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Language: A Laid-Back Christmas

The set is plain and stark. It is Scrooge's cold, gloomy, and dimly lit counting house. At stage right is Scrooge's high desk, strewn with documents. ledger books, and a padlocked cash box. At stage left ;s a smaller, more cramped desk at which Bob Cratchit has toiled for years. As the play begins, Scrooge and Bob Cratchit are bent over their respective desks, scribbling. Scrooge's nephew enters.

SCROOGE'S NEPHEW [in high spirits): A merry Christmas, Uncle! God save you!

SCROOGE: Ca-ca.

NEPHEW: Christmas a ca-ca. Uncle? You don't think that, I am sure.

SCROOGE: You better book on outta here.

NEPHEW: I am sorry, with all my heart, to find you so resolute. But I'll keep my Christmas humor to the last. Merry Christmas, Uncle!

SCROOGE: Later on.

Nephew exits. Enter a portly gentleman R, stands before Scrooge's desk.

PORTLY GENTLEMAN: Scrooge and Marley's, I believe. Have I the pleasure of addressing Mr. Scrooge or Mr. Marley?

SCROOGE: Marley ate it seven years ago. Lunched out. I'm the big enchilada now.

PORTLY GENTLEMAN: [unperturbed): At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge, it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time.

SCROOGE: Are there no slammers? PORTLY GENTLEMAN:

Plenty, and very busy, sir. What should I put you down for?

SCROOGE: [frowning]: The bottom line is nada. What you're lookin' at is a big negatory, good buddy. Catch you on the flip-flop. You better boogie.

Exit portly gentleman R; Scrooge rises, crossing to Bob Cratchit.

SCROOGE: I guess you'll want to just kick back all day tomorrow? Put on a leisure suit and hit a disco. Do some coke and Perrier.

CRATCHIT [nervously]: If quite convenient, Sir.

SCROOGE [with a growl]: It's a full-on ripoff every twenty-fifth of December. But you might as well just go for it, guy.

Exit Bob Cratchit. Scrooge climbs stairs to bedroom, slips into a Iong dressing gown, sits on bed. From offstage comes a heavy clanking of chains, Marley's ghost enters. Cash boxes, deeds, ledgers, and heavy purses dangle from chain fastened around his waist. He howls as if in torment.

SCROOGE [startled]: Hey, Jake. What is it?

MARLEY'S GHOST: Much!

SCROOGE: I knew I shouldn't have pigged out tonight. Say, that chain looks pretty gnarly. Can't get behind that kinky stuff myself.

MARLEY'S GHOST: I wear the chain I forged in lire. I made it link by link, and yard by yard. Is its pattern strange to you? SCROOGE:

Blows me away. Definitely macho, though.

MARLEY'S GHOST [shrieking]; Hear me! My time is nearly gone. You will be haunted by three spirits.

SCROOGE: Thanks, but I think I'll pass.

MARLEY'S GHOST: Without their visits, you cannot hope to shun the path I tread.

SCROOGE: That's hot. I guess there's no viable alternative. I'll just have to stonewall. Have a good one.

Stage goes black. A chorus of howls is heard. As lights come up, three ghosts stand at the food of Scrooge's bed.

SCROOGE [apprehensively]: Hare Krishna?

GHOSTS IN TURN: I am the Ghost of Christmas Past. I am the Ghost of Christmas Present. I am the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. SCROOGE [wide/eyed]: Whatever. Thanks for sharing, though.

A single chime sounds offstage.

GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST: Rise, and walk with me.

Scrooge rises and, with eyes closed, the pair walk slowly around the bed.

SCROOGE [shaking his head]: Yeah, really. I just flashed on my old cruising grounds. Not too shabby. And good old Fezziwig. He was pretty casual. And a fox I hit on once. I am stoked.

Ghost of Christmas Present steps before Scrooge.

GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT: Look upon me. Touch my robe.

SCROOGE: Oh, for sure. Let's jet over to the Cratchits' and shoot a few beers. Bob is probably holding, too, what with the holidays and all. GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT [mournfully]: I see a vacant seat in the poor chimney-corner, and a crutch without an owner, carefully preserved. If these shadows remain unaltered by the future, Tiny Tim will die.

SCROOGE: Now I'm bummed. Totally nauz'd out.

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come approaches Scrooge, who kneels on the bed and looks in the direction the ghost has indicated.

SCROOGE: I'm blitzed. My former statements are all inoperative. I have no space to communicate. These ghosts have got me wired. I feel like I just did a pound of killer sinsee. I'm a bun out, a goon. Vedged out.

Scrooge drops his head to his chest and sobs several times. Shortly, sleigh bells and the faint sounds of laughing children can be heard in the distance.

SCROOGE [leaping from the chair, his right fist clenched and thrust into the air]: All right! Christmas Day. Bitchin'. This is outrageous. Talk about re-birthing! Impact city!

Enter Scrooge's nephew, Bob Cratchit, and Tiny Tim. The boy walks with the aid of a wooden crutch. The three crowd around Scrooge as all shake hands and hug warmly.

TINY TIM [gleefully tossing aside his crutch]: Merry Christmas! And God bless us, every one!

SCROOGE [dropping large, gold coins into the hands of Bob Cratchit]: I love myself and everyone else to the max.

Tiny Tim begins to dance, as...

The Curtain Falls

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The set is plain and stark. It is Scrooge's cold, gloomy, and dimly lit counting house. At stage right is Scrooge's high desk, strewn with documents. ledger books, and a padlocked cash box. At stage left ;s a smaller, more cramped desk at which Bob Cratchit has toiled for years. As the play begins, Scrooge and Bob Cratchit are bent over their respective desks, scribbling. Scrooge's nephew enters.

SCROOGE'S NEPHEW [in high spirits): A merry Christmas, Uncle! God save you!

SCROOGE: Ca-ca.

NEPHEW: Christmas a ca-ca. Uncle? You don't think that, I am sure.

SCROOGE: You better book on outta here.

NEPHEW: I am sorry, with all my heart, to find you so resolute. But I'll keep my Christmas humor to the last. Merry Christmas, Uncle!

SCROOGE: Later on.

Nephew exits. Enter a portly gentleman R, stands before Scrooge's desk.

PORTLY GENTLEMAN: Scrooge and Marley's, I believe. Have I the pleasure of addressing Mr. Scrooge or Mr. Marley?

SCROOGE: Marley ate it seven years ago. Lunched out. I'm the big enchilada now.

PORTLY GENTLEMAN: [unperturbed): At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge, it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time.

SCROOGE: Are there no slammers? PORTLY GENTLEMAN:

Plenty, and very busy, sir. What should I put you down for?

SCROOGE: [frowning]: The bottom line is nada. What you're lookin' at is a big negatory, good buddy. Catch you on the flip-flop. You better boogie.

Exit portly gentleman R; Scrooge rises, crossing to Bob Cratchit.

SCROOGE: I guess you'll want to just kick back all day tomorrow? Put on a leisure suit and hit a disco. Do some coke and Perrier.

CRATCHIT [nervously]: If quite convenient, Sir.

SCROOGE [with a growl]: It's a full-on ripoff every twenty-fifth of December. But you might as well just go for it, guy.

Exit Bob Cratchit. Scrooge climbs stairs to bedroom, slips into a Iong dressing gown, sits on bed. From offstage comes a heavy clanking of chains, Marley's ghost enters. Cash boxes, deeds, ledgers, and heavy purses dangle from chain fastened around his waist. He howls as if in torment.

SCROOGE [startled]: Hey, Jake. What is it?

MARLEY'S GHOST: Much!

SCROOGE: I knew I shouldn't have pigged out tonight. Say, that chain looks pretty gnarly. Can't get behind that kinky stuff myself.

MARLEY'S GHOST: I wear the chain I forged in lire. I made it link by link, and yard by yard. Is its pattern strange to you? SCROOGE:

Blows me away. Definitely macho, though.

MARLEY'S GHOST [shrieking]; Hear me! My time is nearly gone. You will be haunted by three spirits.

SCROOGE: Thanks, but I think I'll pass.

MARLEY'S GHOST: Without their visits, you cannot hope to shun the path I tread.

SCROOGE: That's hot. I guess there's no viable alternative. I'll just have to stonewall. Have a good one.

Stage goes black. A chorus of howls is heard. As lights come up, three ghosts stand at the food of Scrooge's bed.

SCROOGE [apprehensively]: Hare Krishna?

GHOSTS IN TURN: I am the Ghost of Christmas Past. I am the Ghost of Christmas Present. I am the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. SCROOGE [wide/eyed]: Whatever. Thanks for sharing, though.

A single chime sounds offstage.

GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST: Rise, and walk with me.

Scrooge rises and, with eyes closed, the pair walk slowly around the bed.

SCROOGE [shaking his head]: Yeah, really. I just flashed on my old cruising grounds. Not too shabby. And good old Fezziwig. He was pretty casual. And a fox I hit on once. I am stoked.

Ghost of Christmas Present steps before Scrooge.

GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT: Look upon me. Touch my robe.

SCROOGE: Oh, for sure. Let's jet over to the Cratchits' and shoot a few beers. Bob is probably holding, too, what with the holidays and all. GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT [mournfully]: I see a vacant seat in the poor chimney-corner, and a crutch without an owner, carefully preserved. If these shadows remain unaltered by the future, Tiny Tim will die.

SCROOGE: Now I'm bummed. Totally nauz'd out.

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come approaches Scrooge, who kneels on the bed and looks in the direction the ghost has indicated.

SCROOGE: I'm blitzed. My former statements are all inoperative. I have no space to communicate. These ghosts have got me wired. I feel like I just did a pound of killer sinsee. I'm a bun out, a goon. Vedged out.

Scrooge drops his head to his chest and sobs several times. Shortly, sleigh bells and the faint sounds of laughing children can be heard in the distance.

SCROOGE [leaping from the chair, his right fist clenched and thrust into the air]: All right! Christmas Day. Bitchin'. This is outrageous. Talk about re-birthing! Impact city!

Enter Scrooge's nephew, Bob Cratchit, and Tiny Tim. The boy walks with the aid of a wooden crutch. The three crowd around Scrooge as all shake hands and hug warmly.

TINY TIM [gleefully tossing aside his crutch]: Merry Christmas! And God bless us, every one!

SCROOGE [dropping large, gold coins into the hands of Bob Cratchit]: I love myself and everyone else to the max.

Tiny Tim begins to dance, as...

The Curtain Falls

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