A Christmas Story

CAST:


SCENE 1

[SCENE: Set in a small country village, in the Cotswalds.]

Narrator:  It was the 24th December, in the year dot, and the 
	   village of Dunrise, hang on, Dunrise, that's a daft name, in my 
	   day, villages were given proper names, not like now, oh no, we 
	   knew how to name a village.

[FX. Gunshot]

Announcer: I'm sorry.  There seems to have been a technical fault.  We 
	   will now hopefully start the story again.

(In background muffled voices are heard to say, "Move the body over here 
 for now")

2nd Narrator: It was the 24th December, in the year dot, and the village 
	      of Dunrise was bustling with activity as the villagers 
	      prepared themselves for the next day.

{Camera zooms into focus on two ladies chatting over the garden fence}

Lucy: I don't know, it's the same every year.  I mean to get prepared for 
      Christmas early, you know, buy all the presents, send all the 
      cards, but what happens, it gets left till today, as ever.

Maria: I know exactly how you feel.  I ask my husband what he wants for 
       Christmas, and all I get in reply is "Dunno".  Think what would 
       happen if I went to town looking for a dunno...

{Cutaway scene...please note this is not the working title!}

[SCENE: Blogg's Store Interior]

[FX. Sound of busy shop.]

Maria (to shop-assistant) : Excuse me.

Shop-assistant: Sorry, what was that luv?

Maria: I was wondering if you could help me.  I'm looking for a dunno for 
       my husband, do you stock them?

Shop-assistant: Uh?

Maria: Dunno's, do you stock them?

Shop-assistant (shouting across the packed shop) : Here Tracy.

Tracy, Floor manager (shouting equally loudly): Yeah.

Shop-assistant: Lady here wants to know if we stock dunno's.

[Maria cringes, as shop goes silent and everyone looks at her.]

Tracy: No, totally sold out.

Shop-assistant: Sorry luv, we've had a run on them.  Same every Christmas 
                it is.

Maria: Do you know anywhere that might stock them?

Shop-assistant: Dunno!

{End cutaway scene}

Lucy: Yeah, just imagine.  So what have you got him?

Maria: The same as usual, hankies and socks.  So what are you getting 
       your Harry?

Lucy: Oh, he's a creature of habit is my Harry.  I'll get him a tie.  He 
      likes ties.

{Footage of nuns and monks starts running}
Editor: Wrong type of habit!
{Footage ends abruptly}

[Groans from audience]

(As of now, 2nd Narrator is referred to as Narrator...sorry for any
inconvenience caused by this change.  This does not of course mean that 
the 1st Narrator has returned, rather that the 2nd Narrator has chosen to 
be called Narrator to save the scriptwriter from having to write 
un-necessary words, like this paragraph)

Narrator: As the two women talked suddenly from one of the houses came a 
          small girl carrying a piece of paper.

Gloria: Look mum, a letter for Father Christmas.  I've just finished it.  
        Do you think it's too late to send it now?

Maria and Lucy give each other despairing looks.

{Sir Edgar Wallaby-Basher Smith goes across the camera shot followed by a 
 742 hamsters, each one carrying a raisin on it's back.}

Maria: Wasn't that Sir Edgar Wallaby-Basher Smith, the great Christmas 
       Pudding Hunter?

Lucy: I believe you're right.  Must be a re-run of last years hit 
      Christmas story.  Anyway, Gloria, you were saying?

Gloria: I've finished my Christmas list.

Gloria hands list to her mother and disappears indoors.

Lucy: (reading from list) Dear Father Christmas, I have been good all 
      year, and would like the following for Christmas...
      James Bond, The Lion King video, and a scarf, oh and as many other 
      toys, and things as you can fit in your sack.

Maria: (laughing)Kids.  I suppose we'd better head off into town to try 
       and find some presents for our adorable kids, or else they'll be 
       total gits tomorrow.

(Maria and Lucy exit scene)

Voice from audience: When I was a lad, you were lucky to get a tangerine 
                     for Christmas, if you'd been good.  If you'd been 
                     bad... well, one year I got a sack of ashes.

2nd voice: Shut up.

Voice: I fought in the war you know.

[FX. Sound of person being gagged]

END OF SCENE 1.


SCENE 2.


[SCENE: Interior of Tanner household.  Matt and Mike are sat on the sofa 
talking to Gloria.  Alison is fixing her motorbike in the corner, and Tim 
is sat gazing blankly at the television set.]

Tim: I'm bored.  This programme is boring.

Mike: Try turning the TV on.  You might find it helps.

Tim: Oh yeah.

(Tim reaches for the remote control, and pressed the red button.  The TV 
crackles into life, and a cartoon appears)

Alison: Has anyone seen my socket set?

Matt: I think dad borrowed it to try and get the clock in the kitchen 
      working again.

Alison: But you don't need a socket set for a clock.

Matt: You do the way dad mends things.  He just clobbered the clock with 
      the socket set.  It's not losing time anymore.

Mike: No, now it's accurate twice a day!

(Alison disappears to try and find her socket set)

{Camera focuses on Mike, Matt and Gloria}

Mike: Are you going down to the tree this evening to sing carols?

Matt: Mum's dragging us down.  I wanted to stay in and watch that film 
      that's on at 10pm, but mum says it's not suitable.

Gloria: Which film?

Matt: "Lace, leather and PVC: Trudy's story".  I thought it sounded quite 
      interesting!  So, anyway, are you going down to the square tonight?

Gloria: Yeah, mum describes it as doing the family `thing'.  Oh what fun, 
        having to sing songs for hours.  And it's so cold...

Mike: What are you getting for Christmas?

{Camera zooms out...till whole room is once again in view}

Tim: Look guys, it's "My ideal Christmas, with Mr. Gobby"

{Screen shows TV picture}

Mr. Gobby: Hello, and welcome to My Ideal Christmas.  I'm your host, 
	   Mr.Gobby, and yes, as you are all aware I am wonderful, and 
	   yes I do love myself.

[FX. Canned applause]

Mr. Gobby: And may I introduce to you the lovely Miss Helen Sharpe, mind 
           you, not as lovely as me, but that would be difficult!

(Mr. Gobby gives smarmy grin to the camera)

Helen: Hi guys!

Mr. Gobby: Right, now the idea of this program is to make sure I have an 
           ideal Christmas.  The more of you who stay tuned in, the 
           larger my salary cheque, do you get the idea?  Good, now lets 
           get on with the show.

(Helen whispers something to Mr. Gobby, who smiles)

Mr. Gobby: Please welcome our special guest tonight, live all the way 
           from Australia, and recently voted Mr.3rd-rate soap, 
	   Mr. Soapy. 

Mr. Soapy: Hi folks, lovely to be here.  But what's that I see out of the 
           window, Father Christmas eloping with Rudolph, oh no, what'll 
           we do?  And me pregnant with his child too.

(Long candy cane comes across screen, grabs Mr. Soapy round the neck, and 
drags him off stage)

Mr. Gobby: Well, I think we can all see how he won that award!  And now, 
           lets talk about something more important, like me.

[FX. Door lock, and door being opened]

(Off screen)Maria: Hi kids, we're back.  Hope you're not watching rubbish 
		   on TV.

Narrator: Tim hastily turns off the TV, and grabs a magazine off the 
          pile.  Mike, Mark and Gloria revert to discussing what they 
          want for Christmas.

(Maria enters room)

Maria: Tim, Gloria, your mum wants you home now, see you at the square 
       later.  Oh, and Tim.

Tim: Yes.

Maria: Try reading with the magazine the right way up next time.

(Tim and Gloria leave and the scene ends with us seeing Maria and her 
three kids decorating their Christmas tree)

END OF SCENE 2.


SCENE 3.

Narrator: It is now 8pm on Christmas Eve, and the residents of Dunrise 
	  are gathering in the village square.

[SCENE: There is a Christmas tree situated in the middle of a cobbled 
square.  Around it are gathered the villagers.  On the left of the 
picture as we look at it, are the Ramshackles, standing close to a red 
telephone box, and a blue police phonebox.  On the right hand side of the 
square is the post office with decorations in the window, and an old red 
postbox outside.  The Tanner family are stood by the Christmas tree]

[FX.Christmas music is playing, and there is excited chatter among the 
villagers]

Vicar: Welcome all.  It's lovely to see so many of you have turned out 
       for the annual carol singing.  My wife is passing among you with 
       carol sheets, and a collection box for the Old Peoples Home.

Alison: Mum, can I put Grandma in it?  He did say they're collecting for 
        the Old People's Home!

Maria: Shhh...

Vicar: Now let us begin with that favourite carol, "We three Kings"

[FX. Sound of a piano, playing the opening bars]

All: "We three kings of Orient are..."

Mike and Matt: "One in a taxi, one in a car,
                One in a scooter, blowing his hooter..."

(Please note the rest of the villagers sang the official lines to this 
carol)  

All: "Following yonder star"

Narrator: After this carol was finished the vicar asked if anyone wanted 
          a special carol.

Gloria: Could we possibly have, "While Shepherds Watched", please?

(Un-noticed to the vicar Gloria winks at Matt and Mike.)

Vicar: But, of course.  Maestro please.

(Silence)   

Vicar: Pianist...please.

Pianist: Oh, you mean me...

[FX. First few bars of "While Shepherds..."]

Gloria, Matt, and Mike: "While shepherds washed their socks by night,
			While watching ITV...
			The angel of the the Lord came down,
			And switched to BBC."

(Please note the correct version was sung by the rest of the villagers.)

Narrator: And so the carols went on late into the night.  At midnight 
          they sang their final carol, "Oh Come all ye faithful", welcoming 
          the newborn Christ.  The villagers then started to drift off home.

END OF SCENE 3.


SCENE 4.


Narrator: We join the villagers at 8am, on Christmas Day.

[SCENE: Ramshackle house interior.  The family are sat in the lounge, 
surrounded by unwrapped presents]

Harry: Thank-you for the tie dear, just what I needed.

(Harry puts tie on pile with the 26 other ties he has also received this 
year)

Tim: Look dad, Father Christmas brought me a new book.  I wonder how he 
     knew I'd just finished the one he brought me last year.

Lucy: Do you like what you got Gloria?

Gloria: Well, I was hoping to get the real James Bond, but I suppose an 
        Aston Martin is okay.

Tim: Can I have a tank next Christmas?

Lucy: Maybe.  Anyway, it's too soon to be thinking about next Christmas, 
      let's get this one over first!

Harry: Right, what's for dinner?

Lucy: Have a guess.  It is Christmas day after all!

Harry: Oh yes, I forgot that.  I suppose it's turkey then.  No chance of 
       fish and chips is there?

Gloria: I want to be a vegetarian.  I've decided it's cruel to eat meat.

Tim: Do we get jelly for pudding?

Lucy: Right.  All of you, we are having Turkey for lunch, no arguments.  
      I'm not doing seperate meals for everyone.  How many hands do you 
      think I've got?  Gloria, don't be so daft, why do you want to be a 
      vegetarian?

Gloria: Because Russell at school is.

Lucy: Not a good enough reason.  Harry, you'll do as I say, and Tim, yes 
      there is jelly for pudding, but you have to have Christmas pudding 
      first.

Gloria: I suppose so.  And turkey is my favourite.  I know I'll be a 
        veggie at school, then he'll like me.

Tim: You wish.

Harry: No fighting kids, it is Christmas Day after all.

Tim, Gloria: Okay, I suppose.

Lucy: Come through, lunch is ready.

(Gloria, Tim, Harry, and Lucy go through into the dining room.  The table 
is laid with all sorts of food, and drink.  They all sit down and tuck in)

(And so we leave the Ramshackle household in slight chaos, and go next 
door to see how the Tanner's Christmas is progressing)

[SCENE: Tanner house interior.]

Fred: Thanks for the mallet Alison, it'll be very useful for mending 
      things around the house.

Alison: Glad you like it dad, maybe it'll stop you borrowing my socket 
        set, for those jobs.

Maria: You watch "The Sound of Music", while I finish getting lunch 
       ready.  

Fred: Got one of my favourite songs this film.

Matt: What's that dad?

Fred: "Maria".  The first line goes, `How do you solve a problem like 
      Maria...'.

(Matt, Mike and Alison laugh)

Maria: (voice from off camera) I heard that.

(Coming into the room)Maria: I prefer the Maria song in "West Side 
                             Story".  Anyway, lunch is ready, come 
                             through. 

(We leave the Tanner household as they settle down for their Christmas 
Dinner)

[FX. Sounds of crackers being pulled, laughter, and chinking of glasses]

[SCENE: Village square]

(Scene changes to the village square, where the vicar is tidying up 
dropped copies of the carol sheet.  He stands back and looks around him, 
at the red phonebox on the one side of the square and the postbox on the 
other, and the tree in the centre of the square

Vicar: (muttering as he leaves square) I'm sure there was something else 
       there yesterday, must be imagining things in my old age.

Narrator: And there ends our festive story.  I hope you've enjoyed it and 
          that you will join us again soon.


[Cue Theme Tune]


			       THE END

>

REFERENCES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Sir Edgar Wallaby-Basher Smith appears courtesy of "The Great Christmas Pudding Expedition of 1856". Copyright. Scott Morris 1994. For copies of this story email smorris@cov.ac.uk

Some comments made in this script will be more funny to some people than others. Sorry, but that's how it is.

The characters in this production are purely fictional, and so any similarity to persons alive or dead is purely unintentional, blah, blah, blah, (ie usual credits)

Apologies are made for the age of some of the jokes in this script, but please take into account the speed at which this script was produced.

Other tales are under construction and may be broadcast in the Spring depending on time-slots available, and the ratings gained by this piece of fiction.

Some parts of this script have been used previously, and so I apologise to people who are reading this material for the second time.

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