(Definition of Rant - [dialect British] a rousing good time)
(The Riggs Bros. Theatre on Fleet Street is awash in Christmas lights, decorated to an overwhelming extent, yet inspiring of awe rather than irritation. A full live Nativity, complete with stable [small sign with disclaimer recognizes the historical inaccuracies] blocks the street, though the parking lot is wide open. Guests are being dropped off by Hummer limousines, and it appears that a small art-gallery across the street from the theatre has been demolished to allow the limousines to easily turn around.)
(At the front entrance Jordan is welcoming wary-looking guests in fine Christmas attire.)
Jordan: Mr. Crow, Mrs. Crow, you look absolutely splendid!
Allison: Thank you! This gown is gorgeous; you have excellent taste.
Tyler: (grumbles) I still want to know how they got our measurements.
Jordan: I assure you, sir, you do not.
(In the main lobby, Ethan, helped by Shawn Turner, is collecting charitable donations of varying sorts: cheques, rare items, vehicles, boats, food, livestock, Czech real-estate, and weapons.)
Ethan: We should have included a list of preferred calibers.
Turner: Typically charity drives are for people in need.
Ethan: (inspecting a Glock, glances at Turner) These are for the children.
Turner: (rolls eyes) I’m amazed you’re allowed anywhere near children.
Ethan: People don’t tell us “No” very often. Jesse's even a substitute teacher.
Turner: (holds up a cello-shaped mirror decorated in sea shells) What is this?
Ethan: Dylan Moran was making some kind of point, I think. He doesn’t like to travel.
(On the main stage, where has been constructed a large set for the story of Good King Wenceslas, Jesse is conducting a small choir singing a full-length epic about the ancient tale, embellished for appropriate drama. He frequently checks the omnitool on his forearm bracer which appears to be gauging levels of some kind.)
Jesse: (toggles his earpiece) Jordan, can you please come take over for me? This is your area of expertise.
Jordan: (via radio) Oh, is it? If it's my area of expertise, why did you remove all the arpeggios in the seventh movement?
Jesse: Because it's a dirge.
Jordan: You have no taste.
Jesse: Just get in here.
(In the lobby, Ethan has been unexpectedly backed onto a large pile of donations by an irate reindeer.)
Ethan: Easy there, Olive. Whoa girl.
(With an acrobatic bound, Ethan vaults the antlers and gets on the quadroped's back. It leaps from the pile and sprints down the hall. Ethan steers it into the concessions kitchen, from which arises such a clatter.)
Jesse: (running into the lobby from the Main Theatre) What is the matter?!
Shawn: A reindeer showed up and attacked your brother.
Jesse: Olive? Olive is here?!
Shawn: It has a name?
Jesse: And a vendetta. (checks his omnitool) Blast, it's causing tremors.
(Terrific noise continues to emit from the kitchen.)
Jesse: (looks at Shawn) You're a farmer, go help him.
Shawn: I have a pair of show cows. They do not compare to an enraged reindeer.
Jesse: (sees Tyler and Allison coming in the door) Allison, did you bring your vet bag?!
Allison: You want tranquilizers, and yes, they always come with me when we visit you.
Jesse: There's an rampaging reindeer in the kitchen. If you would be so kind...? (looks winsome, which is rather unsettling to behold)
Allison: Fine. (She produces a dart pistol from her large purse.)
Jesse: (pulls a shield from its wall-hanger and hands it to Tyler) Here, take this so she can shoot from cover.
Tyler: I was promised gingerbread houses and snickerdoodles.
Jesse: In due time, sir. That's a functional shield, you'll be fine. (He glances at his omnitool.) I'm going to check on Kim.
(In theatre's reception hall, a gingerbread cathedral has been built. Kim, with a frosting dispenser that looks suspiciously like a repurposed welding torch, is directing the final touches on what is a very fine replica of Notre Dame.)
Jesse: How's it coming?
Kim: We've got some children lighting the candles in the polished rock-candy windows, and that's the last thing on the list.
Jesse: Tyler's gonna lose his mind when he sees this.
Kim: Didn't he want to build his own?
Jesse: (admiring the cathedral) (absently) Where would he put it?
(Kim rolls her eyes and goes to change from her frosting spattered coveralls.)
(Back in the kitchen, quiet has fallen, and white smoke billows out as Ethan and the Crows emerge.)
Allison: I’m not sure you should have put her in the freezer.
Ethan: She’s a reindeer. The cold never bothered her anyway. If you’ll step into the reception hall, you can start enjoying the evening.
Tyler: (subtle fist-pump) Gingerbread!
Ethan: More than you’ve ever imagined.
(Jesse comes back into the lobby, holding a remote control. With it he begins switching on several Christmas trees in the lobby, changing the lights to a soft-twinkle mode and beginning them slowly-rotating. From the lobby speakers now can be heard the Good King Wenceslas Epic, in it’s 9th movement, sounding quite soft, but quite vibrant. It’s all breathtakingly beautiful. Crow ignores it all and head straight into the reception hall, nodding to Jesse, who barely nods back, admiring the Christmas trees.)
Ethan: (stopping by Jesse) You know, the Christmas tree is kind of the behavior of a drunk man.
Jesse: Cut it out.
Ethan: (parodying) Honey, why’s there a fir tree in the living room? (drunk voice) Ah… we’re gonna decorate it… for Jesus.
Jesse: Jim Gaffigan is right down the hall if I want to hear this sketch live. (checks his omnitool) Still not enough. (to Ethan) How do you feel about putting on that elf costume?
Ethan: Nay nay.
Jesse: Didn’t think so. (sadly) We’ll all miss John Pinette.
(Tyler comes back into the lobby.)
Tyler: There’s no gingerbread left to building houses.
Jesse: Did you not see the cathedral in there?
Tyler: I did, but I wanted to build my own.
Jesse: There’s not room for two cathedrals.
Tyler: I just wanted to make a little house!
Jesse: I’m sorry. We had a nave collapse this afternoon and had to rebuild, which must have used up our extra gingerbread.
Tyler: Well this party is ruined.
Jesse: Noo! Don’t say that! (looks wildly at his omnitool) You’re ruining the levels!
Ethan: (checks his own omnitool) We weren’t going to make it anyway. Something is missing.
Jesse: I’m going outside to check the weather. Maybe the snow we ordered is coming down too slowly.
(Later, as Jesse is standing outside, adjusting dials on a complicated machine that appears to be affecting the snowfall, Kim joins him.)
Kim: We dismantled some pews so Tyler and a few other people could build houses.
Jesse: That’s fine. This snow box is not cooperating at all.
Kim: All the levels are off?
Jesse: (glances at his omnitool, then looks more closely) No, actually, they’re pretty good. What’s going on inside?
Kim: The King Wenceslas epic ended a bit ago and the choir joined in the gingerbread house-making. Some spontaneous carol singing has broken out. The cider reserves are holding well.
Kim: I think you may have missed something.
Jesse: We had everything for this party. It should have worked.
Kim: You had all the trappings of Christmas. None of the actual spirit.
Jesse: How so?
Kim: The story of the first Christmas. Good will towards men and peace on Earth. Silent night, holy night.
Jesse: So all our pageantry was for nothing...
Kim: Not for nothing, it’s all very breathtaking.
Jesse: Then what?
Kim: I think you need to enjoy your own party.
Jesse: (thinks hard for a moment, then smiles) I guess you’re right. I was so concerned about the levels, I don’t think I even wished anyone Merry Christmas.
Kim: Merry Christmas, Jesse.
Jesse: Merry Christmas to all… and to all a good fight.
(Jesse’s omnitool chimes. From the top of the Theatre the sound of something loudly powering up can be heard, and perhaps the sound of reindeer hooves. People come running out of the building to join Jesse and Kim on the lawn. After a few moments a sparkling beam of light several yards wide fires from the roof into the sky, making the stars disappear in its brilliance. The beam continues for several minutes before cutting off abruptly in a shower of snowflake-like sparkles and the faint strains of Auld Lang Syne. The Riggs Brothers shake hands all around, congratulating each other.)
Kim: What was this all about anyway?
Jesse: Do you really want to know?
Kim: Probably not.
Jesse: We’re borrowing the Philae Lander. It’s tough to get power out that far, so we used Christmas spirit.
Kim: You’re right. I didn’t want to know.
(Jordan comes up to Jesse, carrying a pitchfork.)
Jordan: Shall we go caroling?
(Kim shakes her head and heads back into the theatre.)
Jesse: Let’s wait till New Year’s day, so they’ll be really confused.
(From inside the theatre comes shouts and the bellowing of an animal.)
Jesse: (into the radio) Kim, will you deal with that reindeer?
Kim: (on the radio) “Not my circus, not my monkeys.”
Jesse: (into the radio) You’re not even Polish! (to Jordan) Let’s go deal with this.
Jordan: (hefting the pitchfork) Maybe this time will be end of that reindeer.
Ethan: (via radio) Guys?! Little help?
Jesse: (to Jordan as they dash inside) Oh come on. What would Ethan do for fun if Olive wasn't around?