At this point in the holiday season, you are either a) giggling like a kid who just found a last-minute way to get off the ‘naughty’ list, or b) ready to rip the nose right off of Rudolph at the next sound of a jingle bell. Hopefully, like me, you’re somewhere in between. Don’t get me wrong, I love everything about Christmas; but c’mon, the decorations going up way before Halloween and Black Friday is now on Thursday? So to get myself properly in tune with all things merry, I made my way to Main Street in St. Charles, where every year, the city turns the old town into a living, Victorian-era Christmas village. It even feels a bit like Charles Dickens’ London town as I walk down the cobblestone street and hear the slow clip-clop of a horse and carriage. I pass the chestnut roasters huddled over on open fire and carolers singing. Jack Frost is here, and of course, nipping at someone’s nose. It’s a perfect scene, but I still can’t find the man I came to see, the one who will help me put things in perspective: Ebenezer Scrooge (aka actor Vince Wieck). I finally spot him; however, I must be brief. Mr. Scrooge is on a tight schedule, but has begrudgingly agreed to an interview with me.
To what do you attribute your financial success? I’m very good at what I do, but I don’t owe you any kind of explanation. People know who I am. They know I have money, but they don’t seem to like me very much, I don’t have any inkling as to why that is, but I don’t really care so long as they leave me alone!
Do you find it difficult to conduct business at this time of the year? I am able to conduct business with people who are willing to conduct business with me, which—I am sorry to say—is a small percentage of the population. Even many of the so-called business people of this town wish to bother me with their merriment. It’s very tiring.
Why do you find all this merriment so appalling? What is the purpose? Christmas! Bah, humbug! There’s not a good thing about it. Holly? Poisonous. Mistletoe? Poisonous. And this business of gift-giving, there is no money exchanged. This Santa Claus fellow actually gives away presents without asking a farthing for them. Have you ever heard of such nonsense? It really makes me quite sick!
If I were to say that you would soon be visited by some spirits to help you understand why the season should be celebrated, would you be receptive to that? Spirits are a figment of one’s imagination. Regardless, what could they do to make me understand anything? I understand everything perfectly: I understand my past, my present and my future. Sir, you ask far too many questions. If you don’t care to discuss any investments, then my time with you is done. Christmas…bah humbug!
Mr. Scrooge scurries away into the shadows, but I’ve heard all I need to hear to regain a proper perspective on the season. I have no worries about Mr. Scrooge, for everyone knows how his story ends. Christmas…humbug? I think not; and just in the nick of time, I may have just found a way to get off the naughty list. Let me help you with that nose, Rudolph.