Narrator: Once upon a time, of all the good days in the year, on Christmas Eve – old Scrooge sat busy in his counting-house. It was cold, bleak, biting weather: fog everywhere: and Scrooge could hear the people in the court outside go wheezing up and down, beating their hands upon their breasts, and stamping their feet upon the pavement stones to warm them. The city clocks had only just gone three, but it was quite dark already – it had not been light all day: and candles were flaring in the windows of the neighbouring offices. The fog came pouring in at every chink and keyhole, and was so dense that the houses opposite were mere phantoms. The fog obscured everything.
The door of Scrooge’s counting-house was open that he might keep his eye upon his clerk, who in a dismal little cell beyond was copying letters. Scrooge had a very small fire, but the clerk’s fire was so very much smaller that it looked like one coal. But he couldn’t put more coal on it, for Scrooge kept the coal-box in his own room. So instead the clerk put on his white comforter, and tried to warm himself at the candle; in which effort, not being a man of a strong imagination, he failed.
And then a cheerful voice was heard: it was the voice of Fred, Scrooge’s cousin.
Fred: A merry Christmas, Mr Scrooge! God save you!
Scrooge: Bah! Humbug!
Fred: Christmas a humbug, Mr Scrooge! You don’t mean that, I am sure
Scrooge: I do. Merry Christmas! What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to be merry? You’re poor enough.
Fred: Come, then. What right have you to be dismal? What reason have you to be morose? You’re rich enough.
Scrooge: Bah! Humbug
Fred: Don’t be cross, Mr Scrooge!
Scrooge: What else can I be, when I live in such a world of fools as this? Merry Christmas! Out upon merry Christmas! What’s Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills without money; a time for finding yourself a year older, but not an hour richer; a time for balancing your books! If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!
Fred: Mr Scrooge!
Scrooge: Cousin Frederick! Keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in mine.
Fred: Keep it! But you don’t keep it.
Scrooge: Let me leave it alone, then. Much good may it do you! Much good it has ever done you!
Fred: There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say. Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round – as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of in the year, when men and women seem to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people less fortunate than themselves …And therefore, cousin, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!
Scrooge: You’re quite a powerful speaker, sir. I wonder you don’t go into Parliament!
Fred: Don’t be angry, Mr Scrooge. Come! Dine with us tomorrow.
Scrooge: Dine? No thanks. Humbug.
Fred: But why? Why?
Scrooge: Why did you get married?
Fred: Because I fell in love.
Scrooge: Love? Because you fell in love! Love, the only other thing in the world more ridiculous than Christmas. Good afternoon!
Fred: But, cousin but you never came to see me before that I got married. Why give it as a reason for not coming now?
Scrooge: Good afternoon.
Fred: I want nothing from you; I ask nothing of you; why can’t we be friends?
Scrooge: Good afternoon.
Fred: Very well. But before I go, allow me to say something. At this festive season of the year, cousin, we should think of the Poor and Homeless, who suffer greatly at the present time. Women, girls and boys. At the mercy of criminals. They’re cold and hungry, they don’t have a roof over their head.
Scrooge: Are there no prisons?
Fred: There are plenty of prisons.
Scrooge: And the workhouses? Are they still in operation?
Fred: They are. Still. I wish I could say they were not.
Scrooge: The Poor Law still exists, then? There are plenty of workhouses for the poor?
Fred: Yes, there are but life inside is very hard….
Scrooge: Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had happened and they had closed. I’m very glad to hear they are still open for business!
Fred: But life in the workhouse is miserable; families are divided; something must be done to improve the lives of our fellow human beings, to protect them from ruthless criminals – so those of us who are more fortunate are collecting money for the poor. What shall I put you down for?
Fred: Ah, I see, you wish to be anonymous…
Scrooge: I wish to be left alone. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned – prison and the poor house. They cost enough; those who are badly off must go there. Good afternoon.
Fred: Many can’t go there. They can’t be separated from their families… they would rather die!
Scrooge: If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.
Fred: But we must all do something to help…
Scrooge: Good afternoon, cousin!
Fred: I am sorry, with all my heart, to find you so resolute. We have never had any quarrel, to which I have been a party. But I have tried for the sake of Christmas, and I’ll keep my Christmas humour to the last. So A Merry Christmas, cousin!
Scrooge: Good afternoon.
Fred: And A Happy New Year!
Scrooge: Good afternoon!
Narrator: In the English-speaking world, Christmas is associated with the stories of Charles Dickens: how many Dickens novels can you name? ….
In which of Dickens’ novels do we come across the words ‘I want some more’?
Let’s hear an extract now from Oliver Twist: Oliver Twist in the Workhouse
Voice 1: The room in which the boys were fed, was a large stone hall, with a copper pot at one end: out of which the master, dressed in an apron for the purpose, and assisted by one or two women, ladled the gruel at meal-times. Of this festive composition, each boy had one bowl, and no more- except on occasions of great public rejoicing, when he had two ounces and a quarter of bread besides.
The evening arrived; the boys took their places. The master, in his cook’s uniform, stationed himself at the pot; his pauper assistants stood behind him; the gruel was served out; and a long grace was said. The gruel disappeared; the boys whispered each other, and winked at Oliver; while his neighbours nudged him. Child as he was, he was desperate with hunger, and reckless with misery. He rose from the table; and advancing to the master, basin and spoon in hand, said: somewhat alarmed at his own courage:
Voice 2: Please, sir, I want some more.
Voice 1: The master was a fat, healthy man; but he turned very pale. He gazed in stupefied astonishment on the small rebel for some seconds, and then clung for support to the copper pot. The boys were paralyzed with fear.
Voice 3: What!
Voice 2: Please, sir, I want some more.
Voice 1: The master aimed a blow at Oliver’s head with the ladle; grabbed him in his arms; and shrieked aloud for the beadle.
The board were in the middle of a solemn committee meeting, when Mr. Bumble rushed into the room in great excitement, and addressing the gentleman in the high chair, said,
Voice 3: Mr. Limbkins, I beg your pardon, sir! Oliver Twist has asked for more!
There was a general start. Horror was depicted on every countenance.
Voice 4: For more! Compose yourself, Bumble, and answer me distinctly. Do I understand that he asked for more, after he had eaten the supper allotted to him?
Voice 3: He did, sir. That boy will be hung, I know that boy will be hung. I never was more convinced of anything in my life, I never was more convinced of anything in my life: that boy will be hung.
Narrator: Now, it’s time for the next sketch: the Ticket Inspector.
Steward Coffee? Tea? Refreshments?
Passenger No thank you.
Passenger No thank you.
Steward Tables for lunch?
Passenger No thank you.
Inspector Tickets, please!
Passenger No thank you.
Inspector I beg your pardon?
Passenger I don’t want a ticket, thank you.
Inspector I’m not selling tickets, sir.
Passenger No? So why did you shout “Tickets”?
Inspector Because I want to see your ticket.
Passenger Oh, I haven’t got a ticket.
Inspector You haven’t got a ticket?
Inspector Why haven’t you got a ticket?
Passenger Because I never buy a ticket.
Inspector You never buy a ticket? Why not?
Passenger Well, they’re very expensive. These are hard times, you know.
Inspector Sir, you are travelling on a train. When people travel on trains they always buy a ticket.
Passenger I don’t. I never buy a ticket.
Inspector You never buy a ticket, sir? Why not?
Passenger I’ve just told you. These are very hard times. And it’s Christmas.
Inspector But Christmas is not free, sir. And may I point out, sir, that this is a first-class compartment?
Passenger Yes, it is nice, isn’t it? First rate. Tip-top. Super-duper.
Inspector No, sir. I mean – this is a first-class compartment. When people travel in a first-class compartment they always buy a first-class ticket.
Passenger No, they don’t.
Passenger People don’t always buy tickets.
Inspector Yes they do.
Passenger I’ll bet there are a lot of people who don’t buy tickets. I’ll bet the Queen doesn’t buy a ticket, does she? Eh? Eh?
Inspector Er, no, sir. But the Queen is a Very Important Person.
Passenger Oh, I see. And what makes you think that I’m not a – Very Important Person?
Inspector But the Queen is also Very Famous, sir.
Passenger And what makes you think that I’m not – Very Famous?
Inspector Well, with respect, sir, I’ve never seen you on television.
Passenger You just haven’t been watching the right programmes. Anyway. What about you? Where’s your ticket?
Passenger Yes, yours. Your ticket. Have you got a ticket?
Inspector Me, sir?
Passenger Yes, sir. You, sir.
Inspector No, I haven’t got a ticket.
Passenger So I suppose you are a – Very Important Person then, are you?
Inspector Well, no, not really.
Passenger Ooh! So you must be famous!
Inspector Famous, sir? Well I wouldn’t say I’m very … Sir! I am a Ticket Inspector! I inspect tickets. That is my job. Now, sir, are you going to show me your ticket or not.
Inspector And will you please tell me why not?
Passenger Because I haven’t got one.
Inspector: Then you must pay for one.
Passenger: What if I refuse to pay for one?
Inspector: Why on earth would you refuse?
Passenger: Because I can’t pay and I won’t pay.
Inspector I see. (takes out notebook)
Passenger What are you doing now?
Inspector I’m going to write your name in my book.
Inspector It’s in the rules, you see. So I need to write your name.
Inspector (writing) O..K… what, sir?
Passenger OK – write my name.
Inspector Ah, I see. (crossing out) Er, what is your name sir?
Inspector (writing) Michael…surname?
Passenger – Mouse. M-O-U-S-E.Michael Mouse. Call me Mickey.
Inspector I see. Your name, sir?
Inspector William what?
Passenger No, not William what, Shakespeare. William Shakespeare. Call me Bill.
Inspector Very amusing. Hm.
Passenger Oh, alright. Klaus.
Inspector: Thank you sir. Klaus. And your first name?
Inspector: Thank you…I’m sorry sir but
Passenger: It’s alright don’t apologise.
Inspector: …but you must tell me your real name.
Passenger: Sorry: it’s private.
Passenger Personal data. Worth a lot of money. That’s how Google got rich.
Inspector (closing notebook) Google?
Passenger: and Facebook. And Amazon.
Inspector: I see, sir. Well, if you are not going to tell me your name I must ask you to leave the train.
Inspector Please leave the train, sir.
Passenger I can’t.
Inspector You can’t what, sir?
Passenger I can’t leave the train.
Inspector And why not, sir?
Passenger Well – it’s moving!
Inspector Not now, sir. At the next station.
Passenger Oh, I see.
Inspector It’s in the rules, sir. When you travel by train, you buy a ticket. And if you don’t buy a ticket, you –
Passenger/Inspector – leave the train!
Passenger (aside) Sir!
Inspector Here we are, sir. We’re coming to a station. So if you could please leave the train now.
Inspector Yes, sir. I’m sorry, but it’s the rules. You do understand, sir –
Passenger Oh, don’t worry about it. It’s OK.
Inspector It’s in the rulebook, you see, and my job is to – what did you say?
Passenger I said, “It’s OK”.
Passenger Yes. This is my station. Thanks. Bye. Merry Christmas.
Inspector: Well, blow me down! And Merry Christmas, to you, too, Mr Santa – or whatever your name is…
Acknowledgements: Doug Case and Ken Wilson
Narrator: And your next quiz question is…: In which Dickens novel do the following characters appear: Pip/Miss Haversham/Estella?
How does Great Expectations begin?
Let’s hear now the opening lines from Great Expectations.
Voice 1: My father’s family name being Pirrip, and my christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip. As I never saw my father or my mother, my first fancies regarding what they were like were derived from their tombstones. The shape of the letters on my father’s gave me an odd idea that he was a square, stout, dark man, with curly black hair. From the character of the inscription, ‘Also Georgiana Wife of the Above’, I drew a childish conclusion that my mother was freckled and sickly.
Ours was marsh country, down by the river, within twenty miles of the sea. My first most vivid impression of the identity of things, seems to have been gained on a raw afternoon towards evening in the cemetery…
Voice 2: Hold your noise!
Voice 1: cried a terrible voice, as a man appeared suddenly from among the graves.
Voice 2: Keep still, you little devil, or I’ll cut your throat!
Voice 1: A fearful man, all in coarse grey, with a great iron on his leg: a man with no hat, and with broken shoes, and with an old rag tied round his head. A man whose teeth chattered in his head as he seized me by the chin.
Voice 1: ‘O! Don’t cut my throat, sir,’ I pleaded in terror. ‘Pray don’t do it, sir.’
Voice 2: Tell us your name! Quick!
Voice 1: Pip, sir.
Voice 2: Once more. Give it mouth!
Voice 1: Pip. Pip, sir.
Voice 2: Show us where you live. Point out the place!
Voice 1: I pointed to where our village lay, a mile or more from the church. The man, after looking at me for a moment, turned me upside down, and emptied my pockets. There was nothing in them but a piece of bread, and I was then seated on a high tombstone, trembling, while he ate the bread ravenously.
Voice 2: You young dog, what fat cheeks you’ve got. Darn me if I couldn’t eat ‘em, and if I han’t half a mind to do it!’ Now lookee here! Where’s your mother?’
Voice 1: ‘There, sir’. He started, made a short run, and stopped and looked over his shoulder. ‘There, sir! Also Georgiana. That’s my mother.’
Voice 2: Oh! And is that your father alonger your mother?
Voice 1: Yes, sir, him too; late of this parish.
Voice 2: Ha! Who d’ye live with – supposin’ you’re kindly let to live, which I han’t made up my mind about?’
Voice 1: My sister, sir – Mrs. Joe Gargery – wife of Joe Gargery, the blacksmith, sir.
Voice 2: Blacksmith, eh? Now lookee here. You know what a file is?
Voice 1: Yes, sir.
Voice 2: And you know what wittles is?
Voice 1: Yes, sir. Food, sir.
Voice 2: You get me a file. And you get me wittles. And you bring ‘em both to me. Or I’ll have your heart and liver out.
Voice 1: He held me by the arms and went on in these fearful terms:
Voice 2: You bring me, tomorrow morning early, that file and them wittles. You bring the lot to me. You do it, and you never dare to say a word about having seen such a person as me and you shall be let to live. You fail and your heart and liver shall be tore out, roasted and ate. Now, what do you say?
Voice 1: I said that I would get him the file, and I would get him what broken bits of food I could, and I would come to him early in the morning.
Voice 2: Say, Lord strike you dead if you don’t!
Voice 1: Lord strike me dead if I don’t.
Voice 2: Now you get home
Voice 1: Goo-goodnight, sir.
Voice 2: Enough of that. I wish I was a frog. Or a eel.
Voice 1: As I saw him go, picking his way among the nettles and among the bramble, he looked in my young eyes as if he were eluding the hands of the dead people, stretching up out of their graves, to get a twist upon his ankle and pull him in.
Narrator: And now I think we’re ready for our next sketch: the Driving Test.
Examiner: Merry Christmas. Welcome! Come in. Please sit down. What can I do for you?
Motorist: YOU ME TEST ME YOU TEST
Examiner: Please, why you are shout? I speak English. Now, what can I do for you?
Motorist: Ah, you understand English. You see, I’ve come for the driving test. I’ve got my English licence but I wanted a Greek one. I’ve heard it’s a little different here.
Examiner: A little. Hm.. .An interesting case. You want a Greek driving licence? But why?
Mot: Well, you see I used to be an English teacher but, you know, these are hard times, so I decided to become a taxi-driver…
Examiner: A taxi-driver…you want to be a taxi-driver in Greece??!
Mot: Well, you know, these are VERY hard times…
Examiner: Well, let’s begin!
Mot: Good. Where’s the car?
Ex: The car? The room. The wheel. the clutch, the accelerator, the brake…we begin…
Mot: But is that all? How can you have a driving test without a car?
Ex: My friend, the first rule for the driving in Greece, the golden rule, is: the good driver needs only one thing: the fantasy. The test begins. Are you ready?
Mot: I suppose so.
Ex: Good. The first question. For one point. What is this?
Mot: Oh, that’s easy….it’s…
Ex: Please be careful: remember the fantasy…
Mot: It’s …er…it’s er…a steering wheel?
Ex: Excellent! It’s a steering wheel! You have one point!
Mot: Oh, thank you. That’s very kind of you.
Ex: Now are you ready for the second question?
Mot: Mm. Yes, please. Thank you.
Ex: The second question is for two points.
Mot: Oh, two!
Ex: And the question is: how does the driver hold the wheel?
Mot: Easy. With his hands.
Ex: Mm. Interesting. Mm. Possibly. Yes, why not? Sometimes …but this question is for two points, you must give more information; you must show. (Motorist shows correct answer). Oh, no, no, no. Please, I will show you. We have the wheel, so. We hold the wheel with one hand so.
Mot: That’s all very well. But what about the other hand?
Ex: The other hand? The important things. The cigarette, the café, the mobile phone, wave to the friends and the cousins
Mot: Oh, I see. Do I get any points?
Mot: Oh, come on, two points!
Mot: Oh, go on.
Ex: Look, I will give you one point – for the theory; for the practical, zero.
Mot: Tut, tut, it’s not fair, it’s not cricket! Unfair.
Ex: The third question. Parking.
Mot: Oh, good parking!
Ex: In Greece we feel the parking strongly: 20 points
Mot: 20 points, I must be careful.
Ex: For 20 points, where are you parking the car?
Mot: Mm, where do I park the car. Car park. I park my car in a car park.
Ex: Ha, ha, ha. A car park! Very funny.
Mot: A meter, a parking meter!
Ex: Ha, ha, ha, please my friend be serious this is a driving test. Oh, the English humour, so cold.
Mot: I know, a multi-storey car park
Ex: A multi-storey…What?
Mot: Alright, I give up. Where DO you park the car in Greece?
Ex: My friend in Greece, we have a modern parking system, the European system. It is simple and cheap.
Mot: Oh, I know, a garage in front of people’s houses!
Ex: No, no, no, my friend: the pavement.
Mot: The pavement?
Ex: The pavement! Simple and cheap.
Mot: But what about the pedestrians?
Ex: The pedestrians? The road! There are roads everywhere! My friend, that was the end of the first part of the test. You need more points. Part 2: The rules of the road. Who am I? (waves arms wildly).
Mot: The driving examiner…
Ex: No, no, what am I doing? (referee gesture)
Mot: Oh, you’re waving your arms…you’re a referee!
Ex: No, try again. (teaching gesture)
Mot: A teacher. An English teacher!
Ex: Remember this is a driving test (traffic policeman gesture)
Mot: Oh, I know. A traffic policeman.
Ex: Excellent! Ten points. Now what am I doing? (waves arms wildly).
Mot: You’re waving your arms again?
Ex: But why? (calling the waiter gesture)
Mot: You’re calling the waiter!
Ex: Well done. Ten points. And this one? (waving to someone)
Mot: You’re waving to you cousin?
Ex: Good. Ten points. This one? (waving to two people)
Mot: You’re waving to you cousins.
Ex: Good and this one? (cars coming from the left)
Mot: Cars coming from the left move on
Ex: And this one? (cars coming from the right)
Mot: Cars coming from right move on
Ex: And this one? (cars coming from the left and right)
Mot: Cars coming from left AND right move on???
Ex: Excellent. Well done. That was a very good round. You now have forty points.
Mot: Forty points, good!
Ex: You only need 100 more points to pass the test.
Mot: 100 points??
Ex: Please, not to worry. The last question is the big one and it is for 100 points.
Mot: Oh, good.
Ex: So, the last question for 100 points. The big one. I cannot help you anymore. You are on your own. First, the special envelope. You must choose. No, the other one. Good, an excellent choice. Now, the big question. You are driving along the Tsimiski Street at 100 kilometres the hour, suddenly, a little old lady, with two big plastic shopping bags, full of Christmas presents, crosses the road five metres in front of you. Now, for 100 points what do you do?
Mot: Easy…I …put my foot on the brake and stop immediately!!
Ex: Oh, my dear friend and you were doing so well…
Mot: But …we always stop…
Ex: My dear friend, you forgot the fantasy…the correct answer is you toot your horn and she run the like the crazy…
Mot: Oh, of course…
Ex: And you were doing so well…but wait, the last question is the big one, and it is in two parts, and the second part is also for 100 points…
Mot: Oh, great another chance…. I mustn’t fail this time…
Ex: The second part. You are driving along the Tsimiski Street at 100 kilometres the hour, suddenly: a beautiful young girl, with two big… plastic shopping bags, full of Christmas presents, crosses the road five metres in front of you. Now, for 100 points what do you do?
Mot: I toot…
Mot: No, no, I put my foot on the brake…I stop….I open the door….I smile…she gets in…with her Christmas shopping…and I wish her a Merry Christmas!
Ex: Excellent! Well, done! You have won the star prize…a brand new Greek driving licence. Congratulations. Merry Christmas!
Mot: Thank you, thank you. That’s awfully kind of you. By the way, I’ve got my car outside, would you like me to give you a lift?
Ex: Well, thank you, that’s very kind of you. But, you know, I never go anywhere by car in Greece…the drivers are crazy here…!!
Narrator: We finish with a sketch inspired by Christmas and the hard times in which we live. Greece as we all know is going through hard times but, so too, are other parts of the world. Christmas time, when it comes round we hope is a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time in the year, when men and women seem to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people less fortunate than themselves …Apart from Dickens, Santa Claus or Father Christmas has also come to symbolize the spirit of Christmas, especially for children and adults young at heart. But who was Santa Claus – do we really know?
- The name Santa Claus comes from
- the Dutch ‘SinterKlaas’ B. the Greek St Nicholas C. the German ‘Klaus Kringle’
- What does Santa say?
- ha, ha, ha B. hi, hi, hi. C. ho, ho, ho.
- True or False?
Father Christmas wears red and white because they are the colours of Coca-Cola.
False: Historically, Coca-Cola was not the first soft drink company to use the modern image of Santa Claus in its advertising—White Rock Beverages had already used a red and white Santa to sell mineral water in 1915 and then in advertisements for its ginger ale in 1923.Earlier still, Santa Claus had appeared dressed in red and white and essentially in his current form on several covers of Puck magazine in the first few years of the 20th century.
And now for our final sketch: the Customs Officer.
Customs Officer: Welcome to Greece! Ah, Greece, Greece: here you will enjoy the glorious sunshine and golden sandy beaches, the golden boys and girls- and with a little drop of ouzo …you will soon forget all your troubles!
But first you must answer one question: have you anything to declare?
Father Christmas: No, no, of course not.
CO: Very well. The green door please. Stop! And where in the name of the glorious sun do you think you’re going?
FC: The green door.
CO: Aha! The green door. Why the green door?
FC: Nothing to declare.
CO: No whisky, no cigarettes, no drugs?
FC: No, nothing.
CO: Very well then I must enforce the special Christmas directive XMAS 225862: ECB / EU/ IMF, which says: ‘if the visitor has nothing to declare he or she will pay a special Christmas tax of 25,000 euros which the state will use to buy Christmas presents for the poor children’. Now, I will ask you again, have you got…?
FC: Well, actually….
CO: This way please. Now, do you have any whisky, cigarettes, drugs.
FC: No, no, no…
CO: Electrical equipment?
FC: ho, ho, ho.
CO: Please your bag on the table. Are you now or have you ever been a member of the an underground revolutionary or terrorist organization?
FC: Sorry, I’m afraid not…I mean, of course not.
CO: Then why have you come to Greece?
FC: To enjoy the glorious sunshine and golden sandy beaches.
CO: Hmm. Do you believe everything you read in advertisements?
FC: Well, not everything….
CO: Your passport please.
FC: There you are.
CO: Now, let me see your name (reads): Klaus, Santa, Nationality: British. Is Klaus an English name…
FC: Ooops, sorry wrong one. Try this one.
CO: You have two passports, why?
FC: I travel a lot.
CO: I see. Now, let me see. Name: Father, Surname: Christmas. Father?
FC: Yes, it’s pronounced Christmas. Father Christmas
CO: Father Christmas? But Father Christmas is fat.
FC: I know.
CO: But you’re thin. You’ve lost a lot of weight.
FC: I know?
FC: I used to eat a lot of Christmas pudding, but nowadays all I get is a biscuit. These are hard times.
CO: Well, Mr Father Christmas
FC: Please call me father.
CO: Well, father, do you have anything to declare?
FC: Yes. Trains and aeroplanes, laptops and ipods and lots of chocolates and sweets for the boys and girls.
CO: Good that will be …5, 10, 15, 25,000 euros. Plus VAT, that’s 30,000 euros..
FC: But I don’t pay tax…
FC: I’m Father Christmas
CO: Everyone pays tax in Greece, even Father Christmas
FC: And VAT! I’ve never paid VAT before
CO: Then I’m afraid you owe us a lot of money, father.
FC: But I’m Santa. Santa doesn’t pay taxes.
CO: Hmm…herr Klaus…so what is the purpose of your visit?
FC: To spread goodwill, peace and joy….
CO: Tax free?
FC: But I’m Father Christmas, look I’m wearing a red costume, black boots….
CO: Hmm.. black and red…. Are you now or have you ever been a member of an underground revolutionary or terrorist organization?
FC: Look, I’m wearing a beard….
CO: But you are not wearing a beard in the photograph…
FC: No, it’s a false beard, look.
CO: A clever disguise.
FC: And I’ve got a reindeer waiting for me outside the airport
CO: If you’re Father Christmas then you can sing jingle bells.
FC: OK. Jingle bells, jingle bells…
CO: Hmm…these terrorists are well trained…Can you sing jingle bells in German, Herr Klaus?
FC: Of course. O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum…
CO: In Spanish?
FC: Feliz Navidad, Feliz Navidad, Feliz Navidad…
CO: In French?
FC: pa rum pum pum pum pum pum pum
CO : …and in Greek ?
FC: I am not sure I can.
CO: Aha! Why can’t you sing Jingle Bells in Greek, Mr Christmas?
FC: But Greek is a difficult language
CO: But my friend, you know Christmas is a Greek word?
CO: Yes, from the Greek word Christos.
FC: And ‘mas?
CO: Mas? Mas? Mas is the ancient Greek word for eat, because at Christmas we have a tradition we eat a little.
FC: Well, I’m sorry, I can’t sing Jingle Bells in Greek…you see, to tell you the truth, this is not my real job
CO: Not your real job? What is your real job?
FC: I am an English teacher.
Co: So why don’t you teach English, why all this jingle and the bells?
FC: Well, you see, these are hard times. I needed a night job. So, I’m sorry I can’t sing jingle bells. Can I go now?
CO: Well, you can call a friend…
FC: A friend?
CO: Yes, a friend to help you sing jingle bells in Greek.
FC: I don’t have any friends here.
CO: No, friends? Ah…all together…perhaps these nice people can help you…all together….(Jingle Bells in Greek with audience); welcome to Greece Merry Christmas,
FC: Ho, ho, ho.
END OF SHOW