Monday, December 22, 2008

A Christmassy Stooge

Well, sitting here knowing I have only one day to work, that it will be all over in seventy-two hours, basking in the pathetic glow of my fairly (yes, fairly... they're not very good at all) lights and listening to Handel's Messiah while snaffling Lidl cut-price Skips by the bucketload (nom, nom!), I have a warm fuzzy festive feeling. Makes me think of my favourite Christmas story.

A Christmas Form

It was Christmas Eve, and, in the Department, all was quiet, apart from the clicking of computer mice on pornographic images, the slurping of tea and the frantic scratching of arses. The whole scenario was presided over by Govscrooge, the most evil and foul-tongued EO in the entire Department. Govscrooge was the Departmental Time Lord; an omniscient and hostile being in charge of the flexi-clock and leave planner.

"Well, I'll be off on my half day then, Merry Christmas to all," chirped Bob Scratchit, the lowliest Clerical Officer in the whole section. Bob was a cheerful chappie, always singing and dancing and generally annoying everyone. As Bob approached the Great Clock, there was a tumult from the furthest corner of the office.

"Just a minute!" yelled Govscrooge. "Did I sign your leave application form?"

"Er, no, but I did tell you I wanted a half-day off on Christmas Eve", said Bob.

"Where's your fucking form, Bob?" Govscrooge barked, rounding on Bob. "If I didn't sign it, you're here until four o'clock. You have to apply in advance. That's the rule, unless you're sick of course. Then I have the right to enter your house to see what you're really up to."

"But I have to get home. My grandkids are coming. I still have to get the Christmas tree up", whined Bob.

"Not my problem," said Govscrooge, "get back to your desk or you'll become the fairy on top of the section Christmas tree. And we do need a new one, since Graham Norton rogered the other one to bits on his recent visit to the Department to open the new wing. Dirty fecker."

Bob Scratchit returned to his desk, despondent. He had so wanted to go drinking with his mates down the pub. The grandkids story was merely a ruse to elicit sympathy. But Govscrooge must be onto him, he mused. He returned to his big dusty pile of forms. Some of them had been there since October. He looked around one last time, and noticing the homicidal look on the EO's face, put his head down and returned to his work.

Four o'clock rolled around and Bob shut down his PC and shrugged himself into his coat. He bade Govscrooge a subdued farewell - which was reciprocated by a grunt that sounded suspiciously like "Fuck off" - and headed for the door. Civil servants were spilling out of neighbouring sections, full of festive cheer. Bob walked, head bowed, down the street. He did not look up until he reached the stained-glass doors of "The Bureaucrat's Arms", the local drinking emporium. Once inside, he ordered a pint of the establishment's finest golden-hued beverage. And drank deep and was silent (with apologies to Austin Clarke).

Govscrooge worked late, balancing all the smokers' clocks - those fucking fag breaks really messed things up. When this irritating task was finished, it was time to go home, to the large stately pile in the centre of Ballyfuck that Govscrooge called home. It was a mansion that had passed down through several generations of Govscrooges. It had real Georgian windows, Grecian urns and a door knocker in the shape of Charlie Haughey. Govscrooge skidded on a small rectangular object as she stepped through the front door. The cry of "Bollicks" echoed through the house. Govscrooge looked at what had caused the accident. It was a brown envelope with a harp on it, and now, a wet footprint. "Fucking bastard payslip" roared Govscrooge. "Fuck all in it anyway! Jesus I need a beer."

Bob Scratchit weaved his way home through the snow which had begun to fall while he was in the pub. On the way he met the parish priest, who wished him all the blessings of the season. Bob belched in response, and continued on. He stopped twice on the way home. Once for a wee on a door, and again to be sick in a bush. On arriving home, he engaged in a pitched battle with the keyhole of his front door and, once having won, fell into his hallway and promptly fell asleep.

Govscrooge woke, slumped at the kitchen table, surrounded by empty Leffe bottles. "Fuck, how many of those did I drink? And what the hell woke me up?" The question was answered by the rustling of paper. Suddenly, an apparition appeared, right there in the middle of the kitchen. It couldn't be, could it? It was semi-transparent, glowing, covered in Post-it notes and Departmental compliment slips. It was Morley's Ghost! The Ghost of Govscrooge's former HEO!

"My God, Govscrooge, you really are a miserable wagon", boomed the spectre. "Why do you take my instructions about leave forms so seriously? Even at Christmas?"

"Ah fuck off, Morley. You're not doing my PMDS anymore. Get out of my house you ectoplasmic waste of space", retorted Govscrooge.

"I'm not finished. I have the ULTIMATE PMDS review for you. Before morning, you will be visited by three ghosts." said Morley.

"Jesus, I'm really scared" yawned Govscrooge. "I've so much beer in me I couldn't give a fuck. Just tell them to wipe their feet before they come in. And why so late anyway? Even Jehovah's Witnesses don't come knocking at those hours."

Morley's ghost sighed, and without a further word, disappeared in a puff of smoke.

"God, smokers ming", thought Govscrooge, and resumed her slump at the table.

To be continued....

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