I’ve been listening to a lot of Christmas music lately. Late last night, I was driving home and Dean Martin’s “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” came on the radio and I had to turn it off. Don’t get me wrong, I love Dean Martin’s music, but I despise his version of “Rudolph.” It’s all kinds of wrong. At one point, Santa starts speaking some sort of English/German hybrid. He’s all, “Rudolph mith your nose so bright … Won’t you guide mein sleigh tonight?” OK. I get it. His name is Santa Claus. He’s German. I just don’t think Kris Kringle should sound like a bad guy from an episode of “Hogan’s Heroes.”
At one point, the velvet-voiced crooner calls him “Rudy, the Red-Beaked Reindeer.” Those aren’t the words! He’s making them up as he goes along.
When did some Italian singer get so cozy with Rudolph that he can start calling him Rudy? And if the other reindeer are laughing and making fun of Rudolph, why is Dean Martin calling him “a red-beaked reindeer” after he’s just saved Christmas! Some bullies just can’t quit mocking their victims. I heard Dean Martin was even sending Rudolph threatening messages on Facebook. They were going to meet after Reindeer Flying School at 3 p.m. and settle it on the playground.
Actually, every version of “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” bothers me. Here’s why: Rudolph is a freak. And I am sad for him. “They don’t let him play in any Reindeer Games.” That’s a shame. He was really good at Parcheesi, which is still a really popular game with reindeer, even though most humans now prefer Scattegories.
“They laugh and call him names.” I think those other reindeer need to hear some sort of anti-bullying message.
Those reindeer are vicious. I also hear they make fun of Vixen all the time, too. It’s rumored that Vixen really lives up to her name, if you know what I mean. She’s been with Comet, Cupid and Blitzen. It wasn’t Blitzen’s fault, he was drunk. Blitzen lives up to his name, too.
I have been picturing legendary comic book writer Stan Lee writing “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” The story is right up his alley: “Mutant reindeer saves Christmas.”
It goes something like this: “In a world that fears and hates him, one tiny reindeer will use a genetic curse, his bulbous, glowing nose, to save Christmas from a terrifying fog that has spread – wait for it – all over the world!”
Next week, I will deconstruct “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” It’s my favorite Christmas song. Ironically, the song never actually mentions Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanza. It’s really just about winter. It’s really just about a man trying to persuade a woman to … um … sleep over. In an essay titled, “Say, what’s in this drink?” I will discuss my theory that the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is actually about date rape.
Maybe I need to stop listening to Christmas songs before I ruin the holidays for everyone.