Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer

To preface this piece, I know I've spoken out in the past about people starting to celebrate Christmas WAY too early. This year, in celebration of North Dakota seeing 40-degree temperatures, I merrily beat all others (distracted by Halloween) to the punch:

For some reason, as I awoke this morning, I had a lyric in my head that had no business being there.

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen,
Comet and Cupid and Donder and Blitzen
But, do you recall,
The most famous reindeer of all?

I know it's a kids' song, but there's a lot of story elements that simply don't add up here.

So Santa uses eight reindeer every time he goes a-sledding. Seems a bit old-fashioned, but since he's found a way to make 'em fly, I'll run with it.

Most of his travel takes place on Christmas Eve, as he goes out to distribute the fruits of his slave-dwarf cartel set up at the north pole. Now I'm no geographer, but it seems to me that during the winter, on the north pole, there would be precious little sunlight to see by whilst piloting a sleigh pulled by four pair of reindeer.

But up until the foggy evening upon which that song is based, he never needed to worry about visibility. Santa's not a young man. Most senior citizens that age that still drive do so at either incredibly slow rates of speed, or do so into large immobile objects with their left turn signal on.

So they've got this freaky extra reindeer hanging around with a radioactive snout, for which he'd been ridiculed about for his entire existence, and suddenly, with a little fog in the forecast, this guy is not only not a freak, but apparently qualified to head up an entire fleet of seasoned professionals, And without a single hour of simulation under his belt. Ask anybody in the Air Force what the chances of being deployed are.

When they added Freakshow to the reigns, how exactly did they configure the line? An odd number of reindeer pulling a fat man with every Christmas gift of the year simply will not work. You've either got a lopsided bunch, drawing a smallish circle in the frigid polar sky, or you've got the second row of pullers kicking Rudolph's hind hooves, preventing a takeoff altogether.

So they either added another reindeer, whom no one has ever heard of, or one of the first-stringers was dropped. Santa himself, I can imagine, is very set in his ways. He shouted the same thing at every takeoff, and refined it in such a way that it had a characteristic rhythm and rhyme to it, so he clearly wasn't about to add a ninth puller, and certainly not a tenth.

So who got the boot?

I'd hate to be in the stables that evening. Reindeer politics, just like reindeer games, are nothing I'd like to participate in, even at an observational level.

And here's the real kicker. Basically, Rudy got hired on as a glorified foglight, just like on your car. So what color is best to cut through fog? What color are your foglights? What color foglights have you seen while driving around?

In other words, higher-frequency colors. A dim, red light is not going to illuminate foggy conditions anymore than a first-generation Nokia mobile phone. At best, his nose should have been employed as a brake light, or as a signal to other airborne craft that there was something else occupying that airspace, as per FAA regulations.

At any rate, according to the song, it seems that there may be some question about the light-emitting properties of his snout in the first place. If you ever saw it, you might say it glows. If that schnozz isn't blinding, I'm certainly not employing it to ensure the safety of a one-night globetrotting expedition.

So the evening Santa invited Rudolph the Red-Nosed-Reindeer to guide is sleigh, he most certainly perished.

Santa Claus is dead.

So don't waste your time trying to celebrate what a neat guy Santa was. He was clearly an idiot, and Rudolph? Clearly guilty of reckless endangerment, manslaughter, and blatant irresponsibility.

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