The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff (2011) s01e00 Episode Script

Christmas Episode

Mulled wine! Get your lovely mulled wine! Mulled mullet! Get your mullet here! Mulled mullet, sir? Find out the date and time for a farthing! Date and time for a farthing! Find out the date and time for a farthing! Why, it's mid-nineteenth century, just before lunch, on Christmas Eve o'clock.
Curses! I thought it was 20 to Easter! Ah! Mulled wine! Get your lovely mulled wine! Mulled wine! Oh! Get your lovely mulled wine! Aha! I urgently need Christmas presents for one wife, one son, one mother.
Of course, sir.
Perhaps for your son, a pineapple Duke Of Wellington? A healthy mix of fruit and militarism.
I'll take it.
And for your wife, how about this wheel of tiger milk cheddar? She does love a novelty curdled milk product.
I'll have that, too.
Perhaps those busts of the Muses for Mother? Alas, not for sale.
Sentimental reasons.
Might I suggest instead a rhyming pair of slippers and kippers gift set? Fishy and comfortable! What a wonderful shop! Good day.
Good day.
Allow me Thank you.
My husband adores his hot and spicy dodo wings.
And that is the last tin.
I'm sure you can order more.
No.
Aarghh! Urchin alert! The underclass is here! Please, Lady Spendlots, show some Christmas spirit.
Can I help you, rough, strange-smelling boy? What can I get for this handful of horse dung? Why, a whole two handfuls of sheep dung.
Cor, this is going to be a brilliant Christmas! Thanks, Mister! Mm-hmm.
Let all hear this.
My shop is free of class, division and prejudice, and is open to everyone! Bonjour.
Ah! It is closing time, I am afraid.
A Christmas harrumble for the noble Mr Jedrington Secret-Past! A Christmas harrumble! And now, perhaps, you can turn from business to pleasure.
Dearest wife, Conceptiva! Beloved children, Victor and Victoria! Merry Yuletidiness, Father.
I have made you a festive jam spaniel.
I shall save it for later, my littlie.
Is it now time for Christmas, Papa, and games such as Mucka-Lucka-Wucka and Pin The Tail On The Pauper? Not quite yet.
For remember, by law, Christmas only truly begins with the midnight chimes of London's three great alliterative clocks, Big Ben, Massive Maurice and Tiny Terry.
But, when they chime, why, it is Christmas ahoy and joy-o'clock.
Now, I must to the butcher for our feast of rack of badger.
If you hurry home, my love, you may find an early Christmas present.
For beneath my skirt, my underskirt, my under-under skirt, my over-pants, my sub-over-pants, and my proxidermal, anti-tactile man-be-gones, I am wearing virtually nothing at all.
Cripes! I command you to emerge! Yes? Are you a rude carol singer? Thank you, Mr Hacksmeat.
God bless you, sir.
Merry Christmas.
But tall and frightening sir, there must be a misunderstanding.
I assure you, madam, if there has been a misunderstanding, it is the misunderstanding you have made in misunderstanding that there is no misunderstanding other than your own misunderstanding.
Merry Christmas.
Look, my love, he also threw in a brace of that most Christmassy of birds, the tinsel tit.
Oh! You are Jedrington Secret-Past, owner of the Old Shop Of Stuff? I am, but Silence! By order of court, I, Malifax Skulkingworm, hereby detainerate your entire estatelment, including, and not outcluding, ALL chattels, owningtons, possessionaries, and what we lawyers call "things".
You what? I am taking everything you own.
Oh! Such cruelty! I assure you, madam, I am not cruel.
Indeed, I am a lovelington and a softy-boots.
But alas, I work for a client who is, to use a legal term, a "right old meanie".
What client? Alas, the law forbids me to tell you his name.
Naughty, nasty law! You must at least tell me what I am supposed to have done! You have an unpaid debt.
I have never borrowed money in my life! No, but your grandfather did, and as his heir, the debt is now yours.
That is impossible, for I have no grandfather.
My husband is a foundling, adopted by a family who discovered him as an infant left in a toy railway station left in a handbag shop.
Nonetheless, I have documents which prove that the debt is yours.
Fearshiver! Begging your pudding and baking your pardon, sir.
But this is incomprehensible gibberish.
Yes.
It is the law.
There are three pages here where it just says "weasel".
How much is this debt? Two guineas.
Oh, well, if that's all it is I hadn't finished.
Two guineas, another 3,000 guineas, a half crown, two tiaras, five farthings, and sweatlepence.
Where am I supposed to find that kind of money? I don't even know what some of it is! How much is sweatlepence? About 4,000 guineas.
(How much?) Can you pay this debt? I cannot.
Then I hereby confiscate all that you own until such time as the debt is repaymentified! So, I am to lose everything? Not everything, my dear husband, for we still have each other.
Yes, as to that, according to the Married Man's Property and Insult to Women Act of 1806, you and your children are deemed your husband's property.
Remove them! Oh! I fear an attack of the panications! This will calm you, Mama.
Thank you, Victoria.
Though also, ow.
In you get.
And now, remove the property! They will be held in London's most notorious debtor's prison.
Not The Skint? Certainly.
Oh, and did I mention that if the debt is not repaid by Christmas Day, you will lose you family for ever? But that is less than eleven hours away! Ooh, I'll take that, thank you! Should you need me, by any chance, here's my card.
Now, one last thing I'm awfully sorry.
Again, not me, my client.
He really is the most colossal git.
Come on, Fearshiver.
A Christmas boo for Mr Secret-Past, the debt-ridden liar.
A Christmas boo! I must seek help.
You arrive at an exciting time, dear adoptive nephew.
We have just decorated our Christmas tree.
How festive.
Alas, I am in trouble, adoptive maiden aunts, adoptive maiden uncle.
Such effrontery! If our parents chose to name us after the great virtues, morality dictates you should speak our names out loud.
Of course, Aunt Chastity, dear Aunt Sobriety, Aunt Good-Spelling, Uncle Writes-Prompt-Thank-You-Cards.
Have a seat, dear boy.
Thank you.
Oh! Ah! Eee! What? The deadly sin of sloth! Would you like some cake? Please.
Oh! Ah! Eee! What? The deadly sin of gluttony! Then I shall not have cake.
I don't blame you.
It's horrid.
Gravel cake is the most sternly moral cake of them all.
After jam and Bible sponge.
Please, I do not have time to discuss the ethics of baked goods, for my shop and my family have been taken from me.
Oh! Ah! Eee! Why? The courts believe that I have inherited a debt from my grandfather.
But as a foundling, I have no grandfather.
Do I? Definitely not.
That is not entirely true is it? Yes it is.
Shut up, Writes-Prompt-Thank-You-Cards.
Please.
You know how proud I am of overcoming my orphanhood.
Oh! Ah! Eee! The deadly sin of pride! All those years, watching other families, wishing I had one of my own.
Oh! Ah! Eee! Envy! Dear maiden aunts, I miss my wife.
That definitely hints at lust! To have my family taken away I cannot bear the thought! And now wrath! Dear boy, your name is not without meaning.
What, Jedrington? The other one.
Secret-Past? What meaning could that possibly have? None whatsoever.
Goodbye.
No! It's time he was told.
Very well.
But one more deadly sin, and he's out of here! There was once another chair round this table.
A fourth maiden aunt? Neither maiden, nor aunt.
What do you mean? It's a long story.
How long? 10 hours, 43 minutes.
Then it must wait, for that is slightly longer than the time I have in which to free my family.
Please, dear adoptive relatives, I need to borrow a considerable sum of money from you.
Oh! Ah! Eee! Avarice! Sin Go! Please! You're the only adoptive family I've got! I am hurt.
I must visit my poor family.
Why, new guests! Welcome, welcome to this finest of institutions! Finest of institutions? Are you some kind of mentalist? Dearest, please, do not say "mentalist".
It is very insulting.
Kindly use a more sensitive term such as soft-head, nut-job or derange-atron.
Allow me to introduce myself I am Mr Jolliforth Jollington, a man who believes that even in desperate circumstances there can be politeness and joy.
For is it not Christmas, the jolliest, holliest time of all? For Christmas brings games and japes and jellies and baubles and peace and goodwill to all men Oh! It is the most wonderful time of the year! Say what you like, mother, he's definitely a mentalist.
Tough crowd.
Madam, with your blessing I shall show your children the finer side of The Skint! Well, the rest of it, anyway.
There isn't really a finer side.
Please, if there is hope in this hellish place, show them it.
Mr Skulkingworm! Mr Skulkingworm! You fiend! Look what you have done to me and my family.
Have you no mercy? Madam, I am brimming with mercy.
Look at my merciful eyes See my merciful elbows Hear my merciful voice Oh, ooh, ooh, oh But alas, my client wishes you to suffer like rats in a rat sufferer.
And I must do his bidding.
No! .
.
and alas, the horse ate all my money and so here I am.
Are you sure you're not mad? No, just a man who cannot tell a horse from a bank.
Ah! But here is a man who is truly bonkers-o-matic.
This is The Skint's longest-serving and most mysterious resident, Mr Martin Fruitcake Please, join me in a toast to my forthcoming nuptials! Ah, egg nog! Delicious! There is no drink more eggy or more noggy even when it is pretend! Christmas tomorrow, wedding tomorrow, happy then, yes Great.
One mentalist, one nut-job.
What is he rambling on about? He is silent all year, then every Yuletide Eve he talks of marriage and comes to this visitors' window as if waiting for someone.
Papa! Papa! I would recognise that paternal trouser anywhere! Papa! Papa! Dear children! But where? Papa, look! Ah, Terpsichore, muse of dance No! Those statues were found next to my abandoned infant husband.
The only connection to his real family he has! Maybe.
We think.
An accident, I assure you.
Look, Graham, muse of sensible names Oh! Clumsy me.
So careless.
Please forgive me.
And who do we have here? Why, Custard-Paia, muse of slapstick Oh! My goodness! No! My poor husband! Hellnation and botherington! It is not here! What is not? Wait.
There were only 11.
Where is Sentimentalus, muse of greetings-cards writers? Not found with my husband.
Indeed, never found.
Then my client says to you Grrrrrrrr-aaarrgh!!! Well, I bid you a cheery goodbye.
Oh, no! I am getting the Tremblies! Children, where are you? They ain't here, my little duck but I'll help.
Who who are you, hideous crone? The name's Maggotty.
But you'll call me friend, my little moorhen, once you've tasted some of this Here we are! Down here! Papa, we're down here.
Papa! Victor! Victoria, my littlie! Are you all right? We have made a friend.
This is Mr Jolliforth Jollington.
How do you do, sir? How do you do? I am delighted to make your fenestral acquaintanceship.
For as the progenitor of these fine offspring, you must be a man of fine loins and even finer character And why, to meet you so near to Christmas, that finest of days Shut it, loon-chops.
Ow.
But thank you for the gift of a jolly Christmas bruise.
Ah, the first guest, welcome! But what It cannot be! Things may yet be mended! Sir, you must take this to your daughter at once as proof of me and my me-ness! For I am me and she is she, put us together and we shall be we Father, have you paid the debt? Alas, my adoptive maiden aunts have been less than generous, the sour-faced old arid purses.
But not your uncle! It's taken me ages to find you.
For The Skint is on Everowe Street and they have not yet finished this wretched book! Never mind, for I bring this.
A £7,301 note! This will cover the debt! But how? I sold your maiden aunts to a house of ill-repute! There is much demand for sternly frightening women in such establishments.
Ugh.
Then I can free my family! You can.
And now that those moralising harpies are gone, I can go and get drunk, eat real cake, do swearing and maybe even touch a lady! We shall yet be Christmas-ed together! Now run, tell your mother! And oh, mad sir, you have left your Mad sir, you've forgotten your Actually I could do with a watch.
Mama! Papa has got the money and will soon free us! Whatever Mama, are you all right? Thanks to me, she's better than all right, my little robin redbreasts.
Is that gin? Better than gin, my little song-thrush.
- Laudanum? - Better yet, my little chaffinch.
Opium and tonic? Mama, you are all sticky.
You warty monster! You have been feeding her treacle! So sweet so sweet Plenty more where that came from, my little Kentish plover.
Mama, no! You shall become a treacle-fiend! Ooh, sugar rush sugar rush, sugar rush! Hurry, father, hurry! Come! Craving your clemency, sir, but Mr Secret-Past says he's got the money, sir.
Thank you, Fearshiver.
That will do.
Your Christmas holiday starts now.
Thank you, sir.
And ends now.
Back to work.
Yes, sir.
Thanking you for your generous generosity, your sirness.
Here is the money.
Excellent.
My client will be pleased.
And you will be spending Christmas with your family.
Now, as you know, it's impossible for two gentlemen to settle a legal matter without a drink.
Perhaps a glass of port? If you insist.
Ha-ha-ha Something funny? Er, I just saw a rather funny pigeon flying past the window.
They can be amusing Mmm I'm getting cherries oak and is that poison? Fearshiver! My business with Mr Secret-Past is concluded.
Kindly remove his soon-to-be corpse into the street.
Of course, sir.
You are marvellous evil, sir.
It was never just about the money, you imbecile.
I shall consult with my client, now.
Begging your unconscious pardon, sir Although the debt is paid, the family will not be freed.
Excellent work, Mr Skulkingworm.
Oh, thank you, sir.
May I say what a super client you are? You may.
Tell me, what will happen to the wife and children? As for them, sir, they will be taken care of.
Ha ha ha.
Ah ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha he he ha ha! Ha ha ha ha! Appalling! When I lost my family I didn't turn to drink for at least a week.
More Christmas boo! Such debauchery! Drunkenly riding on a child's roundabout! Stone the crows and crucify the sparrows, we shall eat well this Christmas! No.
We shall eat well next Easter.
For though we be urchins, we must follow the prandial dictates of the ecclesiastical calendar, lest we lose our humanity.
Fiddlesticks and violin twigs! Oh-ho, what have we got here? Dear wife, is that you? It ain't, mister.
But don't you wirry-worry, well look after you.
There, that'll keep the sleeve clear, my little Manx shearwater.
Oh, what a hit! Mama is so pale, so sticky.
Father will surely free us soon.
Yes alas, I'm afraid I bring bad news on that front.
Your father is no more.
No more what? Is no more alive.
He is dead.
What? How, sir? There was a very dreadful accident involving a giant vat of soup and a very naughty horse.
Poor papa, to meet such a soupy equine end.
Well, if it is any consolation to you, it was quite funny to watch.
But he was on his way to pay you! Yes, yes.
Unfortunately, the money is no more.
Then we are trapped here.
Despair not! Perhaps Father Christmas will bring you a new father tomorrow.
Hey? Ha ha ha! Ha ha ha! Ha ha ha! Ha ha ha! That was my cruel, handsome client laughing evilly there, not I.
Where am I? Who are you? You are safe with us urchins, sir.
You're rather old to be an urchin.
The Artful Codger at your service.
I never passed my exams to graduate from urchin to vagabond or ne'er-do-well.
But don't you tribble-trouble yourself about that, sir, just sit back and rest.
Why are these vegetables here? These aren't vegetables, they're medicine.
What's this fire for? Just keeping you warm.
Were you going to eat me? Eat you? Why, the very idea Oh, does he need seasoning? He means seasons greetings.
It's a speech impediment.
Cor, delicious gentleman for Christmas dinner! And sticky toff pudding for after! No, there ain't! I cannot believe you were going to eat me! I avow, pledge and promise that we were never going to eat you! Consider yourself our lunch! Consider yourself Hang on, that's Mr Secret-Past, the man who let me in his shop and sold me dung.
But that makes you the kindest man in all London town! To think we were going to eat you! I knew it! If you don't want to be eaten, don't lie in the street on Christmas Eve.
I had been left for dead by an evil lawyer.
He has imprisoned my family and unless I free them by Christmas Day I may never see them again.
I have but But four hours to save them! What am I to do? To do am I what? Am do what to I? What I to am do? Don't fit-fret, sir, well help you! Why would you help me? You sold Nudger dung.
Not many would do that.
Now that dung has bound our destiny to yours.
Oh, noble urchins.
Fine sir, please, no tears.
But noble souls my family Christmas onions.
The Peelers! Scarper! By the Manliness and Repressed Victorian Emotion Act of 1838 it is illegal for a man to cry.
You're nicked, mate.
Poor Papa! Poor Mama.
Poor us! Come now, little one, no need for tears.
I'm nine! My father is dead, my mother is a treacle fiend, and I'm in prison for Christmas.
I am allowed to cry! A fair point, well made.
In fact, I might join you myself.
Eu he he Eu vv Ng uh he he, uh he Erg egh No, it's no use, I'm too jolly to cry.
Well, I am not.
Boo-hoo.
Bail has been posted, you can go.
Oh noble urchins! Christmas! My family! Onions! Watch it.
Quite right, sorry.
Dear urchins, you have freed me! Not us, guv.
I haven't quite finished me plan yet.
I may have spent a little too much time on the presentation.
If your mind don't mind, sir, it was me that freed you, sir.
Fearshiver? But what? How? Why? I'll tell you what-how, how-why and even why-what.
But not here.
Dear urchins, I must go.
You'll need this.
Thank you, Codger.
For a man is nothing without his hat.
If you need us, fine sir, just shout, "Urchins ho!" and we'll be there for you.
Right, you lot, last one back to the lair's Christmas lunch! What's wrong with her? It's the treacle setting inside of her, my little Arctic tern.
Soon she'll be one big toffee.
But I do not want a mother-shaped toffee! I want a mother-shaped mother! The perils of chasing the syrup, my little Eurasian spoonbill.
Then we must escape.
I may have one day wanted to follow in Father's footsteps, not fill his shoes, but fill them I must, even if I have to wear two pairs of socks to make them fit.
For I am the man of the family now.
And I shall find a way out.
Alas, I fear your brother will fail for no-one has ever escaped from The Skint alive.
Apart from one man, and he was dead.
Oh, right, yes, not the most comforting thing I've ever said.
Father's shop has provided.
Ah, damn, navvies not included.
Then I shall dig a way out myself.
When I was younger, Mr Skulkingworm took me in after my parents died.
That is kind.
Yes.
And noble, seeing as it was him that killed them in the first place.
No! He placed a large amount of legalments and injunctions on them.
Literally.
They were crushed to death.
And now I see what he's trying to do to you.
But where are my manners? It's Christmas Eve.
I must offer you hospitality and vittles.
No, really, I'm fine.
Begging your pardon, sir, a drink? Maybe a lemon sherry or a chicken brandy? I am in quite a hurry.
Perhaps a seasonal glass of toastingtons or whimsy juice? I must save my family.
There is no time for drinks.
Just nibbles, then? I have quails eggs, snails eggs, scotch eggs, Welsh eggs, Irish buns or beef.
Which will it be? None! Please, just help me! That's fine Christmas spirit.
Maybe you don't deserve my help.
Fine, I'll have a chicken brandy and a scotch egg.
Please.
See? Michaelmas manners costeth nothingeth.
Here is the file, which will tell you everything.
Ooh, begging your pardon, sir, but you must be quick.
We haven't got much time.
Then why did you? Doesn't matter.
This is a will going back 40 years of a Gently Proudbeast.
Who is he? Once a partner in this firm.
On recently acquiring his will, Mr Skulkingworm caught a severe case of delighty-itis and danced like a happy goat.
"I bequeath all to my male heir.
" PS "It sounds good, but it's basically a massive debt.
" " He thinks you are the male heir.
" He must be mistaken.
But wait, there is a codicil.
"I've changed" "my mind.
Everything goes to the heirs of the Skulkingworm line," "that devil-hearted, Satan-kidneyed family.
" That cured the delighty-itis.
He stopped dancing and started punching me.
But there is an addendum to the codicil.
"Only joking".
That cheered him right up again.
And now a postscript to the addendum.
"Or am I?" Then an appendix to that postscript.
"No".
Followed by an afterwordle.
"Actually I am.
" Frankly, by now his moods were up and down like a broken pair of automatic trousers.
Finally this "I revoke all" "previous wills, codicils, "postscripts, addenda and "afterwordles and bequeath all to "my male heir.
This is my final statement on the matter.
"PS.
Look out for a codicil hidden in a statue".
What does all this mean? He is returned! Quick! We must hide! After you.
After you.
After you.
After you.
No.
Hello, Malifax, what have you been doing today? I've been doing law, Conceptiva, thank you for asking.
I say, Victor, could you pass the mustard? Why certainly, Papa.
What a good boy you are.
Victoria, may I say what a ravishing dress that is? Thank you, Papa.
Oh, my darlings.
Soon, Malifax, soon.
Isn't that chicken brandy? Mm! Delicious.
He means to steal my family! And I have no way of stopping him! I can't help but feel this is all connected to the old woman.
What old woman? Once a year, precisely one hour before Christmas day, he visits an old woman.
He'll be on his way there now.
Then I must follow him! Let me prepare you a picnic for the journey.
Oh.
Soon it will be Christmas.
As is traditional, I have come to have a good laugh at your expense.
And now to claim a family of my own at last.
What is this place? Who are you? My name is Miss Christmasham.
This is my home, unchanged since my life was ruinated many years past.
What happened? I was due to be married on Christmas Day.
I waited at the altar for my beloved husband-to-be.
And I waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited I waited and waited and waited and waited Did he basically not turn up? How could you possibly fathom that? Finally, I was told he had been killed on the way to the church by a falling Christmas goose.
Was Skulkingworm involved? Oh, they said it was an accident, but there was no body ever produced, of husband or goose.
Skulkingworm had him murdered, I don't doubt that.
But why? His hatred for my family is deep and vast, like a great ocean of loathing.
It started with my father, Gently Proudbeast.
The man Skulkingworm thinks I am descended from? You do look like him.
What a strange coincidence.
But that is Proudbeast, yet you are Christmasham.
My late beloved's name.
It's all that remains.
That and this tooth.
We swapped teeth as a symbol of our love.
Madam, though your story be sad, it helps me not.
I have so little time to help my family! It cannot be! Let me see! Where did you get this? From an insanonaut in the Skint.
Was his name Martin Christmasham? I heard no name.
He was just your typical nut-job, wearing a wedding suit Oh! A hat made of dead goose Oh! And banging on madly about getting married on Christmas Day.
Oh, oh, oh! To bring such news, you must have a present! Open it now.
Oh, it is Sentimentalus, muse of greetings cards writers.
I have sought this all my life.
What another strange coincidence.
It was my father's, one of 12 handed down in the male line, even unto my own long-lost child.
Madam, your story sounds fascinating, but I have not the time.
Hang on, what long-lost child? After Martin died, it turned out the merest thought of marriage was enough to make me pregnant.
And, alas, as I had no husband, my family took the child away for adoption.
Madam, I prithee, what was the child's name? I can't forget my long-lost son's name.
It was um Er I'm pretty sure it began with J Could it be Jedrington? That's it! But Jedrington is MY name! What an amazing coincidence again! Well, I really must be going No, boy Come closer.
Closer.
A little closer, please Just a little closer.
Too close.
Go back a bit.
A little further Oh! Could it be that my son Jedrington has grown up and returned to me? You mean not coincidence? Mother? When did you last have that dress washed? 35 Christmas Eves ago.
Mmm I bring news.
I have made an arrangement with my client to free you by taking you on as part of my own family.
You could never replace our real father! Can and will.
By the time Christmas Day strikes out, Secret-Past will become Skulkingworm and you will call me "Papa" whether you like it or not.
And you will like it, whether you like it or not.
Oh! To have gained a mother and yet to be about to lose a family! But what is this? Oh, that's where he hid it.
Hid what? My father's final codicil, absolving the family debts should I marry.
Alas, irrelevant.
No! Un-irrelevant! For if you were to marry before Christmas Day, then my family would be freed.
Yes but I don't know whether I want to marry a derangeatron.
Has he kept his looks? If he was still handsome, that would make up for the madness.
He is the best-looking man in Britain! Then I shall marry him yet.
Let us hurry to the Skint! So many years to catch up on, and so much mothering un-done.
Where's your scarf? You'll catch a chill.
There is too little time until Christmas! I need help.
Urchins, ho! How can we help, fine sir? I need Christmas delayed until I can get my mother married! Then it seems to me, fine sir, that you need to nobble the donging.
And I'm a great dong-nobbler.
I beg your pardon? Nobble the donging.
Stop the three great alliterative clocks from declaring Christmas.
THAT'S what it means.
Thank goodness.
Can you do that? I shall start drawing up a plan.
There is no time for a plan.
Just nobble the donging.
Consider the dongs nobbled.
Then let us go to our destinies! My son my own beloved son! Dear Mother.
I don't like what you've done with your hair.
Though I am the jolliest of men, you are the most duplicitous and flint-hearted bag of pus I have ever met.
As a lawyer, I take that as quite a compliment.
Thank you, sir.
Man goose evil.
Yes.
Do I know you, sir? I have completed my tunnel! Brace yourself, Archie.
Aaargh! You all right, Archie? No.
I am in quite a considerable amount of cog-based agony.
Good lad.
It's about to chime Let's hope the others don't let us down.
What's that sound? The cogs! The cogs! It hurts! Excuse me! Coming through, coming through.
Ow! The cogs the cogs.
An absence of donging.
The Artful Codger did not let me down.
Now, we must find a way into the Skint via the sewers.
I'm not getting into the sewers! I don't want to argue with you.
But I do want to argue with you.
All those adolescent arguments we missed! Let's have them now! I will not go into that sewer.
And you are not going out dressed like that.
You will go into the sewer.
Will not.
Will.
Will not.
Will.
Will not.
Mother! Will not Mother! Will not! Say hello to your new daddy! Wait a moment! Where is Christmas? Where is my new family? They've gone, my little blue-winged macaw.
Down their tunnel.
I need help.
I'll help you, my yellow-nosed albatross.
Out of my way, you be-warted, disgusting sugar-derivative dealer.
I'm over-treacled! Now, which one of you is the most violent? That'd be Excellent.
Follow me.
Escape, yes.
Christmas, yes.
Marry, yes.
Nice job, dear brother.
Thank you.
Though I wish I had had some time to finish the murals.
Stop, me de-lonely-ising family! Don't worry, I'll stop him! What, by being jolly at him? Talk to me of Christmas things! Of course! Eggnog.
Mulled wine.
Mmm Um presents roast goose! Family happiness! Love and joy! Yes, yes, yes! Helping you escape makes it the jolliest Christmas ever! Thank you, Mr Jollington.
Oaths and sweariness! Christmas jollity triumphs over flint-hearted pus-bagginess! Well, let's see if we can't depress you down to size.
Picture a sad puppy with a bent ear.
A lonely orphan singing that he wants to be loved.
A depressed nun with an ugly mole.
Will! Will not! Will! Will not! Will! Will not! This is fun! No, it isn't.
Father would be proud of you.
Maybe I can fill his shoes without buying foot extensions.
Escaped we have, now married will I be! Children! Papa! Skulkingworm said you were dead! Mr Skulkingworm was wrong.
Thank goodness.
I can get rid of these and talk normally again.
Eacle-beacle, I love treacle.
What is the matter with your mother? A warty crone tricked her into treacle-dependency.
She's close to toffee-ising.
My poor, dearest darling! Is that any way to treat your long-lost mother? Shoving her in sewage? Harried, no, no, no.
Harried carried.
Harried carried.
Yes! Martin can it be you? Married not harried or tarried but married, yes Alas, still a bonkers mentalist.
Poor Martin.
Oh, hello, darling.
Sorry I'm late.
Ready to get hitched? Oh joy! Re-saned! For so long I thought you were dead.
Not dead, merely goose-stunned with no memory of who I was.
I have kept this for so long.
De-mentalled and still handsome! Result! Talk about a Christmas cracker! Teeny-weeny little kittens mew-mew-mewing for their mummy cat who they know they'll never see again.
And all the general death, disease and despair that fills this godless universe of infinite pain, misery and hopelessness Stop it, you monster! Pathetic.
We must hurry.
The Artful Codger cannot delay Christmas forever.
Where is the nearest church? The Church of St Weddings.
Where Martin and I were due to marry those years ago.
YOU! You are much less dead than you're supposed to be.
Stay away from my family! Your family?! MY family.
Not until Christmas rings out and according to this codicil, not at all if my mother marries before then! So you know the truth.
Not that it will do you any good.
After him! Get on with it! I don't do quick.
I'm more your lumbering menace.
Well, lumber faster! Papa, Mama is almost entirely rigid.
The only known antidote to treacle is gravy.
This is a church.
There must be a meat-font.
Found it! Are you here for midnight service? It has been delayed.
No donging, you see.
Reverend, we need a wedding performed now.
Is it a wedding of long-thwarted passion threatened by dark forces? It is! Ooh, my favourite sort.
Do not marry that couple! No! The church's Communion Sword! There will be no wedding today, vicar.
Why do you hate my family so? Well, perhaps I will tell you, while we wait for Christmas to ring in.
Many years ago, my father and your grandfather were legal partners friends, even.
Then came the day my father lent your grandfather a penny.
As lawyers, they drew up a contract.
Later that day, my father was short of that very penny.
He sought the penny from my mother, and so saw what no man should ever see.
His death deranged my mother.
Even as I grew, so did her madness.
Until finally, it killed her.
When I found the loan contract, I vowed vengeance.
I studied the law every hour I could.
And it cost me the love of my life.
Because of my studies, I missed her gentle hints of affection.
Perhaps if she had not been so subtle Alas, one day, she had had enough.
Only weeks later did I realise.
Aaaargh! When I heard she was to marry another, I was filled with hate.
I did not know she was pregnant.
But when I realised that you existed, I knew I could make my final vengeance complete.
Father! The Christening Sabre.
Oh! No! Ah! Ah! Ah! Ooh! Ow! I have had enough of you! Ooh! Not so fast! Aha! The Confirmation Cannon! Not so fast.
He made me sad! I don't like him.
I may never be jolly again! Not so fast! For I am the Ghost of Christmas past! And I think I might have got the wrong address.
Sorry.
Which leaves you at a disadvantage, Mr Skulkingworm.
Uh-oh, time's up.
We're out of time! Vicar, you must perform the wedding at once.
We are gathered here Cut to the chase! I need a hat! I cannot wed wearing a dead goose! Take mine Father.
Thank you son.
Now go, vicar, go! - Do you take blah-de-blah-de-blah? - Yes! I declare you husband and wife! About blinking time! And it is Christmas Day! That's cheered me right up! Foiled! But don't think that my quest for vengeance is over! Really? Well perhaps not.
I'm so tired.
I think I'll have a lie-down, and rethink this whole vengeance business.
Or will I? Oh oh, what's the point? I give up.
I will call you Papa.
Would you? Would you really? I shall call you Tumty.
Let us go to the park and I shall push you on swings and we shall eat crumpets and muffins and toast and candyfloss Dearest, you have been saved from the treacle! Davey-wavy, I love gravy Though, alas, you are now gravy-dependent.
But no matter, for we are a family once more, never to be parted.
And I, at last, have my very own set of parents! And we at last have each other.
And I at last am free from debtors' prison! So now let Christmas be had, let joy-iness fill the world and let no-one ever be poor or hungry or miserable or badly-dressed or itchy or bored or anything bad anywhere ever again! God bless us, every one! Hurrah! Press your red button now or suffer the worst consequences of the law.