Well, what’s this? The “Gnomes of Christmas Past” burst in on our heroes during a recording of the Malex Minute! Who are they and what do they want? There’s only one way to find out! (Listen!)
So classic! The old, “They’re in the studio and something happens!” formula. It’s been a long time since we played that card. But, since last episode was so epic in size and scope, we thought we would take it easy for a week.
Don’t worry, next week will be epic again. As epic as the day is long. Epic, even, like a banshee.
But this week, we have the Gnomes of Christmas Past. Delightful! These unbalanced little critters have an economic plan that’s so chock full of economy, it supersedes all other considerations! At least, that’s if you believe their story.
Unfortunately, their credibility seems to be damaged, in part, because they’ve taken a bit too much of their own medicine.
Listen for yourself! It’s a barrel of laughs.
I enjoyed writing this. I enjoyed recording it. I especially enjoyed working with my siblings and doing silly voices. I did not, however, enjoy driving back into town at 3AM, wondering if I was really awake enough to be behind the wheel.
Hopefully, future episodes will be marginally less life-threatening.
“Oh yeah, I still need to pack.”
Malex: Hey everybody! Welcome to the Malex Minute! I’m Malex, and I’m hosting the show! In the studio with me is Linus the Laptop and Snufflefungus the cheerful fuzzball!
Snufflefungus: Hi everybody!
Linus: You’re despicable!
Malex: Are you talking to me?
Linus: Yes! You’re a terrible human being!
Malex: Do you realize I’m trying to do a show?
Snufflefungus: I realize!
Linus: Malex, you took my automaton away. I don’t know how you can expect me to help you with your stupid show that nobody listens to!
Malex: Linus, your little Scone Heist made the front page.
Linus: I’m a hero to the downtrodden!
Malex: I had to pay for your crimes myself to avoid having charges pressed against the lot of us!
Linus: It’s not my fault the law sided with the coffee shop!
Snufflefungus: Yes it is! You broke their store in half!
Malex: Snufflefungus, I’m so glad to hear that – despite your many years hanging out with Linus – you still know right from wrong.
Snufflefungus: (Confused.) What? I know right is this direction, and left is that direction, but what direction is wrong?!
Malex: Most of them are, Snuffy. Most of them are.
Linus: Can we get back to me now? I’m like the Robin Hood of scones!
Malex: Which poor people did you share the scones with, again?
Linus: None! I needed the scones to power my heroic deeds!
Malex: You’re a laptop!
Linus: Even a laptop needs to recover his strength after a long day of crushing buildings!
Malex: Linus, I’m so glad we’ve been friends for so long. Without our long history together I would have to assume you were broken.
Snufflefungus: What about me, Malex?
Malex: Aw, Snuffy, I’m glad we’re friends too.
Gnome A: Hey you!
Malex: Good grief, I’m hallucinating.
Linus: (Disparaging.) Why would you assume that?
Gnome B: We just want a word with you, then we’ll be on our way.
Snufflefungus: They’re so cute!
Gnome A: No need for personal insults now, buddy! We’ll beat you in the face if we have to!
Malex: Who are you and what do you want?
Gnome B: We are the Gnomes of Christmas Past.
Linus: (Cutting.) You’re late.
Gnome A: (Freaks out.) I told you!
Gnome B: What do you want me to say?
Gnome A: You kept insisting that it was July when it was clearly August! You flipped the calendar back again, and again, and again until neither one of us knew which end was up!
Gnome B: I said I was sorry. You don’t have to shout.
Gnome A: But we’re late now, aren’t we?! How sorry do you have to be to fix that?!
Snufflefungus: Guys, Christmas is a time of cheer! Please don’t fight!
Gnome B: He’s right, you know.
Gnome A: Don’t act like you’re in the right here!
Malex: (Clears throat.) Guys, can you please get to a point and clear out? We’re trying to do a show here.
Gnome B: We are like the Ghosts of Christmas from Dickens, but instead of spiritual redemption, we’re all about the economy.
Gnome A: Yeah! This is 2010, man! Nobody cares about spiritual stuff anymore. The economy is where it’s at now!
Malex: (Incredulous.) Really.
Gnome B: So, how many Christmas purchases do you have racked up on credit cards?
Gnome A: It’s probably a lot!
Malex: Not really any.
Snufflefungus: Malex tries to be frugal!
Linus: That’s just because he doesn’t have any friends to buy presents for!
Gnome B: Uh oh, this is bad.
Gnome A: What do you mean you don’t have any Christmas purchases on credit cards?!
Malex: I try to buy things after I’ve earned the money to pay for them.
Gnome A: What’s wrong with you? Isn’t this America?! Did we somehow accidentally travel to a third world country?
Gnome B: L– Let me handle this. Look guy, you’re really throwing us off here. We’re the Gnomes of Christmas Past. If you’re not still paying off past Christmas purchases, we have a problem.
Malex: Sorry, I don’t know what to tell you.
Snufflefungus: I’m still paying off past Christmas purchases! I got Malex Boardwalk and Park Place for Christmas last year!
Malex: I remember that. Snuffy, those are board game pieces. How are you still paying them off?
Snufflefungus: With my allowance! Linus sends me a bill every month!
Malex: Ah Linus, the hero of the people.
Linus: You’re sending me mixed signals. Your words are positive, but I sense disapproval in your tone.
Gnome A: These guys are all idiots! We need to go find somebody else to harass, quick! We’re already so late!
Malex: W– Wait a minute, I’m super curious now. You guys are the Gnomes of Christmas Past, right? What’s the story here?
Gnome B: Oh! It’s all about economic redemption!
Gnome A: Like the spiritual redemption in Dickens, but better!
Gnome B: See, we visit households all over the world and remind them of all the mistakes they’ve made during past Christmases!
Gnome A: People have a lot of debt!
Gnome B: Then, once we’ve got everybody good and depressed, the Gnomes of Christmas Present come along – right after Thanksgiving – to help make people feel better!
Malex: How do they do that?
Gnome B: By convincing them to buy more stuff! The more stuff you buy, the better you feel!
Gnome A: All that spending is great for the economy, too! Everybody wins!
Snufflefungus: This sounds bad. (Snuffy shudder.)
Malex: No kidding.
Linus: What about the Gnome of Christmas Future? How does he figure in to all of this?
Gnome A: We haven’t heard from him in ages.
Gnome B: Yeah, I think he’s dealing with a second Great Depression or something. It was kinda hard to tell what he was saying over the phone because he was crying pretty hard.
Linus: What a loser.
Malex: And that didn’t concern you at all? Honestly this sounds like a bad plan.
Gnome A: What do you know?! You don’t even have debt from massive spending!
Malex: Do you?
Gnome B: Oh, he totally does. (Cackles.)
Gnome A: Hey, shut up! I bought those wall hangings for you! Fascist.
Gnome B: Yeah? Well did I ask for those hideous things?! They’re not even the right color!
Gnome A: Well at least I tried to get you something nice! You bought me a gym membership! Way to send a signal!
Gnome B: Oh, did that come through?!
Gnome A: Loud and clear!
Gnome B: I can never tell! (Mocking.) Earth to Captain Tubbo, the wall hangings are an affront to the décor!
Gnome A: I hate you! I hate you and the faerie dust you rode in on!
Malex: Guys! For crying out loud. Have you ever even read Dickens’ A Christmas Carol?
Gnome B: Not really.
Malex: All those “outdated” notions of spiritual redemption might actually do you some good.
Gnome A: Whatever dude, why should we listen to you? You’re like the Scrooge of the entire economy.
Malex: That’s it! Get out of my studio!
Gnome B: Fine!
Snufflefungus: And stop ruining the world!
Linus: I like those guys. I think I’m going to use credit cards for everything from now on! It can only be better for my hero image if I’m saving the economy with every purchase!
Malex: Well everybody, it looks like we’re out of time this week. Thanks so much for listening, and we hope you’ll join us again next week for another fun romp in the dark forest of madness!
Snufflefungus: (Cheerful.) Bye!
Producer and Director: Alex Markley
Writers: Alex Markley
Voices: Alex, Gabriel, & Peter Markley
Post-processing director: Susie Markley
Illustration: Peter Markley
Release manager: Peter Markley
Recording assistance: Susie Markley
Thanks to everyone for their help and support.