A Grcade Christmas Carol - Part 1

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Somebody Else's Problem
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PostA Grcade Christmas Carol - Part 1
by Somebody Else's Problem » Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:48 pm

KJGarly was dead to begin with. As dead as a doornail. This must be understood, or nothing that follows will seem wondrous.

Adenezer Seven never painted out Garly’s name. There it stood, years afterwards, above the warehouse door: Seven and Garley. The firm was known as Seven and Garly. Sometimes people new to the business called Seven Seven, and sometimes Garly, but he answered to both names: it was all the same to him.

Oh, but he was a tight-fisted hand to the grindstone, Adenezer. A moaning, whining, bitching, whingeing old sinner. He carried his own low temperature always about with him; he iced GRcade in the dogdays; and didn't thaw it one degree at Christmas.

External heat and cold had little influence on Adenezer. No warmth could warm, no wintry weather chill him. No wind that blew was bitterer than he, no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose, no pelting rain less open to entreaty. Foul weather didn't know where to have him. The heaviest rain, and snow, and hail, and sleet, could boast of the advantage over him in only one respect. They often "came down" handsomely, and Adenezer never did.

The door of Adenezer's office was open that he might keep his eye upon his colleague, Bob Mocky, who was meticulously building a database of everyone he had ever met.

"A merry Christmas, uncle! God save you!" cried a cheerful voice. It was the voice of Adenezer's nephew Banjo, who came upon him so quickly that this was the first intimation he had of his approach.

"Bah!" said Adenezer, "Humbug!"

He had so heated himself with rapid walking in the fog and frost, this nephew of Adenezer's, that he was all in a glow; his face was ruddy and handsome; his eyes sparkled, and his breath smoked again.

"Christmas a humbug, uncle!" said Banjo. "You don't mean that, I am sure."

"I do," said Adenezer. "Merry Christmas! What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to be merry? You're poor enough."

"Come, then," returned Banjo gaily. "What right have you to be dismal? What reason have you to be morose? You're rich enough."

Adenezer having no better answer ready on the spur of the moment, said "Bah!" again; and followed it up with "Humbug."

"Don't be cross, uncle!" said Banjo.

"What else can I be," returned the uncle, "when I live in such a world of fools as this? Merry Christmas! Out upon merry Christmas! What's Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills without money; a time for finding yourself a year older, but not an hour richer; a time for balancing your books and having every item in 'em through a round dozen of months presented dead against you? If I could work my will," said Adenezer indignantly, "every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!"

"Uncle!" pleaded Banjo.

"Nephew!" returned the uncle, sternly, "keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in mine."

"Keep it!" repeated Banjo. "But you don't keep it."

"Let me leave it alone, then," said Adenezer. "Much good may it do you! Much good it has ever done you!"

"There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say," returned the nephew. "Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round -- apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that -- as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!"

His nephew left the room without an angry word, notwithstanding. He stopped at the outer door to bestow the greetings of the season on Mocky, who cold as he was, was warmer than Adenezer; for he returned them cordially.

"There's another fellow," muttered Adenezer; who overheard him: "Mocky, living like a complete povvo, talking about a merry Christmas. I'll retire to NeoGAF."

This lunatic, in letting Banjo out, had let two other people in. They were portly gentlemen, pleasant to behold, and now stood, with their hats off, in Adenezer's office. They had books and papers in their hands, and bowed to him.

"Seven and Garly's, I believe," said one of the gentlemen, referring to his list. "Have I the pleasure of addressing Mr. Seven, or Mr. Garly?"

"KJGarly has been dead these seven years," Adenezer replied. "He died seven years ago, this very night."

"We have no doubt his cheeriness is well represented by his surviving partner," said the gentleman, presenting his credentials.

It certainly was; for they had been two kindred spirits. At the ominous word "cheeriness," Adenezer frowned, and shook his head, and handed the credentials back.

"At this festive season of the year, Mr. Seven," said the gentleman, taking up a pen, "it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the povvos, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of Xbox Ones; hundreds of thousands are in want of Playstation 4’s, sir."

"Are there no PS3?" asked Adenezer.

"Plenty of prisons," said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.

"And the Xbox 360’s?" demanded Adenezer. "Are they still in operation?"

"They are. Still," returned the gentleman, "I wish I could say they were not."

"The Wii and 3DS are in full vigour, then?" said Adenezer.

"Both very busy, sir."

"Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course," said Adenezer. "I'm very glad to hear it."

"Under the impression that they scarcely furnish HD graphics to the multitude," returned the gentleman, "a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Povvos some Playstation 4’s and copies of Killzone. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?"

"Nothing!" Adenezer replied.

"You wish to be anon?"

"I wish to be left alone," said Adenezer. "Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don't make merry myself at Christmas and I can't afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the consoles I have mentioned -- they cost enough; and those who are badly off must play those."

"Many have already played them; and many would rather die."

"If they would rather die," said Adenezer, "they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. Good afternoon, gentlemen!"

Seeing clearly that it would be useless to pursue their point, the gentlemen withdrew. Adenezer returned his labours with an improved opinion of himself, and in a more facetious temper than was usual with him.

At length the hour of shutting up the office arrived. With an ill-will Adenezer dismounted from his stool, and tacitly admitted the fact to Mocky, who instantly closed his laptop, and put on his hat.

"You'll want all day tomorrow, I suppose?" said Adenezer.

"If quite convenient, sir."

"It's not convenient," said Adenezer, "and it's not fair. If I was to stop your wage for it, you'd think yourself ill-used, I'll be bound?"

Mocky smiled faintly.

"And yet," said Adenezer, "you don't think me ill-used, when I pay a day's wages for no work."

Mocky observed that it was only once a year.

"A poor excuse for picking a man's pocket every twenty-fifth of December!" said Adenezer, buttoning his great-coat to the chin. "But I suppose you must have the whole day. Be here all the earlier next morning."

Mocky promised that he would; and Adenezer walked out with a growl. The office was closed in a twinkling, and Mocky, with the long ends of his thermal underwear dangling below his waist (for he is a strange, strange boy), ran home to wherever the hell he lives as hard as he could pelt, to play Knack.

Adenezer took his melancholy dinner in his usual melancholy tavern; and having read all the newspapers, went home to bed. He lived in chambers which had once belonged to his deceased partner. It was old enough now, and dreary enough, for nobody lived in it but Adenezer, the other rooms being all let out as offices. The yard was so dark that even old Adenezer, who knew its every stone, was fain to grope with his hands. The fog and frost so hung about the black old gateway of the house, that it seemed as if the Genius of the Weather sat in mournful meditation on the threshold.

Now, it is a fact, that there was nothing at all particular about the knocker on the door, except that it was very large. It is also a fact, that Adenezer had seen it, night and morning, during his whole residence in that place; also that Adenezer had as little of what is called fancy about him as any man on GRcade, even including -- which is a bold word -- the administrators, mods, and bluehats. Let it also be borne in mind that Adenezer had not bestowed one thought on Garly, since his last mention of his seven years' dead partner that afternoon. And then let any man explain to me, if he can, how it happened that Adenezer, having his key in the lock of the door, saw in the knocker, without its undergoing any intermediate process of change -- not a knocker, but Garly's face.

Garly's face. It was not in impenetrable shadow as the other objects in the yard were, but had a dismal light about it, like a bad thread in a GGC. It was not angry or ferocious, but looked at Adenezer as Garly used to look: with ghostly spectacles turned up on its ghostly forehead. The hair was curiously stirred, as if by breath or hot air; and, though the eyes were wide open, they were perfectly motionless. That, and its livid colour, made it horrible; but its horror seemed to be in spite of the face and beyond its control, rather than a part or its own expression.

As Adenezer looked fixedly at this phenomenon, it was a knocker again.

To say that he was not startled, or that his blood was not conscious of a terrible sensation to which it had been a stranger from infancy, would be untrue. But he put his hand upon the key he had relinquished, turned it sturdily, walked in, and lighted his candle.

He did pause, with a moment's irresolution, before he shut the door; and he did look cautiously behind it first, as if he half-expected to be terrified with the sight of Garly's pigtail sticking out into the hall. But there was nothing on the back of the door, except the screws and nuts that held the knocker on, so he said "Bollocks to it." and closed it with a bang.

The sound resounded through the house like thunder. Every room above, and every cask in the wine-merchant's cellars below, appeared to have a separate peal of echoes of its own. Adenezer was not a man to be frightened by echoes. He fastened the door, and walked across the hall, and up the stairs; slowly too: trimming his candle as he went.

Up Adenezer went, not caring a button for the dark. Darkness is cheap, and Adenezer liked it. But before he shut his heavy door, he walked through his rooms to see that all was right. He had just enough recollection of the face to desire to do that.

Sitting-room, bedroom, games room. All as they should be. Nobody under the table, nobody under the sofa; a small electric fire on the wall; spoon and basin ready; and the little saucepan of Smart Price instant noodles (Adenezer couldn’t be arsed cooking properly) upon the hob. Nobody under the bed; nobody in the closet; nobody in his dressing-gown, which was hanging up in a suspicious attitude against the wall. Games room as usual. Old consoles, old games, two old TVs, and a Game Boy.

Quite satisfied, he closed his door, and locked himself in; double-locked himself in, which was not his custom. Thus secured against surprise, he took off his jacket; put on his dressing-gown and slippers; and sat down before the electric fire to take his noodles.

It was a very low fire indeed, with only one bar turned on. He was obliged to sit close to it, and brood over it, before he could extract the least sensation of warmth from that one bar. The fire was an old one, sold by Argos long ago, and cased all round with stained white plastic.

"Humbug!" said Adenezer; and walked across the room.

After several turns, he sat down again. As he threw his head back in the chair, his glance happened to rest upon a bell, a disused doorbell, that hung in the room, and communicated for some purpose now forgotten from a button by the front door. It was with great astonishment, and with a strange, inexplicable dread, that as he looked, he saw this bell begin to ring. It rung so softly in the outset that it scarcely made a sound; but soon it rang out loudly, and so did every alarm in the house.

This might have lasted half a minute, or a minute, but it seemed an hour. The bells ceased as they had begun, together. They were succeeded by a clanking noise, deep down below; as if some person were dragging a heavy chain over the casks in the wine merchant's cellar. Adenezer then remembered to have heard that ghosts in haunted houses were described as dragging chains.

The cellar-door flew open with a booming sound, and then he heard the noise much louder, on the floors below; then coming up the stairs; then coming straight towards his door.

"It's humbug still!" said Adenezer. "I won't believe it."

His colour changed though, when, without a pause, it came on through the heavy door, and passed into the room before his eyes. Upon its coming in, the dying flame leaped up, as though it cried, "I know him; Garly's Ghost!" and fell again.

The same face: the very same. Garly in his pigtail, usual waistcoat, tights and boots; the tassels on the latter bristling, like his pigtail, and his coat-skirts, and the hair upon his head. The chain he drew was clasped about his middle. It was long, and wound about him like a tail; and it was made (for Adenezer observed it closely) of cash-boxes, keys, padlocks, ledgers, deeds, and heavy purses wrought in steel. His body was transparent, so that Scrooge, observing him, and looking through his waistcoat, could see the two buttons on his coat behind.

Adenezer had often heard it said that Garly had no bowels, but he had never believed it until now.

No, nor did he believe it even now. Though he looked the phantom through and through, and saw it standing before him; though he felt the chilling influence of its death-cold eyes; and marked the very texture of the folded kerchief bound about its head and chin, which wrapper he had not observed before: he was still incredulous, and fought against his senses.

"How now!" said Adenezer, caustic and cold as ever. "What do you want with me?"

"Much!" -- Garly's voice, no doubt about it.

"Who are you?"

"Ask me who I was."

"Who were you then?" said Adenezer, raising his voice. "You're particular, for a shade." He was going to say "to a shade," but substituted this, as more appropriate.

"In life I was your partner, KJGarly."

"Can you -- can you sit down?" asked Adenezer, looking doubtfully at him.

"I can."

"Do it then."

Adenezer asked the question, because he didn't know whether a ghost so transparent might find himself in a condition to take a chair; and felt that in the event of its being impossible, it might involve the necessity of an embarrassing explanation. But the ghost sat down on the opposite side of the fireplace, as if he were quite used to it.

"You don't believe in me," observed the Ghost.

"I don't." said Adenezer.

"What evidence would you have of my reality, beyond that of your senses?"

"I don't know," said Adenezer.

"Why do you doubt your senses?"

"Because," said Adenezer, "I haven’t had any sense for a long, long time!”

Scrooge was not much in the habit of cracking jokes, nor did he feel, in his heart, by any means waggish then. The truth is, that he tried to be smart, as a means of distracting his own attention, and keeping down his terror; for the spectre's voice disturbed the very marrow in his bones.

To sit, staring at those fixed glazed eyes, in silence for a moment, would play, Adenezer felt, the very deuce with him. There was something very awful, too, in the spectre's being provided with an infernal atmosphere of its own. Adenezer could not feel it himself, but this was clearly the case; for though the Ghost sat perfectly motionless, its hair, and skirts, and tassels, were still agitated as by the hot vapour from an oven.

The spirit raised a frightful cry, and shook its chain with such a dismal and appalling noise, that Adenezer held on tight to his chair, to save himself from falling in a swoon. But how much greater was his horror, when the phantom taking off the bandage round its head, as if it were too warm to wear indoors, its lower jaw dropped down upon its breast!

Adenezer fell upon his knees, and clasped his hands before his face.

"Mercy!" he said. "Dreadful apparition, why do you trouble me?"

"Man of the worldly mind!" replied the Ghost, "do you believe in me or not?"

"I do," said Adenezer. "I must. But why do spirits walk the earth, and why do they come to me?"

"It is required of every man," the Ghost returned, "that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellowmen, and travel far and wide; and if that spirit goes not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death. It is doomed to wander through the world -- oh, woe is me! -- and witness what it cannot share, but might have shared on earth, and turned to happiness!"

Again the spectre raised a cry, and shook its chain and wrung its shadowy hands.

"You are fettered," said Adenezer, trembling. "Tell me why?"

"I wear the chain I forged in life," replied the Ghost. "I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to you?"

Adenezer trembled more and more.

"Or would you know," pursued the Ghost, "the weight and length of the strong coil you bear yourself? It was full as heavy and as long as this, seven Christmas Eves ago. You have laboured on it, since. It is a ponderous chain!"

Adenezer glanced about him on the floor, in the expectation of finding himself surrounded by some fifty or sixty fathoms of iron cable: but he could see nothing.

"KJ," he said, imploringly. "Old KJGarly, tell me more. Speak comfort to me, KJ!"

"I have none to give," the Ghost replied. "It comes from other regions, Adenezer Seven, and is conveyed by other ministers, to other kinds of men. Nor can I tell you what I would. A very little more, is all permitted to me. I cannot rest, I cannot stay, I cannot linger anywhere. My spirit never walked beyond our office -- mark me! -- in life my spirit never roved beyond the narrow limits of our hole; and weary journeys lie before me!"

It was a habit with Adenezer, whenever he became thoughtful, to put his hands in his breeches pockets. Pondering on what the Ghost had said, he did so now, but without lifting up his eyes, or getting off his knees.

"You must have been very slow about it, KJ," Adenezer observed, in a business-like manner, though with humility and deference.

"Slow!" the Ghost repeated.

"Seven years dead," mused Adenezer. "And travelling all the time!"

"The whole time," said the Ghost. "No rest, no peace. Incessant torture of remorse."

"You travel fast?" said Adenezer.

"On the wings of the wind," replied the Ghost.

"You might have got over a great quantity of ground in seven years," said Adenezer.

The Ghost, on hearing this, set up another cry, and clanked its chain so hideously in the dead silence of the night, that the Ward would have been justified in indicting it for a nuisance.

"Oh! captive, bound, and double-ironed," cried the phantom, "not to know, that ages of incessant labour, by immortal creatures, for this earth must pass into eternity before the good of which it is susceptible is all developed. Not to know that any spirit working kindly in its little sphere, whatever it may be, will find its mortal life too short for its vast means of usefulness. Not to know that no space of regret can make amends for one life's opportunity misused! Yet such was I! Oh! such was I!"

"But you were always a good man on the forum, KJ," faltered Adenezer, who now began to apply this to himself.

"Forum!" cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. "Mankind was my forum. The outside world was my forum; people, conversation, tolerance, and humour, were, all, my forum. The postings on GRcade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of the world!"

It held up its chain at arm's length, as if that were the cause of all its unavailing grief, and flung it heavily upon the ground again.

"At this time of the rolling year," the spectre said "I suffer most. Why did I walk through crowds of fellow-beings with my eyes turned down, and never raise them to that blessed Star which led the Wise Men to a poor abode! Were there no poor homes to which its light would have conducted me!"

Adenezer was very much dismayed to hear the spectre going on at this rate, and began to quake exceedingly.

"Hear me!" cried the Ghost. "My time is nearly gone."

"I will," said Adenezer. "But don't be hard upon me! Don't be flowery, KJ!"

"How it is that I appear before you in a shape that you can see, I may not tell. I have sat invisible beside you many and many a day."

It was not an agreeable idea. Adenezer shivered, and wiped the perspiration from his brow.

"That is no light part of my penance," pursued the Ghost. "I am here to-night to warn you, that you have yet a chance and hope of escaping my fate. A chance and hope of my procuring, Adenezer."

"You were always a good friend to me," said Adenezer. "Thanks Garly. Tharly!"

"You will be haunted," resumed the Ghost, "by Three Spirits."

Adenezer's countenance fell almost as low as the Ghost's had done.

"Is that the chance and hope you mentioned, KJ?" he demanded, in a faltering voice.

"It is."

"I -- I think I'd rather not," said Adenezer.

"Without their visits," said the Ghost, "you cannot hope to shun the path I tread. Expect the first tonight, when the bell tolls one."

"Couldn't I take `em all at once, and have it over, KJ?" hinted Adenezer. For some reason, an image of Kenneth Williams briefly presented itself at this point.

"Expect the second when the bell tolls two. The third, well, you get the idea. Look to see me no more; and look that, for your own sake, you remember what has passed between us!"

When it had said these words, the spectre took its wrapper from the table, and bound it round its head, as before. Adenezer knew this, by the smart sound its teeth made, when the jaws were brought together by the bandage. He ventured to raise his eyes again, and found his supernatural visitor confronting him in an erect attitude, with its chain wound over and about its arm.

The apparition walked backward from him; and at every step it took, the window raised itself a little, so that when the spectre reached it, it was wide open. It beckoned Adenezer to approach, which he did. When they were within two paces of each other, Garly's Ghost held up its hand, warning him to come no nearer. Adenezer stopped.

Not so much in obedience, as in surprise and fear: for on the raising of the hand, he became sensible of confused noises in the air; incoherent sounds of lamentation and regret; wailings inexpressibly sorrowful and self-accusatory. The spectre, after listening for a moment, joined in the mournful dirge; and floated out upon the bleak, dark night.

Adenezer closed the window, and examined the door by which the Ghost had entered. It was double-locked, as he had locked it with his own hands, and the bolts were undisturbed. He tried to say "Humbug!" but stopped at the first syllable. And being, from the emotion he had undergone, or the fatigues of the day, or his glimpse of the Invisible World, or the dull conversation of the Ghost, or the lateness of the hour, much in need of repose; went straight to bed, without undressing, and fell asleep upon the instant.

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Last edited by Somebody Else's Problem on Wed Dec 25, 2013 5:47 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Scotticus Erroticus
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PostRe: A Grcade Christmas Carol - Part 1
by Scotticus Erroticus » Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:06 am

Holy crap

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Bunni
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PostRe: A Grcade Christmas Carol - Part 1
by Bunni » Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:24 am

Is missing a giant eyesore in the sky.

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Rightey
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PostRe: A Grcade Christmas Carol - Part 1
by Rightey » Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:48 am

tl;dr

Do I appear in there :shifty:

Pelloki on ghosts wrote:Just start masturbating furiously. That'll make them go away.
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Ad7
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PostRe: A Grcade Christmas Carol - Part 1
by Ad7 » Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:32 am

Holy gooseberry fool that's a good read :lol:

Adenezer Seven :slol:

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Somebody Else's Problem
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PostRe: A Grcade Christmas Carol - Part 1
by Somebody Else's Problem » Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:31 am

Part 2 coming soon.

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PostRe: A Grcade Christmas Carol - Part 1
by Joer » Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:35 am

Ctrl + F - Joer

:(

I didn't want to be in it anyway you poo brain.

PS - I'm going to save this read for my next poo so I hope it's good.

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Mommy
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PostRe: A Grcade Christmas Carol - Part 1
by Mommy » Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:50 am

Ctrl+f for Mommy. Nowt.


:cry:

I have officially retired from international football.
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Moggy
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PostRe: A Grcade Christmas Carol - Part 1
by Moggy » Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:08 pm

No mention of me? You've made a powerful enemy today MCN. :x

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Corazon de Leon
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PostRe: A Grcade Christmas Carol - Part 1
by Corazon de Leon » Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:18 pm

Exactly the same as Mommy and Joer. You dick.

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Mockmaster
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PostRe: A Grcade Christmas Carol - Part 1
by Mockmaster » Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:21 pm

Egg Noggy wrote:No mention of me? You've made a powerful enemy today MCN. :x

This.

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Buffalo
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PostRe: A Grcade Christmas Carol - Part 1
by Buffalo » Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:21 pm

Please leave the forum.

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Somebody Else's Problem
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PostRe: A Grcade Christmas Carol - Part 1
by Somebody Else's Problem » Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:26 pm

Mockmaster wrote:
Egg Noggy wrote:No mention of me? You've made a powerful enemy today MCN. :x

This.


Erm, you're in there quite a bit. You have quite an important role!

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Captain Kinopio
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PostRe: A Grcade Christmas Carol - Part 1
by Captain Kinopio » Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:02 pm

I think Mockmaster was pissed off at Egg Noggy not being in there

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Finish.Last
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PostRe: A Grcade Christmas Carol - Part 1
by Finish.Last » Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:30 pm

Good effort this! Really good idea, too; I read A Christmas Carol every couple of years, and this will do for this time around!

I called off his players' names as they came marching up the steps behind him....All nice guys. They'll finish last. Nice guys. Finish last.
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PostRe: A Grcade Christmas Carol - Part 1
by Somebody Else's Problem » Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:47 pm

Advent7 wrote:Adenezer Seven :slol:


Totally your Christmas name next year.

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PostRe: A Grcade Christmas Carol - Part 1
by KjGarly » Wed Dec 25, 2013 9:46 am

Awesome read on Christmas day while eating my choc-chip weetabix mini's :wub:

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