Set ‘Em Up, Joe: The True Story of Rudolph

There’s been plenty of speculation over the decades as to the source of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer’s nice shiny red schnoz and most of it centers around some kind of lazy DNA. Thanks to 2009 being the last year of Rudolph’s legal suppression of the true story, this December it can finally be told in its entirety (or as much as we’re privy).

Originally meant to be published in the December 2010 edition of Stag Magazine, the mag’s previous demise has canceled this clause of the ‘Rudolph Contract’ leaving the story completely open to whomever has the gall to tell it; i.e. me.

I tell this tale not because I wish to crush the magic of the original telling (with the fog and the sleigh and this and that) but to present the enlightenment of truth and, truth, as they say, shall make you nuts. I mean, the fact that our youth glorifies those teenage miscreants who prance around in their underwear, use foul language and allow their hormones to run wild means the societal gloves are off and we’re (me) duty-bound to bust out Red Nose as well.

Rudolph at the barFirst off, the way the original “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” song was written caused a tremendous public relations emergency at the North Pole because there was a measure of ‘unwelcome’ detail as to Rudolph’s whereabouts and what exactly was the reason for his legendary nose. Santa eventually forced the song’s writer, Johnny Marks, to do some intensive editing and the results are the time-honored 1949 classic recorded by Gene Autry.

However, there remains a couple of clues buried in the song to lead one to the actual account:

As the song says, “all of the other reindeer, used to laugh and call him names. They never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games”. And why might that be? The song suggests that all the reindeer were either cruel or intolerant of others that didn’t look like themselves but we’re talking all the other reindeer and I don’t think there’s a person alive who believes that Santa’s beloved magical reindeer were bigots! No, sir. What the song fails to mention is Rudolph’s ‘time away’ as mother used to put it.

In more obvious terms, Rudolph was known to imbibe for periods up to 3 or 4 days at a time and these benders slowly brought about a typical rosacea of the nose, exacerbated by constant consumption of alcohol. Reindeer spokesman, Dasher, explained the feelings of most of the reindeer group although he was the only one to grant an interview:

“We’d be playing, you know, our reindeer games and having a great time and, bam, in swaggers old Rudolph, stinking like whatever gin joint he slept in the night before and looking to piss on our good time. Of course, we never let him play with us. Bad vibes, man, very bad vibes. And laugh at Rudolph? Hell no, we were too freaked out to laugh. The laughs were coming from the elves who thought we should sign away our privacy for a new reality show.”

And then one Christmas Eve, Santa and the team got into some heavy fog over Australia and the only thing Santa could barely even see was Rudolph’s glowing honker and so Mr. C took the lush from last in line to the leader of the pack and, suddenly, Rudolph’s billboard malady becomes an asset and the stuff of song.

The impact of Rudolph’s bad behavior is the same as in thousands of dysfunctional families across the land. Most of the family sidesteps the perpetrator, preferring to avoid confrontation while others, Santa in this case, find the member’s dysfunction useful while ignoring its destructive qualities. Sure, a couple of reindeer see it for what it is and say something but they’re up against an impenetrable wall of Holiday songs, coloring books and that Fred Astaire animated TV special.

So, have we learned anything here at all? Not much we couldn’t have guessed, as it turns out, other than the fact that there’s always some dumb shit who gets a free pass while making everybody else’s life miserable.

The trail of personalities making bad choices continues to be adored by our unenlightened youth: Britney, Lindsay, Paris…and now Rudolph.

What do we find out next? Peter Cottontail: hopping down the bunny trail or oddly jittery?

2 comments for “Set ‘Em Up, Joe: The True Story of Rudolph

  1. Erin Merritt
    December 10, 2010 at 5:22 am

    I’ve often thought we weren’t getting the whole story, and thank you for being brave enough to shed some light on this curious tale (tail). I love the picture, thanks to Tim, but had no idea that Rudolph was a smoker. This begs the question, “what else don’t we know about this shady character of song.”

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    Have an extremely merry Christmas, Freakmaster!

    • Freakmaster
      December 10, 2010 at 7:50 am

      Glad you like this little expose. As a culture it’s our responsibility to end the unwarranted adulation of these types and, just as a special gift to all, here’s new tag line on the piece…

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