24 Dec

The ghost of Christmas past could not have foreseen the consequences of their actions because her realm is the past and as such she has no forward planning ability. If you were to ask her what she planned to do during her next weekend she would not be able to tell you. She would not even be able to understand the concept. She would, however, be able to give you a very accurate detailed description of what she had done last weekend.

The ghost of Christmas present was not to blame either as he is even more impaired then his backward looking co-worker. His mind is only filled with the here and now. He would not be able to give you a description of his future weekend plans or even what he did during his last weekend. However, he is very good at describing what he is doing as he does it. This is also the reason why he does not get invited to any more parties. His running commentary on what is happening as it happens makes for very boring conversation.

Only the ghost of Christmas future could be held responsible for what transpired as he is the only one with the ability to see all possible futures. However, he is a jerk and he thought it would be funny. He has been reprimanded several times for similar disregards of the official guidelines in the past. It was soon realized that any punishment issued to him for these actions was ultimately useless since he is unable to remember the past and can only think of the future.

Most people are the results of their past actions and choices. The ghost of Christmas future however is the result of his future actions and choices. Sadly no one realized soon enough that one of his future actions was to destroy the world but that is another story.

The three of them had been put together with the hope that collectively they would be able to do the job of one ghost. This turned out to be a disaster but a legal loop hole in the equal opportunities guidelines made it impossible to fire them.

None of this mattered however, not after they had so royally messed up history by interfering in the life of one Ebenezer Scrooge.

In the original pages of history as documented by man Ebenezer Scrooge was described as a penny pinching miser until the day he died alone and unloved. Although his impact on the lives of those around him was felt heavily his influence on the bigger picture of history was unnoticeable. With in a few decades of his death any ripples in history he might have created faded away into obscurity. In the original history he died and left no family, no friends, no one to remember him apart from the ones he made suffer. No one suffered more then Bob Cratchit who was unable to afford treatment for his son Tiny Tim on the poor wage that the uncaring Scrooge paid him. A few years after Ebenezer Scrooge’s death Tiny Tim also died.

These were the sad events that history was supposed to record but then the ghosts of Christmas interfered one night in 1843 and changed everything forever.

Ebenezer Scrooge became a good man, a caring man, a kind man. He was able to find love again and became a dedicated husband and father. He made Bob Cratchit a full partner in his business and insured that Tiny Tim received the best treatment and did not die. Everything was good. Everyone was happy.

But then everything started to go wrong and the changes to history became more and more apparent with Ebenezer Scrooge’s descendants. It was up to the ghosts of Christmas to correct their mistake.

– On December 18th 1856 the serial killer known only as Tiny Tim claims his twelfth victim. He is never caught by the police and he becomes more infamous then Jack the Ripper. The only clue he ever leaves is a badly scribbled note next to each body which reads, “Gowd blass us every1.”

– On December 29th 1896 David Scrooge accidentally succeeds where Guy Fawkes failed by blowing up the Houses of Parliament when he is startled by a mouse and drops his lamp in the Prime Minister secret rum stash hidden in the basement. This also courses the second great fire of London.

– On December 6th 1943 Timmy Scrooge falls asleep at his post after a night of drinking bootleg booze made from anti-freeze, cough syrup and his wife’s hair dye. As a result a small group of German spies are able to sneak into the country and hide in the British country side for several months where they pose as Yorkshire farmers near an army base. They send British army intelligence secrets back to their father land and World War II lasts three years longer.

– On December 12th 1952 Scrooge Records buys Sun Records. After a four hour argument in a broken elevator about which dinner sells the best burgers James Scrooge fires Sam Phillips, the man who originally discovered Elvis. As a result The King is never given a record deal and spends the rest of his life working (ironically) as a burger chef in a dinner.

– On December 2nd 1997 it is discovered that Eric Scrooge, Prime Minister of Great Britain, is completely barking mad. Sadly, the damage is already done by the time the public realize this. His last act as Prime Minister is to declare himself Candy King and rename London as Gum Drop Fun Town.

– On December 30th 2009 Sam Scrooge accidentally starts World War III at a peace talk when he mistakenly translates the phrase, “I agree to the peace terms,” as, “Shove it where the sun don’t shine you commie [expletive deleted].”

The ghosts of Christmas had a lot of work cut out for them.

(Copyright© Invading Holland 2007)

18 Dec

For the past few weeks Bontje the house cat has been acting very strange (or maybe I should say stranger then usual). Neither my flat mate or myself could figure out why the small feline had suddenly started sleeping in random places around the house which she usually seemed to avoid (kitchen counters, top of the TV, etc) or why she had started displaying extreme mood swings. She was being so overly affectionate at times that it was starting to get a little disturbingly uncomfortable (like being hit on by your sister) to suddenly incredibly grumpy for little reason. Then there was the fact that she had become less agile and more clumsy. We could not work out what had coursed this sudden change in her behaviour. We thought maybe it was the weather, maybe she was feeling a little frisky or maybe it was something a bit more worryingly medical.

However, my flat mate recently discovered the reason for the kitty’s strange behaviour when he walked into the kitchen early one morning. He found Bontje in the kitchen, our kitchen which is often quite messy, our kitchen which often contains a crate of beer, a crate of beer which Bontje was displaying a lot of interest in.

It turned out that she had been licking the tops of the open beer bottles like an inebriated scavenger after closing time on a Friday night in London. Yes, Bontje is a raging alcoholic cat who had spent the past few weeks stumbling around the house in a state of constant intoxication with out either of us even realizing. She had hidden her dirty little secret well… until now.

There was only one thing we could do. We held a kitty intervention. The first thing that had to be done was to place the beer crate safely outside where the alcoholic feline could not reach her supply. The next step in her recovery was to confront her and get her to admit that she had a problem. We tried to explain that she was not only hurting herself but she was also hurting those who cared about her and loved her.

She meowed at us a few times which could have been angry denial or regretful acceptance, it was hard to tell which because of the drunken slurring (and the fact that she is a cat). Eventually she stumbled over to the sofa to sleep off the last of the alcohol.

So far our two step kitty sobriety program seems to have worked and her behaviour has returned to how it was normally before she started hitting the bottle. We’re still watching her closely to make sure she does not fall off the wagon again. In just a few days she will have earned her ‘six days sober’ badge if she sticks with our program.

However, it does mean we might have fewer lolcat photos we can submit to

4 Dec

As I listen to the sounds of happy children laughing and giggling out side as they excitedly await the arrival of Sinterklaas on the 5th of December I am hiding in my house behind a barricaded door with enough tinned food to last me through the night.

It is said that Sinterklaas carries with him a gold book that lists all the names of the good boys and girls and a black book with the names of all the bad boys and girls. According to tradition bad boys and girls get put in a sack by Sinterklaas’s helper Zwarte Piet and dragged back to Spain while being beaten by twigs. Although Spain is a very nice country I don’t particularly like the sound of the travel arrangements.

I am not taking any chances. If Sinterklaas uses a zero tolerance approach to writing his naughty or nice list I am in a lot of trouble. This year I have:

– Browsed the internet during office hours on several occasions
– Crossed the road when the light was red
– Looked suspicious as a jogger (Link)
– Forgot to renew my train pass for two days (Link)
– Tried space cake (Link)
– Been late to work a few times (Link)
– Sneezed with out covering my mouth at least once

This is why I am currently barricaded in my house like the survivor of a zombie holocaust, hoping that I am not about to be dragged off to Spain by a group of midget Al Jolson wannabes.

In keeping with Dutch tradition I have written my own Sinterklaas poem describing my current situation (these are traditionally attached to the wrapping around a present):

I can hear kids in the street.
They are excited about a treat.

I don’t know if I’ve been good or bad.
I hope Sinterklaas is not very mad.

With a Twig I don’t want to be beat.
That’s why I’m hiding from Zwarte Piet.


Looking for more? Find a full list of all humorous sinterklaas guides and posts right here:
All About Sinterklaas

2 Dec

I arrived in Brussels on a very soggy Thursday after a long train journey from Amsterdam. I was not in the neighbouring country to expand my invasion plans; there were already a large group of expat bloggers who had things under control in that regard. In fact, I was about to meet a few of them. I had been invited to the book launch of the blog become book (with pages and words); My Boy Friend is a Twat by Zoe McCarthy.

The first thing I noticed as I tried to find my way around the city was the large amount of chemists. It seemed that every where I turned I was faced with another green neon cross that is the sign of the legal drug givers. The second thing I noticed in contrast was the lack of any where to by an umbrella and that I was just a little lost. At least if I caught a cold from being rained on so much I would not have to go far for medication.

After a while I managed to get my bearings with the help of my very soggy map and found a place where I was able to by the most European looking tourist umbrella ever invented (blue with the EU stars on it).

I arrived at the book launch just before the speeches began. The Vice-President of the European Commission, Commissioner Margot Wallström, gave a speech introducing Zoe who then gave a reading of a few paragraphs from her book before being joined by the twat himself to read out a few of the well know twattism (a popular feature on her blog).

I had never met Zoe in person before so I was able to stealthily introduce myself as she signed copies of her book for various people at the gathering.

“Who should I make it out to?” She asked as I handed her my copy of the book.

“Invader Stu,” I replied and could not help grinning at the surprised look on her face.

Bloggers are amongst the friendliest people on the planet. I didn’t only have a great time meeting Zoe, I also got to meet Rachel North, Chameleon, Andy Ramblings, Spanish Goth, Tippler and more.

I also got to talk to the Twat himself who took great pride in the fact that he was listed as ‘The Twat’ on the guest list as if it was an official title. I felt like I was meeting a celebrity, a living legend that I had only read about until now.

During our conversation I was even able to get what could be considered a twattism. Hopefully I will not be contacted by Zoe’s lawyers with a cease and desist order for sharing this with you:

Twat: “I’m on my best behaviour tonight. While I was on the podium I wanted to drop my trousers and reveal a pair of jogging bottoms.”

Me: “I’m so glad you finished that sentence with the words ‘jogging bottoms’ and not something else.”

Please don’t sue me Zoe.