i guess that's why they call it a quiz

by Dan

Hidden in the words of this weeks story are the titles / near titles) of the 22 songs (at a pinch id accept 20) which the spirit sang to Obadiah as they flew. Please list all the songtitles in order in feedback to win a prize. Come on now “Are you ready …for love?” (that doesn’t count!) .answers before xmas.

Obadiah Sprudd watched the candle in the wind as it struggled and died. He’d been sitting there for hours ever since he’d let the sun go down on him that afternoon. Everything was familiar in the office of Danielmy Brothers accountancy though the brothers themselves had long departed to their families for Christmas.

To be completely truthful he wasn’t looking forward to Christmas. Though he was not a miser (he gave generously to the poor and always tried to be of good cheer), he just hated all the tinsel and glitter and stupid jumpers with sequinned robins stitched on. He preferred a dull brown morning suit to all that frivolity.

He went up to the roof to look across the city, to his astonishment, fake snowflakes, another of his pet hates, were descending from the heavens, floating down like a thousand tiny dancers.

Then from the sky there was a huge crack of noise and through the clouds and snowflakes came an extraordinary traveller, a gaudy rocket man who was sitting in a magnificent contraption which appeared to be part piano, part candelabra, part bathtub.

“Are…you a spirit? A man or a morsel” stammered Obadiah. The spirit stood up, it wore a feather boa, spectacles covered in fake jewels and a pair 6 foot high workman’s boots.

“Spirit Darling? Don’t mind if I do! What’ve you got?” he exclaimed. “I’m your fairy godmother and I’ve come to put some sparkle into those lovely blue eyes.

Though terrified Obadiah couldn’t help asking, “Those shoes you wear, what are the bottoms made of?”

“Obadiah you will never know anything about my soles.” prophesised the spirit.

“Now come along, Chop chop. Let’s step into Christmas!”

Just then a chimney sweep emerged from the shadows “Wait for me” he cried as the bathtub rose into the air. The spirit ignored him. “Always deny the passengers who want to get on!” he declared as they rose heavenwards.

They soared above the city past Saturday night fighters and honky cats, revellers dressed to the 9s. All the time the spirit was singing songs from his bathtub piano, some sad, some jolly. “you must be wondering why I chose you” said the spirit “Well it was something about the way you look tonight, so dowdy! I thought look at her! She needs tarting up!”

“err Thank you” said Obadiah uncertainly, he was even more afraid of camp than he was of ghosts.

“It’s no sacrifice at all!” replied the spirit as they hurtled around space and time.

“I beg you of you tell me one more thing?” said Obadiah “Do you haunt other mortal men such as I?”

“of course not, I’m only part time love. The rest of the time I’m a piano player!”

Just then there was another enormous jolt. The bath tub lurched and they were thrown momentarily into darkness falling at pace through the cold air.

Then suddenly their carriage righted itself and descended gently back to the roof top of his office. Obadiah felt that something strange had happened to him in the darkness of the freefall.

“You ok honey?” said the spirit.

“Well, I’m still standing” replied the clerk.

“Now you’re all spruced up- my work is done! So get out of my bath and don’t go breaking my heart!” Said the spirit, who then ascended back to the heavens never to be seen by Obadiah again.

As Obadiah returned home through darkened streets he paid no heed to the mocking chants of urchins for a new feeling was upon him. For the first time in his life he no longer felt self-conscious. What was a man’s life if it contained no frippery or sparkle? He asked himself. “Can you feel the love tonight?” he shouted at a passing dustman before entering an all-night Christmas tat shop.

Arriving home at 5.19 am he was amused to observe that his wife Mary and Little Ben his frailest son had decorated the tree with a single dun coloured bauble as per his normal rules.

Obadiah set to work.

When his family came down they couldn’t believe their eyes. The room was a veritable palace of tinsel. Sticks of rock, in animal themed flavours, including crocodile, were festooned in a shimmering monument to bad taste, a cure for Christmas puritanism laid out by his own healing hands.

But gaudiest of all and unbeknownst to Obadiah himself was his own attire. He was dressed in a large flashing Christmas tree outfit with glittering green platform shoes! He hadn’t had time to look in the mirror since the bathtub landed. This is what the spirit had meant by spruced up!

“Husband” said Mary “You have truly changed the spirit of Christmas in this house!” He sensed that he may have gone too far, even for her. “Well someone saved my life tonight” he replied as he tried to kiss the bride he’d wedded ten years earlier. Sadly, a polyester branch that was protruding from his chest made this operation impossible.

storyclub.co.uk is NOT the promoter of this quiz. Quibbles, gripes, etc, to be taken up with the author....