Scrooge had returned to his own time!
He felt disoriented, yanked out of time and pulled every which way buy his ghostly guests; yet a glance at his phone confirmed that only a single night had passed. It was morning, and it was Christmas Day! He could have leaped up and jumped for joy; in fact, he did.
Fingers trembling with far too much energy and excitement, Scrooge’s hand hovered over the screen of his phone. He pulled up the site for the local butcher and ordered a roast turkey, the biggest they had, to be prepared and delivered at once.
“I’ll send it to Cratchit’s!” he whispered, rubbing his hands with glee. “He won’t have any idea who sent it. It’ll be twice the size of little tiny Tim! Think of the look on his face when he gets it!”
Scrooge nearly clicked his heels as he leaped and bounded through his home, his spirit as free as a gazelle and twice as giddy. He shaved, his hands still shaking with glee, oblivious to the cuts left on his face by the razor, and dressed up in his best suit; prepared to face the world with a renewed and rejuvenated soul, Scrooge stepped out into the street and blinked against the bright morning sunlight.
Scrooge pulled out his phone and without hesitation called Bob Cratchit. Cratchit picked up on the third ring. “Cratchit!” he barked.
“Please, Mr. Scrooge,” said Cratchit wearily, expecting the worst (of course he did, the poor man), “it’s Christmas Day.”
“And boy have I got a present for you!” Scrooge exclaimed. “I want it!”
“You… want what?” asked Cratchit, put off by Scrooge’s manic glee and fearing that his worst and most ornery client might have finally snapped.
“Your backup! The best, most secure backup you have for my business!”
“I’m going to do everything right, Cratchit, from now on!” Scrooge vowed. “I will take every piece of advice you have to give seriously. I will trust in your expertise one hundred and ten percent from here on out!”
Scrooge threw out his arms wide. “Look, Marley! No spiders in my mouth for me!”
Cratchit’s voice came from the phone distant and tinny, as Scrooge was now holding it at arms’ length. “Um… spiders, Mr. Scrooge?”
“Merry Christmas to all!” Scrooge shouted. “And Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, and New Year’s, and Festivus, etcetera, etcetera!”
Scrooge was true to his word; in fact, he was better than his word. And that following week, Cratchit, by a serendipitous twist of fate, had just the backup to sell to Scrooge that would make both of their problems vanish just as the three ghosts had!
Scrooge still had those old tape archives at his business—after all, the price per gigabyte still couldn’t be beat—but Cratchit, with the help of a truly remarkable backup services provider, had Scrooge set up with the best backups money could buy to protect his business’ copious amounts of data from disasters of all kind.
Cratchit Local IT Services set up a BDR, synchronized at regular intervals, that Scrooge could transfer over to in a matter of seconds were something to happen to his network. On top of that the BDR’s contents were linked to a cloud-based server for added redundancy, neatly covering Scrooge’s bases—each layer, of course, with the best in network security to protect from the threat of hackers.
And not only that, but Scrooge took Bob Cratchit’s advice much more seriously, protecting his local network at work with a secure VPN with two-factor authentication and training his employees to spot and resist the many phishing and social engineering techniques used by hackers.
And as for Scrooge’s penny-pinching ways, those too he left behind (after all, as the saying goes, you can’t take it with you) and instead of hoarding money for himself, used it to grow his business and give back to his town. Scrooge’s business became not an island where the dispossessed languished but a shining beacon on a hill. Never again did the four ghosts he’d encountered on that bleak Christmas eve trouble him, nor did any other spirit.
And to Bob Cratchit, Scrooge was more than a client but a friend, and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was like a second father. Scrooge even offered to help the Cratchits cover the cost of experimental bionic legs, which would allow the littlest member of the Cratchit family to someday realize his dream of being an Olympic runner.
In a small town in the Midwest, there lived a small business owner named Ebenezer Scrooge, and he completely deserved it.
Ebenezer Scrooge was a kindly, generous, magnanimous man beloved by all who knew him. But of course, how would you have turned out if your parents had named you “Ebenezer Scrooge” in this day and age?