What does the 2016 Presidential campaign have to do with Elvis? Nothing, but I had some fun with it, anyway.
Ah, yes. The villain that Elvis (called Big E by his North Pole friends) and Santa Claus have to battle to save Christmas in my book, BIG E and the SANTA MAN.
Two weeks ago, I revealed the villain is Scrooge. However, in last year’s promotion, I never mentioned him because it would require a lengthy explanation. After all, Scrooge was last seen in the 1850s, and now I’ve got him alive and kicking in 1977. How can that be?
There aren’t any illustrations in the book, but this picture embodies the despicable traits of Scrooge. Here is an excerpt from the book where Santa tells Big E about how Scrooge reverts back to hating Christmas more than ever.
“So, what’s the story on Scrooge? He couldn’t be around after all these years. And he ended up liking Christmas anyway, didn’t he?”
Santa breathed deeply. “Well, yes he did. In fact, Scrooge truly loved Christmas for several years. But then something happened.” Santa paused. “Look, Big E, don’t ask me how I know this, but I’ll tell you what changed Scrooge and made him hate Christmas again.”
“The next year after Scrooge had his awakening to the joys of Christmas, he walked around to nearby homes in the city and gave out presents to people he knew. The following year, he bought three times as many gifts and hired a staff to wrap them all. Then they loaded the packages on a wagon. Scrooge walked proudly in front of the wagon, and gave Christmas presents to many, many people.”
“This sounds okay so far,” said Big E.
“Yes, but Scrooge grew compulsive about giving Christmas presents. The next year he had his staff post notices all over town about an event he would have on Christmas Eve in the town square. The announcement said he would give out thousands of presents. But this time he stood on one of the wagons and threw the presents into the crowd. The huge mass of people got greedy and fought over the packages. After that, Scrooge got even more bizarre. He decided he wanted to be the one who delivered the presents at Christmas… to every boy and girl in the world.”
Big E shook his head. “Sounds like trouble.”
“It was,” Santa said. “One day he showed up here at the North Pole in an elaborate sled pulled by a dozen huskies. Scrooge had decided he wanted to buy me out and told me to name my price. I told him I didn’t want to retire because I love what I do. I refused him. Then he argued with me and got kind of nasty. I finally had to tell him to leave the North Pole and never come back.”
“He didn’t get physical, did he?”
“No, but he was furious. As he stormed off, he said, ‘You’ll be sorry for this. If I can’t deliver the presents on Christmas Eve, I’ll make sure you can’t either.’ As he drove away, Scrooge shouted a lot of rambling gibberish, like he had totally flipped out.”
Here is the explanation of how Scrooge ends up in a space station hovering over the North Pole where he will launch his plan to ruin Christmas. This time it is Scrooge speaking to his henchman Weasel (more on Weasel in two weeks).
Weasel wrinkled his brow. “How did you get this spacecraft?”
“Oh, that’s easy. I bought it on the black market.”
A quizzical look appeared on Weasel’s face. “There’s a black market for space ships?”
“Hmmph, there’s a black market for everything.”
“It must have cost plenty. Where’d you get all the money?”
“With gold. A long, long time ago, I sold my business and converted most of the cash into gold. Then I buried it before I began my quest. You wouldn’t believe how much the price had gone up when I finally went back and retrieved it.”
“Your quest? What was that?”
“My quest for magic… sorcery, actually. I knew if I was going to beat Santa at his game, I would need to put some kind of evil spell on him.”
“Wow.” Weasel’s eyes grew large and he looked intrigued. “I gotta hear about this quest.”
“Actually, it didn’t turn out so well. I went to Haiti and searched for a Voodoo doctor who could teach me his dark arts. I thought I had found the perfect guy, but he turned out to be a phony that was just trying to rip me off. Then I went to China and found a mysterious old magician who was supposed to have all sorts of special powers. This time, I was cautious and had him show me what he could do. He did all these grand demonstrations, but I was able to figure out his tricks. Big charlatan. I couldn’t get any sorcery from him, either.”
“Man, you’re right. It didn’t go good at all.”
“Then it really got worse.” The old man let out a sigh. “I went back to England and managed to find out about a weird scientist who lived alone in a gloomy palace. There were rumors he had vanquished his enemies by putting curses on them. So, I traveled to see him, and I’ll tell you, he was scary. He had the most evil eyes I ever saw. I told him what I was trying to get, and he just laughed at me. That made me mad and we argued, and I yelled some unfortunate epithets at him. And, you know what that bastard did?”
“He put a spell on me. I was under his complete control, like a slave. He made me work as his assistant doing all kinds of weird scientific experiments. The only good thing I got out of his spell was that I never got any older. He didn’t either, so he thought he was set forever with a captive slave assistant.”
“Man, how long did that last?”
“About a hundred and twenty years. Until he became big enemies with another mad scientist. But this guy didn’t mess around with spells. He just shot him, and when he died my curse was broken.”
“Yes, yes.” Weasel seemed genuinely happy.
“So, I was free, I knew everything there was about science, and when I dug up my gold, I was incredibly rich.”
“And you still hated Santa?”
“Oh, yes. That never went away while I was under the spell. I came out just as determined to keep him from delivering the presents at Christmas. Then, I realized I didn’t need to cast a spell to stop Santa. I had the knowledge and the means to do it myself. So I bought this spacecraft and hired you Humbahs to be my crew.”
“And in a few weeks we get to carry out your plan to ruin Christmas.”
They say a good villain is a must for a successful novel, and Scrooge fills the bill nicely in BIG E and the SANTA MAN. In fact, two of the five reviews on Amazon specifically mention Scrooge. Now you’ll know what they are talking about.
So how about it? Are you ready to read how Elvis and Santa battle Scrooge to save Christmas?
Are you ready to read the strangest Christmas story ever written?
Are you ready to tell someone in your family to go on Amazon and buy this book to give you at Christmas?
Click here to go to Amazon and order BIG E and the SANTA MAN.