It’s high time that someone stood up for basic rights and decency! It’s high time that somebody righted a wrong, set the record straight, and did some good in this world! I didn’t say that I was going to do it – I just said that it was high time it was done. I usually spend my time messing things up, so I will leave that one to the experts. What do I look like, Superman?
OCD Strikes Again
In case you hadn’t noticed, I will remind you: I have a difficult time when things don’t add up. That is one reason why I still have my doubts about the ‘69 Mets. Al Weis? Come on, already! (Only baseball fans will get that joke.Career stats: .219 AVG, 7 HR, 115 RBI.)
But I digress. Today I want to talk about reindeer (of which I am not an expert, so what else is new?)
I am sure that everyone has either heard or read “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” the poem that is disputably credited to Clement C. Moore. (Side note: how come we only use the word “’twas” as Christmas time? I think we should start a movement. Let’s get rid of twerk and start ‘twassing!)
Oops – again digressed.
Anyhow (deep breath), in that poem we are introduced to Santa (who is actually an elf, so take that all you tall Santas in the movies!) and his 8 (eight) reindeer. Five points if you can name them: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Comet, Vixen Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. Too late! No points for you.
More digressing. This is getting to be a habit.
Up until that point everything was hunky-dory (a term which was coined in the late 1920’s after a good looking fellow named Dortmunder “Dory” Attwater. Attwater was known a gadabout, roué and man about town well before the term “jerk” came into popularity. He was also quite the hunk. Thus the term).
Whoops. Did it again. Anyhow, we had Santa and the eight reindeer, and everything was swell. Then, along comes Johnny Marks, an up-and-coming songwriter who decides he needs to eat, and the easiest way to do that is to write a Christmas song and get Gene Autry to sing it – only he doesn’t know Gene Autry. But wouldn’t you know it, he bumps into the guy at Montgomery Ward’s, the place where Rudolph was created in the first place. Long story longer, Marks persuades Autry not to sue the store for damages to his mohair overcoat by sweetening the pot with his offer to let him record the song.
Lo and Behold (who were also an old comedy team that played the Borscht Belt in the Catskills near the end of Vaudeville), Autry – still tipsy from swilling rum-spiked eggnog – agrees to the deal, and the rest is history: Autry gets a number one all-time hit, and we get another reindeer. Only problem is, now we have nine, and that doesn’t add up.
Now the poem is wrong as the world is out of whack. The numbers don’t add up and I can’t sleep nights, days or while driving, as usual. I am beside myself. It is then when I realize that two of me’s in the same house is too much, so I send my other self packing. Then I call the North Pole and ask to speak with the guy in red.
Of course, that never happens. They put me on hold for fifteen minutes, and I have to listen to Wayne Newton singing holiday classics. Then a guy with a high-pitched voice tells me that Santa is busy and can’t come to the phone. Later I find out that he was sleeping one off after a three-day bender. This is something they never talked about in that poem. The guy really likes his booze.
So, I politely ask to leave a message, and the high-pitched guy says “okay.” At this point, I can’t be sure if he can write or not, but I am willing to take my chances. I tell the guy about the reindeer dilemma and he lets out a gasp – the kind that people do when they hear something they already know, but are trying to cover up the fact that they know it. So now I start to worry that I have caused trouble and maybe I won’t get my bag of Fritos like I get every year, so I tell the guy “never mind” and I hang up fast.
Later that night, I turn on the network news and the top story is from the North Pole. It turns out that Santa was “tweaking the books” a bit, and his investors aren’t too pleased. To save face, he cuts the number of reindeer down to eight again. Santa fired Blitzen, explaining that he had to keep Rudolph for insurance and liability purposes, and to avoid mid-air collisions. Blitzen was last in seniority, last on the list, so he had to go. It’s all my fault. I am distraught (and if I knew what that word meant, I might feel even worse).
So, what do you say folks? Let’s try to get Blitzen his job back. The poor guy has been schlepping people around a local Christmas tree farm for the past two years.
I want to see Blitzen happy again. I want to see him join the other reindeer where he belongs. I want him back in the poem and back in the song.
It’s the right thing to do.
Hang in there, Blitzen!