A Crypto Carol
A cautionary tale about hodling Bitcoin and the true meaning of Christmas.
The lamplit streets were banked with snow, red-breasted robins chirped merrily, and Charles Cuphand sank sullenly into his triple-king-sized chair.
Ah, he thought, it was yet another vile Christmas eve. The crypto markets, for the next day or so, would be quiet. It was the most awful, dreary time of year.
As usual, his pale, elephantine upper body, grotesquely naked, lay at the center of a web of heavy cables, wound under his armpits and fitted via electrodes onto his nipples. A tangle of wires radiated outward, looping and feeding into several large, buzzing servers, monitors a-blinking, each flashing with charts depicting to-the-nanosecond increments in the price of Bitcoin.
Cuphand (pronounced CUFF-end) was a fabulously wealthy Bitcoin billionaire, having gotten in early on the cryptocurrency when he learned he could buy pizza with it. Via his Full-Body Mx apparatus, he controlled hundreds of thousands of holdings spread far and wide across hundreds of exchanges. Each traded independently and algorithmically for itself, against itself, in sequence, chromatically, diatonically, in fine asynchronous and perennial rhythm, a perpetual money-making machine.
No one outside his grotty bedroom knew that the entire crypto market lived and died at Cuphand’s mere command. In more ways than one, he was a whale—the biggest there was.
But right now he was hungry. Achingly so. “Humbug!” he said aloud. Where was his advanced tendies retrieval system?
Throwing back his head and emitting a great “REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE,” he summoned mommy, demanding his hourly tribute—a tray’s worth of fine, succulent, glistening chicken tenders.
Mommy, ashen-faced and her expression a rictus of paranoia, shambled in hurriedly, bearing—gasp—not a tray of poultry delights but bad, the worst, dreadful, awful news.
“I’m sorry, honey, my sweet special angel from heaven,” she began, her mud-brown eyes wide with terror, “but none of the delivery services are running on Christmas Eve, and I’m working very hard to keep baby well-fed, so I haven’t yet had the time to go out and get—”
She stopped in her tracks. The face of her precious m’goodboy had blossomed with rage and he looked like a potted Stilton. Then he began to explode on a nuclear scale: “REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!” he screamed, with a terrible, thundering howl, inhuman, demonic, as of some cosmic nail drawn screeching across a chalkboard. His left hand tightened, meanwhile, around a half-full two-liter plastic bottle that had once contained Mountain Dew, its dull yellow contents sloshing.With a disarmingly sexual curl of his lower lip, he mouthed his warning: “Pissssssss ……. jugggggg.”
The message was clear enough. Shaken, mommy made her way hastily out of the house and into her dusty old Toyota Corolla, off to get din-dins for her wonderful boy.
Deprived cruelly of his singular source of energy, Cuphand soon fell into a mighty slumber, lulled into vivid dreams by the steady buzzing and whirring of his computer. He found himself in an endless, dimly lit corridor, stalked by anthropoid chicken tenders, each bearing the face of bitch mommy, a mask of bitter reproach …
An hour later, he awoke with a start. His computer was buzzing. He wheezed with delight—it must be a message from mommy, bearing good news about tendies!!! He logged in … but, alas, there was no mommy? Instead, weirdly, he had received a message from a long disused email address.
Cuphand grunted with pleasure, slowly raised his arms and waggled his dainty fingers. The address belonged to only one man—the late, great cryptographer and fellow trader-in-arms, Satoshi Nakamoto. “Our lord hath returned!”
Satoshi, of course, was the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin—but Cuphand knew him better as a mostly silent , long-dead business partner. So close had they been that Cuphand was among the few to know of Satoshi’s tragic death-by-autoerotic-asphyxiation, and he had retired his own apparatus since, as a mark of respect. And he could no longer look at a satsuma in the same way.
But now, miraculously, Satoshi had emailed him.
“Dearest Cuppy,” the email began. “I miss our great times together! But I am no longer of this mortal coil, yet I must come bearing urgent counsel.
“You may be wondering just how I have gotten in contact with you, considering that I am long dead. But when my soul passed, it didn’t quite make it to the pearly gates. Alas, no! Instead I am bound to the Bitcoin blockchain, as punishment for, in St. Peter’s words, being a ‘greedy c*** and hodling all the time,’ instead of sharing my great wealth. Now I am confined to forever roam cypherspace, and trust me, it is very, very tedious.
So—remember how we used to laugh about “plebs'' who were not as rich as we? And how we used to have great fun tanking the market and watching them writhe? I know this is your modus operandi these days but you must stop it at once. It is very bad!
During this evening, you will be visited by three spirits who will show you the error of your ways. I pray that you listen to them. Heed them not, and you are doomed to roam the cryptosphere eternally, as I do, or worse—like one of those idiots on crypto twitter.
Your best boi Satoshi XOXO.”
Peculiar, Cuphand thought. Someone must have spoofed the great man’s email. The hacker had certainly gotten Satoshi’s writing style down pat. But how did he obtain Satoshi’s triple-top-secret email address? And how did he know that he and the Father of Bitcoin were intimates? ‘Twas very odd, indeed.
“Humbug!” he said, dismissing the whole episode as a prank.
Soon, Cuphand fell back into a deep, snuffling, apnea-inflected slumber and dreamed, at first of tendies. They were raining from the sky into a beautiful woodland glade, each crispy nugget plopping gently into a tiny plastic cup of honey mussy. Cuphand pranced about this sylvan scene like a large, voluptuous sartyr; his healthy frame did not impede him as he reached down to tenderly pluck each tendie from its beloved mussy cup.
But even in his dream, he thought about Satoshi’s message. And the more he thought about it, the more he thought it was a load of tosh. As if hoarding one’s wealth was a sin; indeed, being poor was the sin! In his sleep, Cuphand began to roar orgasmically at this fine thought, so loud and noble and erotic that the walls themselves began to rumble as if in applause…
And then one of the walls actually did explode!
Startled from his reverie, Cuphand sat up straight in his deluxe, manchild-sized crib, only to be showered with a fine debris, as a gleaming cobalt-blue Lamborghini smashed through the wall of his basement boudoir.
Miraculously, the Lamborghini was unscathed by the collision, as was, apparently, the driver…
Horrified, Cuphand gazed as the car’s gull-wing door swung sharply upward, and out wafted a large, grinning head, its features handsome and well-groomed but its gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, its body a wispy extrusion.
“Bro,” the ghoul began, blinding Cuphand with the sheer whiteness of its all-American teeth. “I am the Ghost of Crypto Past. Thousands of institutional investors subscribe to my daily newsletter, which contains many charts with lines that go up! Hundreds of thousands more are cheered on by my daily exhortations to BUY BITCOIN!!”
“None of this, I hasten to add,” the Ghost of Crypto Past said with a cruel twist of his thin lips, “ought to be taken as financial advice.” At this, he laughed hideously, sending an icicle-like chill into Cuphand’s hard, tallow-encased heart.
“Today,” the ghost went on, “I want to tell you a story about a bright-eyed young boy who turned a family tragedy into a multibillion dollar fortune.” He paused, his mouth plummeting open: “Behold your past!”
Suddenly Cuphand’s mind was wrenched back, far into the sepia-tinged past, to a green pasture, a young couple holding hands, in high color, laughing as they ran through a field of long grass under the spring sun, blossom all around. The sky contorted itself into a backward-folding calendar entry … 1984. The woman was pregnant.
“That must be bitch mommy and chaddy daddy the year of my birth!” Cuphand ejaculated.
“That’s right,” confirmed the spirit. “And they’re about to have their young lives changed forever.”
At that, a series of bucolic images flickered by, to the tune of Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again. There was a jump-cut to mommy pooting out her darling boy in a hospital bed, a surprisingly slight little creature, rosy-cheeked and smiling wide. Then a flash forward to the kid—young Cuphand himself—studying in school, telling the teacher he wanted to be a marine biologist, to one day see a blue whale, for real. Then prom king, ‘02, Aguilera on the stereo, dear Rosalie on his arm, her youth and memory not yet faded. How they danced! And loved their young, innocent life!
Penniless, to be sure. But could life be any happier?
Then, nausea swept through Cuphand’s substantial bosoms as he saw himself driving off in chaddy daddy’s Prius with a trunk full of essentials and Rosalie in the passenger seat to see him off.
O’ damned day! He was en route to his matriculation at Harvard, a school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Winding down the highway to only the brightest of futures, hardly any money in his pocket, but love in his soul, waving goodbye to his father, the girl of his dreams at his side...
Then looking on in horror as the car swerved, by God, into a large, animatronic Mr. Blobby.
Blackness engulfed Cuphand’s vision, exploding with blinding light as a terrible blaze took hold, through which he gazed hopelessly, reeling in horror at the eerie way Mr. Blobby burbled up, seeming to dance like a devil, consuming Rosalie in the hungry flames... He saw himself silhouetted and doubled over, cursing the government, blaming mommy, comfort eating, receiving a considerable Northwestern Mutual life insurance payout, growing pale, large, selfish, strange...Becoming, in short, a speculative Bitcoin trader.
The hallucinatory sideshow winded down and the Ghost emerged from the shadows and gave a bow. He was now fully corporeal and had sprouted a brawny, brown musculature with four knobbled legs, nostrils that flared and hooves that scraped the ground menacingly, raising a cloud of thick dust. His grin was a gleaming crescent; his eyes lidless and unblinking. With a low snort and a rearing of his great skull, he said: “When faced with a bull market a man should never invest more than he can afford to lose.” Giving a paragraph-break long pause, he then added: “Or else, he learns too late that he no longer has anything to lose.”
“So what can I do?” Cuphand whimpered. “And what does that even mean?”
The Ghost simply said. “Build shit people want, never give up, avoid assholes, question assumptions, learn new ideas & always reward ambition.” Then he gave two thumbs up, whispered “awesome, bro!” climbed into his Lambo and disappeared into the void.
Cuphand, trembling and feeling vulnerable, began to rub himself obscenely. He needed to self soothe. In the lightless forever night of his basement, he didn’t know what time it was, and only wanky panky could bring him relief. He began to reach deep into his blubberous folds for his withered little Vienna sausage, but a ghostly hand gripped his wrist.
“Stop that!” beseeched a spectral voice. “Your seed—it’s a hard asset. You can’t just print more willy nilly. Excuse the pun.”
Cuphand, enraged to be drawn from his sacred ritual, looked up. The arm belonged to a cherubic, thickly bespectacled child, average of height and clad in a garish red, polyester “Christmas” sweater festooned with winged Bitcoins and reindeer. An undershirt poked out around the collar, and was tucked into khaki pants, themselves tucked into a pair of pristine Topsiders. A tome entitled “Austrian Christmasnomics” bulged under the tot’s arm.
“I am the Ghost of Crypto Present,” the minor chirupped, biting into a big red lollipop. “Although on Twitter, I am also a well-regarded Bitcoin Economic Theorist.”
Cuphand looked at him inquisitively. The boy must have been around nine years old, at a push.
“Shouldn’t you be in school, young man?” Cuphand asked.
“How dare you!” churled the lil’ kiddiewinkle. “Had you bothered to do even the barest amount of research you’d know that I’ve actually got a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University, and I manage six hedge funds.” The precocious, spectral child then brandished a copy of his doctoral thesis, entitled, “Friedrich Hayek and Marginal Utility: Toward A Playtime-Oriented Economic Framework.”
“Plus,” the youngster added, “there’s no school over the Christmas period anyway. Yay!”
The extraordinarily small boy then extended his little hand, motioning for Cuphand to take it, which he did, albeit reluctantly, so no one would think he was a pedo. Magically, like the great and tragic dirigible Hindenburg, Cuphand’s body floated above the bed and followed the child, passing miraculously through the basement wall and out into the twinkling, frigid city night.
They flew together, ham in ham, over the city. Although the wee ‘un looked mighty pleased with himself, Cuphand felt lonely, cold and afraid at what he might see.
“Where are we going, demon child? Bitch mommy is bringing an order of tendies and I need to poo…”
“Shhh,” replied the youth. “You can hold it a bit longer. Come, and seeeeeeeee… Also, put on your mask.”
“REEEEEEEEEEE,” Cuphand thought wistfully to himself, as the two wafted down to the street below and suddenly slipped into the window of a shabby apartment building.
Inside was squalor the likes of which Cuphand had never before seen, nor imagined. The shabby studio apartment was a hovel. The room was virtually empty, save for a threadbare sofa facing a cheap, widescreen TV made in China. The floor was littered with empty Colt 45 cans, video games, and “research reports” on Bitcoin. The room reeked of fast food and slow farts.
At one end of the settee sat a small, dark, mustachioed man wearing an absurd hat; at the other sat his physical opposite, an ectomorph as tall and frail and light skinned as a yellow giraffe.
Both men were toiling over what looked like utterly fruitless assignments. The small one was calling up various female publicists who had rebuffed his advances on the pretense of looking for “scoops.” The giraffe one seemed not to work at all; he merely tweeted interminably. They both looked very, very celibate.
At one point, a snail emerged from the small one’s moustache. The giraffe-one lunged for it, and they began to squabble and wrestle. “You had escargot yesterday!” the small one screeched. “This one is mine!”
It was the most pitiful thing Cuphand had ever seen.
“Who are they, ghost?” the whale stammered, adjusting his quarantine mask ever more tightly against the stench.
“They are crypto journalists,” said the ghost, his voice drenched in contempt. “Don’t worry, they cannot see or hear us.”
“I am not a journalist,” mumbled the giraffe-shaped one.
“Wut?” said the mustachioed one.
“I am not a journalist,” said the other. “I am a researcher.”
“Right,” said the other, returning to his phone. “Whatever.”
“God bless us everyone!” said the giraffeman.
“Oh, how sad is their life!” moaned Cuphand.
“Yes,” agreed the boy. “It is awfully sad! Last year, for their Christmas bonus, their former gave Lil’ Larry and Fair Frankie each a mere 0.0025 of a Bitcoin. Now, number has gone up so much that they can’t afford to sell it. They must hodl, for all eternity, while they slowly starve and live a life in de minimis.
“I see,” said Cuphand. The big man was clearly moved. A tear or globule of fat formed at the corner of his eye.
“Their lives are miserable, watching others get rich. They are like starving men at a banquet,” continued the Ghost of Crypto Present,. “Little Larry might have to find a ‘job’ as a journalist, because who needs analysts in a market that is untethered from reality? Number goes up. Number goes down. One may as well ‘analyze’ the random movements of a seesaw at a playground.”
The boy cackled, then sighed. The mustachioed lad for some reason was trying to light a large meerschaum pipe carved into the shape of a turbaned fakir. “Ah, Fair Frankie,” he said gravely. “It really doesn’t bear thinking about what will happen to him. But there’s a risk he’ll have to start behaving like a normal 25-year-old.”
Cuphand recoiled. “Oh please merciful spirit, can we not do nothing to save them from such terrible fates!?”
At this the Ghost of the Present looked deeply at Cuphand. “Well, I suppose we could blend pragmatism with a data-driven approach in determining how entrepreneurs can best interface with these new institutions. But it’s more likely their fate is already priced in.”
Then the little man snapped his fingers and said “bye bye!” At once, the leviathan again found himself alone, and back in his basement redoubt.
Zapped back to normality, Cuphand relieved himself in his piss jug, capped it and bowled it across the floor for bitch mommy to pick up and rinse, lest he la unch it at her stupid head. Idly he wondered where the lazy old girl was and, fully forgetting the events that had brought him such anguish mere minutes before, fell back into deep sleep.
The parsimonious whale dream-walked through a surreal Escherian landscape, a lattice of grey ovoid blocks intersecting impossibly with one another. Gradually each block moulted, turned a rich gold, then peeled open, revealing soft tendie flesh therein. His juicy red lips puckering obscenely, Cuphand raised a fleshy arm toward the fowl treats, grasping. But then everything faded into the utmost blackness.
An elvin figure, nude but for a teasingly unravelled toga, drifted into his midst, giving off a halo of mellow light. The figure moved closer, and Cuphand saw that it had an intelligent, open face, dark stubble, glasses, bright eyes and a mop of black hair.
“I am the Ghost of Crypto Futures,” the voice intoned, mid-range yet booming and resonant and not nearly as funny as in tweets. “Can you spare any money for the Coin Center?”
“I know you, lad!” Cuphand squealed. “You’re the one from Twitter! You’re a sort of Internet clown—you make jokes about Bitcoin! Very good! Dance for me, please?”
“Yes, that’s right, I am very funny on Twitter,” the Ghost of Crypto Futures said somberly. “Which means you should trust me when I tell you that you are in grave, grave danger. And no I won’t dance for you. Not yet.”
“Please?” Cuphand insisted.
“No, you are in grave—“
Cuphand lolled back his head, inhaling powerfully. “REE-”
“Knock it off, we have much to see and this is your last chance. Before we go though, beseech you again: would you consider making a donation to the Coin Center?’
“To the--what? No!” said the whale.
“Just a little one?”
“Fine, fine. Maybe later. Now, take my hand. And put on your mask.”
Familiar with the drill, Cuphand did as he was told. This time, however, instead of floating gently into the night, he found himself immediately transported into a sterile, white, room that thrummed with the sound of very expensive technology.
Banked along one side of the room were dozens of large, stainless-steel, tubular containers; a plume of frosty steam escaped from each one. The Ghost of the Future pointed a bony finger, urging Cuphand to look closer. Through his beady pink eyes, the whale saw that each tube had a handle on it, to open the container. Cupland felt as if he were in a morgue, then realized that then each drawer was only a foot or so wide, and maybe three-feet long—far too narrow, and short, to hold a corpse.
Before he could open one of the containers to see what evil lay inside, however, three people walked in. One, a man, was pushing a bucket on wheels by a mop that was centered in it like a ship’s mast. The other two women carried rags and brushes and other accoutrements of the janitorial trade. All three were in white uniforms, the word “ALCOR” was embroidered on their breast pockets.
“Aye,” said the man. “Let’s have a look then at old Mister Hodler then, eh?”
The two women screeched in ugly delight.
“Ol’ Hodler! You can rest in our freezers as long as ye like—but your Bitcoin will do you no good where you are!” cackled one of the cleaning ladies. “You hodl’d till you grew fat, and then you bled like a ‘pooned whale! It may seem like you are very cold here, but where your soul is? You’re in the ninth circle of hodler hell, my son!”
“Old Bitcoin Hodler-Hobnobs,” said the second cleaning lady, somewhat incoherently. “Holdy von Hodlson.”
The other two looked at her quizzically.
“Hodl the line, I’ve got a call from the Holinator!” she shrieked.
The three had a good laugh at that. But the man with the mop had clearly begun to lose interest in their daily game, and started scrubbing the floor. So the cleaning women, following his lead, took their rags and shuffled off to find things to clean.
Cuphand peered at the ghost for direction. The fiend lifted his arm and cocked his withered index finger at the bank of drawers.
“What is it you want me to do, ghoul? I cannot look. I do not want to—”
“You must,” whined the ghost. “Open the drawer NOW, bitch!”
Submitting feebly, the whale fell to his knees. He blubbed over to the freezer like a beached Humpback whale, and slowly rolled open one of the containers.
A tangle of aortic-blue hoses and scarlet plastic tubes, lightly rimed in ice, converged on… Cuphand gasped in disbelief, and tried to jam a fist into his maw.
It was his own dismembered head.
Cuphand’s decapitated head was the hub into which the various “ALCOR Life Extension” tubes were plugged. And worse, someone—likely one of the cleaning crew—had jammed a red apple in Cuphand’s head’s mouth!
“No, nom nooo,” the big fatty moaned. “Please spirit, make it not so! Wake me from this nightmare at once! It cannot be that a man as rich with Bitcoin and powerful as me should end his glory days in a final resting so cold as this!”
The ghost lad shrugged, then said: “Come, whale. The sun has not yet risen and we have one more sight to see before this Christmas eve births a new day.”
With that, the horrible scene in front of him dissolved. Cuphand, the whale of whales, found himself yet again in the squalid apartment he had recently visited.
This time however, only the mustachioed man remained. He was no longer wearing his jaunty hat, and the Meerschaum had disappeared, along with the giraffe man. His Remington typewriter was gathering dust in a corner, unused, and he was trying vainly to figure out how to send a telegram via Microsoft Word. Though there were two controllers on the settee, he played the videogame alone. Occasionally, he reached for the other controller to simulate having his friend on the couch.
Wretched and pale, as if he’d ingested a tub of spoiled tendies, Cuphand turned to the whale: “But the giraffe man, Little Larry… Where is he, ghost?”
The ghost merely pointed to the stack of “analyst reports”—now cobwebbed and clearly unopened by anyone in years—which sat in a corner.
“Oh my god, please say it isn’t so! What terrible fate has befallen him.”
The Ghost of Crypto Futures sighed and said: “Poor Larry is a crypto journalist or Decrypt now. He rewrites press releases and calls them ‘news.’”
“But why? Dear God, ghost, why has such a tragedy befallen him?”
“It’s you whale. You hodl’d and hodl’d until the life went out of the market. And now, there is nothing to analyze here. Because nothing happens. Crypto is deader than one of Ben Munster’s mother’s veggie loaves.”
And with that, the Ghost of Crypto Futures snapped his fingers three times, and all went black.
Cuphand awoke from his vile dreams filled with terror. He was also a little hungry but there was still no sign of mommy—or tendies. He screamed and there was no response, so he winched himself upstairs and, trembling with fear and exhaustion, managed to heave open the living room windows.
The bright light of morning flooded in. He looked outside, and everything was gorgeously serene: the robins had resumed their merry chirping, and thick snow lay on the ground.
Using the powerful long-range binoculars he kept at hand for such matters, Cuphand nimbly scanned the driveway, searching for clues as to mommy’s whereabouts. He saw kindly Mrs. Norbert, giving encouragement to Mr. Norbert as he struggled with a lengthwise strip of bunting. He saw young Billy, joyously demo-ing what looked like a brand new hoverboard. Lucky lad! And there, a few hundred yards down the road, stood mommy’s Corolla.
The car was totaled, and black smoke poured forth. Ladylike footprints wound erratically from the car toward a sudden fissure. And inside the fissure … Ah, there she was, the stupid cow. Mommy was lying dead in the foot-thick snow.
Ugh, Cuphand thought sadly. She had failed him one last time.
He was all set to go back and make angry poopy when, suddenly, his eyes lit up as he saw that she was clutching a greasy fast-foot bucket. “My tendies!!!” he oinked. “My teeeeeeeendiieeeeeeeeesssss!” He was joyous; ‘twas turning into an excellent day after all.
But what day? The whale had lost track of the time.
A soot-faced street urchin trundled by on a rusty bike, delivering the morning’s papers.
“Why, hello there, m’kind lad,” Cuphand hollered out.“Let a fellow know what day it is, would you?”
“Why,” said the wretched boy, doffing his filthy cap and smiling at the silly question, “it’s Christmas Day, sir!”
Cuphand clasped his hands gleefully. “Christmas Day, you say? God bless you lad!” he said. “Now bring me that bucket like a good fellow, would you? There we go!” The true spirit of Christmas, it seemed, had prevailed after all.
The boy did as he was told, delivering Cuphand the tendies and watching in awe as he slopped them down in one go. Newly energized, Cuphand winched himself back into his basement.
But before waving the boy off, he asked:
“Do you hodl any Bitcoin, lad?”
“Indeed I do sir! My mum and me’ve got 1,000 whole satoshis,” he said proudly. “Been hodling, well, seems like forever. But I’m only 11, so…”
“Indeed! What a good lad, what a fine lad!” said Cuphand. “Now listen to me: Some day those Satoshis will be worth a fortune, they will. So don’t spend a single one, you hear me, eh? But I will tell you what, lad!”
“Yes sir?” the rapscallion said eagerly.
“Here’s a bitcoin for your trouble,” said the whale, beaming grandly.
“What sir? Geeee whizz! Wizard! A whole bitcoin! Jeepers! Oh mister! Perhaps I shall now purchase a sock, to complement my current sock! Or—I will someday, when Bitcoin is worth what we all think it’ll be worth…”
“And how much is that lad! Fine lad, eh! How much will Btcoin be someday?” The whale winked a pink eye.
“Why, a million dollars sir! Or Mr. John McAfee will eat his own dick!”
“Eh? Ha! Yes, of course he will, son. Of course he will! VERY good! Now give me your wallet info…”
Ten minutes later, after getting all the crap he needed to perform a transaction with “digital gold,” one shiny Bitcoin soared across the cryptoverse and into the lad’s wallet. Astonished, the young man thanked Cuphand and rode off into the snow, with a brisk, mitted wave and a hearty “Merry Christmas!”
Cuphand was beaming. All was not lost. In fact the day had just begun—nay, a new life had just begun--and he immediately set to work. There was much to do. A lot to do, in fact.
First things first: he winched himself back into his basement via a trapdoor in its ceiling. Descending magisterially into his enormous, reinforced chair he gripped a cast iron lever and swung it downward, activating the complex system of cables, pistons, grips, electrodes, snarks, and wharfs that formed the basis of his cybernetic chrysalis.
But this time, he gurgled to himself, he planned to emerge like a beautiful, flabby butterfly!
Deft as Glenn Gould, his fingers skittered across the keyboard of the great machine, coordinating several thousand holdings in tandem, selling every bit coin, nickel and dime—Satoshi’s too, for his old, tragically deceased pal had long ago left him the keys.
With great satisfaction he watched as gargantuan wealth began to plummet. First, the value of the currency dropped to $17,000, then $15,000, then $7,000, $700, $5, $0.05, $0.0005, and then, with a final flatlining, defeated flourish, $0.00.
Overjoyed and immeasurably satisfied, Cuphand felt overwhelmingly light, unencumbered, purged … pure of heart. He was no longer a hodler! He had evacuated himself raw. This massive, explosive voiding of all his holdings, at long last, made him feel deeply relieved, happier, clean at last.
He was a new man.
Christmas was all about giving, he realized. And he had given everything he had.
Except, of course, to bitch mommy, who deserved not a measly penny.