by Robert Williams
"It's Christmas!!" exclaimed Des excitedly in the cafe one morning in early December.
"YAY!!!!!" exclaimed Wayne.
"Not yet it isn't," said Mick. "It's still two weeks to go! As far as I'm concerned it's not Christmas till I put my decorations up."
"And when do you do that?" asked Des.
"One minute to midnight on 24th December," said Mick. "That's when I put up that sprig of holly on the mantelpiece."
"You old Scrooge!" said Des. "The Co-op had their decorations up ages ago! And it was because of that I felt forced to stock up on chocolate biscuits for the Christmas season. Only thing is, I ate them all on my summer holiday."
"Whatever," sighed Mick.
"Anyway, I think we should celebrate the festive season!" said Des. "Because we have another reason to celebrate - for this is our 200th story!"
"Good grief," said Mick. "Is that a reason to celebrate? Or commiserate?"
"I've decided we should mark this double occasion with a spectacular song and dance extravaganza!!" exclaimed Des. "With a bit of comedy and magic. It's going to be held at the church hall on Christmas Eve at 8.30pm! And you're all taking part!"
"You must be joking, Christmas Eve at 8.30pm, that's when I start my Christmas shopping!" exclaimed Clive.
"I've allocated all your parts," said Des. "Clive and Mrs Greasy, you'll be singing the songs of Gilbert and Sullivan. You know, like 'Ooh-Wakka-Doo-Wakka-Day', and 'Get Down'!"
"That's Gilbert O'Sullivan!" exclaimed Clive.
"Same thing," said Des. "Mick, you'll be bringing us a hilarious comedy routine. Mike's doing some magic tricks, and Wayne will be delighting us with a rendition of 'Singing in the Rain'."
"BRILLIANT!!!!" exclaimed Wayne. "Wassat then?"
"Dickie will be providing musical accompaniment on the piano," continued Des. "I'll be the compere, and the whole thing will end in a Band Aid-style communal sing-song when we all sing 'I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas'."
"It all sounds absolutely dreadful," said Mick. "I'm having nothing to do with it."
"Nor me," said Clive firmly, with his arms folded.
"It's too late, your names have already gone up on the posters around town," said Des. "Rehearsals start on Christmas Eve morning."
By Christmas Eve Eve it had got very cold and icy. Des popped in to see Dickie at the vicarage and find out how ticket sales to the big event were going.
"Tickets have been selling like hot cakes!" said Dickie.
"Oh dear, not very well then?" said Des.
"No, no, I've sold loads!" said Dickie. "They obviously don't know who you are!"
"How could that be possible?!" said Des. "Anyway, I'd better be off, I'll see you tomorrow morning."
"Are you sure you don't want me to do a dance routine?" said Dickie, following Des out of the vicarage. "I've had lessons from Lionel Blair!"
"What does the Prime Minister know about dancing?" said Des.
"Look, I'll show you!" said Dickie. They had now reached the front path. "It's really fab and gear!"
"Careful Dickie, watch out for that ice!!" exclaimed Des.
But as Dickie attempted to do his fab and gear dance routine, he slipped on the icy path and fell to the ground.
"AAAARGGHHH!!!" exclaimed Dickie. "I think I've broken something!"
"Oh no!" said Des. "Mrs Dickie, call me an ambulance!"
"You're an ambulance!" shouted Mrs Dickie from inside.
"Oh dear, oh dear, this means I'm going to miss 'Christmas Top of the Pops', oh dear, oh dear..." mumbled Dickie.
The ambulance soon arrived to take Dickie off to hospital with his broken leg.
"What am I going to do now?!" said Des to himself. "I've got no piano player! I know, I'll sort that out in the morning."
The next morning, following the icy conditions yesterday, much milder weather had blown in from the west, bringing with it thick cloud and the risk of isolated thundery showers. That's all for now, have a very good evening.
However Des had more pressing concerns - when he arrived at the church hall, expecting everyone to have turned up for rehearsals for their spectacular Christmas song and dance extravaganza with a bit of comedy and magic, he instead found that there was no one there.
"Where have they all got to?!" exclaimed Des. "They can't have forgotten, I've been reminding them every day for the past two weeks! I'd better go and investigate."
First of all he went to Mrs Greasy's cafe, because it was nearest. However he was surprised to find the front door was locked.
"Oi!! Mrs Greasy!! Open up!! Where are you?!!" shouted Des. "(I can't believe I'm trying to actually get in to Mrs Greasy's cafe!)"
Before long Mrs Greasy emerged, and opened up the door. She was in her dressing gown, and was holding a handkerchief.
"Sorry Des, I've had to close the cafe. And I can't take part in your Christmas extravaganza, you see I've developed a terrible cold! In fact, I think I'm about to sneeze! A-a-a-a-a..."
Des closed the door quickly before he got covered in the contents of Mrs Greasy's nose.
"Well Clive will just have to sing the songs of Gilbert and Sullivan on his own then!" said Des.
He went round to Clive's house and banged on the door.
"Oi!! Clive!! Open up!! Where are you?!!" shouted Des. There was no answer. He tried ringing the door.
'Hello, this is Clive speaking, I'm afraid I'm not in today, if you would please leave your message after the tone then I'll get back to you as soon as I can be bothered'.
"Only someone like Clive would have something like a door answering machine!" groaned Des. "Maybe I can do without the songs of Gilbert and Sullivan."
Next he went to Wayne's house and banged on the door.
"Oi!! Wayne!! Open up!! Where are you?!!" shouted Des. There was no answer. "He must be in, his van's in the drive."
Just then loud rave music started pumping out of the van. Wayne popped his head out of the window.
"Hey Des, I'm just off to an all night mega-mega-rave in a field outside Sevenoaks!!" shouted Wayne. "MC Santa on the decks!! Kickin'!! Anyway, see ya!! Oh yeah, and 'appy birthday!!!"
Wayne drove off down the road.
"I don't believe this!" said Des. "Well...maybe I could do without 'Singing in the Rain'. Although judging by the look of the weather, it's about to rain anyway! Now surely Mick must be in!"
He popped across to Mick's house.
"Oi!! Mick!! Open up!! Where are you?!!" shouted Des. There was no answer. Then he noticed an empty milk bottle with a message inside. He took the message out to read it. "'Dear Mikey Milkey, no milk today, I've gone away to my cousin in Swindon'. Cor!!"
He screwed up the note and threw it over his shoulder.
"Well...I never really needed that comedy routine...who's left? Ah yes, Mike the Mechanical...oh whatever! He'll definitely be in!!"
But when he got to Mike's Manic Motors, he found it deserted. He wandered into Mike's office and looked around for any clues. He tried searching through the mound of disorganised papers on his desk, and eventually found the answer.
"Hmmm," said Des. "An invite to Nigel Mansell's Christmas party? Christmas Eve at 8.30! Oh no!! Hold on a minute...there's something strange going on here..."
Des put down the invitation on the desk thoughtfully, but his thoughts quickly turned back to the Christmas extravaganza.
"What am I going to do?! All my star turns are unavailable!! But I can't disappoint my public!!"
Just then rain started to pour down outside. Lightning struck and thunder rolled.
"Oh dear, I think there's a storm coming," said Des. He turned back to Mike's desk, and he noticed the book that Mike had been reading had been uncovered from under all the papers.
"'Frankenstein'," said Des. "Hmmmm...that's it!! That's what I'll do!!"
He took the book, and rushed back to his house in the pouring rain. He then stood in the kitchen and studied the book carefully.
"Oh gosh, I think this is going to be too complicated after all," said Des, closing the book sadly. "I'll never be able to do what Frankenstein did, it's all just fantasy. I'd better take this book back."
Outside the storm was still raging - and as soon Des stepped outside his front door he was struck by lightning.
"Ouch!" exclaimed Des. But that was it. Des looked at himself, and he was surprised to find himself completely uninjured. He turned back to look at his reflection in the door window, and saw that his hair was standing up on end, in an Einstein stylee.
"I feel strange!" said Des to himself. "I feel kind of...intelligent... But not just intelligent...ultra-intelligent! I AM FrankenDes!!!"
Des rushed back inside with the book. Suddenly he had turned into a whirling dervish. He flicked through the book, taking in everything it had to say in seconds.
"Right!" exclaimed Des. He slammed the book closed and rushed off out of the house. He got into his Fiat 126 and drove at great speed (staying within the speed limit of course) to the local rubbish dump. When he got there he whizzed round the dump, picking up everything he needed. The owner of the dump looked on in amazement. Five minutes later Des threw his findings, which were mainly discarded artificial limbs, bits of old dummies, old wigs and so on. Then he went to an electronics shop, and bought up a whole load of wires, circuit boards and electronic gadgetry. Next he went to Marks and Spencer and bought some clothing. Finally he popped along to the computer shop and bought himself a laptop.
"Now how long have I got?!" said Des, when he had brought all of this stuff home. "Five o'clock. Three-and-a-half hours to the concert. I'd better work fast!!"
Using the Frankenstein book as reference, Des set about creating six monsters on his kitchen table. Working at a speed unimaginable to a normal human being, Des pieced together the various limbs. He wired up all the electronic wizardry inside them, clothed them in the relevant attire, and finally stuck bolts in their heads. Before long he had five horrible-looking monsters lying on his kitchen floor.
"Gosh, they look just like the real things!" said Des. He laughed an evil laugh.
Next, he took his laptop, and connected it to each monster in turn.
"Now to program in the characteristics," said Des. First of all, he connected it to the monster which he had given a receding hairline. "Now Mick, he's going to be our comedy man. I'd better program in some jokes."
To the daft-looking monster with spiky hair he programmed in a 'Singing in the Rain' song and dance routine. To the grey haired one in a vicar's costume he programmed in the ability to play the piano. To the big fat monster and the monster with piles of gel on his hair he programmed in a load of Gilbert O'Sullivan song lyrics. And to the mad-haired monster wearing overalls he programmed in the contents of the Paul Daniels website.
""Now there's just one thing left to do," said Des. He looked outside. Although it was now dark, the thunderstorm was still raging. He took each of the monsters outside and lay them on the ground in his back garden.
"Ha ha ha ha ha!!!" cackled Des. "At last!! The moment of truth had arrived! Come on, do your stuff!!!"
A single lightning bolt hit the five monsters. All together, the six monsters slowly sat up. As Des grinned, with his eyes aglow, he was hit by another lighting strike.
"Ouch!!" said Des. Once again he was uninjured. But his hair had gone back to normal - and so had his intelligence.
"What...what have I done?" he said, staring wide-eyed at the monsters.
"I'm singing in the rain, just singing in the rain'!" said the Wayne monster.
"I say I say I say, what do you call a camel with three humps?!" said the Mick monster. "Humph-three!!!!!!!"
Des looked at his watch. It was 8.25.
"Oh my goodness, I've got five minutes! You lot, follow me!!"
Des hurried off down the road to the church hall. The monsters hurried off after him. When they arrived they entered through the back door.
"Now listen, only come on stage when I announce your names!" said Des. "Until then, stay here behind the curtain!"
The monsters nodded.
"Okay then!" said Des. He rushed out onto the stage at precisely 8.30. He was surprised to see the whole church hall was full. "Errr...right...what was I going to say?"
Of course, as there had been no rehearsals, Des had no idea what he was going to say.
"Err...good evening everyone, thank you for coming, and happy birthday!!" The audience looked confused. "I mean, merry Christmas!! And welcome to our amazing spectacular Christmas song and dance extravaganza with a bit of comedy and magic!!"
The audience clapped and cheered.
"Hi, I'm Des, and I'm your compere tonight, and I'll be introducing all our star turns, like Mick, and Wayne, and Clive..."
As each of their names was announced the monsters emerged from behind the curtain. The audience gasped.
"Oh no, no, get back, get back!!" said Des, pushing them back behind the curtain. "Umm...yes, all them and all others too. But first let's introduce Dickie the Vicar who'll be providing musical accompaniment on the piano!"
The monster of Dickie staggered out from the behind and bowed to the audience. "Fab, gear, groovy!" said the monster, and he went over to the piano at the side of the stage, sat down and started playing.
"Dickie, wait a moment!" said Des. "Now for our first act, here's the songs of Gilbert and Sullivan, as performed by Clive and Mrs Greasy!!"
The monsters of Clive and Mrs G arrived on stage.
"Hi, I'm Clive, and I'm a really nasty piece of work," said the Clive monster.
"Hi, I'm Mrs Greasy. Please don't come to my cafe," said the Mrs Greasy monster.
They then proceeded to spend three quarters of an hour singing Gilbert O'Sullivan songs. The audience watched in astonishment.
"I can't believe this, how did I manage to do that?!" said Des to himself, as he also watched in astonishment.
When they had finished, Des shooed them off stage, and introduced the night's comedian, the Mick monster.
"I say I say I say, what do you get if you cross an elephant with a fish?! Swimming trunks!!!!!!!"
This was followed by the Wayne monster's song and dance routine.
"I'm singin' in the rain, just singin' in the rain, what a glorious feelin', I'm 'appy again!"
Next came the Mike the Manic Mechanic monster's magic show, which consisted of various boring card tricks for half an hour.
Finally, it came to the communal 'White Christmas' singalong, which was to feature all of the participants. However as soon as they had all come together, Des realised he had forgotten to program in 'White Christmas' to each monster. So the six monsters continued to perform the only performances they had programmed into them, while Des stood in the middle trying to sing 'I'm dreaming of white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know!' over the top of them. It was an absolute racket.
At the end the audience clapped nervously and began to leave. Meanwhile, some familiar faces had been watching all this, and were even more dumbfounded. As Des continued bowing to the departing audience, he noticed them at the back.
"Hmmm," he said. He went across the church hall to see them. Of course, it was the real Mick, Clive, Mrs Greasy, Wayne and Mike.
"What are you playing at?!?!" exclaimed Des. "I knew it! All those excuses you came up with, they were all lies!"
"You're so quick, Des, there's not much that gets past you!" said Clive.
"You Clive, you haven't really got a door answering machine, there's no such thing!" said Des. "That was just you hiding behind the door, talking while you were holding your nose!"
"He he!" said Clive.
"Wayne, you can't have been going to a rave with Father Christmas as the DJ! This is the busiest night of the year for him, he hasn't got time for rave-ups! Mike, you weren't really going to Nigel Mansell's Christmas party, or you wouldn't have left the invitation behind! And Mrs Greasy, you'd never close the cafe if all you had was a cold!!"
It seems a little of the ultra-intelligence that Des had temporarily been blessed with, had stayed behind.
"Oh Gordon Bennett, you've rumbled us!" said Mike.
"And as for Mick, well you hasn't even got a cousin!!" said Des.
"Don't accuse me of being a liar, I really did go to see my cousin!" said Mick. "And I've literally only just got back!"
"Well never mind that now, look!" said Clive.
"What's all that screaming?!" said Des.
He looked round, and to his horror Des saw that the monsters were chasing the remaining members of the audience out of the church hall.
"Oh no!!!" exclaimed Des. "They've turned nasty!! I think things are about to get rather ugly!"
"They were rather ugly to begin with!" said Mick.
"Yes I know, I got a very good likeness!" said Des. "Hey watch out!!!"
With the gang now the only ones left in the hall, the monsters were now heading towards them.
"RUN!!!!" exclaimed Des. They dashed out of the hall and ran down the road, with the monsters chasing after them.
"What are we going to do?!?!" exclaimed Mick. "They're gaining on us!!!"
"Quick, behind that bush!" said Des. They ran and hid behind a bush. The monsters soon staggered past the bush, but then they stopped in the middle of the road and started looking all around them.
"Oh no, now what?!?" exclaimed Mick. "We're stuck!"
"Hold on a minute, where's Wayne?" said Des. "Did the monsters get him?!"
"No, no, you know what he's like!" said Mick. "He's gone off to open his Christmas presents!"
Des looked at his watch and tutted. As the concert had dragged on so long, it had gone past midnight - it was now Christmas Day.
"Look never mind that, how are we going to get past those monsters!!" exclaimed Clive.
"We need some kind of diversion," said Des. "Oh no, there's one!"
"Great!" said Clive.
"No it's not great!" exclaimed Des. "Look who it is!"
The diversion turned out to be none other than Father Christmas himself. As he was walking up someone's garden path, the six monsters started to head right for him.
"The monsters are going to get Father Christmas!!!" exclaimed Des. "NOOOO!!!!!"
"Santa, look out!!!" yelled Mick. Father Christmas turned round and saw the monsters coming towards him.
"NOOOOOO!!!!" yelled Des.
Suddenly an arrow hit one of the monsters in the back. Then another arrow hit the next monster. And another, and another. Soon all six monsters were lying face down on the ground. The gang slowly emerged from behind the bush and went over to the monsters, and Father Christmas. All of them just stood looking as bemused as each other. Just then Wayne came up them wearing a Red Indian outfit, doing what the others assumed to be a war dance.
"Hey everyone, do yer like my Christmas present??!!!" exclaimed Wayne. He saw Father Christmas standing there. "Thanks Santa!! Hey I 'ope I didn't 'urt anyone with me bow and arrow!!!" He looked down and saw the six monsters on the ground with arrows in their backs. "Oops!!"
"Wayne..." started Mick.
"Don't tell the police!!" said Wayne. "Anyway, I'll tell yer all me other presents, I gotta train set, a toy boat, a Rupert annual, a radio controlled car..."