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the red-nosed reindeer
in a post-9/11 world

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, born simply Rudolph the Reindeer, was born in relative obscurity. Smaller than his peers and less athletic than most, Rudolph garnered very little attention from the other reindeer until puberty, when his nose took on a curious crimson coloration. He did his best to hide it, even from his parents. But like all secrets, Rudolph's nose stepped into the light. It began to emit a faint glow. The shoe polish wouldn't hide it's luminance and the taunting began. All the other reindeer began to taunt him, calling him names and barring him from any and all reindeer games, which revolve mostly around gambling and underage drinking.

Rudolph's parents took pity on their son and his plight. They spent thousands on hospitals and specialists. Few doctors would see the young reindeer. None would treat his symptoms. Most chalked it up to nuclear arms proliferation. Rudolph's mother nearly committed suicide when one suggested that the deformity might have sprung from her affinity for Chinese food and Twinkies during her pregnancy. The boy developed a speech impediment, often stuttering when faced with a stressful situation or public bathrooms.

It wasn't long before Rudolph's condition was reported on in the world's most popular medical journals. Professionals all over the world wondered at the mystery of the glowing red nose and its mysterious owner. The pentagon caught wind of Rudolph's enigmatic sniffer and his photo began to appear on lists in police stations and airports all over the nation.

Then, one foggy Christmas Eve, Rudolph was making his way back to the North Pole after visiting his sister in Chicago. He had been planning on taking the bus. But she, a normal reindeer with a normal nose and no knowledge of the special circumstances someone with a glowing red orb on their face might confront in the process of air travel, had insisted that he take a plane in order to reach the pole more expeditiously. Disarmed by her warmth and encouragement, Rudolph gave in. But as he stood in line at the security checkpoint, his antlers started to quake. He began to sweat. He could feel eyes on him from every direction. He wanted to run back to the bus station, but somehow, his feet felt glued to the floor. He was drawn toward the metal detector seemingly against his will. By the time he reached the security team, he'd gone numb. They asked questions that he didn't seem to hear. He stuttered something. The screening agents grew agitated. They asked their questions again and again, growing louder each time until they were shouting.

Suddenly, a shot rang out. Rudolph fell to the floor. The glow ebbed from his muzzle. And as he breathed his last, he looked down at a sight for which he had longed since standing in front of the bathroom mirror at the age of twelve: a wet, black, normal nose.

Santa sent an elf to the hardware store for one of those squad-car searchlights.

Merry Christmas, everybody.

4 Responses to “rudolph”

  1. # Anonymous bekah

    This is great. Merry Christmas!  

  2. # Blogger Chickie

    Merry Day After Christmas!

    And man, what a bummer about poor Rudolph.  

  3. # Blogger Jake

    Dear God. Probably the most awesome thing ever.  

  4. # Anonymous omg

    Good stuff, and fun reading.
    Happy New Year!  

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