By Chris Gay
It’s a Wonderful Life is a treasured celluloid classic, with its annual broadcast eagerly anticipated by many. However regardless of the typical happy Hollywood ending, many viewers are still left unsatisfied with the evil Mr. Potter nearly ruining George Bailey’s life out of pure greed only to get off scot-free.
This humor blog post/sequel seeks to address that issue by theorizing what may have occurred after the good tidings wore off. We pick up the story just after George is given the money, and the townsfolk have finished singing their rendition of Auld Lang Syne in the Bailey’s living room.
By Chris Gay
“Oh, George. Wasn’t this just the most wonderful surprise?! The town really came through for us tonight; I couldn’t be more proud.”
“Yeah. They did. Could you hand me my hat, Mary?”
“Your hat? Where could you possibly be going?”
As George buttoned up his overcoat he turned to Mary and, under the cover of the drunken revelry in the background, answered her.
“When these guys sober up tomorrow they’re gonna realize how much dough they just coughed up here tonight. And in the clear light of day and without the influence of Christmas and its spirits, they’re gonna be irked.”
“Whatever do you mean, George? These people love you; they’d never ask for the money back!”
“Maybe not. But from here on out every time I stop into Martini’s for a cold one, I’m gonna hear his cracks about how he “busted the jukebox” for me. You think Sam Wainwright’s gonna ever let me live down that offer of $25K? I’ll be hearing that damn “Hee haw” line till the end of my days. No. Wherever I go in this town I’ll see the looks; the stares. And the people pouring into the Building and Loan trying to guilt me into dropping the interest rate on their mortgage. I’ll never live this down.”
As Mary had made no move to get his hat, he stepped around her, picked it up off the desk, and put it on.
“That’s an awful way to think, George! How could you? These people are your friends! And even if what you’ve said were true, how would trudging out into the snow solve anything?”
“It won’t, Mary.” He paused momentarily to scoop a mug of rum-soaked eggnog out of the bowl, and then downed in two quick gulps.
“But Uncle Billy finally remembered about the eight-thousand. That idiotic simpleton just handed it right to Potter. And that evil bastard just sat there in his office and mocked me while I begged him for a loan. He had my cash the whole time! The son of a bitch even called the sheriff!”
Mary put her hand to her mouth in surprise. “Oh my God. That’s…awful.”
“You’re damn right it is. I’ll be back in a while, Mary. Save me some of that turkey in the icebox, will ya?”
“Wait, George. What are you going to do?”
“I’m going to find that bastard and take eight-thousand dollars out of his ass!”
“I can. And save me some gravy, too.” With that George pushed his way through the crowd of inebriated do-gooders toward his front door, opened it, and stepped through.
Bedford Falls, Bedford River Bridge
The snowfall had intensified as Mr. Potter’s car pulled to a stop at the toll taker’s cabin in front of the Bedford River Bridge.
Before it could proceed, George Bailey stepped out of the shadows and walked to its front bumper. There he stopped, remaining silent and stationary. The lanky 6’4” banker, standing there in his hat and overcoat, made for an imposing figure.
From the back seat of his car, Henry F. Potter squinted as he tried to make out the the identity of the man before them.
“Joe, check it out.”
“Yes, sir.” As Joe exited, Potter rolled down his window enough to be able to hear the upcoming exchange.
Once out of the car, Joe recognized the man now facing him. Knowing that he had, George broke the momentary silence between them.
“I’m not here for you, Joe. Sit your ass back in that driver’s seat.”
“You know I can’t do that, Bailey. Either back up, or you’re going down.”
“Not tonight, bitch.”
From the open window in the rear of the car, Potter’s raspy voice cut through the wind.
“Bailey? What are you doing here? Get out of the way and let us pass!”
“Listen up, Potter. I know what you did and you’re gonna pay, you avaricious ass-clown. Just as soon as I dust your pet goon here.”
Potter went quiet as the grave, and only the roar of the Bedford River could be heard as George sized up Potter’s bulky manservant. Joe had the build and oft-broken nose of a man who may have boxed at one time or another.
But since that information was never disclosed in the story or on the DVD liner notes, he had no way of knowing for sure.
As the chauffer moved toward him, George realized the best approach was to go on the offensive. As soon as they were face to face he slugged him in the gut, causing Joe to double over. Immediately George followed the blow with an uppercut to the chin, knocking his opponent backward where he laid sprawled out on the hood of the car.
With the bout over, Bailey walked around the side of the car toward the back seat. He stood on the narrow sidewalk, his back two feet from the low steel barrier of the bridge he’d jumped off only hours earlier. He looked into the automobile and locked eyes with his nemesis.
“Your turn,” he growled in a sinister, yet still awkwardly shrill voice. As he reached for the door he noticed at the last second Joe lumbering at him through the snow like a linebacker; albeit not a very good one.
George used Joe’s own momentum against him by lowering his torso so that when Joe struck him it was shoulder to waist. In one beautiful maneuver Bailey stood up, bringing the butler with him. He hoisted him six feet off the ground, and then neatly flipped him over the guardrail, sending him plunging headlong into the raging, frigid waters of the river below.
Having fallen into the guardrail in the process of dispatching the caretaker, George got up, dusted the snow off his pants, and resumed walking toward Potter’s car door. Just then, he heard a voice to his left. Turning, he saw that it came from the cherubic of his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody, AS2.
“You can’t do this, George. You know that.”
“Because I won’t get my wings if you do.”
“Jesus, man. Is that all you ever think about you, selfish SOB? After three hundred years, did you ever think that maybe you’re not cut out to be an angel? Maybe you could be a heavenly custodian or librarian. It’s obvious you’re too incompetent for the position.”
Clarence shrugged at him sheepishly. “It’s for the benefits, mostly. With your wings you get full dental and vision coverage.”
It was then that Potter chimed in. “Do I need to be here for this? Why don’t you guys go down to Gower’s drugstore, get a malted, and talk it out.”
George turned toward him. “Shut up, Hank. I’m going to tear you a new one.”
“Wait, George Bailey! I can explain.”
“There’s nothing to explain. You took my money.”
“Yes, yes I did. I took it. But it wasn’t my fault.”
From behind them, Clarence seconded Potter. “He’s right, George. It isn’t his fault.”
“What the hell are you two talking about?” He shouted, flustered.
“I had to take it, George. It was in the script.”
“The script, George” echoed Clarence, who then took over the narrative.
“There is no Mr. Potter. That’s Lionel Barrymore. There’s no real snow, no Building and Loan, no Mary. She’s Donna Reed. In fact, it was supposed to be Jean Arthur in her part, anyway. There’s no eight-thousand dollars. And ‘Uncle Billy’ isn’t really a simpleton. In fact, he played the intellectual opposite to your own naïve congressman just seven years back in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”
“Don’t you remember, George?” Potter continued for Clarence. “You’re not even “George.” You’re Jimmy Stewart, a war hero from Indiana, Pennsylvania.”
George looked around for a moment, stunned. Then at last, he spoke. “So that’s why it’s snowing laundry soap in 90 degree weather; and why Mr. Gower looks so much like that guy who played Jesus Christ in The King of Kings.”
“Yes,” Potter jumped in. “I myself have played Ebenezer Scrooge several times. Hell, my great-niece was in E.T. Anyway, tomorrow the storefront sets come down, and you’ll go back to your comfortable home.”
George Bailey turned back to look at Clarence, as if to look for some further confirmation. “Clarence?”
“No, I’m Henry Travers. Soon, you’ll marry a model and live fifty more years. You see George, you really have a wonderful life.”
“I guess…I guess I do at that.”
“You’ve been given a great gift George. A chance to see what this sequel would’ve been like if it had been made in the 1990’s. All Steven Seagal-ish and whatnot.”
“Yes, I see. So what now Clarence? How do we fix this for the movie?”
“I don’t know. Maybe one of those cheesy dream sequences that sucked on Dallas but worked surprisingly well on Newhart. Anyhow, I’m an actor, not a writer. What the hell do I care?”
“He’s fine. He landed on a mat and then headed off to the commissary for lunch.”
“Tell you what,” Potter said, “let’s get out of here and head out for a few beers.”
“Sounds good to me,” Clarence said as the three of them walked off the set together. “By the way, Jimmy; where did you come up with “avaricious ass-clown”?
“I don’t know. I guess the line came from the guy writing this blog piece. Catchy though, ain’t it?”
The three of them shared a hearty laugh in agreement as the scene faded to black.
God. The Devil. The Bet. The Fate of Mankind in the Balance. Check out Chris Gay’s new theological, paranormal crime thriller, Ghost of a Chance.
What if a late 20th Century Jack the Ripper tearing apart a small Connecticut town was the result of a pancake shop bet between God and the devil? Imagine if Satan’s impact on the world in the new millennium hinged entirely on one police officer’s skill in hunting down a ruthless killer…hiding in plain sight. Detective Danny Seabrook is an unwitting pawn in a divine chess match with immeasurable consequences for all mankind. Set primarily in 1995, this action-packed suspense thriller features clever dialogue, humor and romance-with an ending you will never forget.
* * * *
‘Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal’ by Chris Gay
As the end draws near for long-retired Sherlock Holmes in Sussex Downs, he calls one last time for the company of his best friend and colleague, Dr. John Watson. What was meant to be four last days of camaraderie and reminiscing instead leads to the most shocking, explosive revelation both of the great detective’s career, and his life.
Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal is a Holmes tale like none other ever conceived. Fans of Baker Street’s legendary detective will be left with the insatiable need to contemplate its extraordinary conclusion forevermore.
* * * *
‘The Bachelor Cookbook: Edible Meals with a Side of Sarcasm’ by Chris Gay
The Bachelor Cookbook is the perfect (and likely only) addition to any guy’s collection of sarcastic culinary literature. If you’re between relationships and looking to make the most of whatever foodstuffs you’ve got until you meet that next special woman, then your prayers have been answered. Unless you’re an atheist; in which case coming across this book just means your luck was in today. For men looking for sustenance over style, I give you this spectacular cookbook. Well, I don’t “give it” to you, per se. You have to pay for it.
Featuring such taste-bud tempting recipes as:
Meat on a Bed of Rice
Cheese and Crackers
Plus Miscellaneous Cookbook Humor, too!
* * * *
Chris Gay is an author, freelance writer, voice-over artist, broadcaster and actor. He writes and broadcasts a daily, minute radio humor spot in Hartford, Connecticut. He’s also written the paranormal, theological thriller novel Ghost of a Chance and three humor books: And That’s the Way It Was…Give or Take: A Daily Dose of My Radio Writings, Shouldn’t Ice Cold Beer Be Frozen? My 365 Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, and The Bachelor Cookbook: Edible Meals with a Side of Sarcasm. He’s been published nationally in Writer’s Digest and is currently writing his fourth and fifth humor books, Another Round of Ice Cold Beer: My 365 More Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota and Something Witty this Way Comes; the latter being a collection of pieces written for his humor blog. His book Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal, is an original, extraordinary short story on the great detective. Also, he’s writing the Ghost of a Chance sequel Perdition’s Wrath, and has written and voiced radio commercials, authored both comedic and non-comedic freelance articles, scripts, press releases, website, media and technical content, done occasional radio color commentary for local sports, and acted in a couple of movies and plays. His website is chrisjgay.com, and his humor blog can be found at chrisgay.wordpress.com.
Author Page on Facebook
Chris Gay Author/Writer/ Humorist on Facebook
Ghost of a Chance on Facebook
Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal on Facebook
Hope Springs (Barfly)
Testimonies of a Quiet New England Town (Constable John Gilbert)