Saturday, December 26, 2015

Personnel Files: Charon

Charon is the most miserly being in existence. He is as greedy as Zeus is horny. If Zeus could only get laid by paying a whore with Charon’s money, the opposing forces would cause a black hole that would engulf all of creation (NOTE: This is science fact). Perhaps the only thing he values more than money is his title as “the most miserly being in existence”. He has even gone so far as to sabotage greedy mortals into Heel Face Turning, just so they don’t surpass him in greed. The most famous example of this is the tale of one Ebenezer Scrooge, against whom Charon exacted the most unusual revenge of teaching him the true meaning of Christmas. This all started with two pence, plucked from the eyes of Marley’s corpse, because Scrooge figured he didn’t need them where he was going. Charon has a rule that is among the hardest and fastest in existence: No fare, no passage.  So Marley was damned to wander the Mortal World as a seriously spooky ghost. Some folks on Olympus weren’t terribly thrilled about that, and one folk on the mortal world was terribly unthrilled about it, so Charon made a deal. Rather than money, he’d accept payment in the form of the only other thing he valued: his title. He’d ferry Marley across the river Styx if Marley helped him protect his title from Scrooge. Of course, Charon knew that Scrooge, a lowly mortal who often spent money to make money, could never step to him. Legend has it that the only thing Charon’s ever spent money on is the ferry that is now his claim to fame. But he wants to do more than just win. He wants to win so hard that it’s not even close. He’s not just going for the gold, he’s going for the silver and bronze, too, because them metals are precious too.

What followed was an epic haunting, seven years in the making. First, Marley visited him on Christmas Eve, exactly seven years (astute readers will note that seven is a pretty mystical number) after his own death. He rattled some chains, said how much his afterlife sucked. Standard, entry level stuff, really. But the real haunting hadn’t even begun yet. That was just an appetizer for the three course meal of horror that followed. Marley’s real purpose was to warn of three ghosts that would haunt Scrooge on that night. The first was the Ghost of Christmas Past, a candle lookin’ dude, who flashed him backwards to his memories of previous Christmases, and what he was like before he was a runner up to the Biggest Asshole Award. In particular, he showed how Scrooge’s love of money drove away the love of his life. It was pretty brutal. Ebenezer, unsurprisingly, didn’t like this one bit, so he extinguished candle-ghost. This… may have killed the ghost? I know ghosts don’t usually die, but I don’t really know that that guy technically counted as a ghost. I mean, none of the other “ghosts” were actually ghosts, we just called them that because it’s not like Ebenezer would have known any better. In any case, it’s not really my problem.

 The second “Ghost” was the ghost of Christmas Present, played by freakin’ Zeus himself. I never really pried into why exactly he agreed to it, but it I’m not going to go around pretending that it was anything other than an elaborate scheme to get laid. He pulled off the role surprisingly well. He showed Ol’ Ebenezer some scenes of how his greed was shafting everyone around him. Ebenezer’s greed, that is. When Zeus shafts everyone around him, it’s in an entirely different way. Particularly screwed over by Scrooge’s greed was Tiny Tim, some kid with rickets, which was majorly sucky back then, especially since Scrooge was too busy literally telling the poor to hurry up and die to help get Tiny Tim treated. Zeus actually threw those words back in his face when Scrooge started taking pity on Tiny Tim, which was a nice touch. There wasn’t any lightning or thunder involved, which was probably for the best, but Zeus was kinda bummed about it.

The third Ghost was the real Coup de Gras. We called him “The Ghost of Christmas Future”, but Ebenezer, total dweeb that he was, said “The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.” The ghost (played by none other than Captain Thanatos himself) would have corrected him, but his whole schtick was that he didn’t say anything, so he just kind of rolled with it. I wasn’t really a fan of him being silent, insisting it would be more effective if he said, “SCARY Christmas to all, and to all a good FRIGHT!” Instead, he mostly just stood around, looking exactly as he normally does, (Drop-dead spooky) showing Scrooge all the trash-talking people would do once he finally up and died. But he wasn’t the only one who up and died: Tiny Tim followed suit, all thanks to Scrooge’s greed. And since he didn’t specify which God he wanted to bless everyone, his whole “God Bless us every one” thing didn’t even count.

After being spooked proper, Scrooge became super nice. I mean, he did things that were super nice. Whether or not that makes him actually nice is something best left to philosophers, not me. Like, if someone puts a gun to your head and tells you to donate to charity, and you do it, does that make you nice? I don’t really think so. But, like, you know, whatever. In any case, Charon got the satisfaction of clinging to his title, and I get the satisfaction of knowing that Scrooge has read these very words, telling him how hard he got tricked. Even if he didn’t realize it. Merry Christmas, ya old bastard.

No comments:

Post a Comment