletoe, and ivy. A mighty blaze went roaring up the chimney. Heaped up on the floor, to form a kind of throne, were turkeys, geese, game, poultry, brawn, great joints of meat, sucking-pigs, long wreaths of sausages, mince-pies, plum-puddings, barrels of oysters, red-hot chestnuts, cherry-cheeked apples, juicy oranges, luscious pears, immense twelfth-cakes, and seething bowls of punch, that made the chamber dim with their delicious steam. Upon this couch, there sat a giant mass of quivering blue jelly with small glittering eyes and a large slippery mouth. It held a glowing torch, high up, to shed its light on Uncle, as he came peeping round the door.
Jellytussle: Come in!, Come in! and know me better, elephant!
Uncle: Jellytussle? Has Beaver sent you over to spoil my Christmas Eve?
Jellytussle: No, I am the Ghost of Christmas Present!
Uncle: Oh right, yes, of course – I thought Gubbins was going to play that part.
Jellytussle: Well, you’ve got me instead.
Uncle: Well, this is a splendid feast, you have laid on for me!
Jellytussle: Yeah! But you paid for it all! We nicked the money from the piggy bank by your bed! Yum – this ham is delicious!
Uncle: Well, I suppose one should lay on light refreshments – but you could at least wait for the interval.
Jellytussle: Is it O.K. if I take some of this home with me ? – All my fellow brothers and comrades in the Badfort Revolutionary Front could do with a good Xmas nosh up.
Uncle: I suppose, as it is Christmas, yes. But, can we get on with the play please? Spirit, conduct me where you will. I went forth last night and we learnt many lessons on the importance of entrepreneurship and good citizenship. I am sure that that we will learn many useful life lessons tonight!
Jellytussle: Touch my robe!
Narrator: The room, the fire, the ruddy glow, the hour of night, all disappeared and they stood in the streets of Badgertown on Christmas morning, where the badgers made a rough, but brisk and not unpleasant kind of music, in scraping the snow from the pavement in front of their dwellings, and from the tops of their burrows.
Uncle: Why, there is Beaver Hateman, carrying a placard with ‘Anarchy Now!” writ large upon it. What manner of mischief is he up to?
Postbadger: Hi Mister Hateman, a Merry Xmas to you!
Hateman: Yeah, but merrier for the fat tyrant in his castle! – look mate, all those Christmas cards you have to deliver – is the King of the Badgers paying you any more for his “Royal” mail? No, of course not! Protest! Revolt! Sabotage! They couldn’t have Christmas without you!
Postbadger: (doubtfully) I couldn’t do that - the King has promised us an extra half crown!
Uncle: What a good example of citizenship!
Jellytussle: Exploitation, more like!
Uncle: No! that’s not in the script – your supposed to say what a wonderful example of the Christmas spirit!
Narrator: The Ghost of Christmas Present and Uncle follow Hateman into a General store.
Shopkeeper: Merry Christmas, Beaver!
Hateman: The good thing about Christmas is all the trade you are going to lose over the two days you capitalist pig!
Shopkeeper: I sell so much before Christmas that it takes me two days to count all the extra money! Can I interest you in this electronic ‘Uncle’ doll? They are the merchandising hit of the year!
Hateman: Bah Humbug!
Narrator: As Hateman shuffles out, he hides a large casket of ham under his sackcloth!
Uncle: He has just stolen from that shop!
Jellytussle: I didn’t see nuffink!
Hateman: Yah Boo Unc – the shopkeeper can’t hear you – your not really here remember!
Uncle: Disgraceful, you have just ad-libbed al that! Where next spirit?
Narrator: They went on, invisible, as they had been before, into the suburbs of the town.
Uncle: That's Bob Scratchit's house.
Jellytussle: Yeah, Sigismund didn’t need a costume he just dyed his sackcloth blue!
Uncle: But I gave you lot £150 for costumes! – I suppose you have spent it all on Black Tom?
Mrs Scratchit: (to her children) What has ever got your precious father then? And your sister, Little Liz!
Narrator: In comes Bob, the father, his threadbare sackcloth darned up and brushed, to look seasonable; and Little Liz upon his shoulder. Alas for Little Liz, she bears a little crutch and her limbs are supported by a skewer!
Mrs Scratchit: How was she at church?
Bob Scratchit: She stuck a skewer in the vicar! She told me that she hoped the people saw her in church because then we could stand outside with a begging bowl !
Mrs Scratchit: Oh bless her!
Bob Scratchit: It worked too! I reckon we got about £50 outta them suckers! It’s O.K. Little Liz you can take the irons off now!
Little Liz: Thank Gawd for that – they really make my bloomin’ legs itch!
Bob Scratchit: Unc was there – he’s always a big softy at Christmas – Little Liz hobbled around a bit and he was soon blubbin’ and handed over a gold sovereign! Mind you he made sure everyone saw and did his usual boastin’ speech about the importance of filanthropy!
Uncle: This all wrong – I did not write that and that’s not a little girl – that’s Hitmouse!
Jellytussle: We couldn’t bribe any kids to do it so he said he would dress up as a lickle girl.
Uncle: Well he makes a very ugly little girl!
Hitmouse: Shut yer face, Unc!
Uncle: Can we please get back to the story as written?
Bob Scratchit: A Merry Christmas to us all, my dears. Unc! I’ll give you Unc, the Founder of the Feast!
Little Liz: Yeah! The old sucker!
Mrs. Cratchit: The Founder of the Feast indeed! I wish I had him here. I’d give him a piece of my mind to feast upon, lording it over the proletariat all the time!
Little Liz: Yeah! Lets sing a song
Under a spreading Chestnut tree, the village tyrant stands; Uncle, the bicycle thief, With large and sinewy hands, And the muscles of his waving trunk, As strong as iron bands!
Uncle: Enough! No more rehearsal today! You are turning this play into a travesty!
Jellytussle: Don’t you want to know if Little Liz lives?
Uncle: Lives? I tell you what is going to happen to Little Liz….I am going to give her a good kicking up!
And that, a dear reader is what I did. Hitmouse went flying over the ramparts of Homeward…..a well deserved Christmas gift from me!