Most folks on this Earth
Like the Beatles a lot.
But the Grinch, who hailed from
The Fabs' homeland, did not.

Well, that's not quite true.
No, please don't get me wrong.
He hated the Fab Four,
But still liked their songs.

"If only they weren't such
Unpleasant old geezers!
I wish I could pluck them
Away with my tweezers!"

The Grinch cursed the Fabs.
Then he got an idea.
The Grinch got a
Wonderfully awful idea!

"I'll write up a script
And I'll excise them from it!"
Then he gathered his thoughts
In a dimwitted summit.

"I'll kill the lads off
With a globe-spanning black-out.
I'll let their songs stay,
But kick Lennon and Mac Out.

And Ringo and George can
Go sod themselves too!
Then I'll tart up their tunes
With a voice fresh and new."

The Grinch grabbed a pen
And he started to write.
He crafted a hero
Who fell off a bike.

This lad was named Jack,
And he lost his front teeth
In the blackout, but still
He looked better than Keef.

And though he was toothless
He kept in his brain
A memory of all of
The Beatles' refrains.

Then Jack went out busking
And sang for Ed Sheeran.
And Ed said, "Good God!
What is that that I'm hearing?"

"They're songs that I wrote,"
Lied the fame-hungry Jack.
"Here, I'll play you another!"
And he sang, "Get Back!"

And so the plot ran,
With our Jack gaining fame.
And the world loved these
Beatles-free songs all the same.

The Grinch set his pen down
And grinned a mean smile.
"I'll finish this after
I nap for a while."

He lay down his head
And he started to rest.
Then he woke with a shock
And cried, "Fuck! It's Pete Best!"

A strange ghostly shape
Floated over his bed.
The Grinch shrieked in fear,
Then recoiled with dread.

"Shut yer mouth!" cried the specter.
"My name is not Pete!
It's John Ono Lennon.
Now get on your feet!"

The Grinch cowed and shivered,
But did as instructed.
Then he spied a twin phantom
John's shape had obstructed.

"Bloody Hell!" groaned the Grinch.
"It's George Harrison's ghost!"
"Got that right," George replied.
"And you thought I was toast!"

"You can't kill us off,"
Mocked John Lennon with scorn.
"'Cuz our songs would be dead too
Had we not been born."

"John's right," George agreed.
"We were part of those songs.
We wrote from experience.
You've got it all wrong!"

"But I gave you cameos,
So stop with your rages!"
The Grinch grabbed his script
And he skimmed through the pages.

"I've written a big scene with John,"
The Grinch said.
"Our Jack will discover
You're not really dead!"

"I know," John derided.
"You kept me in college,
Where I studied art.
But that wasn't the knowledge

"I craved. That was sex,
Drugs and sweet rock-and-roll–
They messed up my brain
But they nurtured my soul.

"You haven't the right
To make my life's decisions!"
The Grinch offered meekly,
"I'll make some revisions."

He picked up his pen and he
Crossed the scene out,
Then he leafed through his script
While George eyed him with doubt.

"Here, look!" cried the Grinch.
"George, you go to a pub,
And drink pints with old Ringo!
You call this a snub?"

"I do," George replied.
"You portray us defeated.
And anyway, this goddamned
Scene gets deleted!"

"Paul's scene gets cut too,
Though I'd call that a save,"
John chuckled and cried out,
"Vera! Chuck! And Dave!"

"I was proud of that scene,"
The Grinch boasted, unshamed.
"I thought Paul might like
To call his dogs those names!

"And anyway, what makes you
Think they'll get cut?"
The Grinch challenged curtly.
"You've made this all up!"

"We come from the future.
We're real, not fictitious,"
George said. "And now you
Get to time-travel with us!

"We'll show you the way
The world really would look,
If your stupid vision was
One for the books."

"A world without Fabs?"
The Grinch bit back a grin.
"No John, George or Ringo?
No Paul and his din?"

"No Silly Loves Songs,"
John read'ly agreed.
"And no Coke or ciggies.
Love is all you need."

"No Coke?" the Grinch laughed.
"That was just a dumb joke."
"Tell the folks in Atlanta,"
George scoffed. "They're all broke."

"J.K. Rowling's not doing well
Either," John noted.
"She's back on the dole
Since her book's been garroted."

The Grinch puffed his chest out,
"At least I curbed smoking!"
"Like hell," George replied.
"You forgot about toking.

"Pot's running rampant.
Now everyone's high
And spliffs are unfiltered
So tokers still die.

"And let's not forget
That by scrapping tobacco,
You've messed up John's lyrics.
You've made them all wacko."

John turned to the Grinch
With his mouth opened wide,
Then yawned, rubbed his eyes,
Stretched his arms out, and cried:

"I'm so tired.
I'm feeling so upset.
Although I'm so tired,
I'll…"

A hush filled the room.
The Grinch shrugged in defeat.
"Okay, it's a plot hole.
But still, ain't it sweet?

"A world without ciggies?"
John scowled at him, galled.
"Your plot holes could fill
The entire Albert Hall!"

"Come on," George said, resting
His hand on the Grinch.
"We'll show you a world
That just might make you flinch.

"A future that John and I
Conjured for fun.
And it's Grinchless! Or nearly so.
C'mon – let's run!"

In the blink of an eye,
The three men journeyed forth
And regrouped by a house
Tucked away in the North.

The Grinch eyed the home
With a look of inquiry,
Then smiled. "This is where we filmed
'Bridget Jones Diary'!"

"Think again," George replied.
"You were never invited.
Mike Leigh wrote that screenplay.
And now he's been knighted."

"Mike Leigh?" the Grinch scoffed,
"Oh no! How could that be?
He's fine, but he's nowhere
As clever as me!"

"What's it matter?" John asked.
"One script's good as the next.
And his won an Oscar!
Oh, shit, you look vexed!"

"An Oscar? Goddamn him!"
The Grinch grew quite jealous.
"So what?" challenged George.
"Oh look – Julian Fellowes!"

The Grinch eyed a man
Slinking by like a tabby.
"What's he ever done
Besides write 'Downton Abbey'?"

"He's made lots of films
With Hugh Grant," answered John.
"He wrote 'Notting Hill', and
Oh, hell, what's that one

"With the weddings and funerals?
It was such a big hit!"
John shrugged. "Ces't la vie.
That bloke's still just a git."

The Grinch started pouting.
"I wrote that screenplay!
It was my first success,
Got me quite a pay-day!"

"Yeah, well," George replied.
"You should just let it be.
After all, you still got to write
'Love Actually'."

"I sure as hell did!"
The Grinch boasted with pride.
"Pity it tanked," John remarked,
Sounding snide.

"But never you mind,
It inspired other works.
Like 'Valentine's Day' – now
That film went berserk.

"Grossed hundreds of millions,
And launched a franchise
Of holiday films that will
Dampen your eyes."

"The critics all hate them,"
George added. "But still
They're all box office giants,
Despite being swill."

The Grinch flushed bright red
With unmasked irritation.
"Those films are just copycats –
Pale imitations

"Of my genius screenplay!"
He protested back.
"So what?" John responded.
"All writers are hacks."

"We just produce product
That others can use,"
George noted. "Who cares if it's
All just a ruse?"

The Grinch grew indignant.
"How dare you assume
That artists create in an
Empty vacuum?

"We draw on our backgrounds
And our educations!
We toil and we sweat
And we find inspiration

"From all we observe
And from all that we've felt!
And wrestle with all of the
Blows we've been dealt!

"My screenplays are different than
Fellowes' and Leigh's.
My scripts are unique because
They come from me!"

Then John and George smiled
At their angry companion.
"He sees why we're cheesed off,"
Said John. "Oh, goddamn him!

"He's still only understands
Half of what's wrong,
'Cuz his screenplay's
Only about Beatles songs.

"We also made records!
We're not just composers.
But you trashed our work
Like a clumsy bulldozer!"

"John's right," George agreed.
"We were recording artists.
We went to the studio,
Polished and varnished

"And dinked with our tapes
And perfected our work.
But your hero Jack,
Besides being a jerk,

"Is hardly a singer that
Pleases one's ears.
He's fine, but not great.
So who would want to hear

"A record that featured a
Bloke like him warbling
'Here, There and Everywhere',
'Wait', or 'Oh Darling'?"

"He can't play guitar
Like my friend Georgie could,"
Added John. "Or the sitar
On 'Norwegian Wood'."

"And don't forget covers!"
George said. "What about
John's mind-blowing screams
On our hit 'Twist and Shout'?"

"Can Jack sound like Paul
When he belts 'Long Tall Sally'?"
John frowned. "He's no mountain.
He's hardly a valley."

"And what about Ringo?"
George asked. "Don't ignore him.
His drumming's still great.
And he's still fucking touring

"Though he's nearly eighty!
So how about that?
Can you plot a similar
Future for Jack?"

The Grinch slumped his shoulders
And stared at the ground.
He wasn't too pleased
With the truths that he'd found.

The Beatles were more than their songs.
They were men
Who'd made records, the likes of which
Won't come again.

And even if he didn't
Care for them personally,
He couldn't erase their
Huge impact on history.

He slumped and he sulked.
He was vexed near to death.
Then a child scurried past,
Singing under her breath,

"All you need is love.
All you need is love.
All you need is love, love.
Love is all you need."

The Grinch raised his eyes to
Appease George and John.
"You win," he admitted.
"You're right and I'm wrong.

"A world without Beatles
Would not be much fun."
George lifted his head and said,
"Here comes the sun!"

The sun shone down brightly
Upon the three blokes.
The Grinch squeezed his eyes shut.
And then he awoke.

His bedroom was empty.
The ghosts were both gone.
He was there by himself,
With no George and no John.

"Was that just a dream?"
He asked, scratching his head.
He reached for the script
He had left by his bed.

The words were all crossed out
With lines of black ink.
In their space stood this message:
"Now what made you think

"You could wipe us from history?
Life is a dance.
Join in! Grab a partner!
And give peace a chance."

X

Inspired by the stories "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" by Dr. Seuss (1957) and "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens (1843), and by the films "It's a Wonderful Life," screenplay by Frank Capra, Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett (1946), and "Yesterday," screenplay by Richard Curtis (2019).

This poem contains references to scenes that were deleted from the final cut of the film "Yesterday," in which the character Jack meets George Harrison and Ringo Starr in a pub, and then travels to the Isle of Wight and hears Paul McCartney calling to his three dogs.

If you've enjoyed reading CremeTangerine's (a.k.a. Tracy Neis's) Beatles-inspired stories these past few months, please consider picking up a copy of her full-length novel, "Mr. R: A Rock and Roll Romance," as a Christmas present for yourself or a friend. This reimagining of "Jane Eyre" casts one of literature's most famous romantic heroes – Mr. Rochester – as a British Invasion-era rock star whose band (The Pilots) was inspired by The Beatles. It's available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Thanks! – T.N.