- Pip arrives home to receive this charming Christmas greeting from Mrs. Joe: "And where the deuce ha’ you been?"
- Speaking of Mrs. Joe, I'm starting to hear her dialogue in Alison Steadman's voice. This was the part that really, really did it: "Perhaps if I warn’t a blacksmith’s wife, and (what’s the same thing) a slave with her apron never off, I should have been to hear the Carols,” said Mrs. Joe. “I’m rather partial to Carols, myself, and that’s the best of reasons for my never hearing any."
- Heh. OF COURSE no one is allowed in the parlor except for when the Christmas guests are over. And here's a classic zinger: "Mrs. Joe was a very clean housekeeper, but had an exquisite art of making her cleanliness more uncomfortable and unacceptable than dirt itself. Cleanliness is next to Godliness, and some people do the same by their religion."
- In his Sunday best, Joe looks like "a scarecrow in good circumstances". And Pip is in a bad way, too: "Even when I was taken to have a new suit of clothes, the tailor had orders to make them like a kind of Reformatory, and on no account to let me have the free use of my limbs."
- Poor old Joe, by the way, was forced to spend his Christmas morning sitting outside on the kitchen doorstep while Mrs. Joe was cleaning.
- Introducing: Mr. Wopsle, clerk at church and guest at Christmas dinner: He's exceedingly proud of his skills of recitation. Like, REALLY, REALLY PROUD.
- Introducing: Uncle Pumblechook, another guest at dinner, and technically Joe's uncle, though Pip isn't allowed to call him that. (Of course, he calls him that multiple times in his narration.)
- Introducing: Mrs. and Mr. Hubble, guests at dinner: She's "a little curly sharp-edged person", (<--LOVE THAT) much younger than her husband, who is a "tough, high-shouldered, stooping old man, of a sawdusty fragrance, with his legs extraordinarily wide apart: so that in my short days I always saw some miles of open country between them when I met him coming up the lane." (<--LOVE THAT, TOO)
- Dinner is profoundly uncomfortable, what with Pip's fear about his thievery being found out, "the Pumblechookian elbow" in his eye, the corner of the table digging into his chest, the fact that he's not allowed to speak and that he's given all of the crappy pieces of meat. But most of all, it's uncomfortable because all of the adults (except Joe) give him hell for the entire meal. For instance, after grace: "Upon which my sister fixed me with her eye, and said, in a low reproachful voice, “Do you hear that? Be grateful.”" And it just goes downhill from there. I particularly liked Mr. Hubble's opinion: "Naterally wicious."
- Joe, of course, attempts to make Pip feel better... by spooning a half-pint of gravy onto his plate. (<--I continue to think that Pip is all about the exaggeration. Which is fine by me, as it's generally hilarious.)
- And Mr. Wopsle goes on about what he'd sermonize about at Church if HE WERE IN CHARGE, and Uncle Pumblechook suggests that PORK would be a great topic. PORK.
(“You listen to this,” said my sister to me, in a severe parenthesis.)
Joe gave me some more gravy.
- Oh, Mr. Wopsle is AWFUL. He's telling Pip about how great his life is, AND THAT IT'S WAY BETTER THAN A PIG'S LIFE. WELL, THANK YOU SIR. Every time he throws another verbal dart at Pip, Joe ladles more gravy onto Pip's plate.
- Oh, no, and now Mrs. Joe is giving Uncle Pumblechook brandy—the brandy that Pip watered down in order to hide his theft—but it turns out that he accidentally watered it down with TAR WATER, so Uncle Pumblechook runs outside and barfs, and then Mrs. Joe calms him down with some nice gin and hot water, BUT THEN she goes to get the pork pie (that Pip stole), and Pip TOTALLY FREAKS OUT BECAUSE HE KNOWS HE'S SCREWED, so he jumps up and runs for the front door... but then he runs into a bunch of soldiers at the front door, one of whom SHAKES A PAIR OF HANDCUFFS AT HIM. And... scene!
- MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE! WOOOOOO!
Book source: Review copy from the publisher.