Thursday, December 18, 2014

Story 61: A Christmas Carol of Christmas Present

            “I cannot perform as Scrooge in these anachronistic conditions!  Shelley’s cell phone keeps ringing, the construction workers are at it again with the jackhammers in the lobby, and that train, that flipping train, keeps coming by blaring its horn every 20 minutes!”
            “You’re an actor, Gary – block it out.”
            “Yes, I am an actor, Steven, one who is attuned to the world around him in order to fully embody his roles, and I cannot fully embody a 19th-century moneylender when I am being constantly upstaged by 21st-century ambient noise!”
            “I understand.  Now take it from the top.”
            (Clears throat and speaks with an upper-crust, old-fashioned English accent) “‘A Merry Christmas?  What right have you to be merry?  You’re poor enough.’  If that fire alarm goes off one more time, I swear to all the ghosts of all the Christmases – ”
            “It’s being fixed, Gary, just – focus.”
            “Easier said than done.  Ahem-hem-humbug-humbug-humbug.  ‘What right have you to be’ – I’m sorry, Shelley, but unless you’re an on-call physician, that phone really needs to be destroyed.”
            “Stake of holly through your heart, Gary!”
            “Shelley, he has a point – no phones on stage.”
            “I’m waiting for a call-back!”
            “Then we need to have a talk after rehearsal.  Continue, Gary.”
            “I forgot my place.”
            “‘What right have you to be merry?’”
            “Oh yes.  Can we skip ahead to the end?  My ‘Redeemed Scrooge’ needs more practice.”
            “Fine, whatever keeps this moving.”
            “Thank you.  ‘The spirits did it all in one night!  They can do’ – ahhhh!!! The train!  The infernal train!”
            “Gary!  Opening night’s tomorrow!  If you can’t do this, I’ll have to bring in Scott!”
            “Not Scott!  He can barely do a passable Bob Cratchit!”
            “Then don’t make me!”
            “That’s the spirit.”