In most contexts, sequels are almost always a disappointment. No matter how hard everyone involved tries, capturing the magic of what made the original so unique can be seriously tricky. As soon as you start to retread old ground, stories seem to feel tired and inevitably lose the essence of what made them so beguiling in the first place. Every so often, however, something comes along that defies expectations and surpasses everything that came before.
Professional Scottish singer Judy Brown has built her career as internationally recognised mezzo-soprano maestro. Having performed for audiences all over the world, she has always had a deep love and affection for the old masters of classical music. But, away from the auditorium, Judy has another hobby - one that she pursues with as much verve and gusto as she does the most intricate of arias. Judy Brown loves pranking her dad.
Two years ago, after decades of amateur irritation and mischief-making, Judy decided to take things up a level. Fooling her father into thinking that he had received a generous gift of deliciously nutty Ferrero Rocher, Judy secretly replaced luxurious chocolates with Brussel sprouts. Upon opening up what he thought were his favourite candies, Judy’s father was presumably distraught to find a selection of everyone’s least favourite Christmas vegetables. It was the perfect Christmas jape.
For Judy, the question then became how to try and top the achievement of a lifetime. She knew that Ferrero Rocher were the perfect medium for pranking, but after her latest efforts, father Brown would surely be on high alert. After careful consideration, she hit upon a plan for the ultimate follow-up. In secret she began work on her “Empire Strikes Back”. Christmas would never be the same.
In 2017, recognising the newly skittish instincts of her prey, Judy deliberately left the Ferrero Rocher untouched. As she wrote on Twitter, documenting her dastardly plot, “spooked by the year before, he would not touch a single Ferrero Rocher (which was great because he usually inhales them at 750mph) so there were Ferreros aplenty for the rest of us. I bided my time.” It was not until 2018 when Judy would finally strike.
The plan, as with almost every sequel, was even more convoluted and complex than the original. Instead of straight-up replacing the chocolates, Judy instead melted milk chocolate, chopped some hazelnuts, and completely covered the sprouts in an imitation-Rocher coating, before presenting them to her unwitting father. By the time he took the first bite, it was already too late.
Throughout Christmas, the saga was diligently recorded by Judy on Twitter, to an increasingly enraptured audience. Members of the public were quick to christen her an “Evil genius”, whilst simultaneously praising “the best Christmas story (they) had ever heard. At the time of writing, the entire thread - from first plotting to chewed chocolate sprout, has been retweeted more than 60,000 times. It just goes to show that, even if this is the season of goodwill, we still love being horrible to each other.