A Boxing-Day Ballad
Sun 26 December 2004 by William H. Hsu and David Salo
Reprinted with permission.
Ban Cratchit: banazir
Tripenezer Scrooge: Tripitaka
Bilbo Marley: banazir
Ainu of Boxing Day Past: banazir
Mr. Brandywig: Tripitaka
Ophelia Bracegirdle: banazir
Ainu of Boxing Day Present: banazir
Theodorus Scrooge Sandyman: banazir
Nazgul of Boxing Day Yet to Come: banazir
Executor of Wills, the Westfarthing: banazir
Boy in the street: banazir
[20:24:32] <Tripitaka> bah!
[20:26:27] <Tripitaka> humbug!
[20:27:05] *** Banazir is now known as Ban-Cratchit
[20:27:13] <Ban-Cratchit> But Mr. Salo!
[20:27:18] <Ban-Cratchit> It's Boxing Day!
[20:31:13] *** Tripitaka is now known as Tripenezer_Scrooge
[20:31:20] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Boxing Day, eh!
[20:31:29] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> The only box you'll get from me's a box on the ear!
[20:31:32] <Ban-Cratchit> Yes! The Second Day of Christmas sir!
[20:31:42] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Second day! My word!
[20:31:44] <Ban-Cratchit> Think of the wee sproglets, Mr. Scrooge!
[20:31:51] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Isn't one day enough for these layabouts?
[20:31:58] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Back to work! Back to work!
[20:32:11] * Ban-Cratchit hurries back to work
[20:32:17] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I don't pay my secretaries to loaf about
[20:32:59] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Now then... dot and carry five... and the Cottons owe me....
[20:33:10] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> twelve shillings halfpenny.
[20:34:04] * Ban-Cratchit records it
[20:34:06] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Whilst the Greenhands have beggared themselves for the handsome sum of...
[20:34:32] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> One pound, three shillings sixpence.
[20:34:40] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> All comes from living a wastrel life!
[20:36:11] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> And their thirteen superfluous progeny. Hmm... for coal in winter, seven shillings thruppence...
[20:36:52] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> ...for mending a broken windowpane, two shillings;
[20:37:17] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> For replacing the guttering, fourteen shillings and six;
[20:37:49] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> For roof repairs, four pounds and a half;
[20:38:07] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> For an additional tunnel to be dug, ten pound.
[20:38:43] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Let me see, let me see... fourteen pound, ten shillings, and fourteen is twenty-four;
[20:39:41] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> that makes fifteen and four and six, then add two for six and six, add seven and three for thirteen and nine;
[20:39:59] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> for a grand total of fifteen pound, thirteen shillings ninepence.
[20:40:07] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> What say you to that, Cratchit?
[20:42:33] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> £15, 13s., 9d. in debt, all because they would not bear up under the minor inconvenience of a leaky roof and draughty windows!
[20:43:32] <Ban-Cratchit> How wasteful, sir!
[20:43:45] * Ban-Cratchit agrees placatingly
[20:44:10] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> And if they pay not by the first of the year, #3 Bagshot Row is mine.
[20:44:18] * Tripenezer_Scrooge rubs long skinny fingers together
[20:44:19] * Ban-Cratchit marks it down
[20:44:49] <Ban-Cratchit> Shall I notify Master Sackville-Baggins to check on the Bag End garden, sir?
[20:45:00] <Ban-Cratchit> In advance of the eviction, that is
[20:45:09] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> A fitting reward for the spendthrift; to be cast out, with their thirteen squalling brats, into the hard, flinty streets on the coldest of Afteryule nights...
[20:45:17] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> What's that, eh? Why of course.
[20:45:24] <Ban-Cratchit> I should not be surprised if they uproot the potatoes on their way out
[20:45:33] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Though I should have thought Master Sandyman would have been the hobbit for the job.
[20:45:39] <Ban-Cratchit> (sotto voce) Those poor Gamwiches
[20:46:07] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Eh, eh? What's that? Mumbling on the job, Sir?
[20:47:07] <Ban-Cratchit> Euh, eh, no sir
[20:47:11] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I'll have no mumblers or mush-mouths in my employ, Cratchit. Remember that. To your profit.
[20:47:16] <Ban-Cratchit> that is to say, yes sir
[20:47:25] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Very good, Cratchit.
[20:48:50] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Now, let us go out into the streets and pick the pockets of beggar-boys; for they surely do not deserve their ill-gotten gains of the evening, be they never so foisted upon them by soft-minded fools.
[20:53:15] <Ban-Cratchit> Isn't it a little cold even for the urchins to be out at night, sir?
[21:02:01] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> It is indeed, but I expect to find them there nonetheless...
[21:02:24] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> With their hands in my pocket, I doubt not! Well, turn-about is fair play, they say.
[21:02:36] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Let's see how the little beggar-thieves like having their pockets picked.
[21:02:46] <Ban-Cratchit> Very good, sir
[21:02:48] * Ban-Cratchit sighs
[21:02:55] * Ban-Cratchit fetches Mr. Scrooge's coat
[21:03:04] * Ban-Cratchit notices it is getting worn very thin
[21:03:16] <Ban-Cratchit> Shall I mend this (again) for you, sir?
[21:03:39] <Ban-Cratchit> Or do you wish me to send away to Sackville for a new one?
[21:05:18] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> New coat! A new coat! What are you saying, ma... hobbit?
[21:05:36] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Why should I buy a new coat when the old one still holds together?
[21:05:53] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Do you think me as much of a wastrel as those yokels of Hobbiton?
[21:06:05] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Mind thy words, Cratchit, I say, mind thy words.
[21:06:28] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> There's a good seven years left in this coat; aye, and then some.
[21:06:44] * Tripenezer_Scrooge snorts to himself. "New coat!"
[21:07:03] <Ban-Cratchit> Yes, sir. Of course, sir.
[21:07:24] * Ban-Cratchit brushes a few stray threads off Master Scrooge's coat
[21:07:33] * Ban-Cratchit notices there aren't more than a few threads left
[21:07:51] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Eh, Cratchit, do you hear... the bells of Yule have a strange sound tonight.
[21:08:09] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> A sound less like a merry peal than, shall we say,
[21:08:16] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> a mournful clanking of iron.
[21:08:33] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> What's the matter, Cratchit?
[21:09:26] * Ban-Cratchit is dumfounded
[21:09:38] <Ban-Cratchit> It's... an ap-ap
[21:09:43] <Ban-Cratchit> ... apparition, sir.
[21:10:08] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> An apparition, Cratchit? Why, if it's an apparition, why don't it appear!?
[21:10:14] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Show thyself, apparition!
[21:10:27] *** Ban-Cratchit is now known as Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley
[21:10:32] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> SCROOOOOOOOGE!
[21:10:39] * Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley rattles his chains
[21:10:43] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Why... what is this I see before mine eyes?
[21:10:54] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Not Bilbo Marley, sure, not Marley.
[21:11:06] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> It... is... I...
[21:11:14] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Marley's been dead, or rightfully reckoned so, lo these sixty years...
[21:11:23] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> No!
[21:11:33] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> And he should be resting easily in his grave, if ever a hobbit had rest.
[21:11:39] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> Noooooo!
[21:11:45] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> If you be Marley, then tell me...
[21:11:47] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> Hear me, Scrooge!
[21:11:54] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> I am he, the same
[21:12:00] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> ... your partner of old
[21:12:00] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Whence hadst thou thy Ring?
[21:12:32] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> I gat it of a gypsy
[21:12:35] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> A gypsy of Moria
[21:12:51] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> Who knew not what he sold me
[21:12:57] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> for a pocketful of string
[21:13:08] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Lies! Now I know thee for Marley, for sure Marley never told the truth when honesty would impede the earning of a penny.
[21:13:13] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> or nothing
[21:13:30] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> Scrooge! Hear me!
[21:13:34] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> I must WARN thee
[21:13:42] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I hear thee, Marley
[21:14:04] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Though I guard well my wallet when th'art around.
[21:15:32] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> I am doomed to walk the earth
[21:15:42] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> clad in the fetters that I forged for myself
[21:16:04] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Forged?
[21:16:11] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I never knew thee for a smith, man.
[21:16:28] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Nor didst thou ever lift anything heavier than a pen or a gold coin.
[21:17:16] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> It goes most ill for thee to wear these chains, when in life thou hadst worn an embroidered weskit.
[21:17:30] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> What be these chains?
[21:19:00] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> They are the firstfruits of my greed!
[21:19:07] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> Behold!
[21:19:16] * Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley rattles his chains loudly
[21:19:20] * Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley groans
[21:19:31] * Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley leans in close to Scrooge
[21:21:50] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Well?
[21:22:06] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I behold them well, but mark'ee Marley
[21:22:17] * Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley unwraps his foot bindings
[21:22:22] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> If these be the firstfruits of thy greed, then what of me? For truth be told,
[21:22:31] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Your greed was never the match of mine.
[21:22:49] * Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley lifts one hairy foot, which drops completely off his leg
[21:22:51] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> You would only steal candy from a baby
[21:23:08] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Whilst I would steal candy, pacifier, and dirty diaper too.
[21:23:21] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> The candy, for the sweet taste;
[21:23:26] * Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley rewraps his foot
[21:23:42] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> the pacifier, for completeness of greed;
[21:23:49] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> and the diaper, for sheer rotten meanness.
[21:24:03] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> No, you were never my equal in life for greed, Marley;
[21:24:23] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> In death, you have nought to show for your greed but chains and hairy feet.
[21:24:32] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> But come, what is this warning?
[21:25:39] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> I come to tell you
[21:25:43] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> that this very night
[21:25:55] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> you will be visited by three Ainur
[21:26:12] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Three?
[21:26:16] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> THREE!
[21:26:21] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> Mark them well
[21:26:24] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Three.
[21:26:27] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> They will show thee things
[21:26:31] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> that have been
[21:26:34] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> things that are
[21:26:34] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Coins, I hope
[21:26:41] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> and things that have not yet come to pass
[21:26:42] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Bank bills
[21:26:52] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Wait! Marley!
[21:26:58] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> If you heed them not
[21:27:01] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> Your fate...
[21:27:04] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> These things that have not yet come to pass...
[21:27:04] * Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley fades
[21:27:10] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Are they things that *shall* be?
[21:27:16] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Or merely things that *may* be?
[21:27:28] <Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley> ... your fate will be the same as mine...
[21:27:33] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Confound this ghost!
[21:27:50] *** Ghost_of_Bilbo_Marley is now known as Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past
[21:27:52] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> He vanishes ere he can answer the real philosophical questions of the day.
[21:28:02] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Well, my appetite is quite put out.
[21:28:04] * Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past is round and ruddy
[21:28:10] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I had best turn in... what?
[21:28:16] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> Worry not about these relativistic puzzles, Scrooge
[21:28:21] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> And who may you be, young whippersnapper?
[21:28:33] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> And how dare you address me so impertinently?
[21:28:42] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> I am the Ainu of Boxing Day of Yore
[21:28:58] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> Are you ready?
[21:29:03] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Of Yore, eh? They why dost thou look so young and healthful?
[21:29:13] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Should you not be old, gaunt and grey? Like me, eh?
[21:29:15] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> Indeed, I represent YOUR Yore
[21:29:24] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> My Your?
[21:29:32] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> Your past, your youth
[21:29:35] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> Misspent as it was
[21:29:46] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> Come quickly! I will show you
[21:29:49] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Misspent! Why I counted every copper!
[21:29:49] * Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past beckons
[21:29:55] * Tripenezer_Scrooge sighs and follows
[21:30:00] * Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past takes flight
[21:30:16] * Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past shows Tripenezer the meaning of haste
[21:30:16] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Now where is this ainu leading me?
[21:30:25] * Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past lands on a smial roof
[21:30:26] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I could swear I have seen these holes before...
[21:30:36] * Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past rolls down the side of the hill
[21:30:45] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Were it not against my morals to swear.
[21:30:50] * Tripenezer_Scrooge rolls down after him
[21:30:52] * Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past lands with a whump on a fair manicured lawn
[21:31:01] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> Listen!
[21:31:03] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> As you wish!
[21:31:07] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> Hark! Do you hear the music?
[21:31:14] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I hear... krumhorns!
[21:31:35] * Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past points in the direction of a fast jig being played by a band of young Shire-folk
[21:31:50] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Young devils! They are doing the springle-ring!
[21:32:01] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> (A pretty dance, but rather vigorous.)
[21:32:02] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> They are! And look!
[21:32:10] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Where?
[21:32:35] * Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past points to a dapper-looking hobbit dancing with a very fair young Shire-lass
[21:33:32] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> And who may that be?
[21:33:40] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> He looks, I own, somewhat familiar.
[21:33:42] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> Do you not recognize them?
[21:34:11] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> It is you... and Ophelia
[21:34:21] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Ophelia!
[21:34:26] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Nay, say it is not so!
[21:34:32] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> Her sister Lobelia married Otho Sackville-Baggins
[21:34:33] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I know not that name... not that...
[21:34:39] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Not young Ophelia!
[21:35:06] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> The same, the very same
[21:35:15] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> Do you not remember the jig?
[21:35:25] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Have pity on a poor old hobbit and do not taunt him with distant memories..
[21:35:25] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> Listen... listen to the tune
[21:35:46] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> And look
[21:35:48] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Once, when young and wasteful, I thought I could show a fine leg with the best of them
[21:35:54] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> Over yonder
[21:36:10] * Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past points to a spry and jovial hobbit, very big in the waist
[21:36:10] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Why, what is there?
[21:36:13] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> Your old master
[21:36:16] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> It's old Mr. Brandywig
[21:36:25] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Brandywig!
[21:36:51] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> See him give the Afteryule toast!
[21:37:01] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Why, that hobbit was free with his drink and his gold. Too free, one might say.
[21:37:07] * Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past lets Scrooge watch
[21:37:24] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> Ah, but you did not think so then, did you?
[21:37:27] *** Tripenezer_Scrooge is now known as Mr_Brandywig
[21:37:32] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> You were happy then... so was Ophelia
[21:37:35] <Mr_Brandywig> My dear Grumps and Chumps!
[21:37:48] <Mr_Brandywig> Spooks, Gooks, and Toffs!
[21:38:01] <Mr_Brandywig> Wogginses and Tiffins!
[21:38:25] <Mr_Brandywig> Burks, Smirks, and Strongfoots!
[21:39:06] *** Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past is now known as Reveler
[21:39:11] <Reveler> STRONGFEET!
[21:39:21] <Mr_Brandywig> Strongfoots!
[21:39:34] * Reveler toasts Mr_Brandywig
[21:39:40] * Reveler takes a huge swig
[21:39:44] * Reveler swigs
[21:39:45] <Mr_Brandywig> I bid you all a hearty and happy Afteryule!
[21:39:46] * Reveler sways
[21:39:50] <Reveler> Yaaaaaah!
[21:40:01] *** Mr_Brandywig is now known as Tripenezer_Scrooge
[21:40:04] * Reveler keels over and snores loudly
[21:40:10] *** Reveler is now known as Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past
[21:40:16] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Old Master Strongfoot could never 'old 'is liquor
[21:40:25] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> Those were the days, eh, Tripenezer?
[21:40:44] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> Halcyon days, halcyon days... but they could not last for-ever
[21:40:46] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> That is all over. It was Bad for Business.
[21:40:49] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> Look!
[21:40:56] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> There?
[21:41:07] * Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past reaches for Scrooge's hand as the world shifts
[21:41:20] *** Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past is now known as Ophelia
[21:41:26] * Ophelia is crying
[21:41:46] <Ophelia> You've... changed, Trippy
[21:41:48] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Why?
[21:41:55] <Ophelia> You're not the hobbit you were
[21:42:02] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I am the same today as I was yesterday...
[21:42:07] <Ophelia> All you care about is your work!
[21:42:10] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Merely... more... responsible.
[21:42:23] <Ophelia> Always the accounts
[21:42:25] <Ophelia> the ferries
[21:42:30] <Ophelia> the brewery
[21:42:31] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> An honest pinch earns an honest penny, as the saying is
[21:42:44] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> And an excess of ale leads to riotousness
[21:42:46] <Ophelia> Your designs on the mill
[21:42:47] <Ophelia> the Green Dragon
[21:42:59] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> And pipe-weed in plenty impedes punctuality.
[21:43:02] <Ophelia> even old Tobias's pipeweed plantation!
[21:43:14] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> So it is written on the walls of all of my new mills and factories
[21:43:16] * Ophelia sobs brokenheartedly
[21:43:21] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Built of solid stone
[21:43:27] <Ophelia> I wish you well, Tripenezer
[21:43:28] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I'm a success, Ophelia!
[21:43:35] <Ophelia> I wish you very happy and very, very rich
[21:43:42] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> And you can share it with me
[21:43:56] <Ophelia> No, Tripenezer. It's over.
[21:44:15] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> You might be queen of the plantations
[21:44:22] <Ophelia> I won't share a hole with your mistress of mithril
[21:44:26] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Mistress of the millhouses
[21:45:05] <Ophelia> Not even though she be grown plumper than old Roper's wife
[21:45:10] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> It's mithril that makes the world go round, Ophelia... and if you can't... or won't understand that...
[21:45:11] <Ophelia> should she satisfy you
[21:45:41] * Ophelia returns Tripenezer's ring
[21:45:45] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> There will never be another, Ophelia
[21:45:55] <Ophelia> Do not say that, Tripenezer.
[21:46:02] <Ophelia> There already IS another.
[21:46:08] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I shall devote myself to monopolizing the wealth of the Westfarthing from this hour henceforth.
[21:46:12] * Ophelia gets up quickly and runs away
[21:46:15] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Say not so, Ophelia...
[21:46:26] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> What in the blue blazes can the wench mean?
[21:46:34] *** Ophelia is now known as Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past
[21:46:39] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Someone has been telling tales about me...
[21:46:45] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> And that someone can only be...
[21:46:49] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Ranugad Galbasi!
[21:46:52] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> You married that selfsame day, Tripenezer
[21:46:57] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Didn't.
[21:46:58] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> No, not he
[21:47:05] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> All the Westfarthing knew
[21:47:16] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> What, all?
[21:47:18] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> The same wife you have kept a house, a bed with
[21:47:29] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> lo these seventy years
[21:47:34] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> My bed has been cold these seventy years!
[21:47:51] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> Yes
[21:47:59] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> Cold, but filled with mithril
[21:48:44] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Aye, the mattress is a bit lumpy at times
[21:48:52] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> But is this all you came to tell me?
[21:49:07] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I knew it well ere you came.
[21:49:23] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Begone, Ainu, if you have naught better lesson to teach!
[21:49:32] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> My time grows short
[21:49:39] * Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past has a lean and gaunt look
[21:49:50] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> (which is to say, less than plump)
[21:49:51] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> This mithril may not have warmed my bed, but it has made me a hobbit to be reckoned with
[21:50:04] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Your countenance has changed, Ainu
[21:50:09] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past> And see how they RECKON!
[21:50:13] * Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past gasps
[21:50:14] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Did you expect me to be more pliable to your will/
[21:50:30] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Know that Tripenezer Scrooge is made of sterner stuff.
[21:50:33] *** Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Past is now known as Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present
[21:50:42] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present> Aye!
[21:50:52] * Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present wears a crown of buckleberries
[21:51:05] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Why, who is this?
[21:51:18] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> With the oddest hat I've seen these many years.
[21:51:21] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Buckleberries!
[21:51:26] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> They're well out of season.
[21:51:42] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Do you block my way, Sir?
[21:51:50] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Know that I have good friends amongst the Law.
[21:51:59] * Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present is dressed in a forest green robe
[21:52:10] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Tip your hat to your betters when you meet them on the street.
[21:52:44] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> And green! Black's best for a gentlehobbit.
[21:52:44] * Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present wears a stylish belt of donkey-leather
[21:53:03] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present> It is a feasting day!
[21:53:07] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present> Come come!
[21:54:20] * Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present reaches out his hand for Scrooge's
[21:54:26] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Feasting, eh?
[21:54:37] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Well, if the food's free (to me) I sha'n't grudge it.
[21:54:50] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> But I pity the fool who wastes his feasts on all and sundry --
[21:55:03] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> The latter being those who go out by the back way and return again by the front.
[21:55:07] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present> Look where we are! It's old Gaffer Gamgee's!
[21:55:34] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Gamgee! Why that hobbit cheated me of my fair Ophelia lo these seventy years agone!
[21:55:59] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I've half a mind to throw him out on the street!
[21:55:59] * Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present looks momentarily surprised, but continues.
[21:56:10] *** Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present is now known as Hamfast_Gamgee
[21:56:16] <Hamfast_Gamgee> Eat hearty, everyone!
[21:56:19] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Bah!
[21:56:19] <Hamfast_Gamgee> Tater stew!
[21:56:22] <Hamfast_Gamgee> Tater pie!
[21:56:25] <Hamfast_Gamgee> Mashed taters!
[21:56:30] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Taters are for the poor!
[21:56:32] <Hamfast_Gamgee> Sweet tater pudding!
[21:56:40] <Hamfast_Gamgee> Tater skin fritters!
[21:56:51] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I dine on... hm. What *do* I dine on?
[21:57:05] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I have money, I have wealth to eat like a king...
[21:57:05] <Hamfast_Gamgee> (Roast goose)
[21:57:10] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> But what did I have for supper?
[21:57:26] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Something's put it out of my mind.
[21:57:40] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Strange thing, that. I've quite lost my appetite.
[21:58:08] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Say, Gamgee!
[21:58:13] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> What, can't he hear me?
[21:58:17] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Gamgee, what ho!
[21:58:49] *** Hamfast_Gamgee is now known as Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present
[21:58:57] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present> He can, indeed, not hear you
[21:59:02] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present> Because he is going deaf!
[21:59:06] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present> But even so
[21:59:10] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present> It is time we were going!
[21:59:16] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present> To your nephew's...
[21:59:19] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present> ... to Ted's!
[21:59:41] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Ted Sandyman?
[21:59:54] *** Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present is now known as Theodorus_Scrooge_Sandyman
[22:00:03] * Theodorus_Scrooge_Sandyman laughs with his friends
[22:00:14] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Now that's a boy after my heart
[22:00:22] * Theodorus_Scrooge_Sandyman hears some bawdy jokes and joins in
[22:00:25] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> He'll skin a flint as soon as knap it
[22:00:34] <Theodorus_Scrooge_Sandyman> Come, take some drink, everyone!
[22:00:46] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Though I call all earth to witness I taught him not *that* language
[22:00:46] * Theodorus_Scrooge_Sandyman pours some of the old 1296
[22:00:58] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Nor to drink in such quantities, I'll be bound
[22:01:05] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I myself only take a little brandy
[22:01:10] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> For medicinal purposes, of course
[22:01:21] * Theodorus_Scrooge_Sandyman laughs as a rather nasty joke is told at Scrooge's expense
[22:01:29] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> The devil!
[22:01:39] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I'll teach him to laugh at my old bones!
[22:01:54] * Theodorus_Scrooge_Sandyman blushes as the jokes continue
[22:01:56] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> He'll not have a penny-piece of my wealth... I'll tear up my will, I shall!
[22:02:04] <Theodorus_Scrooge_Sandyman> Oh, Uncle Trippy isn't so bad...
[22:02:16] <Theodorus_Scrooge_Sandyman> ... he can't help being so miserly
[22:02:22] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Trippy, eh? So I'm Trippy to him?
[22:02:29] <Theodorus_Scrooge_Sandyman> It's the pressure of running the Shire, you see
[22:02:34] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I'll trip him! He'll get a trip he won't expect!
[22:02:45] <Theodorus_Scrooge_Sandyman> He works so very hard
[22:02:54] <Theodorus_Scrooge_Sandyman> It's made him old before his time, it has
[22:02:54] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Pressure, my boy... you won't be able to stand the pressure when I squeeze you...
[22:03:03] <Theodorus_Scrooge_Sandyman> What's that? He's always been old?
[22:03:10] <Theodorus_Scrooge_Sandyman> Oh, no, no, t'isn't so!
[22:03:22] <Theodorus_Scrooge_Sandyman> He was young once, too, my father told me
[22:03:22] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Old? So now I'm to be a doddering dotard with six hairy toes in the grave?
[22:03:43] <Theodorus_Scrooge_Sandyman> "Sharku"? You know, one of his hired hands gave him that name?
[22:03:51] <Theodorus_Scrooge_Sandyman> Fellow out of the south, they say
[22:04:25] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> A south wind's an ill wind they say
[22:04:35] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> And it's an ill wind as blows no one any good.
[22:05:03] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Well, I'll think on this nevvy of mine
[22:05:12] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> He's a right rascal, but then who in this Shire is not?
[22:05:36] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Though I have tried and tried to set standards of decency for them all
[22:05:38] <Theodorus_Scrooge_Sandyman> It's Boxing Day!
[22:05:45] <Theodorus_Scrooge_Sandyman> What's Boxing Day without a dance, eh?
[22:05:51] * Theodorus_Scrooge_Sandyman dances with Rosie Cotton
[22:05:54] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Still they persist in flouting me and flaunting their festivities in my face.
[22:05:55] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Humbug!
[22:06:13] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Rosie Cotton, eh?
[22:06:29] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> How strange to see her here without young Master Gamwichy.
[22:06:55] *** Theodorus_Scrooge_Sandyman is now known as Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present
[22:07:03] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present> How strange, indeed
[22:07:13] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present> Right now they are setting forth from Imladris, I'll warrant
[22:07:14] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Young Master Gamwichy, who, this sennight hence, is to be flung unceremoniously into the street
[22:07:22] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> With his thirteen squalling younguns
[22:07:45] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Imladris? Fairy-tales! Fiddle-sticks!
[22:07:48] * Tripenezer_Scrooge snaps his fingers
[22:07:51] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present> I think he is visiting his friend in Riven-dell
[22:07:59] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I'll give that for the Lord of Imladris if ever I see him.
[22:08:06] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present> Together with his daughter, what was her name?
[22:08:11] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present> Elanor!
[22:08:32] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> In my young days we never had such fancy eldritch names
[22:09:08] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Just good honest names like Fredegund and Chrysoloras
[22:10:29] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present> Yes, Elanor
[22:10:34] * Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present begins to wheeze
[22:10:41] * Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present pulls out an asthma inhaler
[22:10:45] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present> Ahh... better.
[22:10:57] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present> Trasking mistletoe and buckleberry allergies
[22:11:07] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> If the Lord of Rivendell should wave his *Fairy* wand and make me plump again,
[22:11:12] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I might think something of him.
[22:11:31] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present> Plump? You are like to grow leaner first
[22:11:49] <Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present> LEANER
[22:11:59] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Aye, aye, lean like a hunting cat
[22:12:01] * Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present gasps as the world gets dark
[22:12:04] * Tripenezer_Scrooge 's eyes glitter
[22:12:10] *** Ainu_of_Boxing_Day_Present is now known as Shadowy_Figure
[22:12:18] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> What, ho?
[22:12:28] * Shadowy_Figure turns through a foggy vista
[22:12:36] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Are my eyes dimming?
[22:12:42] * Shadowy_Figure is the spitting image of the Witch-king of Angmar
[22:12:46] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I cannot tell where I am!
[22:12:55] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Help an old man find his way home!
[22:13:02] *** Shadowy_Figure is now known as Witch-king_of_Boxing_Day_Yet_t
[22:13:16] *** Witch-king_of_Boxing_Day_Yet_t is now known as WK_of_Boxing_Day_Yet_to_Come
[22:13:39] * WK_of_Boxing_Day_Yet_to_Come points
[22:13:49] * WK_of_Boxing_Day_Yet_to_Come extends a mace
[22:13:50] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I'm just a rich old man, although
[22:13:52] * WK_of_Boxing_Day_Yet_to_Come hisses
[22:13:55] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> My story's seldom told
[22:13:57] * WK_of_Boxing_Day_Yet_to_Come drops his mace
[22:14:02] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I have squandered my relationships
[22:14:06] * WK_of_Boxing_Day_Yet_to_Come extends a ghostly clawed hand
[22:14:09] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> For a pocket full of mithril
[22:14:22] * WK_of_Boxing_Day_Yet_to_Come nods
[22:14:55] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Whither leadst thou me, O spectre full of woe?
[22:14:57] * WK_of_Boxing_Day_Yet_to_Come reaches his hand out through the cold, clinging fog
[22:15:07] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I come, I come...
[22:16:14] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> This fog chills me to the bones.
[22:16:29] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I feel all hollow inside;
[22:16:29] * WK_of_Boxing_Day_Yet_to_Come lands on a grassy knoll outside Great Smials
[22:16:32] * WK_of_Boxing_Day_Yet_to_Come points
[22:16:36] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> And the world is turned to darkness without.
[22:16:44] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I cannot see, for all is hazy. But I smell...
[22:16:47] *** WK_of_Boxing_Day_Yet_to_Come is now known as Executor_of_Dead_Hobbits_Will
[22:16:48] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I smell the blood of the living.
[22:17:06] <Executor_of_Dead_Hobbits_Will> Ah, that's about the sum of it
[22:17:08] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Their shapes cast shadows in my mind,
[22:17:16] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Which only the noon sun destroys;
[22:17:19] <Executor_of_Dead_Hobbits_Will> His sister's son the only living kin
[22:17:25] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> And I see many things invisible to the naked eye.
[22:17:25] <Executor_of_Dead_Hobbits_Will> but gone off to Gondor
[22:17:32] <Executor_of_Dead_Hobbits_Will> To serve as squire at the court of the King
[22:17:46] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Who can he be speaking of? Not that renegade Gamgee, I'll warrant
[22:18:00] <Executor_of_Dead_Hobbits_Will> His only friends his creditors
[22:18:19] <Executor_of_Dead_Hobbits_Will> and the friends who would be, his debtors
[22:18:31] <Executor_of_Dead_Hobbits_Will> Rotting in the lockholes, the old Gaffer AND his son
[22:18:38] <Executor_of_Dead_Hobbits_Will> Poor Mrs. Gamwichy
[22:18:46] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Well, that's more cheerful, I dare say
[22:19:02] <Executor_of_Dead_Hobbits_Will> even his nephew, who used to keep her company when her husband was away on business
[22:19:04] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Poor Widow Rumble!
[22:19:32] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Though the scandal of her relationship with the elder Gamgee was such talk of Hobbiton it even reached *my* ears...
[22:20:14] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Well, I'll hear more.
[22:20:27] <Executor_of_Dead_Hobbits_Will> Ah, but the greatest tragedy is old Lotho
[22:20:50] <Executor_of_Dead_Hobbits_Will> Owed the old man so much that they took even his mother's umbrellas, rest her soul
[22:21:21] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Aye, he should never have sold his Southfarthing shares. But who is this old man?
[22:21:26] <Executor_of_Dead_Hobbits_Will> and the very day he starved to death along with that foreign fellow Wormtongue?
[22:21:32] <Executor_of_Dead_Hobbits_Will> The old man up and dies!
[22:21:36] * Executor_of_Dead_Hobbits_Will laughs heartily
[22:21:38] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Why, the only man I know of who Lotho owed was me!
[22:22:19] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> To laugh at an old man's funeral, 'tis an evil thing.
[22:22:50] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I'd give that fat lawyer what for... but what? My arms are stiff as ice, and I cannot move!
[22:24:35] *** Executor_of_Dead_Hobbits_Will is now known as WK_of_Boxing_Day_Yet_to_Come
[22:25:33] * WK_of_Boxing_Day_Yet_to_Come hisses
[22:25:36] * WK_of_Boxing_Day_Yet_to_Come points
[22:25:41] *** WK_of_Boxing_Day_Yet_to_Come is now known as Gravedigger
[22:25:57] <Gravedigger> Look at this...
[22:26:15] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> A grave, 'tis an ill omen.
[22:26:17] <Gravedigger> A jewel in this watch fob!
[22:26:29] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Why, is he a thief?
[22:26:51] <Gravedigger> Old fellow must have had more squirreled away that the solicitors who settled his estate didn't find out about
[22:27:11] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Aye, and they said old Marley had tunnels filled with gold *and* jools
[22:27:12] <Gravedigger> There was a silver spoon in his pocket, too, mind ye that.
[22:27:17] * Tripenezer_Scrooge chuckles to himself
[22:27:31] <Gravedigger> Marked "Labingi"
[22:27:42] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Why, I keep a spoon in *my* pocket;
[22:27:59] <Gravedigger> Must be the Labingis of Bagshot Row, but they haven't lived there for years.
[22:28:06] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> For those in the inns are always filthy. You'd take your life in your own hands soon as use a spoon at "The Green Dragon".
[22:28:09] <Gravedigger> Ever since that old boss threw them out
[22:29:38] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Go on, digger, dig your grave.
[22:29:48] <Gravedigger> I hear poor Maura is living up at Michel Delving
[22:29:50] <Gravedigger> Well, begging
[22:29:53] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> For graves must be dug, and accounts kept
[22:30:04] <Gravedigger> The Mayor takes him a little cram now and again
[22:30:07] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Dust to dust, and pennies to pence, as the saying is.
[22:30:16] <Gravedigger> Why look at this old body!
[22:30:21] <Gravedigger> It's almost fallen apart!
[22:30:27] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Now there's a fearsome sight!
[22:30:29] <Gravedigger> Hairless old feet
[22:30:41] <Gravedigger> And look at the pallor of these lips
[22:31:19] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> No Gondorian embalmer for this poor soul, it would seem...
[22:32:01] <Gravedigger> Feller's heart must have been smaller than a fallow deer's
[22:32:20] <Gravedigger> I see he was fond of hitting the miruvor, too
[22:32:44] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> It's a durty lie!
[22:32:52] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Er, why, who *can* he be talking about?
[22:32:52] <Gravedigger> Look at those bloodshot eyes
[22:33:26] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I see thy drift, O Witch-king;
[22:33:45] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> This poor devil's case is like to mine, sayest thou?
[22:34:19] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> But I have twelve hundred pound laid away in a funeral fund. I think not.
[22:34:21] <Gravedigger> I'll bet you if I cut open his liver with this penknife I'd fine naught but a lump of hardbake
[22:34:28] <Gravedigger> Let us see!
[22:34:30] * Gravedigger cuts
[22:34:42] * Gravedigger pulls out a cirrhotic grey liver
[22:34:50] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Mutilator! Resurrection-hobbit1
[22:34:56] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> The Law take thee!
[22:34:58] <Gravedigger> What did I tell you?
[22:35:03] * Gravedigger stuffs it back
[22:35:10] <Gravedigger> Eh, don't worry, Nob
[22:35:13] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Errggh.
[22:35:22] <Gravedigger> See, we sew up his waistcoat...
[22:35:26] <Gravedigger> like so...
[22:35:29] <Gravedigger> Good as new!
[22:35:38] <Gravedigger> Well, not that it IS new
[22:35:58] <Gravedigger> You'd think a fellow who could afford this watch fob could have afforded a better burial than this pauper's plot
[22:36:05] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Foul beasts. What manner of hobbit or Man taught them to sink so low, spirit of evil?
[22:36:25] <Gravedigger> I've a feeling that some solicitor is living high on the hog this Yuletide
[22:36:26] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Was his name...
[22:36:29] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Gamgee?
[22:36:50] <Gravedigger> I saw them auctioning off Bag End this very afternoon!
[22:37:00] * Tripenezer_Scrooge shudders
[22:37:08] <Gravedigger> Poor Gamwichys, nary a chance in the world they could afford the resale price
[22:37:17] <Gravedigger> After this fellow claimed it
[22:37:24] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Who? Who?
[22:37:30] <Gravedigger> Relation of the old boss of Hobbiton?
[22:37:40] <Gravedigger> Huh. I suppose he must be
[22:37:52] <Gravedigger> Haven't seen the old boss in half a year or more
[22:38:07] <Gravedigger> But he wasn't THIS ugly
[22:38:37] <Gravedigger> Well, look at this! What's this, another chain
[22:38:42] <Gravedigger> Fine gold, it seems
[22:38:50] * Gravedigger pulls out a small golden ring
[22:39:10] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Marley's Ring!
[22:39:42] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> It needed gold to breed gold, so they say...
[22:39:45] <Gravedigger> Didn't old Master Marley wear a chain much like this?
[22:39:57] <Gravedigger> I always wondered what he had at the end of it
[22:40:07] <Gravedigger> He always kept it deep in his pocket
[22:40:38] <Gravedigger> If old Sharkey came by he would curse and pull on the chain
[22:40:51] <Gravedigger> Once I saw him disappear into thin air, Nob, did I tell you that?
[22:41:16] <Gravedigger> But that was years and years ago, seventeen or eighteen
[22:41:20] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Folderol! Fiddle-dee-dee!
[22:41:24] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Humbug!
[22:41:53] <Gravedigger> before Sharkey turned the Gamwichys out
[22:42:30] <Gravedigger> Anyhow, on with it!
[22:42:49] * Gravedigger tosses a burlap sack over the corpse
[22:42:59] * Gravedigger dumps it unceremoniously into the open grave
[22:43:09] *** Gravedigger is now known as WK_of_Boxing_Day_Yet_to_Come
[22:43:22] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I see it all now!
[22:43:57] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I repent! I will be a good man from now on and freely spend my money on wasteful hobbitlings and their multifarious offspring!
[22:44:54] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> My money will flow to all and sundry, those who come in by the front gate and those who return by the back way!
[22:45:07] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> (Does he buy it?)
[22:45:11] * WK_of_Boxing_Day_Yet_to_Come points at the name on the stone
[22:45:22] <WK_of_Boxing_Day_Yet_to_Come> RIP TRIPENEZER SCROOGE
[22:45:30] * Tripenezer_Scrooge takes out a monocle and peers
[22:45:32] * WK_of_Boxing_Day_Yet_to_Come waves a ghostly hand
[22:45:48] * WK_of_Boxing_Day_Yet_to_Come sighs as the world blurs
[22:46:03] *** WK_of_Boxing_Day_Yet_to_Come is now known as Boy_in_the_Street
[22:46:16] <Boy_in_the_Street> Happy Boxing Day!
[22:46:16] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Hello, boy! Would you like sixpence for candy?
[22:46:21] <Boy_in_the_Street> Would I?
[22:46:24] <Boy_in_the_Street> Oh, joy!
[22:46:27] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Yes!
[22:46:39] <Boy_in_the_Street> What must I do, good sir?
[22:47:10] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Well, look for a young man, name of Cratchit, wandering the streets.
[22:47:26] <Boy_in_the_Street> Yes?
[22:47:57] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Send him here at once.
[22:49:45] <Boy_in_the_Street> I will
[22:49:47] * Boy_in_the_Street runs off
[22:49:52] *** Boy_in_the_Street is now known as Ban_Cratchit
[22:50:02] <Ban_Cratchit> You called for me, sir?
[22:50:04] <Ban_Cratchit> Some work?
[22:50:27] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Yes, Mr. Cratchit, come along.
[22:50:32] * Ban_Cratchit follows
[22:50:41] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I'm in an excellent mood this Boxing Day! :)
[22:51:18] <Ban_Cratchit> Sir?
[22:51:23] * Ban_Cratchit is nonplussed
[22:51:34] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Well, Mr. Cratchit, what do you think? I've been seeing visions of the past, the present, and things to come.
[22:51:50] <Ban_Cratchit> I'm afraid I don't understand, sir.
[22:52:27] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> I've been advised to follow the advice of fairy-tales, Mr. Cratchit; to accept the humbug and the fiddle-sticks. Do you see?
[22:52:52] <Ban_Cratchit> Uh, yes, M-- uh, no.
[22:53:57] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Very good, Mr. Cratchit. I shall explain. A very old lady once told me -- or perhaps this was just another fairy-tale -- something like this:
[22:54:42] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> "The future holds many things, and not all will come to pass. Some never come to be, unless those that behold their visions turn aside from their path to prevent them. Visions are dangerous as guides of deeds."
[22:55:22] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Therefore, whatever I am supposed to change, I must do the opposite. Imprimis:
[22:55:42] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Write a codicil to my will increasing my nephew's allowance to a thousand a year.
[22:55:59] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Let the fool *drink* himself to death. I swear I'll outlive him.
[22:56:36] <Ban_Cratchit> (lol!)
[22:56:43] <Ban_Cratchit> Very GOOD sir!
[22:57:34] * Ban_Cratchit puzzles a moment
[22:57:40] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Secundus: Inscribe a note to Ophelia Sackville-Baggins, expressing sentiments of undying love, et cetera. I leave the wording to you.
[22:57:48] <Ban_Cratchit> "Unless... turn aside... prevent... wh--??"
[22:57:57] <Ban_Cratchit> Yes, sir
[22:58:05] <Ban_Cratchit> (sotto voce) I wonder...
[22:58:08] <Ban_Cratchit> *ahem*
[22:58:11] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Sign it, "Love, Hamfast Gamgee."
[22:58:20] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Post it immediately.
[22:58:21] <Ban_Cratchit> I wonder if I still have th---
[22:58:24] <Ban_Cratchit> Sir?
[22:58:44] <Ban_Cratchit> But sir, what of Mrs. Gamgee?
[22:58:52] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Never mind that!
[22:59:01] <Ban_Cratchit> Yes, of course, sir
[23:00:32] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Tertius, write a letter to the Warden of the Lockholes, saying that on Mr. Scrooge's orders, Maura Labingi is to be released provided he departs for Rivendell at once and never returns.
[23:02:03] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Quartus, have the effects left in trust to me by old Bilbo Marley sent to me at once, especially any garments that he may have worn. Nothing in them is to be disturbed.
[23:02:34] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Is it written, Mr. Cratchit?
[23:03:21] <Ban_Cratchit> Yes, sir!
[23:03:25] <Ban_Cratchit> Done, sir
[23:04:27] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Thank you, Mr. Cratchit. I'll take those letters. Very good, Sir.
[23:04:39] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Now I have one final task for you this Boxing Day...
[23:05:10] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Are you ready, Cratchit? It is very important.
[23:05:12] <Ban_Cratchit> Yes, sir!
[23:05:24] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Here is sixpence.
[23:05:37] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Go outside to the boy waiting outside in the street.
[23:05:41] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Give him the sixpence.
[23:05:44] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Tell him...
[23:06:11] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Tell him that you have just been dismissed by Mr. Scrooge, and that Mr. Scrooge is looking to train a new secretary.
[23:06:29] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Ask him if he would step in for a moment to speak to Mr. Scrooge.
[23:06:46] * Tripenezer_Scrooge beams beatifically
[23:07:04] <Tripenezer_Scrooge> Merry Boxing Day, Ban Cratchit!
[23:08:17] <Ban_Cratchit> Thank you, sir!
[23:08:23] * Ban_Cratchit skips merrily outside
[23:08:41] * Ban_Cratchit sings "Free at last, free at last!"
Edit, 18:55 CST:
Srecan Rodjendan, hempknight!
Fourth Day of Christmas, following my personal LJ tradition (started in 2003):
Silver Bells [ lyrics ] (k, so I'm a little late... ;-))
from Christmas MIDIs via MIDIsite