Christmas Town: Chapter Nine
YOU GUYS YOU GUYS YOU GUYS
THIS IS IT
THE TOURISM THING—IT’S IN THIS CHAPTER!!!11!1!!!
So, for days we have all been speculating: why aren’t there tourists? Why doesn’t Bethlehem cash in on this whole Christmas Town thing?
Well, turns out they do. Except that no one has mentioned it up to now.
People just start showing up to look at the lights, and when they see that there aren’t any, they just ask random townsfolk if there’s “some problem,” and then everyone gets sad all over again.
(My first thought was: why doesn’t Christmas Town, U.S.A. have a web presence? Granted, this is a “Christmas Classic,” written in 1998, but still.)
But exciting news! People have come from different states and are camping in fields and, I guess, just waiting for the lights to magically come on again. Because there are apparently no other towns in America that have cool,Christmas light displays.
And I’m sure nobody will be surprised by this, but all the campers mean nothing good for Jordan.
There are about a dozen tents set up for families in some guy’s field. (Um, doesn’t this guy mind? And don’t any of these people have jobs??)
And for my loyal readers who wondered about the revenue for the town that could be obtained via tourists—doesn’t sound like it’ll be much:
[Jordan] overheard plans [of the campers] for a joint effort to prepare a community dinner of soup and fresh bread, which someone assured them could be made in skillets over a campfire.
So much for patronizing the town’s businesses, I guess. Maybe they heard about the cold coffee and stale biscuits at the diner.
Oh and guess what…
The only unpleasantness [Jordan] heard came from the woman in the red suit…
…who finally thrust her microphone in his face and said, “Mr. Scoville, I understand you are the one responsible for stealing Christmas this year in Bethlehem, South Carolina. Would you care to comment?”
Wow. Wonder who’s been talking to this reporter already, eh? Maybe some of those kind, forgiving Christian townsfolk?
Jordan tries to “no comment” his way out, but that doesn’t fly, so Joella saves the day:
“What he means is that this is a very difficult time for everyone in Bethlehem. No one wants to see the town and the holiday tradition survive any more than the Scoville family.”
Well, we all know that rationality doesn’t stand a chance in this town, so I guess it’s all good.
Nathan watches on the news that night, and concludes from the looks on their faces that his mom and Jordan are in “mushy” love. He doesn’t think that’s so bad…
…now that Jordan had learned how to be a good sport when Nathan wiped him off the face of the earth in a video game.
MY GAWD, but this child thinks a lot of himself. No Christian humility here, it seems.
We also learn Nathan’s Super Sekrit Squirrel Plan, which is to earn enough money with his little gopher job to fund a trip to Charlotte to see his father.
And who knows what might happen once Andrew Ratchford realized what a totally cool kid he had.
And what a modest one, too!