So, or something like it, said Scrooge in Dickens’s ‘A Christmas Carol’. The story relates the nightmarish, really quite disturbing mental experiences he went through that made him change his mind and become quite a nice benevolent chap really. It is well worth reading, though one might like to keep some anti-emetic to hand to counter Dickens’s Sentimentality.
But what brings this to mind is something I have only just heard, from my friend Jane in England. Seems it happened a couple of years ago now, and I can’t think how I missed it unless BBC World Service felt it ‘unsuitable’ for reporting.
Seems that the Father Christmas Harrod’s had employed for the season — they’re always rather odd characters and I certainly wouldn’t let any child of mine sit on the knee of a department store Santa — got wildly drunk and barricaded himself into the control room for the outside lights, which included one of those moving banner things that said in big bright lights something seasonal like ‘A Merry Christmas to all our Customers.’ Ingeniously — especially considering that he is said to have drunk two whole bottles of whisky, but that can’t be right; that would kill the most hardened drinker — he re-programmed the lights to read ‘FUCK OFF’.
A Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year to all my readers.