Here, Cratchet, what do you think youíre doing?
Uh, er, leaving sir.
Leaving? Itís 5 minutes to the hour. Shall I dock your pay accordingly.
Uh, er, no sir.
No sir? Well itís back to work for you then, and be quick about it. And I donít expect your mind to be off home before your body gets out the door either, what?
Uh, er, no sir.
Will you be doing anything for Christmas, sir?
Uh, er, what sir?
Schmi, schmish. Smiss.
Are you okay, sir?
Schmee, smaa, ooh.
Mr. Scrooge, sir? Mr. Scrooge? Mr. ScrooÖ.
What? Who? What? Oh!
EEEIIIIII am the Ghooooost of Expeeeected Surprises.
What? What? Again? Not again. Oh please, spirit, not again. Please no.
EEEIIIIII visited yoooooou laaaast year, Scroooooooooooooge.
Oh, yes, spirit, that you did. That you did. Ooooooooh, and here I forgot!
Oh, please spirit. Not so loud. Not again. Not again.
Why am I heeere again, Scrooooooooge? Why again?
Uh, uh, because I forgot the very thing that comes around every year. I forgot, yet again, Spirit. Silly me. Oh, silly silly me. Iím a bad man, spirit. Please have mercy. Oh please.
What is the Deeeeefinition of Expeeeected, Scrooooooge?
Um, of course, yes, I know this, why itís something known in advance. Yes. Known in advance, spirit. Something you can see coming. Itís clear. Itís clear now, spirit. Foresight. Advanced knowledge.
And yet you are caught unprepaaaaaared again this year, Scroooooooge!!
I am, good spirit. I am wholly unprepared. I didnít see you coming either, I fear. Stupid, silly man that I am. Oh spirit. Please. What is to become of me?
Oooooh. Not that spirit. Anything but that.
Yeeees. Scroooge. Revise yoooooour buuuuuudgettt.
My, my budget, spirit? But I have a budget.
Muuuuuussssst yooooou beeee reminded agaaaaain? Yooooou have a moooonthleeey budget, Scroooooge. Buuut you have nooooo alloooocation foor annual expeeeennnssses.
I forgot, spirit. I forgot.
Eveerrrry year yooooou have nooooo money fooooor Christmaaaaas. Noooo money foooooor birthdaaaaay gifts, noooooo money foooooor caaarriage insurance, noooo caaaash for property taaaaxes.
No spirit. Never a penny. Never a pound. Never a schekel I fear. Iím tapped out and credit cards havenít been invented yet!
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH! Never meeeention credit caaards, Scrooooooooge!
The Ghoooost of Future Expeeeeected Surprises is beset with credit caaaaard nightmaaaaares! Yoooooou donít waaaant a visit from hiiim.
No spirit, no. Not him. Iíve learned my lesson spirit. I have. I know I have. I will budget for annual expenses from now on. No longer will Ebenezer Scroooge be surprised by the expected. Caught without cash for things he knew, and always knew, were coming...yet again.
Caaaaash fooooor Christmaaaaaaas gifts too, Scroooooooooooge?
Wa, uh, ee, well, uhÖ
Rick Hoogendoorn has been in the financial services industry in Victoria, BC since 1991. Happy Holidays from Cheri Crause & Associates Inc.