Charles Dickens’s 200th Birthday


 

 

“Happy Birthday, Mr. Copperfield!”

“Why thank you, sweet literary agent.  How kind of you to bring me this bounteous cake.  When I was but a child, I was deprived of sweets of any kind, an experience I’ve recreated in Oliver Twist, as you may recall..”

“Yeah, yeah.  Listen, sir.  We’re gonna need to re-release your classics so we can make money off your birthday.”

“A fair assessment, lad. I wouldn’t be against such  a fortuitous endeavour as long as you were cautious with the undertaking-”

“Right, sir.  But get this.  We have to really REALLY update your literature so, like, people today can understand what the hell you’re writing about.  Because, you know, like Victorian London? Whatevs.  No one knows what a gaslight is.  Everyone has cell phones now.”

“A what-”

“Right.  So we’ve decided that we’re gonna probably start with David Copperfield.”

“Ah! My favourite child!  I wouldn’t mind seeing that tome reprinted.  Heavens knows it took me a long time to write..”

“Yeah.  But, like, ok.  800 pages. Really?  And he doesn’t even get with any chicks in it  All he does is help out his dick friend Steerforth and what does he get in return?  Come on, man.  This would never pass for a modern novel.  And, holy shit, you have, like 200 pages describing Yarmouth and some hipster dude that lives in a houseboat.”

“I beg to differ with your opinion of my work, good sir.  This is not the first time you’ve slandered against my particular writing style and I’ve attempted to comply because, after all, it is you who pays my rent, but this time I cannot…”

“Ok, moving on.  David Copperfield.  What a lame name. We have to have something snappier because no one is going to read that. Hm. Dave? Daver?  Davy? D-Co? Deeke.  That’s it.  Deeke. The Deekster!  Now that’s a dude you’d invite to watch a football game at your house and even if he ate all the nachos you’d totally be ok with it, because, hey, man, it’s the Deekster.”

“I believe I’m coming down with the beginnings of a mild migraine.  Would you mind very much if I ate the rest of my cake on that couch?”

“Nah, brah.  Go right on ahead. Anyway where was I?  Yeah.  Ok so we have the Deekster and he can’t live in England. Like, no one in America even knows where England is.  So we’re gonna make him from the projects.  Maybe Camden?  That sounds British enough.  Yeah good.  Ok so we have the Deekster in Camden and he’s slummin’ it cause his mom took too much crack and all of a sudden his dad pops too-”

“Excuse me, young sir, might I trouble you for one of your paracetamol tablets?  These 200-year-old joints aren’t what they used to be and what with the horrible atrocious crimes you’re planning on committing to my master work-”

“Yeah yeah.  Ashley, can you bring the dude a Tylenol and some water?  Thanks, babe.  Anyway, where was I?  Right the projects.  So Deek is not having any of that shit and then he runs away, is adopted by this really, really liberal NPR-listening Whole Foods-shopping family who’s all like, ‘We gotta send you to Exton, soon, or else you won’t get into the Ivy Leagues’ and then when he goes to the school he meets-”

“Ah, water, the sustenance of life.  Give me the strength and courage to choke my literary agent..”

“What?”

“Oh, nothing young master, go on, go on.  I’m just mopping my brow.”

“Yeah, so then he meets James Steerforth, who obviously is going to be Jay…Jamie…Jayce..Jason.  J-Son.  That’s it.  So Deeke meets J-son and J-son is all like. WHOA. Wait a minute Mr. C, what are you doing with that glass. Don’t hold it over my head like that. Mr. C. MR . C DUDE WHOA-”

THUNK.

“Ah, sweet perseverance. Let me live to the next 100th anniversary in peace.”