Marley was dead, to begin with. There was no doubt about that.
He had been hit by a driverless Google car or was targeted by a drone. No one was sure.
His nephew Fred invited Marley’s business partner, Ebenezer Scrooge, over for Christmas dinner.
“Bah! Humbug!” Scrooge muttered, having been exposed to one too many Happy Honda Days puns, Audi A8s with red ribbons parked in snowy driveways, and the 50th anniversary of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” with that depressing, drought-desiccated tree.
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It was snowing in the Sierra, but 47 and dribbling in Sacramento, which made everyone happy except for Scrooge. Scrooge told people who were collecting for charity in no uncertain terms that they better have their 501(c)(3) paperwork in order, or he was going to hire KP Public Affairs to put them out of business.
As his clerk Bob Cratchit left on Christmas Eve to spend the holiday with his family, Scrooge told Bob his day off was theft. Feeling the Bern, Bob then decided to vote for Bernie Sanders.
That night, when Scrooge fell asleep, he was tormented in dreams by three ghosts. The Ghost of Christmas Past took Scrooge by the hand and they flew around looking at happy families enjoying their Christmas Day. Remarkably, the SpaceX vehicle they used worked quite well this time.
The Ghost of Christmas Past was a downer. He showed Scrooge what a miserable childhood he’d had (he had a very weak phone signal—only two bars). Scrooge saw himself as a humorless, angry young man who lobbied for Big Pharma and was disappointed by the Kings’ spotty offense.
The second, The Ghost of Christmas Present, took Scrooge to see the humble Cratchit family, playing “Call to Duty 4,” with the violence level setting turned way down because it was Christmas.
They were excitedly planning to see the new “Star Wars” movie, which had received $19 billion in free publicity because of columns such as this. Even wee Tiny Tim was having a good time, because he was beloved by all and had gotten a huge settlement from his accident, having been run over by a bicycle on a Midtown sidewalk.
Then the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come visited Scrooge. Grim scene, baby. Tiny Tim spent the settlement money on Curtis Park Village real estate and died a pauper. The Cratchits were no better off. They moved to San Francisco, but were drained of their life’s saving by three rent checks.
Then Scrooge saw his own grave site. It was untended, and the talking headstone function had ceased to work. To top it off, he was dead as a doornail, which meant he was drafted by the Kings in the third round.
Scrooge awakened from his nightmare and knew he had led a Non-Wonderful Life. He made Mr. Potter look like St. Thomas Aquinas, and vowed to change and embrace the spirit of Christmas.
He ran out to the grocer and bought a goose, figgy pudding, and large bags of Doritos Cool Ranch, Doritos Zesty Cheese, and a bag of Doritos Jacked. He wasn’t sure what Doritos Jacked tasted like, but he was sure the Cratchits would like it.
Scrooge ran into the town square, professing love for Christmas and hugging people. He burst into the Cratchits’ home, took Tiny Tim on his shoulders, and everyone laughed and cried out in joy.
Tiny Tim cried out, “God bless us, every one!”
Bob asked Scrooge for a minimum wage of $15 an hour. They got into a texting argument, including some pretty rough emojis strings, but they were happy anyway. It was Christmas!