Twas the night before Christmas...
Nick Counter settles in a nice night's sleep after six months of telling writers there's no money or future in the internet. Suddenly, he hears a voice. He opens his eyes and sees the image of Harry Cohn. Harry explains that he's now paying for a lifetime of greed and treating scribes worse than his pets. He's forced to walk the earth for eternity in chains and watch every Rob Schneider movie that plays anywhere in the world. This could be Nick's fate if he doesn't share future delivery systems.
Cohn also tells him he'll be visited by three spirits -- the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. And he can't postpone seeing them until after he's had a chance to caucus with studio presidents and Gavin Pallone. Harry must leave. Some stoners in Peoria are about to watch Duece Bigelow II.
Nick tries to go back to sleep. But the first ghost arrives. They revisit Nick's childhood. Back to the time in the third grade when a kid talked him out of his lunch money and he vowed to take it out on screenwriters for the rest of his life.
Then the ghost of Christmas present swings by and takes him to the home of poor Bobby Cratchit, living modestly in an apartment in Pacoima with his family of six. They're eating a Christmas dinner of Turkey Helper but they're happy. Bobby is hopeful that the one episode of Lost he wrote will bring in enough money through streaming and downloads to pay for his son Timmy's private education. Tim is tiny it seems and the gangs at the public school beat the shit out of him repeatedly.
Finally, the ghost of Christmas Future makes its appearance. He shows Nick his own funeral, which is picketed.
Nick wakes up in a cold sweat. He realizes it's not too late. He can still repent. With love and charity in his heart, Nick calls the WGA negotiating committee and says, "Okay, I'll give you an extra eighteen cents for each internet airing after the first six weeks but that includes all foreign royalties and precludes any contributions to the health and welfare fund."
"Many laughed to see this alteration in him, but he let them laugh and little heeded them. His own heart laughed and that was quite enough for him. And it was always said of him that he knew how to keep Christmas well if any man alive possessed the knowledge.
God Bless us every one."
You can read more from Ken at kenlevine.blogspot.com
Read more strike coverage on the Huffington Post's writers' strike page.