That foggy Christmas Eve, the mood was pretty grim. No one wanted to go into that fog — do you know how many mythological creatures die in weather-related accidents each year? It was getting to the point where we were like, “Are we really gonna do this?” It just seemed stupid. It’s not even like Jesus cares about his birthday, you know? It’s just a PR thing, really, and it’s even, like, quasi-pagan. I’m not saying I don’t like it. I love it. I love children, and I just love getting out of the fucking North Pole once in a while. But we were just like, This is Santa’s thing, but we’re the ones who are up front when there’s a crash, you know? And the mood was just — like I said — grim, and all these tensions were coming out… It’s funny, because I was thinking about it a long time later. I mean, sometimes time passes and you get a little perspective, you know what I mean? And I was thinking it’s kind of funny that Rudolph started out as kind of like this guy we’d made into this “outsider” exactly because of the tensions the fog was bringing out into the open. I mean, we probably felt kind of powerless and like we couldn’t really have any sort of say in how Christmas was run, or how we were treated — not that Santa’s like this tyrant or anything, I’m not saying that. But I think we all felt just like we didn’t have any ownership, you know what I mean? And I think that picking on Rudolph was probably our way of dealing with that. But then it’s funny, because then Santa comes into the stable and he’s like, “Rudolph, with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?” And Rudolph’s like, “Yeah, sure!” And we just all suddenly felt like, OK, this is good, we’re going back to work, things are back to normal again, but at the same time it’s like, OK, Rudolph’s kind of cool now, I guess. Actually, we still kind of say things about him a lot, behind his back. Because he’s just… I don’t know, he’s just kind of — I don’t know, bitter or something. Kind of makes me think of Doctor Octopus, actually, like a mad scientist or something. But we respect him now a lot more, I’d say, or we just kind of acknowledge that he’s got this talent or power or whatever you want to call it, not to mention he’s real famous now, and I mean justifiably so. I mean, he really stepped up that night and saved our asses, let’s face it. And it’s like, OK, he’s still kind of weird or whatever, but he’s, you know, kind of cool in his own way. I don’t know, maybe we’re just immature. Or maybe you just have to always have that outsider — I don’t know.
MCSWEENEY'S QUARTERLY SUBSCRIPTIONS
“An enduring literary presence.”—Chicago Tribune
“Brilliant and always surprising.”—Detroit Free Press
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