Page 6 - 2017-12-16_june_july_2009.qxd
P. 6

6                              Christmas Ho! Ho! Ho! Jokes

             Christmas Ho! Ho! Ho!                               5 Within six weeks of its publication, the
                                                          book hit the London stage in an adaptation by              Roswell
                            Jokes                         Edward Stirling, which ran for more than 40

                                                          nights before transferring to New York’s Park
                                                          Theatre. Also in the same city, a musical version             in the
                                                          was staged which was hampered badly on
           •  What do vampires sing on New Year’s Eve?
                                                          opening night, when brawling broke out,
             Auld Fang Syne.
                                                          drowning out the bass drum that ushered            21st Century
           •  Why did Santa’s helper see the doctor? He   Marley’s ghost as he rose through a trapdoor.
             had a low elf-esteem.                               6 In 1853, 10 years after its publication,
                                                          Charles Dickens gave the first public
                                                          performance in Birmingham’s town hall. He
           •  What happened to the man who stole an
                                                          performed it in front of a rapturous crowd of
             advent calendar? He got 25 days.
                                                          2,000, all working people from the town, and it
                                                          lasted just under three hours. Before this time,
           •  What kind of motorbike does Santa ride? A
                                                          no great author had performed their works in
             Holly Davidson.
                                                          public and for profit, which many thought
           •  Why was the turkey in the rock group?       beneath Dickens’ calling as a writer and a
             Because he was the only one with             gentleman.
             drumsticks.                                         7 On performance days Dickens stuck to
                                                          a rather bizarre routine. He had two tablespoons
                                                          of rum flavoured with fresh cream for breakfast,
           •  What do you call a line of men waiting for a
                                                          a pint of champagne for tea and, half an hour
             haircut? A barberqueue.
                                                          before the start of his performance, would drink
                                                          a raw egg beaten into a tumbler of sherry.
           •  What do snowmen wear on their heads? Ice
                                                          During the five-minute interval, he invariably
                                                          consumed a quick cup of beef tea, and always
           •  Why was the snowman looking through the     retired to bed with a bowl of soup.
                                                                 8 He always presented himself to his
             carrots? He was picking his nose.
                                                          audience in full evening dress, with a bright
                                                          buttonhole, a purple waistcoat and a glittering
           •  A man walks into a bar... ouch.
                                                          watch-chain. His stage equipment consisted of a
                                                          reading desk, carpet, gas lights and a pair of
           •  What did  Adam say the day before
                                                          large screens behind him to help project his
             Christmas? “It’s Christmas, Eve.”
                                                          voice forward.
                                                                 9  Without a single prop or bit of
          Ten things you never knew about
                                                          costume, Dickens peopled his stage with a       For nearly 30 years, Kevin Randle has
            Charles Dickens's A Christmas                 throng of characters, it is said, “like an entire  been investigating the case of the UFO
                             Carol                        theatre company… under one hat”. The arrival    crash near Roswell, New Mexico. He
                                                          of Scrooge always created a sensation; Dickens  has interviewed hundreds of people
                                                          became an old man with a shrewd, grating voice
                 1  The great historian  Thomas Carlyle                                                   who claim knowledge of the event,
                                                          whose face was drawn into his collar like an
          went straight out and bought himself a turkey
                                                          ageing turtle. During the Fezziwigs’ party, his  been through boxes of documents,
          after reading Dickens’s tale of the redemption of
                                                          fingers would dance along the reading table in a  stood on the first crash site, and
          Scrooge.  Novelist William Thackeray,  not
          always an admirer of Dickens, called  A         mad array of little hops and pirouettes. It is  provided information to dozens of
          Christmas Carol a “national benefit”; one       reported that the audience “fell into a kind of  others who asked for it. Now, he has
                                                          trance, as a universal feeling of joy seemed to
          American entrepreneur gave his employees an                                                     reviewed all those audio and
                                                          invade the whole assembly”.
          extra day’s holiday. Publication had been a huge                                                videotaped interviews, examined
                                                                 10 Dickens began with  A Christmas
          success, selling in excess of 6,000 copies.
                                                          Carol, and he ended with it. His last reading of  hundreds of files that relate to the
          Dickens had began writing his “little Christmas
                                                          the little book took place in London at St      crash, and has returned to Roswell in
          book”, as he called it, in October 1843 and
                                                          James’s Hall, on March 15, 1870. At the end of  an attempt to put all that information
          worked on it feverishly for six weeks, finishing
                                                          the performance, he told his audience: “From
          it at the end of November, just in time for                                                     into a proper perspective. In Roswell in
          Christmas.                                      these garish lights, I vanish now for evermore,  the 21st Century he has taken a
                 2  As he wrote, Dickens wept and         with a heartfelt, grateful, respectful, and     dispassionate reevaluation of all that
                                                          affectionate farewell.”  There was a stunned
          laughed and wept again and would often take
                                                          silence, broken by a tumult of cheering, hat-   material collected by so many people
          long night walks through London, covering
                                                          waving and the stamping of feet.  With tears    over so many years and has provided a
          anywhere between 15 or 20 miles “when all
                                                          streaming down his face, Dickens raised his     new look at what happened. This is a
          sober folks had gone to bed”.  When he
                                                          hands to his lips in an affectionate kiss and
          completed the book, he “broke out”, as he                                                       book that clears away all the clutter that
                                                          departed from the platform for ever. He died
          himself described it, “like a madman”.                                                          has masked the truth for so long, strips
                                                          three months later, aged 58. []
                 3 The story is loosely based on Gabriel
                                                                                                          away the various lies that surrounded
          Grubb, a character in The Story of the Goblins                                                  the case, exposed the  Air Force
          Who Stole a Sexton, which appeared in
          Dickens’ first published novel,  The Pickwick    Hi, this is Mac  Alexander, the                attempts at cover up and found a core
          Papers. In the story, a gravedigger determined   International Director of Programming          of solid information that tells us all
          not to make merry at Christmas, is kidnapped     for  The ‘X’ Zone Broadcast Network            where the case stands today.
          by goblins and convinced to change his ways.     with each and everyone around the
                 4 Two months after the publication of A   world a Very Merry Christmas and may               ROSWELL IN THE 21ST
          Christmas Carol, Parley’s Illuminated Library    the love of Christmas bring Peace to all
          pirated it. Dickens sued and won his case. The   those around the world who find                              CENTURY
          pirates, on the other hand, simply declared      themselves in conflict. Marry Christmas                     is available at
          themselves bankrupt, leaving Dickens to pay      and Happy New Year Everyone.                   
          £700 in costs, equal to £56,364 today.
   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11