Okay, it's time to get back to some semblance of normalcy; both with this blog, which I sorely neglected last week, and with life in general. So, since Christmas is next week, and I don't intend to post on Christmas Eve, I was delighted when today's guest consented to be interviewed. Tonight, we'll be talking to that old humbug himself, Ebenezer Scrooge.
So, let's see what the old miser has to say.
Scrooge: What? Oh, er, um, yes...why yes, it is getting to be that time of year! Why Merry Christmas to you my good fellow, and to your family as well.
Greg: Umm, thank you. Excuse me for asking, but are you feeling all right?
Scrooge: Never felt better in my life. Fit as a fiddle I am my boy. Why do you ask?
Greg: Well, it's just that I didn't expect to get that kind of answer from you. To be honest, I thought you'd get mad, and say something like--
Scrooge: What? You mean like bah, humbug? No, now don't protest. I know that is what you were driving at. You're an intelligent young man I see. Yes, that was the old Ebenezer Scrooge. I was quite the wet blanket in the old days. I suppose people thought me quite disagreeable--a regular miser. But that all changed a few years back.
Greg: You don't say. What happened?
Scrooge: Well I'll tell you my boy, although I doubt you'll believe me. I had an epiphany of sorts. I received a healthy dose of Christmas spirit--three spirits in fact.
Greg: I don't quite follow you.
Scrooge: I didn't either, at first. It started one Christmas Eve when I was visited by my old partner, Jacob Marley.
Greg: How nice, a visit from an old friend.
Scrooge: Maybe, but in this case Marley had been dead for seven years, so it was quite a shock. To tell you the truth, I never liked him much when he was alive. He was even worse as a ghost. He kept yammering on and on about wasting his time being concerned with accumulating wealth. And then he'd rattle those chains that he'd forged in life. It set my teeth on edge.
To top it all off, he said that I was in danger of sharing his fate, and that I'd better shape up. He told me that I'd be visited by three more ghosts before the night was through. He got my attention with that one--but not for long. I figured I had a touch of indigestion. I burped, and he disappeared, so I quickly forgot about it and went to bed.
Greg: I'm guessing that's not the end of the story, though.
Scrooge: You're right about that. First, the Ghost of Christmas Past took me on a walk down memory lane. That's a very painful road for me, I've got to tell you. Lots of trouble and angst. But there were also some good times, too--things I'd almost forgotten.
The next ghost to pay me a visit was the Ghost of Christmas Present, a thoroughly unpleasant specter All he did was show me images of my impertinent relations who apparently spend all their time mocking me.I also paid a visit to the family of my lazy clerk, Bob Cratchit. They were very poor--I never realized just how poor they were. His little boy Tiny Tim was such a callow sickly lad. It about broke my heart. And yes, before you say it, I do have a heart.
The third ghost, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, was the most horrifying spirit of all. The visions he showed me were terrible. First, Tiny Tim died, then, I died. I found that nobody really cared for me. In fact, they all despised me. Well, I thought, why would they feel like that? It made me think in spite of myself. The thing that really moved me, though, was that Tiny Tim had died. Such a happy, high spirited lad. There is nothing worse than a suffering child, I don't think.
Greg: You're right there. So, what was the cause of your change of heart?
Scrooge: Well, I'd like to say that it was the thought of what would happen to poor Tiny Tim, but if I were truly honest, I would have to say that it was the sight of my own grave. Of course, I knew that in order to avoid that grim apparition, I'd have to change my ways. I was thankful that the way for me to do that was to save Tiny Tim.
Greg: Tiny Tim got better?
Scrooge: I am happy to say he did. I made sure he received the best medical care, and I made sure there was always plenty to eat on the Cratchit table. In my life I have accomplished many things and made a mountain of money, but the recovery of Tiny Tim has been my greatest achievement. And, while I may have saved him, I owe him my life, because he just as surely saved me.
Greg: Well, thank you very much for an unexpectedly enjoyable chat. I hope you have a very merry Christmas.
Scrooge: And you as well. Keep the Christmas spirit in your heart the whole year 'round, and no chains will be able to contain it. You will soar with angels.