Thursday, December 6, 2007
"Winchester's Christmas Carol"
Inside the counting-house of Scrooge and Marley. Scrooge's only clerk shivers at her desk as she adds columns of figures. She looks anxious, as if she needs to ask her boss something important.
Scrooge: Two hundred forty-one plus nine pence, two hundred forty-two plus ten pence . . .
Ellsworth Cratchit: Er, Mr. Scrooge, sir. My teeth are chattering so bad, I can barely write.
Scrooge: . . . two hundred forty-three plus a tuppence. You can't possibly be cold, Cratchit. I'm not. It's a toasty forty-one degrees in here. Any warmer and you'd be sweating.
Cratchit: Well, sir, if you please, sir. I'm afraid my numb fingers will slip and I'll spill the ink. That would be a big waste, wouldn't it, sir? Might I have another piece of coal?
Scrooge: For pity's sake. I gave you a lump of coal just last week!
Cratchit: Sir, my fingers are stuck to the quill.
Scrooge: Oh, all right! Here! But don't come crying to me in February because this is all you're getting until spring.
Cratchit: (nervously twisting her cravat) Sir . . . there's one more thing. Tomorrow is Christmas Day. I'd be very grateful if--
Scrooge: You want all day off! With wages!
Cratchit: Begging your humble pardon, sir, but it is a tradition.
Scrooge: A poor excuse for picking a man's pocket every twenty-fifth of December!
Cratchit: (putting on his scarf) Thank you, sir. My children thank you, sir. My wife thanks you. My mother-in-law--
Scrooge: (waving him out the door) Just be here the day after extra early. Now where was I? Two hundred and forty-three plus a tuppence. Or was it a thruppence? Darn that Ellsworth Cratchit for making me lose count!
End of Scene Two