Reindeer Exclusive

As told to Mike McLafferty

Photo Illustration by Marc L. Thomas

He ruined everything.

My life was perfect until he came along with that annoyingly useful red nose of his. As far as I’m concerned, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer has destroyed my life.

When Tallahassee Magazine approached me to get my viewpoint on being one of Santa’s main reindeer, it became an instant controversy around the North Pole. I can’t even begin to tell you how many anonymous threats I’ve gotten since I agreed to be interviewed. (I know it’s those pesky elves sending them. Haters.)

But that’s OK. It’s time the world knows the true story of their alleged Christmas “hero.”

Let me take you back to that legendary Christmas when the fog was so dense we couldn’t see through the night sky; the fateful evening when Santa decided to place Rudolph at the front of our sleigh to lead the way.

When the story is told, it’s never mentioned that this was supposed to be my first Christmas in the lead. After 25 consecutive Christmases riding behind Donner, I was finally getting my chance. (And believe me, riding behind Donner is no pleasant experience.) 

Everybody knows how this story plays out. Rudolph comes in, lights our way through the sky, saves Christmas, blah blah blah. But when we got back to the North Pole that night, everything changed.

As soon as we landed, the citizenry showered the shiny-nosed lamebrain with praise and endorsement offers while every fawn in the North Pole flocked to him for attention. The rest of us just sat in the background … completely ignored.

What’s up with that?

To be honest, one of the biggest perks of pulling that Christmas Eve all-nighter is that we’d get hit on by the hottest does in town! Granted, Vixen and I have been in a semi-committed relationship for the last 18 years (and no matter what she says, I don’t have issues … I just like to take things slow), but it’s still always nice to have the sweet young things smitten with you.

The next day, the whole town gathered to salute Rudolph with a giant parade. Hours later, the little glory hog still hadn’t made an appearance. I, unlike everyone else, wasn’t going to sit around and wait for him to honor us with his lateness, so I headed home.

As I opened the door to my newly remodeled, mid-century modern cave, there they were: Rudolph and Vixen, interlocking antlers! Right there on my brand new micro-plush IKEA sectional sofa! 

I was livid!

A tussle ensued. Vixen screamed for us to stop, as the two of us ferociously battled. Bites! Kicks! Head butts! It was like a scene out of a Jackie Chan movie. I had that red-nosed traitor pinned to the ground when his elf posse stormed in and tossed me out of my cave.

In the span of one day, Rudolph had managed to take my job, my doe and my crib. Things only got worse from there.

I began hitting the bottle pretty hard – eggnog for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I also started gambling. Bet every cent of my savings on silly reindeer games.

I knew my life had spiraled out of control once those incriminating photos of me with the Olsen twins hit the Web. My lawyer says I can’t discuss that night until the investigation is complete, but I will say I had no idea Mary Kate was packing heat in her Marc Jacobs clutch.

It was time for a change, so when the folks over at the Governor’s Square mall offered me a gig as the Holiday Reindeer in their annual Christmas tableau, I jumped at the opportunity. I can’t complain; I work about a month a year and spend the rest of my time lounging around the pool at Seminole Suites with my roomies, Dustin and Craig, two pre-med students at Florida State.

Maybe I should thank my nemesis; if he never got famous and destroyed my life in that icebox known as the North Pole, I would’ve never gotten the chance to come down to Tallahassee and start living la dolce vita.

So thank you, Rudolph. As you’re freezing your hooves off, I’m busy working on my tan and enjoying a mojito under the Florida sun. You’ll have to excuse me. Samantha the FSU cheerleader needs me to help her apply some sunscreen to her back. Vixen who?

Ahhh, the good life.

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