Once upon a time at the North Pole, a peculiar reindeer was born.
The reindeer’s parents named their child Rudolph because they forgot to think through names ahead of time and just kind of panicked, so now they were stuck with the dumb name.
Rudolph was not noticeably different than any of the other reindeer born that year. However, as he grew up, it became apparent that Rudolph seriously lacked some manners. It had been hard to tell when he was a baby reindeer because babies can’t control their manners.
When Rudolph started reindeer school, he excelled academically and was even the first in his class to learn how to fly. Unfortunately, Rudolph did terrible things like never thanked his teachers, talked openly about his antlers growing in (a.k.a. Reindeer puberty), peed in the snow and then covered it up so no one would be able to tell, and even ate mass amounts of Mexican food before sleigh practice so that all the reindeer downwind of him would suffer.
The reindeer at school gave him the nickname Rude-olph which, all things considered, is a terrible nickname phonetically speaking.
As the other reindeer began making fun of him, Rude-olph decided that it would probably be best if he ran away, so he did. And he didn’t even leave a note for hiss parents explaining his whereabouts. Rude.
Rude-olph embarked on his journey and, as he was heading toward the outskirts of the North Pole, he ran into (literally) a small elf. The elf’s name was Kirbie.
Kirbie explained that he had always wanted to be a gastroenterologist, but the other elves told him that no one was stressed enough in the North Pole to have digestive problems. Because Kirbie’s friends didn’t support his dream, he too decided to run away. He asked Rude-olph if he could join his journey. Rude-olph said no because Kirbie annoyed the crap out of him (but not literally because the reality was that Rude-olph was pretty constipated from being a jerk all the time).
And so, Rude-olph continued on his journey alone.
Next, he ran into a man named Cornwall. Cornwall was a professional dogsledder who was searching for the fountain of youth. Rude-olph thought that anyone looking for the fountain of youth in Antarctica was an idiot. So, when Cornwall asked if Rude-olph wanted to join his search, Rude-olph told him that Santa wasn’t real and left.
But the further Rude-olph got from the North Pole, the more unsure of himself he became.
Just as Rude-olph was second-guessing his decision to run away, he heard the roars of a terrifying snow monster! Rude-olph ran from the monster toward the sea, broke off an ice chunk, and floated toward the horizon. Then, Rude-olph fell asleep.
When he awoke, he found himself surrounded by piles and piles of clothes. This was weird.
Rude-olph got up and realized he was inside of a very large building. He wandered down the halls and it became apparent that Rude-olph was actually inside of a castle!
The frightened reindeer happened upon the throne room where the king– a very large dog wearing a sweater– was sitting. The king saw Rude-olph and signaled for him to come into the throne room.
Rude-olph did so, but didn’t bow for the king.
The king explained to Rude-olph that he had floated to the island of Misfitting Clothes over night, had been found, and was rescued.
Rude-olph didn’t thank the king or anything for saving him, which was typical.
The king further told Rude-olph that the island was dedicated to all of the clothes that children and adults alike had received from Santa, family, friends, and well-intentioned mother-in-laws during Christmas that just didn’t fit. So many people had received misfitting clothes, but didn’t want to insult their loved ones by returning the gifts, so just sent them to the island.
Rude-olph was bored of this story, so he left the palace and continued on his journey. He didn’t even ask the king how a giant dog in a sweater had become king of the Island of Misfitting Clothes. This was particularly rude, both to the dog who loved telling his backstory, and to those of you reading the story because it will nag you forever.
Day and night Rude-olph traveled, until the morning of Christmas Eve. That morning, Rude-olph awoke to the roaring of the monster again. But this time, it was too late! The monster snatched up Rude-olph and took the helpless reindeer back to his cave.
As Rude-olph struggled to escape, the monster said to him– (What? You just assumed the monster was too primitive to talk? Who’s the rude one here?)–
“Tiny reindeer! My name is the Abdominal Snowman. They call me abdominal because I’ve had a tummy ache for 45 years and that’s why I’m so cranky! Arggghh!!!”
This cleared a lot of things up for Rude-olph:
- For years, the reindeer had been calling this monster the Abominable Snowman.
- It made a lot of sense why this guy was roaring all the time. Tummy aches are the worst.
- Rude-olph now knew how he could get out of this cave.
“Mr. Snowman,” Rude-olph began, “I have a friend who can help you. He is a gastroenterologist and can assist with your tummy troubles.”
This was a breakthrough moment for Rude-olph because he had never referred to anyone as “Mr.” or “friend.” He had also never offered to help anyone ever, and never ever referred to stomach problems as “tummy troubles.”
The Abdominal Snowman was willing to try anything, so he followed Rude-olph across the tundra, over the sea, and to the North Pole.
Rude-olph found Kirbie exactly where he left him months ago. Kirbie had set up a campsite because he realized that soon, the elves might need a gastroenterologist and, when they did, he was going to be ready to help and also gloat in the process.
Kirbie had never treated a creature with quite so large a digestive system as the Abdominal Snowman, but after a few tests, Kirbie found that the snowman had an intolerance to dairy which made a lot of sense. For his entire life, the only thing the Abdominal Snowman drank was eggnog.
The Abdominal Snowman was cured just in time for Christmas!
When Rude-olph realized how good it felt to help someone, he knew the only thing left to do was to apologize to everyone he had been rude to for so many years.
He returned to Santa’s village and apologized to his friends for always farting in their faces, to his teachers for being disrespectful, and to Santa for always giving him a hard time about his weight.
Rude-olph– er, Rudolph– was forgiven by all.
However, there was a bigger crisis: Santa was looking at the radar and saw that there was wing-to-wing traffic all over the skies of the Eastern seaboard! They’d never deliver all the gifts in time!
Then, Santa remembered how pushy and rude Rudolph had been, and pushiness always helps when trying to navigate traffic. Santa looked at Rudolph and said,
“Rudolph with your terrible manners and mouth so loud, won’t you navigate my sleigh through this crowd?”
And Rudolph agreed to help.
All through the skies that night, Rudolph yelled and screamed and swore a little bit at planes and birds and even a fighter jet, but Santa eventually delivered all of the presents.
So, Rudolph and Santa and Kirbie and the Abdominal Snowman and presumably Cornwall (although no one ever really heard from him again) lived happily ever after.