Monday, 24 December 2012


Tis the season to be jolly.

It’s not in my nature but I’m giving it a go anyway.

You may recall halcyon days of childhood innocence, whereupon Santa bestowed gifts of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Soap and Bubble Bath Sets upon the deserving.

Not only was the air saturated with a giddy rush of excitement, but there was a palpable sense of magic all around you, an elongated euphoria of glitter and tinsel; the promise of happiness and no sense of the brevity of its duration.

Cast your minds back to those days, back when your faces were smaller and your eyes wider.

Oh, to be young and alive in the most vital way possible. That most joyous of joys:

A truly warm, snug embrace of festivity.






Buddy is the protagonist of the popular 2003 film Elf, as played by Will Ferrell. He is a human raised by Santa’s elves, and thus a good-natured manchild completely free of cynicism.

TheGhost of Christmas Present is the second of three spirits who visit Ebeneezer Scrooge. In many ways he resembles the Santa Christmas figure of then contemporary English folklore.

He appears in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

He is also a large absent minded spirit.


If by ‘heat’ you mean ‘Christmas Cheer’, yes. Buddy has enough goodwill to all men to power Santa’s sleigh for a century. The Ghost of Christmas Present (not to be confused for The Ghost of Christmas Presents) appears accompanied by a glutton’s idolatry made corporeal (or ‘food’ as it is also known). He is very cheery and jolly, and has very persuasive songs about the life affirming nuances of the season and their relation to love in all its infinite glory.

"Any second now and...yeah. Yeah. That's what I'm talking about."


Buddy has some elves (the green cloth-capped and pointy shoes kind, not the Aryan toss-fantasy kind), Santa and James Caan. Also most of New York. And also Zooey Deschanel (from before she got annoying).

By the end of the film Buddy has a small child of his own, and as we all know small children are ideal for crawling behind people so you can push them over. Not only does the victim fall over, but they also hurt a child. What a scummer.

The Ghost of Christmas Present has 2011 (and counting) brothers. He also has two subhuman urchins – a boy called Ignorance and a girl called Want - clinging to his robes. Due to their poor health and personality deficiencies, any armed forces commander will tell you they are best deployed as decoy fodder.

It is thought that, due to his abundance of good will and satisfyingly huggable stomach, many of the people who join in his elaborate song and dance routines are also the Ghost of Christmas Present’s friends and would react badly to his being engaged in fisticuffs.


Buddy is stronger than most elves, but most elves are smaller than mankinds, although they are very diligent workers. Buddy wears his heart on his sleeve and so does not really have any nuances.

The Ghost of Christmas Present is all about the whatnot. He's got all the holly-wreath-on-his-head style you'd want from someone in his position, and holds aloft a horn of plenty. Then there's his scabbard with no sword in it, emphasising his wish for peace for all mankinds.

He does, however, have a fine line in quoting your own words back to you and making you feel like a right bad 'un as a result. Without his presence, it is unlikely that we would be witnessing Michael Caine doing his sad acting in Batman films.


This is where we ask Charles Dickens to write what he thinks would happen. He is alive and well and living in Southport, where he passes the time placing bets on illegal whippet races.

Buddy finds himself in a tall room made of stone, with a heavy wooden door sunk into the ground. All around him the wind whistles, as if desperately searching for something or someone it has lost. From far above a bell tolls eleven.

Light sluggishly seeps its way to the bottom, and the elf's splendid green costume is spattered lightly with rain and snow that seems to appear from halfway down the shaft.

'Hello?' he calls.

Gears grind, cogs spin and spark, and dry ropes squeal as the door rises upwards into the wall, revealing a cobbled square shrouded in murk and fog. Straw is scattered everywhere, but it fails to mottle the reek of blood, decay, cloves and orange peel.

His leaf-green elf show makes contact with something squidgy. Buddy isn't sure, but he's fairly certain that necks aren’t supposed to do that.

'Come in, and know me better man!'

It is a half-hearted cry for him, but given the size of his heart this is still an impassioned delivery.

Looming out of the mist is a huge rotund shape, its voice booming across the square and its footsteps echoing with an unnerving crunch as it approaches.

Buddy stands face to face with the Ghost of Christmas Present. His face is lined, his beard grey, but still his face promises mirth and conviviality.

'Hi,' says Buddy, offering a hand, 'I'm Buddy.'
'And I am the Ghost of Christmas Present!' says the Ghost of Christmas Present, 'I'd offer you a flagon of spiced wine or a shank of beef, but I'm afraid my offerings are sadly meagre right now. Ho ho! I do have sprouts.'
'Oh, sprouts,' says Buddy, 'They're not so bad. All you gotta do is chop 'em up real fine and serve them with bacon lardons, they're quite nice then.'
'Bacon lardons eh? Oh hoo hoo hoo.'

The Ghost of Christmas Past slaps his thigh and tears roll down his young and ancient cheeks. He reaches out to Buddy with one huge hand and draws him into an embrace.

It is the most wonderful hug Buddy has ever experienced. It is like all his Christmas Days rolled into one, the sights and sounds and smells. A heady rush. Wonderment. And then the whispers come.

'Buddy,' says the Ghost, 'They killed them all. We were performing an uplifting number about sharing and they killed them all with their bare hands. Help me Buddy, we are in grave danger.'
'Oh jeepers,' says Buddy.
'The boy and the girl, they grew up. They escaped. And now they're somewhere in this place that used to be so full of joy and romance.'

A rat runs over Buddy's foot. He does not care to speculate as to what is in its mouth.

'Whatever happens here Buddy, whatever fate awaits us, I want us to go down fighting.'
'Sssh. No time to argue. They are here.'

Shadows slither in the flickering fog. A half chewed bone is discarded onto the cobbles.

'More,' says a voice, a tinkling and fragile thing that makes Buddy feel immediately sorry for its owner.

'There is no more,' says the Ghost sadly, 'You took it all.'
'Why is there not more?' says another voice, a brutal and snide tone that shakes Buddy's faith in hope to its core.
'Because you took it,' says the Ghost again, 'All of it.'

The twin shadows emerge from the fog. Ragged, jutting and emaciated children, their eyes large and hungry, their bodies empty and forlorn. Buddy doesn't understand. He simply stares at them and feels sad.

The girl reaches out a thin hand, like someone offering up a spider's web.

'More,' she says, 'Give us more.'

Buddy speaks gently. 'There is no more, I am sorry.'

Her eyes flick to his. Her glare chills Buddy to the bone.

'You will give us more,' she moans, 'If you do not, we will take it from you.'

The Ghost of Christmas Past steps in between Buddy and the children.

Ho ho ho motherf***ers,' he says merrily, 'BRING IT.'

The children are on him in a second, mouths wide and talons flashing. The Ghost pummels one with a stoutly surging fist, the boy flying backwards into a wall and crashing there with a brittle, snapping impact. The girl sinks her teeth into the Ghost's shoulder and he bellows. She tears at the cornucopia that adorns his brow, scrabbling at it with dirty and chipped nails, but he grits his teeth and shakes his body til she is gripping the horn with one desperate hand.

The boy has recovered. He may appear to be nothing but a bag of bones, but then again perhaps he is. Shuffling forward like a bean bag full of chicken wings, he clambers up the Ghost to aid his sister, adding his weight to hers.

Buddy stands aside, his hand raised to his mouth, agape in stupefied horror as one of the Ghost's great horns is wrenched free, and the scream he emits is only exceeded in horror by the wretched giggling and slurping as the children drench themselves in blood and marrow.

Now, of course, the Ghost is angry.

Seething, he begins to gallop, tilting his head forward towards the oblivious boy as his sister steps aside.

The impact sounds like someone meeting a bean-bag full of chicken wings with a sledgehammer.

His stomach explodes, gored. Black blood spills from his mouth, the boy splutters and gasps and rages against the Ghost.

' is this… fair?' he stutters, before his fists lose their impetus and slump down by his body. The Ghost stretches his great broad neck muscles and twists them, flinging the broken body aside. At once the sister sets upon him.

The Ghost falls to the ground and tries his best to wrench the girl free from his body, but she is stuck fast and tearing at him with arms and legs, nails and teeth.

'Buddy!' roars the Ghost, 'Buddy, help me! Please!'
'But what can I do?'
'The horn Buddy! Use...gaaah!'

A hole is torn in the Ghost's neck as thin, powerful fingers jab and scrape away at him. Buddy sees a bubble of red emerge from the wound, and is jolted from his inaction. His curly green shoes slap across the square, and in one smooth motion he scoops up the fallen cornucopia fragment and raises it above his head.

He cries out as he plunges it down, through and across the girl's body. The Ghost of Christmas Past roars like a struck boar, and a torrent of dark red plasma surges upwards from their bodies like dreadful eruption of tinsel and blood-drenched baubles.

Buddy blinks the blood from his eyes and pulls the limp body of the girl away from his friend.

The horn has ripped him asunder, there can be no turning back now. Tears form anew in Buddy's eyes. From above, a bell begins tolling twelve.

'I'm sorry Ghost of Christmas Present,' whispers Buddy, 'I guess I don’t know my own strength.'
'It's okay Buddy, it's okay,' utters the Ghost, his grey hair now almost white. ‘Once again you have saved Christmas.'
I have?'
'Of course. Go home Buddy. Go home to your family. Go home, and know me better man. Ho ho ho.'

The bell tolls midnight. Buddy wipes blood and tears from his face. He is alone again.

He really hopes he didn’t imagine any of this.




Now that the blood of the innocent has been spilled, the sun will rise again!  
Hooray for the sun! 
Hooray for the festival of hope and rebirth!

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! will return in the new year, with:


If you have any suggestions for who you'd like to see square go each other in future FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! articles, please mention them below.

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