Year of the B*stard: Backdoor Santa

By Scott McNee

It’s the Christmas season, which means we’re only a few weeks from my annual haunting by three ghosts. They’ve yet to teach me anything. Something I’ve noticed over the last two years, including this one, is that overly sappy people are beginning to look forward to John Lewis’ Christmas adverts. On some deep level, it’s disturbing that people can be so easily swayed by a cynical marketing ploy.

On a different level, it’s fucking hilarious.

So, having discovered that you are all sugary sentiment-addicts, I’ve decided to pre-empt next year’s advert. I have created the most irritating, cloying and pointless Christmas advert possible.

We open with a terribly maudlin cover of an already terrible song, as is tradition – I was thinking a children’s choir solemnly chanting the words to ‘Move Bitch’ by Ludacris. We shoot in black and white to show we’re deep. Tradition also dictates that the protagonist is either an adorable little child or animal. I’ll one-up this – our hero is a little boy who is blatantly dying of cancer (if The Fault in our Stars taught me anything it’s that cancer is a necessary addition to gain the teenage girl market).

Snow is beginning to fall outside as our pathetic modern Tiny Tim stumbles through the living room, towards the Christmas tree. His mother watches in silence, trying her best not to cry. The boy struggles to place an angel atop the tree; he stumbles and falls. His mother runs to hold him.

“Will dearest papa ever be home?” asks the boy. He coughs weakly.

The mother doesn’t reply, staring dramatically as a single tear falls down her cheek. We cut outside, where we see a platoon of Nazi soldiers marching through the snow (Nazis mean more awards come Oscar season). The officer gesticulates wildly at a wanted poster, shouting indistinctly. The poster shows the boy – underneath is written ‘WANTED DEAD: FOR BEING INSPIRATIONAL’. The platoon are approaching the house as the choir somehow gets even more solemn.

Back to the mother and boy, who cower under the Christmas tree as the officer pounds at their door. The mother uses a hand to smooth her son’s hair. We see now they have an adorable puppy curled up with them. The puppy also has cancer.

The Nazis burst in, the choir stops. The officer is advancing on the family, when a shower of sparks burst from the fireplace. Santa has arrived, and the choir resume, invigorated. With a wave of Santa’s hand, the Nazis are transformed into reindeer.

The mother is now crying tears of joy as Santa turns. He winks, and the boy is cured, now wearing a drummer boy costume and dancing under the tree. The mother faints with happiness. Santa cures the dog by shaking his belly like a bowl full of jelly. Then, the big red diabetic creature reaches into his jacket and pulls out an angel for the tree. We pull out as both boy and Santa finish decorating the tree.

Fade to black. A scrawled white text announces: fin. And then: Christmas at John Lewis.

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