Our Christmas Card…
And by unpopular demand, the full text of our Christmas poem from the year-end podcast:
’Twas the night before Christmas, and at Manga Towers
The elves had been working for hours and hours
In Oxford Street shadows, the revellers cheered
They partied and spent on the shop of the year
The sounds of their fun times loomed louder and huge
And came to the ears of Mr J. Scrooge.
His real name’s Jerome, and I’m not being funny
But nothing quite rhymes with Mazandarani.
He scowled at his minions, all bent to their tasks
And twirled at the ends of his biker moustache.
“No-one goes home,” he snarled at the room,
“We’ll work round the clock, or else we are doomed.
What idiot thought, or could even believe
It was cool to have street dates right on Christmas Eve?
There’s not just Gintama, for someone was blasé
And said we’d distribute all that stuff for Kaze.
So rather than chill like at Christmas before
We’re stuck stuffing boxes with Persona Four,
Instead of just hanging my Christmas stocking
I’m here with the Blu-ray Berserk: Egg of the King.
And making things worse, I’m frightfully bored.
What I’d give for an axe or a bloody big sword.
I’d hunt down the person, whoever it was
Who dumped me with such obligations, because—”
“But sir,” piped an elf, “if it pleases your grace
Your great fulminations risk egg on your face.
For the man who so ordered these things that we do
Was the head of Elf Management: that would be you!
And (please don’t beat me) I bring sadder news,
For the company sleigh has just blown its last fuse.
We’ll never get new ones until the New Year
The delivery vehicle is stone-stuck right here.”
“Oh [bleep],” said Jerome. “Oh [bleep] and [bleep-bleep]
Now I can’t even trust aerial trucking.
Just once in this year I’d like things to go right.
But no, we are [bleeped] on this cold Christmas night.
All year we’ve had [bleep]-ups, from mislabelled discs,
To wonky pre-screeners and now I’ve got this!
There’s no way we’ll get all our shows out to the shops
We’re paddle-less, boating a river of plops!”
“But what of the orphans, the paupers and sweeps,
Dickensian urchins that waited for weeks?”
Asked Hewson the elf. And his boss heaved a sigh.
“Oh why,” said Jerome. “Oh why why why why?
Cruel fates, how you taunt with logistical crud.
If we miss this deadline, my name will be mud.
Our sales will collapse, I can’t take any more!”
And then, with a [DING-DONG]. “Who’s that at the door?”
They pushed on the buzzer, and in came a crowd,
Of anime fanboys, all singing aloud
Of tinsel and catgirls, and tentacle throngs
A choir of otaku, all singing their songs.
It wasn’t quite carols, or Christian rhyme
But anime theme tunes, befitting the time.
I’d give you examples, but there’s really no chance
For podcast poetics to get licence clearance
So just take my word for it, anime tunes
Songs about angels and demons, and runes.
“But wait,” said young Hewson, “I’ve got an idea
We looked for the answer, it’s standing right here.
We harness the fans to the company sleigh
And get them to pull us right up and away.
And then, in mid-air, we’ll fling out our hands,
And distribute anime all over the land!”
“That won’t work,” said Jerome, “coz flying’s for witches,
One slip on the roof and it’s konban-wa, bitches.
Besides, I am evil, but there’s something not right
About forced fanboy labour on this wintry night.”
“Oh no,” said the singers, “we all volunteer,
To bring madness and mayhem at this time of year
To fellow otaku all over the land.
We’ll do it, just tell us all where we should stand.”
So bought they some harnesses, bridles and reins
From close Soho sex shops, with ill-gotten gains,
And tied up the fanboys to Manga’s best sledge,
Then pushed it close by to the most highest ledge.
“Here goes,” roared Jerome, a-cracking his whip,
“If this doesn’t work, I want none of your lip,
But come Gimpy, come Gnasher, come Bishie, come Jeff,
Run Limpy, and Skimpy and Twitchy and Steff,
And if anyone asks if there’s something amiss
Just say it’s a cosplay: Princess Jellyfist.”
And so they leapt skyward, while minions looked on, and –
[Jerome (receding): AAAAAAAAAAAGH!!!]
“Oh lordy,” said Hewson, “that doesn’t look right.
What a calamity on this Christmas night.
The boss of the firm has now taken a dive
Which leaves me the leader, no more can I skive.
It’s such a sad loss at the end of the year
Particularly all clad in sick bondage gear.
I’ll just have to turn to my secret plan B
And leave it to Amazon. Oh! Deary me.
Perhaps if I’d thought of it, I could have said
And then all those customers wouldn’t be dead.
For any pre-orders should already be
Winging their way to fans, fancy and free.
But now that Jerome is clear out of the way,
I’ll plot my New Order, from this New Year’s Day.
Beware, fans of Britain, the time is at hand,
When my reign of terror descends on the land.
For Manga UK is a ball of confusion.
Christmas is cancelled! Kneel before Hewson.”
No fans were harmed in the recording of this poem. Also Jerome hasn’t got a moustache any more. And isn’t dead. And Andrew Hewson isn’t an elf. Also, Princess Jellyfist really isn’t an anime show. In fact, nothing in this poem is true, apart from the names of our Christmas Eve releases.