Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was a pill-popping, einsteinium-producing poltergeist chockfull of so many platitudes, plastic surgery procedures, and prima donna practices that the decibel level of his ego and inconsiderateness went far beyond earbleeding.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was a noodle-brained non sequitur full of cortisone and conundrums; a logic-shrinking, Red Bull-drinking, half-baked hedonist, whose post-mortem love life was deader and more disinherited than dirty dishwater.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was a Berlitz-bombing, name-dropping, scrawny-assed can-can dancer, whose tawdry romance with the ghost of Marcel Marceau had all the mimes from Peoria to Outer Mongolia screaming their fool heads off.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was a gas-huffing, mescal-chugging Neolithic nose bleeder; a crackpot carpenter who, by day, made bivouacs from out-of-tune tubas and busted birdhouses, and by night dabbled in psychic correspondence courses on how to perform cesarean sections of the mind.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was a glue-sniffing, whiskey-swilling, over-beaten piñata so filled to the brim with pharmaceuticals and Munchausen syndrome that he couldn’t tell the truth from a toothpick.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was a dishonorably discharged Jell-O boned breakdancer; a spastic poodle of a groover, and drowsy duelist shot so full of lead that you could’ve used his head for a pencil.

Have a happy holiday season anyway, y’all!

And now, my fellow TNB’ers and adored readers, I’d be more than honored if you’d add your own Rudolph rant…

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RICH FERGUSON has performed nationally, and has shared the stage with Patti Smith, Wanda Coleman, Exene Cervenka, T.C. Boyle, Jerry Stahl, Bob Holman, Loudon Wainwright, Ozomatli, and many other esteemed poets and musicians. He has performed on The Tonight Show, at the Redcat Theater in Disney Hall, the New York City International Fringe Festival, the Bowery Poetry Club, South by Southwest, the Santa Cruz Poetry Festival, Stephen Elliott’s Rumpus, and with UK-based poetry collective One Taste. He is also a featured performer in the film, What About Me? (the sequel to the double Grammy-nominated film 1 Giant Leap), featuring Michael Stipe, Michael Franti, k.d. lang, Krishna Das, and others. He has been published in the LA TIMES, Opium Magazine, has been widely anthologized, spotlighted on PBS (Egg: The Art Show), and was a winner in Opium Magazine’s Literary Death Match, LA. His spoken word/music videos have been featured at poetry film festivals throughout the world. Ferguson is a Pushcart-nominated poet, and a poetry editor at The Nervous Breakdown. His poetry collection 8th & Agony has been published by L.A.’s Punk Hostage Press.

40 responses to “Raise a Mug of Holiday Cheer, My Friends, It’s Time For Another Rudolph Rant”

  1. Irene Zion (Lenore's Mom) says:

    As usual, Rich, I can HEAR you performing this as I read it, and as usual it was really fun to “hear.”
    I am extremely impressed by your marvelous collection of Rudolph memorabilia!

  2. Versetrane says:

    A very interesting rant about Rudolph. I don’t know if you want to read this to kids, though.

    But good job, Rich!

  3. Charming, what a wonderful way to wake up. With a big smile and a cesarean of the mind.

    Enjoy the holidays and don’t let that crazy-ass reindeer muck up your lawn.

  4. zoe b says:

    ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. bliss.

    Rudolph is a misunderstood, insipid, ingratiating twat. He sat on my presents last year and squashed a perfect vintage George Nelson lamp. I will never forgive him.

    your card is hanging from one of the boughs of my homemade cardboard Christmas tree. pride of place.

  5. Matt says:

    Nice one, Rich.

    Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was a tinkertown toy concocted by mad men with sleek suits and coke noses, just another manufactured zeitgeist deishned to sell-sell-sell. Grown too fat and bloated to represent the glamour of consumer America, Rudolph was eventually shot from a helicopter by a former Alaskan governor and eaten.

  6. Amanda says:

    Pfff. Rudolf–yesterday’s news. Everyone knows the best reindeer was Olive.

  7. Todd Zuniga says:

    As the holder of only one of these physical cards, all I can say is: the world should now aspire to have the entire set! These are fantastic.

  8. Zara Potts says:

    Rudolph was an audience-eating show pony, a name-in-lights attention guzzler, a coin-operated sequined dazzled ringmaster who made the other reindeer take psychodrama classes.

    But you, Rich Ferguson are a dream-making, life giving, sweet talking, laugh a minute, gifter of words.
    Merry Christmas xxx

  9. Stefan Kiesbye says:

    Merry Christmas, you belligerent teddy-bear of a man!

  10. Autumn says:

    I don’t know what potion I’d have to ingest to be able to sling word-play like you, pal, but I definitely want some!

    And I love the card. It’s on the wall at work, along with a lot of pictures of foxes, bookmarks from Stephane Roux, and a sign that has a lurching zombie on it and the warning to fellow co-workers who ask stupid questions: If You Aren’t Going to Use Your Brain, Then I Will be Forced to Eat it!

    Happy Holidays!


  11. Greg Olear says:

    Rudolph, schmudolph. It’s that prick Prancer that gives me fits!

  12. Don Mitchell says:

    Here’s a positive sign: some time ago, the Kenyan government renamed Lake Rudolph to Lake Turkana.

    I used to tell my students that the Kenyans grew weary of having their famous* lake named after a reindeer.

    Some believed me.

    *totally killer** because it’s a spectacular hominid fossil site.

    **I only do this because my comment follows Greg’s.

  13. Renee Thompson says:

    Rudi, I love your pencil head. Your penchant for name-dropping, your red nose, your Red-bull drinking, your busted birdhouses. Have your people call my people and we’ll do cake tomorrow.

  14. This is one of the most awesome things I’ve ever read. And the pictures too…

    The last one should be an album cover.

  15. Chris says:

    rudolph was a scapegoat for all of the other reindeers failings
    he made his way to fame the hard way
    by taking the other path, skipping classes, whole years
    he knew he be needed when the hard job came

  16. You’ve got Rudolph’s number. I have always been weary of that boozy reindeer.

  17. The BroApp says:

    Rich, Tthere’s this woman who put two of those ears and one of those red noses that they are selling at automotive stores this year. She’saffixed them to the recommend places on her Hummer. She’s demanding I give up your address. And I don’t think she’s fooling around. – John Evan Frook

  18. Hi All:

    Thanks so much for the wonderful comments, and Rudolph rants. You’re such good sports.

    And you know what? Rudolph should consider himself lucky that we’re only slinging words his way. Earlier, while at the supermarket, I saw on the cover of the Weekly World News that Sarah Palin has Rudolph in her freezer.

    I’d say compared to that he got off hella easy with us.

  19. Jovanka says:

    This is pretty darned fabulous. It deserves printing on the inside of a Christmas card. Seriously, I would buy 10 boxes of them. (Especially if they came with envelopes – that’s always handy).



  20. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was a high-stepping interior design guru who shucked his sudoko suit like an idiot savant’s idiot servant and set his feet to marching down the road to professional magicianship, not caring whose necks he had to stomp on headlong along the long way to the top – because he wanted to rock and roll.

    It’s a very Rich Ferguson Christmas, amigo. The best kind.

  21. Ducky says:

    No love for the misfits here, eh?

    I love Rudolph.

    And his shiny nose.

    And you, too, Rich.

    Happy holidays.

  22. Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer is the best scapegoat of all time.

    He’s a target for all our year’s woes. Thanks Rich. I was hoping you would post a new one (and rip Rudolph a new one).

    • Hey Nick:

      In regards to posting a new one today, or the next day, well, I think that might be a little overkill on my part. I think Rudolph and TNB readers get the idea–I love to bag on that red-nosed reindeer. But like I said yesterday, he should count his blessings. At least I’m not Sarah Palin, keeping him stuffed in my freezer, ready to serve up hot and fresh on Christmas day.

      Peace to you and yours, my brother.

  23. Neal Pollack says:

    Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer was a closeted homosexual with a self-hatred so deeply internalized that he voted against his own best interests time and again, while late at night he participated in acts of savage depravity that went against the laws of physics, much less civil society. It was almost like he wanted to get caught.

  24. John P says:

    Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer is a Dan Brown reading conspiracy theorist living in a concrete bunker in northern Saskatchewan, living on canned beans and bologna, biding his time and honing his antlers until the day that Santa finally lets down his guard. Then he’ll take care of the big red guy, just like he took care of Jesus.

  25. Jon says:

    OK, let’s give this a shot.

    Rudolph distilled the Christmas spirit into a tonic that was later dried and put in pill form, then subsequently crushed by a nickel and snorted through a rolled up $500 Monopoly bill. It’s this spirit that sustains him on his long and arduous journey around the great planet known as the USA, aiding in the delivery of film merchandising about underage sexually active vampires and werewolves and the little girls who love them. The sad thing is, he could have saved a lot of money by switching to Geico.

  26. Cesar Palacios says:

    Rudolph the red nosed reindeer was a Proust-reading, tap water drinking fan of Gulliver’s Travels but not a Modest Proposal; who couldn’t go to sleep at night because of his bright shiny nose thus he had time to read Swann’s Way and even finish Within a Budding Grove; a great feat for a reindeer who just a few months ago could only say: “Pere Noel”

    Happy Holidays Rich!!

    • Thanks, Cesar. You, too, my friend. Also, I wonder if Rudolph was drinking that LAUSD classroom tap water. If so, I hope the elves flushed the lines first. Otherwise, he’s a goner.

  27. Jim Simpson says:

    I won’t even attempt a Rudolph rant. You’re the master, and I’d even say you glow.

  28. mende smith says:

    Rudolf is seventy years old this Christmas…he’s bound to be a little of this and alotta that.

  29. Mikey says:

    Yes! Merry Christmas Rich, impeccable this year. Loved it lol still laughing. Cesarean sections of the mind. Brilliant man 🙂

  30. 1159 says:

    Rudolf that red-nosed
    kept in a side pen
    and fed sawdust
    for breakfast
    Will Sarah McLachlan
    sing for you?
    Santa’s whip
    Back to your cage
    Randolf or Rudy
    nobody gives
    a damn
    bind your poor hooves
    you slave deer of the night
    you annual trick pony
    sniffing and huffing
    anything to get through
    the night
    lay down and sleep
    and dream of no
    of no red nose
    where reindeer
    run free

  31. Marni Grossman says:

    But what, pray tell, is Dominick the Christmas donkey?

  32. Erika Rae says:

    I am a fan of the Rudolph Rant. Nothing made my holidays more special than this. Nope, nothing.

    Does that first reindeer have snakeskin antlers?

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