Day 347: Running of the Reindeer

Why are there reindeer in my town? I don’t need to see an actual reindeer to feel Christmasy. I especially don’t need to see four of them chillin’ on the grassy knoll across the street from the fro-yo shop. No one wants to be reminded that reindeer are real – that instead of sweet little Donners and Blitzens, they’re enormous snout-breathing beasts poised to escape their enclosure and rampage the town.

If we found out that Santa was real, but was a giant arctic barbarian who, instead of a jolly “Ho Ho Ho,” bellowed wolf-toothed chants about whale blubber, we’d all agree to keep him in captivity and stick with the Santa image we’re used to. “Kids, this is the real Santa! No, you can’t sit on his lap, he’ll get confused and try to store you away as winter meat. I don’t know what he’s yelling honey, just keep your hands away from his face.”

We’re over compensating for our guilt about keeping up the Santa myth. “Sure, we’re lying about Santa, but look, reindeer are totally real. We weren’t lying about that. No, they can’t fly, but they’re incredibly dangerous and will kill you in seconds if they get loose. Why are you crying?”

There’s a guy with a horse trailer who drives four reindeer from town to town and lets them out so people can look at them and be slightly frightened.  Zoos have huge fences, moats, and sometimes plexiglass to protect us, but this guy just puts these huge beasts on leashes, throws some food on the ground and lets them hang out. We all assume he knows what he’s doing. Are there permits or licenses for this sort of thing, or can I just show up with a giraffe and be like, “Yo, I got a giraffe. Wanna check it out and stuff?”

It’s only a matter of time before he screws up and these reindeer run down the streets of a small town, chasing all the residents, and goring the slower and more daring ones. People will die, but maybe it will become a tradition of sorts. Each year, four reindeer will be set loose on the same small town on “Red Saturday” (the Saturday after Thanksgiving), marking the beginning of the holiday shopping season.

“Dude, I think I’m gonna get drunk enough to run with the reindeer this year.”

I'm a contributing writer to Parents Magazine, GQ, Psychology Today and some others. My book, "This is Ridiculous. This is Amazing: Parenthood in 71 Lists" is available here Look for two more books in 2015: "Must. Push. Buttons (Bloomsbury Kids), and an as-of-yet untitled memoir I’ve appeared on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham” and “Nick Mom’s Night Out." I live in New Jersey with my wife and two sons and enjoy making them laugh more than anyone else.

18 comments On Day 347: Running of the Reindeer

  • Wha? What do you mean Santa isn't real???

  • It could be used by inventive parents as a way to get their kids to behave, kind of like Elf on the Shelf, but far more sinister and with more disastrous consequences if the children do not obey.

    "Darling, please put your shoes on. Remember your brother Bobby? He wouldn't wear shoes last Thanksgiving so he had to run on Red Saturday. We all miss him. Do you want the same thing to happen to you?"

  • You need a syndicated column in national newspapers- you are way funnier than Dave Barry.

  • Well at least you aren't being over-dramatic.

    Can you share a pic of snout-breathing (what else would they breathe out of?) beasts on the grassy knoll by the book depository outside the fro-yo?

    I always thought that this was a photograph of an actual reindeer and now you are shattering my dreams.

    Can you imagine carrying all that weight on your head? It would be like walking around trying to balance a coffee-table on your forehead.

  • I'd try that. Seems a bit safer than running with the bulls, if there is only 4, and without the long flight.

Comments are closed.

Site Footer