Did you ever hear?
The story of a little deer
Who lived in constant fear?
Of uncontrollable explosions escaping from his rear?
As they landed gently on the roof of 75 Snicklefritz Lane, Santa released the reins and stepped out of the sleigh.
“I’m getting too old for this,” he said while he held his back with one hand before beginning to do stretches and lunges.
He wandered around to the back of the sleigh and started mumbling names and fossicking though a pile of presents for the one he was looking for.
“Mrs Clause said these were in order but I’ll be darned to know what her system is”, he grumbled as he pulled out a beautiful red and green present with a big red bow.
“Take five gang”, he said as he walked over to the chimney, climbed to its edge and jumped inside. He temporarily caught his belly on the edge, gave a wiggle, dislodged and disappeared into the house.
The reindeer took the opportunity to loosen ranks and Prancer started talking to Dancer about the latest episode of the Bold and the Beautiful. It was one of the downsides of Christmas; they had been so busy over the past few weeks it was hard to keep up with their soaps.
Santa popped back out of the chimney and landed with a perfect gymnast landing beside the sleigh. He gobbled up the last bit of a sausage in bread which had evidently been left for him, and washed it down with the rest of his beer “ah, the food is the best part”, he said with a sigh of satisfaction as he turfed the empty can over his shoulder and into the neighbour’s yard.
He took some carrots out of his pocket and threw them in front of the reindeers. Blitzen pushed forward and almost swallowed one whole.
While the other eight reindeer crunched on carrots Rudolph hanged back.
“What’s the matter Rudolph, are you not hungry?” Santa asked as he walked closer, “Are you tired? We only have 128 more countries to go, we are almost done”, he said cheerfully. Rudolph smiled and nodded his head.
Santa climbed back into his sleigh, pulled out his list and scanned it for names. He mumbled as he read the list carefully, before rolling it up and putting beside him.
He leaned forward and typed 106 Strawberry Lane into the computer GPS in front of him. The computer collected the data and created a map to his next destination.
“We can hear it beeping Santa”, groaned Comet, evidently quite irritated
“What?” said Santa, as he coughed to disguise the noise.
“We are reindeer we know the way, it’s darn right humiliating,” said Comet
Santa smiled. “I was checking for shortcuts, did you know that if he took the freeway we would save 7 minutes?” he said matter-of-factly.
Comet shook his head.
“Yeah and an extra $20 in tolls”, Comet grumbled. You see it had always been Comet’s job to chart the yearly Christmas course. He had been working for Santa a long time and knew all the best ways to fly and how to get there the quickest. He didn’t need any navigation system telling him what to do.
Santa checked his iPhone to see if Mrs. Clause had text. She hadn’t, but his mate Steve had submitted a scrabble word in their Words with Friends duel.
While the reindeer stood in position, ready for take-off Santa was pressing buttons, eventually the phone let off a triumphant beep.
“Yesss”, Santa whispered “66 points for taxi, put that in your back pocket Steve”.
With a nod from the fat man in red and a tug on the reins off they flew across the night skies. There was nothing much to do while they flew, Rudolph lead the way and had to watch out for anything in their path. He was a bit younger than the others and took his job very seriously, though there was nothing much to watch out for save a few stray birds. Dancer and Prancer gossiped about everyone they knew and what was happening at North Pole in the lead up to Christmas. The Yule Tide stress usually created the juiciest drama. Donna had recently had a birthday and received a new iPod and was listening to the Best of Madonna on repeat which was fine, only she had a terrible habit of singing over the music. Blitzen was located right in front of the sleigh and had shared a few of Santa’s beers. He and Santa had known each other the longest and by the end of the night would usually be singing Christmas carols in their sultry, deep baritones.
At the next house Rudolph once again stepped back as the others all ate the carrots and lapped up the bowl of water. Santa pulled the young deer aside
“What’s the matter Rudi?”
“Nothing sir, I’m just not that hungry. My mum cooked a roast before I left so I’m pret-ty stuffed”, he said as he rubbed his tummy.
“That was a long time ago, I can’t have you getting worn out we have a lot to do. Now I want you to have a little nosh”. Santa had recently taken to Yiddish slang.
According to his oft shared philosophical views, it was his way of bridging the cultural gap in making Christmas universal. It was his hope that he could visit the houses of little Jews and little Arabs and give them presents. Everybody no matter their faith could unite to celebrate “X-mas”, as it would be officially known in the postmodern, technological world of the future. Santa does have a tendency to go on tangents.
“Donna, if I see you eat one more thing I will call your fat supporter at Weight Watchers and tell them everything, don’t think I won’t”, Santa bellowed across the roof top without even turning or breaking his gaze with Rudolph. Donna guiltily dropped the old Toblerone she had found in the bottom of the sleigh and burst in to tears.
“It’s just that sometimes I feel so alone”, she wailed before collapsing in a heap on the roof top and sobbing.
“Oops”, Santa said, “women”.
He had managed to grab a carrot and handed it to Rudolph. He stood there while the deer sniffed at it. “I am not going to leave until you eat it”, Santa said matter-of-factly.
Embarrassed, Rudolph stepped awkwardly from side to side. “Ok, it’s just that carrots, carrots give me...” he hesitated out of embarrassment, “they give me... gas”.
“What?” said Santa a little taken aback.
“Gas, they make me gassy”.
Santa continued to look at Rudolph dumbfounded, like he was just, not quite, understanding.
“The fluffs”, Rudolph rephrased. Sensing Santa was not quite on the same page he continued, “The farts. The pop offs. Break wind. You know, play the butt trumpet. Carrots cause me to let fluffy off the chain and as I am the first in a line of 8 others and then your good self, Sir. I thought it would be polite if I declined the supper”.
“Nonsense”, Santa bellowed, “You’ll be fine, it’s a breezy night it will carry the smell away”
Rudolph reluctantly ate a carrot; he had forgotten how much he loved the crunchy orange root and quickly gobbled up the entire piece.
Santa patted him roughly on the head and returned to his sleigh, “We’re late, at this rate we will not be home before breakfast, and I’ve been promised blueberry pancakes so let’s haul ass”.
With a crack of the reins they flew high up into the skies and well above the rooftops. The few house lights sparkled from below. It was a pretty view and peaceful in the night skies especially when every now and then Santa would stop humming, talking or singing and doze off.
As Donna had not read the instructions to her iPod when her playlist ended so too did the high pitched squeaks of Like A Prayer. With no idea how to restart it the night sky was quiet. All of a sudden a rumble erupted across the skies shaking Santa from his quick powernap. He grumbled and fumbled and looked around to get his bearings. He checked his GPS and the weather hadn’t forecast for any thunder until they hit China.
The sound came again. Rudolph coughed at the same time.
“Rudi,” Santa shouted from the back of the pack, “Can you see anything up ahead? Storm clouds? “
“No, it’s pretty clear”, Rudolph shouted back, his voice getting carried in the wind
“If I get rained on you lot will be stuffed and mounted on my wall. This red suit is not colourfast, and I do not want to end up with pink furry trims, not so long after Mardi Gras”, Santa grunted as he pulled a plastic emergency poncho out of his glove box and put it on.
The rain never came but the rumbles across the sky continued. With each new burst the sleigh would jolt forward like it had been given a boost.
Another giant burst and this time a terrible smell wafted over the sleigh, causing the reindeer to panic slightly.
“What is that?” Rudolph could hear Comet shouting from behind him.
“Rudolph can you see anything ahead?” shouted Dancer.
With a surge of confidence Rudolph turned his head slightly “ah there’s a cheese factory up ahead”.
“Well that explains that”, he heard Prancer tell Dancer, “gruyere”.
The sky was lit up particularly bright, Rudloph’s nose was red but his whole face was glowing red which was illuminating the path.
Unfortunately the cheese factory smell lingered causing a bit of confusion as to why so many towns across the western outskirts of Moscow had cheese factories and why the hell were they making cheese in the middle of the night?
“I’m starving”, yelled Comet.
Glad for a subject change Rudolph nodded in agreement.
“The next place better not have milk, who the hell told these children reindeer drink milk, I mean hello, some of us are Lactose intolerant”, Comet continued to rant. “Is a nice glass of soy too much to ask….”
Once again the sky rumbled. Donna who was second in line started choking on the air and coughing. The sleigh jolted forward like a rocket and Blitzen spilt the eggnog he and Santa were having from a Thermos.
“Jesus Rudi, watch where you are going I almost spilt”.
“Sorry Santa must be turbulence”.
Embarrassed he looked back at Donna who had regained her composure.
“The air sure is stale tonight”, she shouted to him as she patted dry the spit that had erupted from her mouth during the coughing fit.
The sky ahead lit up even brighter again and Rudolph didn’t dare look back but focussed on the task ahead. He led the sleigh forward into the night, Blitzen and Santa had begun a duet of Santa Baby, Santa trying to emulate a Marilyn quality to his voice. By then it was Blitzen’s 4th eggnog and he was quietly sozzled. Donna had given the iPod the flick and was now just singing Vogue and doing the hand actions. Stranger still she had managed to find a gold cone bra mid-flight. Dancer and Prancer were back to bitching this time about the new Polar Bear in town, apparently walking the streets of the North Pole like she was all that and a bag of potato chips. They were pretty sure her white fur was nothing more than cheap hair plugs.
Another Christmas was nearly over. With the added turbo boosts they had managed to scrape 23 minutes off their time, a new Christmas record Santa attributed to his great navigation skills. Santa then threatened to replace all the reindeers with computers for next Christmas because as he put it, GPS navigation one – Comet the know-it-all reindeer – zero.
It was a raging success for Santa and his reindeer, especially his farting, red nosed one, who thanks to the sheer stupidity of his peers and the ability to blame Russian cheese factories, had managed to keep his secret another year, and contribute to a Christmas record which made him shout out with glee and go down in historrrrrry.