Tuesday, September 21, 2010


A goose is an animal, but it also refers to uninvited fondling of the genital area. Scrooge bought the Cratchits a turkey after his bad dream, in which he comes up against The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. But one wonders if Dickens wasn’t unconsciously putting Scrooge up to his old antics, to the extent that he wasn’t just being generous, but perverse. Let’s analyze the situation for a moment. Scrooge is the eponymous pinchpenny whose lack of eleemosynary feelings for his fellow man has turned him into a lonely old geezer (which is a form of goose). His visionary dream is actually quite typical of misers, since the only antidote to miserliness is the realization of mortality. But, once a pickle, never a cucumber again. Scrooge is coerced by his unconscious, and his sudden contrition is a Mephistophelian bargain in which, like the Iran-Contra arms deal, he is trying to trade figurative constipation for the eternal irrigation that many ascribe to paradise. Still, anyone who makes a bargain ends up being resentful. “Why couldn’t they like me for who I was?” the bargainer may complain. Thus, the turkey is basically a goose in turkey’s clothing (OK, turkey to goose is a stretch, but let’s willingly suspend disbelief for the sake of the point). Yes, Scrooge does offer a gift, but it's essentially a payback for the ostracism he has experienced for not being a “good” person. Hence, when he furnishes the holiday fowl, he is really telling the Cratchits that he wants to goose them. What better foreplay than a good goose?

[This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy's blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture.]

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