Comrades, friends, awakening proletariat, my name is Timothy Cratchit. Many of you know me by the ableist moniker “Tiny Tim,” bestowed upon me by the capitalist publishing industrial complex. Indeed, I suffer from rickets, an acute and preventable bone disorder — the result of severe prenatal and infant malnourishment — and now require an iron brace and supportive cane.
This illness, and the other indignities my family endured under Ebenezer Scrooge and the systems that sanction him, have fortified in me a radical’s resolve for socialist revolution.
It may surprise you that I, the lowly “cripple,” as Charles Dickens so indelicately called me, am a class-conscious dissident. You have read every Christmas how, at church, I hoped congregants would remember “who made lame beggars walk and blind men see.” The Christo-fascist arch-patriots have warped my comments into proof of my meek nature, when in fact it was a direct plea to my fellow supplicants to vote in the collective interest — a reminder that Jesus Christ was a carpenter, a working man, a revolutionary agitator who promoted salvation from oppressive social structures.
Up until the Christmas of Ebenezer Scrooge’s infamous conversion, my father Robert “Bob” Cratchit made fifteen shillings a week, or roughly £89 a week in modern currency, for a family of eight. My sister slept in a hatbox for the first four months of her life. Rats ate my brother’s hair. And I — a child born with severe but treatable health conditions — lost the use of my leg after my parents were forced to choose between my medicine and all eight of us dying of hypothermia in the winter of 1840.
But please, tell me more about what a great guy Ebenezer Scrooge turned out to be.
Ebenezer Scrooge, the rich white savior who only stopped punching orphans after three ghosts and his dead friend scared the ever-living shit out of him.
Ebenezer Scrooge, who never once asked what our family might actually need that fateful Christmas before gayly sending a turkey “twice the size of Tiny Tim” as a joke. That was a 50-pound turkey when we already had a goose, and he knew it because the Ghost of Christmas Present let that snooping oligarchic monster peep around inside our house.
If Ebenezer Scrooge had ever exchanged ten real words with the working class, he would know us hardy sons and daughters of honest toil don’t have commercial-sized ovens or giant iceboxes in which to store a 50-pound memorial to his class guilt.
For years Mr. Scrooge lived and luxuriated off of my father’s sweat and unpaid labor, and yet he refused to let us plan for our own needs. We would have happily used the money he spent on that cursed bird to pay — oh, I don’t know — my FUCKING MEDICAL BILLS.
When the evolved Mr. Scrooge gleefully told my father, “I am about to raise your salary!” my father’s first reaction was to tremble in fear and disbelief. Years of employer abuse turned the proud Robert Cratchit III into a terrified, subservient beggar — just little ole Bob. And while Mr. Scrooge did begin paying him a living wage after that, it was never lost on us that what this miserly sociopath had finally decided to give, he could also take away at any moment.
People called Mr. Scrooge “as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man as the good old city knew.” Perhaps they only searched for good men above a certain tax bracket. My own father labored through my childhood with no holidays, carried me daily on his shoulder across London in the bitter cold, and never spent a single farthing on himself so his wife could afford a humble ribbon for her hair. And yet the wealth-hoarding corporatist who mumbles “humbug” becomes semi-decent and is proclaimed a national hero! Thus is history rewritten by the aristocratic conspirators!
As though to rub it in, Mr. Scrooge liked to call himself my “second father.” I never corrected him, so desperate I was for the financial assistance of the ruling class. But I never needed a second father. My own father was a goddamned saint. I simply needed a proper tax on the mega-wealthy.
Comrades, this Christmastime, I look ahead to a brilliant and inevitable Christmas Yet to Come when those of us toiling in the chimneys and cellars attain our basic human rights to health care, living wages, and adequate, affordable housing.
I await the working class’s victory over profit-seeking exploiters like Ebenezer Scrooge, to whom we are expected to show contrition and gratitude for long-delayed compassion that caused permanent physical and psychological damage.
On that bright and glorious day, the poorest of London’s workers will rejoice as their basic needs are met, because we will have met them together, as one united class. Only then will I know the Heavens have heard my simple prayer for the proletariat:
God bless us, everyone!