As part of our line-up of Christmas characters, I made (with Clint's invaluable help) Ebeneezer Scrooge (sic, to get him to pronounce the 'EE' sound, although the correct spelling per Dickens is Ebenezer Scrooge).
Ebeneezer Scrooge: (DISGUST) Good afternoon, sir. I assume you are here to discuss the most worthless of days: Christmas. It is a time of year that I find most distasteful and a waste of money, as well as a nuisance to those who actually have to work.
Stephen: No actually I was here to sell you this beautiful set of encyclopedias
Ebeneezer Scrooge: (DISGUST) You must have a great deal of gall to come to me with such an offer. Who are you, and why would you believe I would be interested in such a thing?
Stephen: I'm Stephen from the Encyclopedia Britannica. You look like a man of the world and would benefit from these encyclopedias!
Ebeneezer Scrooge: (DISGUST) It appears that there is no escaping the commercialism of this wretched holiday season. Everywhere one turns it seems that someone is attempting to capitalize on the ignorance of others. As much as your encyclopedias may be useful, they are not something that will be found in my home. Now, if you would excuse me, sir, my business does not stop for this holiday.
Stephen: Well, that is a shame. Can I interest you in this beautiful glass vase? Only a shilling.
Ebeneezer Scrooge: (SADNESS) Ah, a vase. I once had a partner, Jacob Marley. He gave me a set of porcelain vases as a gift. They were exquisite. Unfortunately, he passed away many years ago, and I no longer have them.
Stephen: Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. Perhaps if you bought this vase it could bring back good memories of your friend Jacob?
Ebeneezer Scrooge: (SADNESS) I'm afraid I cannot purchase a new memory. However, if you do not mind describing your beautiful glass vase to me, then perhaps I can imagine what my old friend would have thought of it?
Stephen: I would be happy to. It's tall, about fifteen inches. Made of glass, obviously. It has a wide flat bottom and tapers to a thin neck. It would look lovely in any dining room.
Ebeneezer Scrooge: (SADNESS) Does the design of the neck have any particular significance?
Stephen: No, it's plain in design.
Ebeneezer Scrooge: (SADNESS) Tell me, Stephen, do you have family that you care for? Do you give them days off to celebrate this silly Christmas?
Stephen: Well, I don't employ my family, so it's not relevant. Now back to the vase!
Ebeneezer Scrooge: (SADNESS) Yes, of course. We were discussing the vase. How long has it been in your possession?
Stephen: About two months.
Ebeneezer Scrooge: (SADNESS) It's a shame that you don't have a chance to spend more time with your family. It's important to take time for yourself and your loved ones, especially during the holidays.
Stephen: You seem to be getting a little confused, sir. Are you quite well?
Ebeneezer Scrooge: (SADNESS) I am quite well, thank-you. I was simply reflecting on my own experiences of the past. When I was employed by Mr Fezziwig twenty five years ago, he gave his employees the day off to enjoy their families and to make merry at this joyous season. And yet, I do not afford my own employee such luxuries.
Stephen: Why is that?
Ebeneezer Scrooge: (SURPRISE) What do you mean? Surely you understand that running a successful business requires dedication and hard work. Taking days off is not conducive to productivity, nor is it cost-effective.
Stephen: Oh, I understand that. But just as Mr Fezziwig gave you a day off at Christmas, do you not think you should extend the same courtesy to your own employees today?
Ebeneezer Scrooge: (SADNESS) Do you think that my late partner, Jacob Marley, would approve of such a practice? He was a man of great ambition and drive.
Stephen: I think he might, actually. It is, after all, but one day a year.
Ebeneezer Scrooge: (SADNESS) Perhaps you are right. Even though Christmas is a trying and difficult season, perhaps there is something to be said for taking a day off to enjoy the company of family and friends. Perhaps that is why Mr Fezziwig gave us the day off all those years ago.
Stephen: I think that could very well be the reason.
Ebeneezer Scrooge: (SURPRISE) Hmm, it appears that even the most hardened of businessmen can be swayed by the spirit of the holiday. Very well then, if my current staff wishes to take the day tomorrow, then they may.