A Holiday Gift For You: “End of the Year PR Missives From Scrooge & Marley”
Earlier in the month I promised that if Whatever readers (and others) helped to get the Locus Magazine fundraiser to $75k by the time their fundraiser closed, I would write a Christmas story, and if it got to $85k in the same timeframe, I’d throw in an audio version as well. It hit the $75k mark pretty handily but missed the $85k mark — but then Locus extended the fundraiser and it hit $85k anyway.
So here is that (very) short story — and since it’s the season of the year to give into the spirit of a thing rather than just the letter of one’s agreement, I went ahead and did an audio version as well. The idea for this story came from a Twitter conversation with Kate Irwin-Smiler, so please make sure to thank her for the concept. Also, the audio version features opening and closing musical bumpers from Audiorezout, who offered the pieces up under Creative Common license (don’t worry, I am going to send him a tip as soon as I’m done posting this). Finally, the illustration above is from John Leech and is available through the public domain.
(Also, as of this writing the Locus fundraiser is still ongoing. Go ahead and donate!)
It’s a quick story, but fun. I hope you enjoy it. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and all the best for 2023.
END OF THE YEAR PR MISSIVES FROM SCROOGE & MARLEY
By John Scalzi
DECEMBER 23 1843
SCROOGE & MARLEY END 1843 WITH RECORD PROFITS, PREDICT 1844 TO BE EVEN BETTER
Under the careful and prudent guardianship of co-founder Ebenezer Scrooge, Scrooge & Marley (established 1803), Great Britain’s foremost commodities trading company, has announced yet another record-breaking year. “The formula is simple,” said Scrooge. “Tough but fair trading policies and a sharp eye on expenses and always, always, a belief in the value of the bottom line.” Having finished the year once more atop the commodities mountain, Scrooge said that he expects no change in fortunes in 1844 or, indeed, the foreseeable future.
DECEMBER 24 1843
SCROOGE & MARLEY DECRY THE USE OF COAL FOR HEATING, PLEDGE TO “GO GREEN” IN ‘44
When you think of “Ecologically Friendly Companies,” you might not immediately think of Scrooge & Marley (established 1803), but perhaps you should. Co-founder Ebenezer Scrooge has gone on record decrying the use of coal, a carbon-intensive “legacy fuel” for the purposes of heating office buildings in London and elsewhere in Great Britain. “It’s expensive and not what we need for the future of our company,” he proclaimed.
Scrooge has encouraged employees to seek other options, including personal insulation units composed of natural, sustainable fibers. “They’re cheaper, they’re portable and they make sense for the company and our nation,” Scrooge said, challenging all of Great Britain’s corporations to drastically reduce their own coal use in 1844. Scrooge noted that he himself employs fiber-based insulation units at both work and home.
SCROOGE & MARLEY PRAISES THE PEEL GOVERNMENT FOR ITS EFFECTIVE HUMANITARIAN WORK
Charity begins… with the government! Scrooge & Marley (established 1803) once again salutes the government of Prime Minister Robert Peel for its innovative and humane solutions to the issues of poverty and homelessness in London and Great Britain. “Many in my position believe that private charity appeals are the solution to these pressing issues,” co-founder Ebenezer Scrooge said. “But at Scrooge & Marley, we believe in the power of the government to address these systemic issues, with programs that focus on the redemptive power of work, for individuals, and indeed, entire families. I help to support these establishments!”
Scrooge & Marley encourage all in need to avail themselves of these programs and opportunities. “They just must go there,” Ebenezer Scrooge said.
SCROOGE & MARLEY NOTES THE ANNIVERSARY OF CO-FOUNDER JACOB MARLEY’S PASSING
While Christmas Eve is a day of merriment and happiness for many, at Scrooge & Marley (established 1803), it is the day of mourning, as we note the anniversary of the passing of Jacob “Jake” Marley, who ascended to his reward on this day in 1836. “He was always a good man of business,” remembered fellow co-founder Ebenezer Scrooge. To honor his memory, Scrooge & Marley are celebrating the day as Jacob Marley would have wanted — by remaining open for business, as late as humanly possible.
SCROOGE & MARLEY TO BE CLOSED CHRISTMAS DAY
While it is the stated purpose of Scrooge & Marley (established 1803) to be available to its valued clients and partners every day of the year, at the behest of our employees, our London offices will be closed. “You must have it,” co-founder Ebenezer Scrooge confirmed to employees, upon inquiry.
Employees were overjoyed to have the day, and truly appreciative of the benefice of their employer. “A toast to the founder of our feast!” exclaimed head clerk Bob Cratchit. Cratchit said intends to spend the day with his family, particularly his youngest child, who often waits for him to be finished with his daily work.
While employees and others choose to celebrate the day with revelry and games, Ebenezer Scrooge has confirmed he will spend the day in silent contemplation at home. He also assures clients and partners that Scrooge & Marley will be open “all the earlier” on December 26, Boxing Day.
URGENT RELEASE: SCROOGE & MARLEY CALL FOR BETTER LONDON POLICING
Ebenezer Scrooge, co-founder of Scrooge & Marley (established 1803) has issued an immediate request for more assiduous security and monitoring in London after a home invasion at his residence by a chain-swinging hooligan. “He was dressed in rags and stank like the dead and lectured me on my business,” Scrooge said, “and then threatened me with visits by three other members of his gang! Why am I paying my taxes if I am to be so accosted?” Scrooge promises to take up the policing issue with Prime Minister Peel immediately after Christmas.
DECEMBER 25, 1843
RECALL: ALL PRESS RELEASES DATED DECEMBER 23-24, 1843
Please be advised that Ebenezer Scrooge, co-founder of Scrooge & Marley (established 1803), has ordered a recall of all previous press releases. DO NOT USE. Additional press releases to be offered after the new year as the press release office has been ordered to take time off until then. Also we were given geese as large as small boys as a holiday bonus, and our salaries doubled. We are deeply confused by, and slightly afraid of, this turn of events.
Nevertheless, Merry Christmas, and may God bless us, every one.