I got home from work the other night, and saw my little girl was watching the holiday classic Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
I'm not saying that holiday special is bad (which it is), I'm just saying the only thing worse would be listening to Miley Cyrus sing Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit. (And the only thing worse than that is watching her dance to it.) I sat down anyway, and watched it with her. Once again, I was reminded of that time, not so long ago, when I met a brave little pig.
I drove down to a farm in the lower valley of El Paso, because I had heard farmers tended to have attractive daughters with liberal ideas about hospitality, but, instead of a daughter, this farmer had a pig. The pig was missing three of it slegs, one of its two eyes, both ears, its tail, and part of its snout.
"What happened to your pig, Farmer Brown?" I asked.
"Well," Farmer Brown says to me, "one night the pig wakes me and the missus up, 'cause there was a gas leak. We barely got out of the house when all that gas exploded, creatin' a fire. 'Oh my god! The baby!' I yell, and the pig runs into the burning house and saves the baby. From all the excitement, my missus falls to the ground. Heart attack. I don't know what to do, but the pig does. He jumps up high and lands square on her chest. Her poor ole ticker starts right back up again, good as new. That little pig saved all our lives that night."
"And his injuries were caused by the explosion and fire?" I asked.
"Nah, that weren't it," Farmer Brown explained. "You see, with a pig that brave... you don't want to eat him all at once."
I think about that pig every time I hear the Christmas song Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The song starts out happily enough. There's Rudolph. He has a shiney nose. Big deal, right? It's not like he wants to serve in the military. Well, it is a big deal, and not just to Rick Perry. Apparently, it's a big deal to all the other reindeers. They laugh at poor Rudolph. They call him names. They shun him. And all Rudolph wants most in the world is to be accepted by his pack, and play their stupid reindeer games with them. That, and gay marriage.
And what about all the adult reindeers? The ones who should know better? Did they step in and stop the bullying, or stand up against late-term abortions? No, they didn't. They weren't part of the solution, they were part of the problem. They must have been Democrats.
Even Santa Claus, who, as the fat guy in charge of the whole North Pole operations, decided to ignore the problem. If he didn't acknowledge the bullying by the reindeers--both adult and young--then it didn't exist. Like God.
Finally, a greater power interceded. A blizzard so big that it could barely hide behind Kim Kardashian's, ahem, talent. Christmas, it would seem, might have to be cancelled. Santa--in probably the first kind words he ever spoke to Rudolph--finally acknowledges his red-nosed reindeer, and asks him to guide his sleigh that night for what is essencially a suicide mission.
Like a Japanese pilot from World War Two, Rudolph agrees, and Christmas is saved. Then, and only then, do all the reindeer love him. You know what I think about that? Too little, too late.
In the first place, Santa lives in the North Pole. He's been doing his thing for hundreds of years. You would think he'd have a Plan B for what happens when the weather turns bad. Secondly, well, there is no secondly. I just wanted to use the phrase In the first place... to make my point seem more important than what it was.
If I were Rudolph, and Santa Claus came groveling up to me after years of neglect and abuse... POW! Right in the kisser! I would have punched him like the punching-bag he's shaped like. You can take your sleigh and your toys and all your non-glowing-nosed reindeer, fat man, and stick them where the skin turns pink!
The song is bad enough. Watching the TV claymation version of it makes it even worse. An elf is brow-beaten just because his true calling is dentistry? Those elves would rather walk around with rotten teeth and bad breath? And Santa, apparently, values production on the assembly-line over the health and welfare of his workers? Where are the Teamsters when you need them? Plus, I was always bothered by the Island of Misfit Toys. An island filled with irregular, but otherwise perfectly fine, toys. Santa couldn't have given them out in the minority neighborhoods?
No, I've never cared for the song Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and I care for the TV special even less. My little girl loves it, though.
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