A Christmas Carol

Discussion in 'THE AIGBURTH ARMS' started by Nikki the Great, Dec 21, 2017.

  1. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    Either contribute to the story or keep quiet.
     
  2. Nikki the Great

    Nikki the Great Flight Co-Ordinator

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    They'll all appear in it. I'll make it so!
     
  3. Nikki the Great

    Nikki the Great Flight Co-Ordinator

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    `Hear me, if you please!' cried @simulant37. `My time is nearly gone.'

    `No' said @Bluey.

    @Bluey was not an agreeable man. He sighed, and took a sip of pepsi.

    `You will be haunted,' resumed the eyebrowless ghost, `by Three Spirits.'

    `What are you talking about now?' @Bluey demanded.

    `Without their visits,' said @simulant37, `you cannot hope to shun the path I tread. Expect the first tomorrow, when the bell tolls One.'

    `Couldn't I take `em all at once, and have it over, Simulant?' hinted @Bluey.

    `No you horrible man!' snapped @simulant37, rolling his eyes.

    The apparition of @simulant37 walked backward from @Bluey; and at every step it took, the towel it was wearing opened itself a little, so that when @Bluey got closer, it was wide open. When they were within two paces of each other, @simulant37's ghost held up its hand, warning him to come no nearer. @Bluey stopped.

    Not so much in obedience, as in surprise and fear: for on the opening of the towel, something was exposed that @Bluey wasn't sure he wanted to see.

    Desperate to avert his eyes, @Bluey looked out the window.

    [​IMG]
    The air was filled with phantoms, wandering hither and thither in restless haste, and moaning as they went. One, who resembled a ghostly Bert off Sesame Street, was seemingly trying to recite terrible poems. Every one of them wore towels like @simulant37. Many had been personally known to @Bluey in their lives. He had been quite familiar with one old ghost, who cried piteously at being unable to convince the other ghosts that a wretched woman with an infant, whom it saw below, upon a door-step, was in fact his wife. The misery with them all was, clearly, that they sought to interfere in forum matters, and had lost the power for ever.

    @Bluey closed the window, and examined the door by which @simulant37 had entered. It was double-locked, as he had locked it with his own hands, and the bolts were undisturbed. He sighed impatiently and went straight to bed, without undressing, and fell asleep upon the instant.
     
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  4. jmc2000

    jmc2000 Deck Sergeant

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    When @Bluey awoke, it was so dark, that looking at the screen, he could scarcely distinguish the browser window from the opaque walls of his chamber. He was endeavouring to pierce the darkness with his ferret eyes, when the chimes of a neighbouring church struck the four quarters. So he listened for the hour.

    To his great astonishment the heavy bell went on from six to seven, and from seven to eight, and regularly up to twelve; then stopped. Twelve!

    “Why, it isn’t possible,” said Bluey, “that I can have slept through a whole day and far into another night. It isn’t possible that anything has happened to the sun, and this is twelve at noon!”

    The idea being an alarming one, he scrambled out of bed, and groped his way to the window. He was obliged to rub the frost off with the sleeve of his dressing-gown before he could see anything with his binoculars; and could see very little then.

    simulant37’s ghost bothered him exceedingly. Every time he resolved within himself, after mature inquiry, that it was all a dream, the thought bubbled up again, like Pepsi from a shaken can, to its first position, and presented the same problem to be worked all through, “Was it a dream or not?”

    Bluey lay in this state until the chime had gone three quarters more, when he remembered, on a sudden, that the Ghost had warned him of a visitation when the bell tolled one.

    Knock! went Bluey's smartphone.

    “Did someone send me a snap?” he wondered in surprise.

    Knock!

    “*Two* snaps!” cried Bluey. "Or - if the first were merely a typing alert - maybe just one."

    Knock, knock!

    “Good grief!” said Bluey. "Typing or not, this is an awful lot of snaps!"

    Knock, knock, knock!

    “Oh, for God's sake,” muttered Bluey—checking his phone.

    The snaps showed a strange figure—like a child: yet not so like a child as like an adult man, viewed through some supernatural medium, which gave him the appearance of having receded from the view, and being diminished to a child’s proportions. Its hair was blond, and the face had not a wrinkle in it, and the tenderest bloom was on the skin. It wore a tunic of the purest tweed, and carried a flat cap. But the strangest thing about it was, that from its mouth there sprung a bright clear jet of vapour, by which all this was visible.

    Even this, though, when Bluey looked at it with increasing steadiness, was not its strangest quality. For what was colour one instant, at another time was monochrome, so the figure itself fluctuated in its snapchat filter: being now a thing with colour, then black and white, then shrouded in vapour, then topless.

    “This," it explained, "is Art."

    Bluey was nonplussed..

    “Are you the Phantom, sir, whose coming was foretold to me?” he asked.

    It put a bucket on its head.

    “/ME AM.”

    “Who, and what are you?” Bluey demanded.

    “I am Graham Christmaspastington.”

    “*Long* Pastington?” inquired Bluey.

    “Well I used to be a main eventer.”

    Perhaps, Bluey could not have told anybody why, if anybody could have asked him; but he had a special desire to see the Spirit in his cap; and begged him to put it on.

    “HO HO HO!” exclaimed the Ghost angrily. “I'M BLUEY AND IT IS NOT ENOUGH THAT I AM ONE OF THOSE WHOSE PASSIONS MADE THIS CAP, AND FORCE YOU THROUGH WHOLE TRAINS OF YEARS TO WEAR IT ON YOUR BROW!”

    Bluey looked at him blankly.

    "Pardon?" he managed.
     
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  5. Nikki the Great

    Nikki the Great Flight Co-Ordinator

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    @Bluey then made bold to inquire what business brought him there.

    `Your welfare. And also I used to be a pretty big deal round here. I used to have battles with that other guy you just saw' said the Ghost.

    It put out its hand as it spoke, and clasped him gently by the arm.

    `Rise. and walk with me.'

    The grasp, gentle as a woman's hand, was not to be resisted for fear of snapping the Ghost's pencil-like arm right off. He rose: but finding that the Spirit made towards the window, clasped his robe in supplication.

    `I don't feel like going outside,' @Bluey remonstrated, `I have youtube videos to watch.'

    `If you don't come,' said the Spirit, 'you shall be sent a dozen snapchats of me reciting the alphabet, the days of the week and other such mundane stuff.'

    As the words were spoken, they passed through the wall, and stood upon an open country road, with fields on either hand. For some reason not quite clear to @Bluey, the Spirit started punching a scarecrow that was stood in one of the fields, probably on account of it having a better suit on.

    `Good Heaven!' said @Bluey, clasping his hands together, as he looked about him. `I was bred in this place. I was a boy here. This is the very place I saw that bluebell that I later named myself after!'

    Some shaggy ponies now were seen trotting towards them with boys upon their backs, who called to other boys in country gigs and carts, driven by farmers. All these boys were in great spirits, and shouted to each other, until the broad fields were so full of merry music, that the crisp air laughed to hear it.

    `These are but shadows of the things that have been,' said the Ghost. `They have no consciousness of us. Especially if I put /Me before everything I say'

    The jocund travellers came on; and as they came, @Bluey knew and named them every one. The boy in the cowboy hat was @Tex_Rimmer. The boy painting himself blue and shouting was @SgtSmileyUK. The man in his late twenties seen holding a guitar also looked very familiar. @Bluey shrugged and didn't really seem to care much.
     
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  6. Nikki the Great

    Nikki the Great Flight Co-Ordinator

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    The Ghost stopped at a certain pub door, and asked @Bluey if he knew it.

    `Know it.' said @Bluey. `This was where the famous Manchester meet up took place.'

    They went in. A gentleman in a Red Dwarf shirt, sitting so closely behind a laptop , that if he had been two inches closer he must have knocked his nose against the camera, @Bluey cried in great excitement:

    `Why, it's @kry102001. Bless his heart; it's @kry102001 alive again.'

    @kry102001 closed his laptop, and looked up at the clock, which pointed to the hour of four. He rubbed his hands; adjusted his hat; laughed all over himself, from his shows to his organ of benevolence; and called out in a comfortable, oily, rich, fat, jovial voice:

    `Yo ho, there. @Bluey.'

    @Bluey's former self, a slightly younger man, came briskly in.

    `Yo ho, my boy.' said @kry102001. `No more waiting. Let's set the raffle up.'

    You wouldn't believe how those two fellows went at it (Oh I SAY). They charged around the pub and finished setting up before you could have counted to twelve, panting like race-horses.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
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  7. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    Twice you've made me laugh now. First the reference to binoculars in my house and second the mention of the Manchester meet up.
     
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  8. Nikki the Great

    Nikki the Great Flight Co-Ordinator

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    A Christmas miracle indeed!
     
  9. Nikki the Great

    Nikki the Great Flight Co-Ordinator

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    `Spirit.' said @Bluey in a broken voice,' remove me from this place.'

    `But this was a great event' said the Ghost. `50p was raised for charity.'

    `Remove me.' @Bluey exclaimed,' I cannot bear it.'

    He turned upon the Ghost, and seeing that it looked upon him with a face, in which in some strange way had begun to resemble the donkey off shrek.

    `Leave me. Take me back. Mind your own business.'

    In the struggle, if that can be called a struggle in which the Ghost was defeated instantly, @Bluey observed that its eyebrow was burning high and bright; and dimly connecting that with its influence over him, he seized the last of the summer wine style cap, and by a sudden action pressed it down upon its head.

    [​IMG]
    The Spirit dropped beneath it, so that the extinguisher covered its whole form; but though @Bluey pressed it down with all his force, he could not hide the eyebrow, which streamed from under it, in an unbroken scowl upon the ground.

    He was conscious of being exhausted, and overcome by an irresistible drowsiness; and, further, of being in his own bedroom. He gave the cap a parting squeeze, in which his hand relaxed; and had barely time to reel to bed, before he sank into a heavy sleep.
     
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  10. Kittypaws

    Kittypaws Flight Co-Ordinator

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    Brilliant!
     
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  11. Nikki the Great

    Nikki the Great Flight Co-Ordinator

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    Awaking in the middle of a prodigiously tough snore, and sitting up in bed to get his thoughts together, @Bluey had no occasion to be told that the bell was again upon the stroke of One.

    Now, being prepared for almost anything, he was not by any means prepared for nothing; and, consequently, when the Bell struck One, and no shape appeared, he was taken with a violent fit of grumbling. Five minutes, ten minutes, a quarter of an hour went by, yet nothing came. All this time, he lay upon his bed, the very core and centre of a blaze of ruddy light, which streamed upon it when the clock proclaimed the hour; and which, being only light, was more alarming than a dozen ghosts.

    He began to think that the source and secret of this ghostly light might be in the adjoining room, from whence, on further tracing it, it seemed to shine. This idea taking full possession of his mind, he got up softly and shuffled in his slippers to the door.

    The moment Bluey'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 posters of naff horror films and torn out pages of porn magazines.

    In easy state upon the couch, there sat @neilold frankincense and myrrh, glorious to see, who bore a glowing torch, in shape not unlike something quite rude, and held it up, high up, to shed its light on @Bluey, as he came poking his nose round the door.

    `I am the @neilold frankincense and myrrh,' said the Spirit. `Look upon me.'

    @Bluey reverently did so. It was clothed in one simple green robe, or mantle, bordered with white fur. This garment hung so loosely on the figure, that @Bluey was afraid he might soon see balls.

    `You have never seen the like of me before.' exclaimed @neilold frankincense and myrrh.

    `I don't know,' @Bluey made answer to it.

    `Have never seen any of my threads upon the forum.' pursued the Phantom.

    `I don't know,' said @Bluey. Have you had many threads?'

    `More than eighteen hundred,' said @neilold frankincense and myrrh.

    'That sounds like spam.' muttered @Bluey.

    @neilold frankincense and myrrh rose.

    `Touch my robe.'

    @Bluey pretended not to hear.

    The horrible images that adorned the walls all vanished instantly. So did the room, the pc, the hour of night, and they stood in the city streets on Christmas morning.
     
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  12. Nikki the Great

    Nikki the Great Flight Co-Ordinator

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    Perhaps it was the pleasure @neilold frankincense and myrrh had in showing off his willy that led him straight to @Bluey's clerk's; for there he went, and took @Bluey with him and on the threshold of the door @neilold frankincense and myrrh smiled, and stopped to pee on @Decembers Crotchit's dwelling.

    In half a minute @Decembers Crotchet entered -- flushed, but smiling proudly -- with his enormous willbert, so hard and firm, and bedight with Christmas holly stuck into the top.

    Oh, a wonderful willbert. @Decembers Crotchet said, and calmly too, that he regarded it as his greatest success. Everybody had something to say about it, but nobody said or thought it was at all a small willy. It would have been flat heresy to do so. Anyone would have blushed to hint at such a thing.

    Then @Decembers Crotchet proposed:

    `A Merry Christmas to us all, my dears. God bless us.'

    He raised his glass of Guinness.

    `God bless us every one.' said Tiny Tim, the nickname @Decembers gave his manhood.

    `Spirit,' said @Bluey, with an interest he had never felt before, `tell me if Tiny Tim will ever flop.'

    `I see a vacant seat, that I would like to put in my bum' replied @neilold frankincense and myrrh, `and a bin liner without an owner, carefully preserved. If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, the thing will die.'

    `No, no,' said @Bluey. `Oh, no, kind Spirit. say it will be spared.'

    `If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, none other of my race,' returned @neilold frankincense and myrrh, `will find it here. What then. If it be like to flop, it had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.'
     
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  13. neilold

    neilold Flight Co-Ordinator

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    There's a disproportionate amount of willy talk in this story
     
  14. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    Exactly the kind of thing you like to read about, isn't it, Neil?
     
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  15. Ant E

    Ant E Flight Co-Ordinator

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    What did you do Christmas day
     
  16. Bluey

    Bluey Science Officer

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    I was thinking about how sad it was that you were spending Christmas all alone again.
     
  17. Nikki the Great

    Nikki the Great Flight Co-Ordinator

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    It was a great surprise to @Bluey to find himself in a bright, dry, gleaming room, with @neilold frankincense and myrrh standing smiling by his side, and looking at @"Christmas rubbish" with approving affability.

    @"Christmas rubbish" was laughing and laughing and laughing and laughing.

    If you should happen, by any unlikely chance, to know a man more blest in a laugh than @"Christmas rubbish", all I can say is, I should like to know him too. Introduce him to me, and I'll cultivate his acquaintance.

    `He told me to mind my own business, as I live.' cried @"Christmas rubbish". `He believed it too.'

    [​IMG]
    `He's a comical old fellow,' continued @"Christmas rubbish" ' that's the truth: and not so pleasant as he might be. However, his offences carry their own punishment, and I have nothing to say against him. His wealth of knowledge and ability to use wikipedia and score well on Pointless is of no use to him. He don't do any good with it. He don't make any threads on the forum'. `I am sorry for him; I couldn't be angry with him if I tried.'

    `He has given me plenty of merriment, I am sure,' said @"Christmas Rubbish,' and it would be ungrateful not to drink his health'.

    "I won't" said the man, sat in the corner.

    @"Christmas rubbish" ignored the man. 'Here is a glass of pepsi ready to our hand at the moment; and I say, "To @Bluey."'

    `A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to the old man, whatever he is.' said @"Christmas rubbish". `He wouldn't take it from me, but may he have it, nevertheless. Uncle @Bluey.'

    @Bluey had imperceptibly become so gay and light of heart, that he would have pledged the unconscious company in return, and thanked them in an inaudible speech, if @neilold frankincense and myrrh had given him time. But the whole scene passed off in the breath of the last word spoken by @"Christmas rubbish"; and @Bluey and @neilold frankincense and myrrh were again upon their travels.
     
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  18. Nikki the Great

    Nikki the Great Flight Co-Ordinator

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    Looking at @neilold frankincense and myrrh as they stood together in an open place, @Bluey noticed that its hair was grey.

    `Are spirits' lives so short.' asked @Bluey.

    `Well if you've ever seen the horror series from the 70's called "Ghosts, Sexy Ladies and Guts", you would know the answer to that ' replied @neilold frankincense and myrrh

    `Forgive me if I am not justified in what I ask,' said @Bluey, looking intently at the Spirit's robe,' but I see something strange, and not belonging to yourself, protruding from your skirts. Is it a foot or a claw.'

    `It might be an animal, for the hair there is upon it,' was the Spirit's sorrowful reply. `Look here.'

    From the foldings of its robe, @neilold frankincense and myrrh brought out what looked like a llama.

    `Oh, Man. look here. Look, look, down here.' exclaimed @neilold frankincense and myrrh.


    @Bluey started back, appalled. Having it shown to him in this way, he tried to say it was a fine wooly willy, but the words choked themselves, rather than be parties to a lie of such enormous magnitude.

    `Spirit. Is it yours.' @Bluey could say no more.

    `Mind your own business.' said @neilold frankincense and myrrh, turning on him for the last time with his own words. The bell struck twelve.

    @Bluey looked about him for the Ghost, and saw it not. As the last stroke ceased to vibrate, he remembered the prediction of old @simulant37, and lifting up his eyes, beheld a solemn Phantom, draped and hooded, coming, like a mist along the ground, towards him.
     
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  19. leewhitham

    leewhitham Second Technician

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    ill be back soon my little treacles....get ready
     
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  20. Ant E

    Ant E Flight Co-Ordinator

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    Who are you?
     

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