Brandon’s Christmas Carol

by Brandon

And now, readers, I shall share with you the extraordinary events I experienced last night. You will not believe the story I’m about to tell you, and were I in your position, I would not believe it either… but it is a story that must be told…

It all started at 11:00pm on Christmas Eve… 

My wife and I had just finished playing Phase 10. That’s a card game, in case you didn’t know. She won, which means she somehow cheated. After gloating for longer than a human should have the right to gloat, my wife decided to go to bed. I, however, was not sleepy, so I stayed up and decided to watch A Christmas Story, which had been playing nonstop since 8:00pm.

Just about the time Ralphie was beating the crap out of that bully, I heard an eerie scraping noise coming down the hallway. That’s when I saw… him

It was my friend, Gary. He dragged many chains and had a handkerchief tied around his head.

“Brandon Hale!” Gary boomed. “I am here to warn you! If you do not change your ways, you will be doomed to the same fate as me. When you die, you will have to drag chains, just like these–”

“You’re not dead, Gary,” I said.

“Oh, yeah,” Gary said. “Then what am I doing here?”

“I don’t know, but I’m gonna have to ask you to give back my spare key,” I told him. “You clearly are abusing the privilege.”

“Seriously, why am I here?” Gary said. “I think I was sleepwalking or something. I feel the urge to tell you that three ghosts will be coming by to teach you the meaning of Christmas.”

“I know the meaning of Christmas,” I said. “I’m neither greedy nor selfish.”

“You know,” Gary said, “you only need to say one. ‘Greedy’ and ‘selfish’ really mean the same thing.”

“No, they don’t.”

“Uh, yeah. They do, dude.”

Greedy means I want to accumulate things,” I said. “Selfish just means I’m always focused on myself. I’ll grant you that selfishness is a prerequisite of greed, but they’re not the same thing.”

“You will be visited by THREE GHOSTS!” Gary screamed.

“I’m gonna need that key back now, man,” I said.

Gary returned my spare key and left.

***

About 15 minutes later, I decided to play the X-Box. As soon as I turned it on, a voice behind me screamed, “I AM THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST!”

I jumped, spun around, and said, “What the hell! I’m playing Batman: Arkham Origins!”

I saw before me a floating spirit. She wore all white and had long white hair. She also had facial stubble, which I found to be quite odd.

“I’m not sure why you’re visiting me,” I said. “I love Christmas. I love to give. I love people.”

“You’re not Earl?” she asked.

“No,” I answered. “I’m not Earl.”

“Well, crud. I’m looking for a guy named Earl Smith. I think I wrote down the wrong address.”

“I don’t know anybody named Earl Smith,” I said. “What address do you have?’

The spirit looked at a scrap of paper in her hand. She read the address.

“Yeah,” I said, “that’s my address, but there’s no Earl Smith here.”

“Dammit,” the spirit said. “I think I might have written down the wrong zip code. That means this guy could be anywhere. What’s worse, I think I gave this same address to Present and Future.”

“Great,” I groaned.

“I have to find this guy,” the ghost said. “He desperately needs us. From what our records show, he’s a real jerk.”

“That bad, huh,” I said.

“Oh, totally,” the spirit said. “Last week, he actually spit on a baby.”

“Seriously?”

“Yeah! And it wasn’t for any purpose other than to be a jerk. He had just finished eating at Taco Bell and as he was leaving, he passed a woman carrying a baby. For no reason at all, he just leaned over and spit on the kid’s head. How messed up is that?”

“Pretty messed up,” I said.

“So you see why he needs a visit from us.”

“Totally,” I said.

The spirit sighed. “Well, sorry to bother you. I suppose I’ll just have to look over my notes to see if I wrote down his home state anywhere.”

“Okay,” I said.

As the spirit began to fade away, it added, “Oh, and apologize to your friend Gary for me. I was the one who made him come here in his sleep. People just react to us better when we send a friend to warn them first. This one time, we didn’t send a warning friend… when I appeared to the miser, he just screamed for 20 minutes straight, then dropped dead. I got a write-up over that one….”

After a few more seconds, she was gone.

***

I was suddenly hungry, so I drove to Taco Bell and picked up a Beef Taco Salad. I brought it home, ate it, then decided to continue my Batman game. As soon as I hit Start, a voice from behind me screamed, “EARL SMITH! I AM THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS–”

“I’m not Earl,” I said.

I turned around to see a big dude in green. He pretty much looked like a red-headed Santa Claus.

“DON’T LIE TO ME, EARL!” the spirit screamed. “WE SPIRITS KNOW ALL THINGS!”

“Obviously not,” I said. “I’m not Earl. The ghost of Christmas Past wrote down the wrong zip code.”

“Well that sucks,” the spirit said. “What’s the correct zip code?”

“No idea,” I said.

The spirit cocked an eyebrow. “If you’re lying to me, I swear to Christmas, I’ll come back here and kick you in the ass.”

“That’s not very Christmas-y of you,” I said.

“I’m just saying,” the spirit said, “if it turns out you’re Earl, I’m gonna be pissed.”

“I’m not worried,” I said, “because I’m not Earl.”

“So what am I supposed to do now?” the spirit said. “Where did Past go?”

“She said something about reviewing her notes,” I said.

“I hate her,” he said. “Really. I absolutely hate her. This isn’t the first time this has happened, you know. Back in ’70, I spent an entire Christmas Eve harassing some poor guy named Richard Dixon. Turns out, Past had misspelled the name. If she’d just spelled it right, Watergate would never have happened.”

“Interesting,” I said. “I’m gonna get back to my game now–”

“And the worst part,” the spirit said, “I was written up over it. And Past didn’t step up and say anything, even though it was her mistake.”

“Could you go away, please?” I said.

“Okay, okay,” the spirit said. “You don’t have to be rude about it.”

***

After the spirit was gone, I didn’t bother to restart my game. I knew it would just get interrupted, so I sat on the couch and waited.

About an hour later, I saw the third apparition. It was tall and covered in tattered black robes. The very air around this spirit was cold.

The creature silently raised a hand and pointed a skeletal finger at me.

“I’m not Earl,” I said. “Past wrote down the wrong zip code.”

The spirit slowly lowered its hand and floated away, mumbling various curse words as it went.

***

After the third ghost left, I started my game again.

“Brandon!”

I turned around to see my wife.

“Why are you still awake?” she asked. The agitation in her voice was unmistakeable. “It’s seven in the morning. Have you been up playing video games all night?”

“No,” I stammered.

“You know,” she said, “we’re having Christmas dinner with my dad at 3:00. You’re gonna feel like total crap.”

“I wasn’t playing video games!” I said. “I… I was… I was visited by three ghosts! And Gary.”

My wife sighed.

“Really!” I said. “They were looking for a guy named Earl.”

“I’m going back to bed,” my wife said. “When you whine about being tired later, you’ll get no sympathy from me.”

“Three ghosts!” I said as she went back to the bedroom. “Ask Gary! He’ll back me up! But wait until I call him first… I just want to make sure he, um, remembers and stuff.”

***

And that’s my tale, dear readers. My wife is asleep again, but I’m certain she’ll be agitated when she gets back up. I have documented last night’s adventure as proof that I didn’t sit up all night playing video games. By telling my tale as a blog, the truthfulness cannot be disputed… because, you know, if it’s on the internet, it has to be true.

Merry Christmas, folks.

–Brandon

 


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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Garv December 25, 2013 at 8:20 AM

Every word is true.

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