Last Christmas Standing

A remake of an old Christmas classic, re-recorded with English subtitles to meet a broader audience. All dialogues are posthumously recorded by Knut Risan.

PART I: THE MAGICAL CHRISTMAS NUT

Christmas Day. Outside the snow is falling, the snow that kept everyone waiting, but appeared just in time to make a white Christmas after all. Some children are walking along the street, pulling a sled behind them. Those who are not outside playing in the snow, are sitting inside and enjoying Christmas in their own manner; some are watching TV, while some are playing games with their family. Marcus and Marty, our two young heroes, aged 15 and 17 years, are sitting in their own chairs, listening to the radio whilst reading Christmas cartoons. They are having quite the idyllic Christmas time when suddenly they are torn out of their peacefulness by fiery, but yet well-known synth music from the radio.

“I do wonder,” Marcus said, turning against Marty, “if we ever will live to see a Christmas without Wham!’s ‘Last Christmas’ being played on the radio.”
“What, like any kind of radio?” Marty was immersed in the comic he was reading.
“Well, national radio, then. The song has haunted the world like a nightmare ever since it came in the 80’s. Think about that, the 80’s! Long before we were born!” said Marcus, waving his hands. His brother looked up from the comic magazine. A bit bemused, he gazed at Marcus who now was fiddling with the volume control on the radio.
“What has horse-riding female goblins got to do with Wham!?” he shrugged.
“Well, I am about to lose my mind. Do you think they will celebrate Christmas in 2150 accompanied by the golden voice of George Michael during their Christmas dinner?”
“Do you think they will celebrate Christmas at all?”

Marcus went silent for a moment. He simply hadn’t thought of it that way before. Now that the threats of global warming and climate change were approaching the Earth like two hummingbirds who are also approaching each other, this was indeed a timely question. If the most severe doomsday prophecies had any substance at all, then there wouldn’t be any Christmas to celebrate even in 100 months. Marcus turned grave. From the radio you could hear the shrieking voice of George Michael: No-ow I know what a fool I’ve been…
“I have actually never thought of that,” he had to admit. “The way we are destroying the Earth with our mindless actions and contempt of future generations, our concern should be whether we have an earth to celebrate Christmas on, rather than if that Christmas may contain Wham! in some form,” Marcus said precociously.
“Huh?” sounded from behind the comic magazine. “What thoughtless actions? I was referring to how people probably won’t celebrate Christmas in the future! Christmas is, after all, cozy as it may be, a Christian celebration, and people are finally starting to wake up from this Jesus nonsense. And without Jesus, there won’t be much Christmas celebration, you’ll see.”
“Bah,” Marcus wasn’t convinced. “Christmas will always prevail, the Earth, however, is heading straight down the drain if we don’t do something soon to save our climate.”
“Climate here and climate there, I am sure the earth will outlast Christmas by a long mile.” Marty said while attempting to ignore the over engaged younger brother, who swallowed everything he read from environmental activist organizations on the Internet whole.
“Wanna bet?” Marcus asked triumphantly.
“Great idea!” Marty replied, “we can take a look into my magical crystal ball to find out what will last the longest: The Earth or Christmas. 50 bucks on the Earth.”
“You have a magical crystal ball?” Marcus made big eyes.
“Sure.” Marty put down the comic he until recently had been reading, and stood up, while John Lennon relieved George Michael on the radio, for now. Marty slouched over to the bowl of nuts that was residing on the shelf next to the gingerbread house, grabbed a hazelnut in his hand, and raised it towards the ceiling.
“I hereby summon You, O magical hazelnut! Answer me this: What will outlast what: The Earth or Christmas?” He put the nut to his ear as if he was expecting an answer in the form of a whisper.
“Fool.” Marcus said from his chair.
“Sssh,” Marty continued. “It talks to me! It says… it says… that all this global warming bollocks is pure, utter nonsense, that you should get some hobbies not involving idealistic organizations, and that I am going to eat this nut soon. Wow! Three out of three, not bad!”

Marcus had already put his brother on manual ignore, and picked up another comic magazine from the pile of Christmas comics, when Marty grabbed the nutcracker from the shelf and cracked open the nut he held in his hand. Suddenly, there was a large POFF, and a small bang, and before them in a cloud of smoke stood an old man with a pointy hat, and a long, grey beard. Marty dropped the nut he was holding down on the floor, and Marcus dropped the comic magazine he was reading. Both gaped.
“The m-m-magical nut…” Marcus said, terrified.
“Whoops, where did I end up now?” the old man asked. Marty stared at him in disbelief.
“D-did you come out of this… nut?” Marty asked the old man.
“Nut? What nut? Would big, old me come out of a tiny nut? No, I think you are out of your mind.” The old man looked slightly bothered at the gaping boy.
“Yes, I am starting to think that myself.” Was all Marty managed to say, facing the old man who had suddenly appeared right in front of him as if by magic. The man looked at the boys. The surprised looks on their faces revealed to him what had happened.
“Oh no, don’t tell me… I managed to teleport myself to this dimension again!”
“This what?” Marcus stuttered. The old man sighed.
“Pardon me, I did not intend to come bursting in on you in this manner. I owe you an explanation. My name is Randalf and I am a wizard. I come from the same planet as you, but from another dimension. My dimension has some sort of supervision of the other dimensions, hence we from time to time teleport ourselves here and there when it is necessary. Now I was going to teleport myself to 7-twentyeleven to get me a cup of coffee, but I always mix up the magic words, so I often find myself in different dimensions than the one I was heading for.”
“Other dimen… how many dimensions are there really?” Marty asked.
“Hmm, well… with the last one I believe we now have 75 dimensions only for this planet. Each planet can have many dimensions, even Uranus has 29 dimensions, although they all are as cold and full of shit as the one you know of.”
“So… you…” Marcus hesitated. “So you came here from another dimension, as if by magic?”
“Yep,” Randalf replied, before hastily adding “with magic, rather.”
“And you didn’t come out of this hazelnut?” Marty pointed to the half-broken nut on the floor. Randalf laughed and made a dismissive gesture with his hand.
“Ha-ha, no, that would have been something!”

Marcus and Marty stared at each other, stunned. Even in their wildest fantasies they couldn’t have imagined what had just happened. Suddenly, Marcus got an idea. He put up a smart face.
“Now you have that lame expression again.” Marty said.
“Shut up, brother.” Marcus replied. “Tell me, Randalf. You said you had some sort of supervision with the other dimensions, including this?”
“That’s right. With the explosive increase in dimensions we get more and more to do in our dimension.”
“Could you even, like, see in the future?”
“Nah, well, only if you have the Great Crystal Ball of Future Vision.”
“And if you have the Great Crystal Ball of Future Vision?”
“Yes, then you could see in the future.”
“You see,” Marcus started, “me and my brother here have a bet going. We wonder what will last the longest of the Earth and Christmas. Maybe you could give us the answer?”
“Well, I do have a lot to do these days…” Randalf scratched his beard. “But considering how I burst in on you in such a rude manner, and even on Christmas day… then I guess we could always have a look. What was it you guys wondered again?”
“What will last the longest of the Earth and Christmas!” Marcus said, enthusiastically.
“And Wham!” Marty added, now just as enthusiastically.
“What?” Randalf asked.
“No, Wham!” the boys cheered together.
“Oh well, hop on board in my ship, and we’ll travel to Dimension 1!” Randalf gesticulated.
“What ship?” The boys looked around the living room in wonder.
“Boys… You have to imagine the ship!”

And so they did. Singing The Imagination Song, Randalf took the boys to Dimension 1, where they hopefully would get the answer to the ultimate question of what would last the longest: The Earth, Christmas, or Wham!

The end of part I.

PART II: AN INCREDIBLE JOURNEY

The story so far: Marcus and Marty, two boys aged 15 and 17 years, are sitting in the living room on Christmas Day, discussing what will last the longest of the Earth and Christmas, after being directed to this topic of conversation by George Michael and Wham!, but are interrupted by the sudden appearance of the mystical wizard Randalf from Dimension 1 in a cloud of smoke just as Marty is cracking what he calls a “magical nut”. Randalf debunks the idea that the nut has anything to do with his sudden appearance. The boys ask Randalf if he can give them the answer to their question of what will last the longest of the Earth, Christmas and Wham! And accompanied by a lame song, Randalf takes the boys on an unforgettable journey in his imaginary ship.

It is truly a marvellous sight. The ship sailed through time and space, and dimensions, of course. Around Marcus and Marty fantastic lands and endless oceans appeared on all sides. With a firm hand, Randalf steered the ship through all these majestic places. Marcus and Marty stood in awe, gazing at the wonderful sights in front of them. At last, Randalf spoke.
“While we’re out drivin’ this jolly old boat, I might as well show you what started this whole Christmas-thingy of yours. I mean, now that you’re going to find out how long it’ll last, that might be of some use.”
“Oh yes, please!” Marcus said eagerly. “Show us!” And before Marty could even utter a single word, Randalf had directed the ship towards a small stable in a country far, far away. The boys peeked over the railings of the ship, and looked down on a heavily pregnant woman who lay on her back in some hay, and what appeared to be a not so dexterous man, who was hammering on some pallets. The two turned out to be Mary and Joseph.
“There, finally done!” Joseph exclaimed in relief.
“Oh, what a nice crib!” Mary said.
“It is a stool…” Joseph sulked. Randalf told the boys that the woman was only minutes away from giving birth, and that they did wise in turning away.

The boys sat down with their own Christmas comic, which they had brought for the trip.
“What are you reading?” Randalf inquired.
“The Katzenjammer Kids” Marcus replied.
“Beetle Bailey” Marty seconded.
“Bah,” Randalf snorted. “call the humour police if you find any jokes, I mean, Jesus Christ!”
“Speaking of,” Marty looked up from his comic magazine. “Is anything happening over there yet?”
“That depends on you,” Randalf answered. “If you imagine that Jesus is born, then he is. Just you try and see.” The boys looked puzzled at each other, and looked over the railings at the huge party that had assembled at the stable.
“But you told us the birth was minutes away, and all we had to do was imagine that Jesus was born!?” Marcus looked indignantly at Randalf, who just shrugged his shoulders.
“I just wanted a small break, that’s all.”

“What a beautiful child!” said the first shepherd.
“He has his father’s eyes!” said the second.
“And what a nice crib!” said the third.
“It’s a stool!” Joseph replied irritated. Mary held the newborn in her arms. It was quite a few people who had showed up to get a glimpse of the baby. She stroked him lovingly over the head, and sat up in the hay.
“He can lie in the crib that Joseph made,” she suggested.
“Stool!!!” Joseph boomed, as Mary put the little baby down in the cri… in the hollow stool in front of them. Three posh upper class men approached the baby.
“It is the three wise men!” Marcus exclaimed.
“Well,” Randalf replied, “it is the three wise-asses. A nuance that has disappeared in the translation of the bible.”
“The son of God, hah, I dare say! He’s even smaller than me!” said the first snob.
“If he is as almighty as they say he is, then he can prove it by turning me into a frog!” said the second, and turned into a frog.
“And what an ugly stool!” said the third. “Anyways, here are some presents from us,” he continued, while turning to Mary.
“Lo and behold! Gold from the wealthy kingdom to the east, where I come from. In our kingdom, the wealth is great, but greater is He who is born today,” said the first wise-ass, before adding “although he might appear kind of tiny today.”
“Rejoice, for I have brought frankincense from my Kingdom in the south” the second wise-ass croaked. “In our kingdom we smoke everything we find, from cigarettes to salmon, so here is some smoked frankincense, so it can smell a little better in this filthy stable.”
“And I have brought baby clothes,” said the third wise-ass. “The son of God must not be cold!”
“Baby clothes!?” the boys exclaimed together.
“Yes,” Randalf had to admit, “the translations might have plundered a bit here as well.”

The ship sailed on. The boys had stars in their eyes; they had just witnessed the birth of Christ.
“Imagine that, this is actually the reason why we celebrate Christmas each 25th of December.” Marcus said, incited by what he had just seen.
“Not quite,” Randalf said concerned. “You see, the day you now celebrate Christmas on was originally a pagan celebration that the Christians ‘stole’ because they wanted attention be directed at the birth of Christ.
“Is that true?” Marcus said, mildly shocked.
“But that means,” Marty continued, “that the Christians really can just shut it when they go on nagging about people forgetting the true message of Christmas, and that it is a paradox that non-Christians celebrate Christmas. All we do is taking back the holiday from the Christians!”
“Strictly speaking that is what it means, yes,” Randalf said and parked the ship. “We’re here, at last. Welcome to my world!”

The boys stepped out of the ship. The house in front of them was the greatest they had ever seen. On the ground was a thick layer of snow, and small, green men with funny hats were running around as if they were engaged in something important.
“It looks as if the small, green men are engaged in something important!” Marty exclaimed while pointing at one of them.
“That is because they are engaged in something important,” Randalf answered. “For you haven’t forgotten what day it is in your world and dimension…?”

The boys followed Randalf into the house. On the table in the living room was a giant orb made of glass. “That must be it!” Marcus whispered loudly to Marty. They gathered around the table.
“Boys…” Randalf started. “First, I need to tell you something.”
“Is that the Great Crystal Ball of Future Vision?” Marcus asked eagerly, pointing at the large glass orb on the table.
“What? This?” Randalf lifted it up. “No, this is just for decorations.” He shook the orb, and little, white pieces whirled around inside the orb. “Look! Snooooow!!” Randalf shouted with joy. He put down the orb. “As I said, there is something I need to tell you. Or rather, show you.”

Randalf took off the pointy hat, the long coat and the grey fake beard. The boys gasped when they saw who was underneath the costume.

The end of part II.

PART III: THE BIG SANTA PLOT

The story so far: The mystical wizard Randalf shows up unannounced in a cloud of dust at the home of our heroes, Marcus and Marty, while they’re really discussing what will last the longest of the Earth, the Christmas celebration, and Wham!’s perpetual Christmas hit “Last Christmas”. Randalf takes the boys on a journey in his imaginary ship, so they can look into the Great Crystal Ball of Future Vision, and thus once and for all decide the argument. On the way, Randalf stops at a stable in Bethlehem some 2000 years ago, where Jesus just has been born to standing ovations from the shepherds on the hillside and the three wise-asses, while Joseph has made an incredibly ugly stool. When the boys finally arrive at Randalf’s residence, he takes off his pointy hat and the grey fake beard, revealing his true identity…

“So, boys,” Randalf started, “it is in fact me.”
“Y-you… you… exist.” Marcus said while staring at the large figure in front of him. The man was clad in his usual red coat, and the big, white beard hid a cunning smile.
“And I who all the time thought it was dad!” Marty explained.
“Ho-ho-ho”, Santa Claus chuckled. “Your father has been a stand-in for me on several occasions. It is a myth that I have the capacity of visiting all the children all over the world. In fact, I need that well-meaning fathers and broke students at malls keep the myth about me alive. So be it that some illusions are shattered when dad forgets to take off his watch when dressing as Santa.”
These words upset Marcus. He remembered that ill-fated Christmas all these years ago, when his own father had made the same mistake. He had been suspicious for some time, that something wrong that wasn’t right was up when his father never had been there when Santa showed up. He wouldn’t have given this any more thought, if it hadn’t been for Marty, in a moment of anger, shouting to Marcus that Santa didn’t exist, and that it was only their dad dressed up as Santa who came with presents every Christmas. That Christmas, the last illusions of Santas and reindeers had gone out the window. When Marty some hours later had explained to Marcus that God didn’t exist, the night was complete. Marcus had locked himself in his room for the remainder of the Christmas.
“But why the wizard costume?” Marty dragged Marcus out of his sad train of thoughts.
“It’s not really a costume…” Santa started. “The grey coat is my winter coat, and the pointy hat is very stylish.”
“And the fake beard on top of the regular beard?” Marcus asked.
“For dramatic effect,” Santa answered with confidence.
“Ah,” the boys said.

Santa Claus gave the boys a tour around the big house. Little, green elves ran back and forth with wish lists and toys. They had to be done in time, so the toys with the name tags could be delivered to the appropriate present stations all over the world, where the fathers could pick up the presents for their little, loved ones – a task that is carefully described in The Big Daddy Book, which every father receives as his first-born child enters the world, but that they have to promise to keep secret from wife as well as children. “Those who don’t have a father, or has a father that does not care,” Santa explained, “will just have to pray for some mall Santa to have their present.”
“So you don’t help them in any way?” Marty wanted to know.
“Nah.” Santa Claus kicked around some paper lying on the floor.
“Isn’t that a bit mean?” Marcus stared at him in disbelief.
“The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away,” he said indifferently.
“That’s God,” Marty mumbled while looking around. He felt uncomfortable. It was something about this Santa, which he couldn’t pinpoint, that just wasn’t right. Santa was supposed to be a stout, nice old man, who stood for unity and happiness. This Santa was an insensitive guy with a strange accent. Why would Santa give presents to children all over the world, but only if their fathers could be arsed to pick up the presents themselves? And what was up with all the super feminine dolls that were shattered around the house, with tons and tons of needles in them? And what was that…?

“Here we are!” Santa proclaimed.
“We’re where?” Marcus asked.
“Ho!” Santa laughed. “At the Giant Crystal Ball of Future Vision, of course! You boys had a question for me, didn’t you?”
“Yes!” Marcus answered.
“Yes!” Marty interrupted. “We wonder what the hell you want from us!” Silence. Marcus looked inquiringly at his brother.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“I mean,” Marty answered, “that there is something fishy about this whole Santa shenanigan. I have trouble believing this man is who he says he is.”
“Come on!” Marcus said angrily, almost tearful. “This is the second time you tell me Santa doesn’t exist.”
“I know,” Marty said, scowling at Santa Claus. “I’ve always had a thing for scepticism. I grew suspicious on board the ship when Santa/Randalf lighted up a cigarette, and pulled up his beard for every drag he took. That lame cover story about the Christmas presents that the fathers of the world supposedly were to pick up themselves didn’t exactly help, but what sealed the deal for my part … was this!” The room fell silent, as Marty took forth a poster. At first it was difficult to see who it depicted, since someone had drawn on it a moustache, devil horns, a couple of male genitals, and at least twenty different weapons, all intending to do serious harm to the man on the poster. The man was no other than the Christmas spirit killer George Michael.
“I should have known it a long time ago,” Marty continued. “That lame song which you sang on board the ship wasn’t just lame, it also completely out of tune, and besides you snuck in a synth solo from Hell. Take off that stupid beard and those ridiculous, red clothes, for I know who you really are.” The Artist, formerly known as Randalf and Santa Claus did as Marty said, and took off his disguise.
“You!” Marcus gasped. “You are … you are …”
“Exactly!” Marty lifted his head in triumph.
“You are … you are …” Marcus continued.
“Just as I thought!” Marty gloated.
“You are … eh, you are …” Marcus repeated. “ You are … who the Hell are you??”
“Don’t you see?” Marty asked in disbelief.
“Marty, I have never before in my life seen this man.” Marcus replied.
“This, my dear brother, is,” Marty revealed, “the other guy in Wham!”
“George Michael?” Marcus asked.
“No,” Marty said, “the other guy.”
“There were others?” Marcus had never heard of any other guy in Wham!
“Exactly!” The other guy in Wham! replied. And then he started explaining.

“As you know, in the 80’s me and Georgy-Porgy had a massive hit with Last Christmas, presumably the best Christmas song ever written. Ever since, this piece of confectionary of a song has been played in the millions of homes around the world, each Christmas. But who took the credit for this, and a bunch of other classics (such as Club Tropicana)? I’ll tell you who! That little bearded gaylord! Everyone remembered George Michael, but no one remembered me. They all just referred to me as “the other guy in Wham!” It went as far as me not remembering my own name anymore. So, at the end of the 80’s I allied with some guys from the Soviet Union who wanted one back at the U.S. for beating the soviets in about every possible area they were fighting on at the time. They figured they couldn’t beat USA with conventional methods, and so they came up with this brilliant conspiracy, which is the mother of all other conspiracies. They wanted to exploit the greed of the Americans, they wanted to use their own greed and self proclaimed excellence against them.” The other guy in Wham! made a short pause before continuing. “You think of the fall of communism and the iron curtain as something the West did, but have you never reflected on how apparently easy it happened? Along came Gorbachev, and everything was just bliss? Oh no, if something looks too easy, it most certainly is. The truth is that it was the Soviet Union that arranged the fall of the iron curtain, and at the same time initiated a large-scale brainwashing of all of the West: The Great Santa Plot!”

Marcus didn’t know if he wanted to hear any more, but Marty pushed on.
“Tell us about The Great Santa Plot!”
“The Great Santa Plot is as simple as it is genius. A man, the so called ‘Santa Claus’ whose name is an acronym for ‘Satan C(an) L(ove) USA”, if you twist and turn it some, would get all of the western world to think it was a good idea to turn the Christmas holiday into one big shopping spree, so the western consumer grew poorer, while the big corporations who makes a profit of the Christmas, who also happens to be controlled by the Russian government without the stupid western man known, got wealthier and wealthier. Have you ever wondered why Santa Claus is red? It’s not because of Coca Cola, that is simply a myth we planted. No, red is the colour of communism. Yes, Santa Claus is a commie!”

This was simply too much for Marcus, and he ran out of the room, crying. Marty stayed put.
“Santa surely has existed much longer than since the late 80’s?” he asked confused.
“No, that’s what you think, but as I said, this is a result of a great western brainwashing. Before that there was no Santa Claus, but the Russians have made you all believe it.”
“But where do you come into the picture?” Marty wanted to know.
“The Russians needed someone western to pose as Santa Claus, or else it would not have been believable at all. I met some Russians at an anti-George Michael seminar, and then the snowball started rolling. At first they didn’t think that I needed a costume other than my communist coat, since no one would recognize me anyway, but to make the transformation complete, they gave me a fake beard to make me look like one of the most famous Russians of all time – Rasputin!” The other guy in Wham! pulled out a picture of Gregory Rasputin.

“Naaah…” Marty doubted. “Can’t say I see any similarity.”
“Maybe not now,” the other guy in Wham! replied. “But what if I make just a few tiny alterations…” The other guy in Wham! started drawing on the picture with some pencils. “There you go!” He showed the picture again to Marty.

“You’ve just taken an ordinary man with a long beard, and drawn some red clothes and a white beard on him!”
“Yes, that is pretty much how we came up with the disguise.”
“I see,” Marty said thoughtfully. “But there is something I still don’t quite get. The Russians gets money from the West from this scheme (what they do with the money is better left unsaid, apart from silly English football clubs.) But what’s in it for you? How does George Michael take harm from the Russians taking the West’s money?”
“Ah, but you see, this is the most brilliant part of the plan! You might think that the toy store Toys ‘Я’ Us is just another toy store? Well, you better think again! The fact is that all the toys sold there in reality are little George Michael voodoo dolls, so each time some child hits or throws a toy to the ground, George Michael is hurt. You didn’t think it was a coincidence that so many bad things have happened to him lately? Hirr hirr hirr …”
“Toys ‘Я’ Us … It’s all coming together now.” Marty said profoundly.
”Yes. Most people think the store is called Toys ’R’ Us, but they don’t know that it’s not an R at all, but the cyrillic letter Я.” The other guy in Wham! nodded confirmingly to what he had just said.
”Funny you should say that, I’ve always called the store Toys ‘Я’ Us.”
”Yes, that’s what it’s called.”
”Still, it doesn’t change the fact that you probably are the most evil person I have ever met.” Marty looked again at the poster, thinking of what the other guy in Wham! had said about the voodoo dolls.
”Thank you. Now, it was something you wanted to see?”
”Yes.”

The other guy in Wham! took Marty into another room, where the Great Crystal Ball of Future Vision was.
”Are you sure you want to see this? Looking into the future rarely brings anything good with it.” the other guy in Wham! warned Marty.
”Do I want to see this?” Marty asked.
”No,” was the abrupt answer.
”I’ll see it anyway.”

When Marty returned to Marcus, it appeared to Marcus as if it was a different Marty. The once so jolly boy now had an empty look in his eyes.
”Did you look into the future?” Marcus tried.
”Yes,” was the blunt answer.
”What happens to the Earth?” the little brother asked hesitantly.
”Believe me,” Marty said, ”you really don’t want to know.”
”But …” Marcus started.
”You really don’t want to know,” Marty snapped.
”Ok then,” Marcus accepted. ”Just tell me one thing … what will last the longest? The earth, Christmas, or Wham!?”
”Are you sure you want to know?” Marty gazed at his younger brother.
”Yes,” Marcus said after thinking for a long time.
”Wham!”
”Fuck.”

THE END

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>