London, 7 February 1844.
City businessman Ebenezer Scrooge appeared in the Old Bailey this morning to answer charges of disorderly conduct.
“I like a bit of Christmas cheer as well as anyone,” said Lucius Gimpthorne, one of his neighbors, “but there’s a time and a place for everything. Must he continue to sing Christmas songs in February?”
In his defense, solicitor Sir Percival Grimes, Q.C., noted the abrupt change in character exhibited by Mr. Scrooge since Christmas and suggested that his insistence on singing carols merely demonstrated that he was making good on his promise to keep the spirit of Christmas throughout the year. “There are, it seems, those who would prefer the dour, tight-fisted monster which we were obliged to endure prior to his ennobling experience,” Grimes was quoted as saying, “whatever that experience was, exactly.”
“Spirit of Christmas, he calls it?” said Gimpthorne. “Spirit of something; don’t ask me what. We’re all pleased at his improved character, but there are more ways to exhibit the spirit of Christmas than singing it. What’s next? People leaving their Christmas decorations up all year round?”
A verdict in the case is expected within the week.
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