Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was a plutonium-toting, off-key singing tailgater; a rabble-rousing, Scrabble-nabber so high on grain alcohol and greenhouses gasses that he couldn’t even parkour his way across a simple thought.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was a Beethoven-brawling humbug artist; a party-crashing, birdhouse-smashing, foul-breathed barfly, who was continually sucking all the fun out of life through his satanic sippy straw.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was a hazardous waste-dumping demagogue pumped so full of bad feng shui and Demerol that he couldn’t even tell the difference between a faucet leak and WikiLeaks.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was a gas-huffing, pill-popping double-crossing flim-flammer; a hammer-wielding, waitress-hating harbinger of hangovers and halitosis, who’d rather spend his time tipping over cows than learning the Power of Now.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was a karma-bashing, gun-toting, fully bloated bad tattoo artist that farted at weddings and funerals, and was constantly thinking of new ways to harsh your high while Jimi Hendrix was trying to kiss your sky.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was a half-hearted, hazardous waste-dumping demagogue; a mescal-chugging, glue-sniffing gymnast that couldn’t touch his toes even if they were handed to him, or pole vault the tiny period at the end of this sentence.


Happy Holidays, Everyone!

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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.

52 responses to “Raise A Mug of Holiday Cheer: It’s Time For Another Rudolph Rant…”

  1. Don Mitchell says:

    Yeah, and not only that, they named a lake in Kenya after him, back when he was popular, and then changed its name when the word got out about what a scumbag he was.

    That’s a paleoanthropological insult and its solution is left to the student.

    That pooch picture is hilarious.

  2. Lisa Rae Cunningham says:

    Rich Ferguson: Only you.
    There’s this great record store in Atlanta I used to frequent, it’s called Criminal Records.
    My son had his picture taken their with Asshole Santa and his derelict elves.
    Your Rudolph really would’ve sealed it.

  3. Joe Daly says:


    This has an unchartable level of awesomeness. And truth.

    Having had the privilege of seeing you perform live, I could hear you shouting these new holiday axioms in your funk-dipped meter, arms frenzied and hat in halo form.

    Pure gold.

  4. chingpea says:

    Rich – Your words are always genius! Happy Holidays to you…

  5. pixy says:

    how very “blazing saddles” of you.

    • You know something, Pixy, I’ve had a lot of people say a lot of different things to me over the years. But never, “How very blazing saddles of you.”

      Hella cool, my dear. Hella cool.

      Happy Holidays.

      • pixy says:

        well, “blazing saddles” is only the best movie ever made. it’s cheeky and perfect. i’ve just now made it a goal in my life to trace at least one thing back to that movie every day, for it will bring a silly grin to my face when i do.

        i’ve started reading your stuff back to front and i totally dig it so far, but i’m sure i will have more words when i’m done.

        ps – “hella”? that’s wicked awesome!

  6. Slade Ham says:

    Some nights I feel just like your Rudolph. Red nose and all…

    I dig your words, man. Every fucking time.

    Magician, you are.

    Happy holidays back ‘atcha brother.

  7. Zara Potts says:

    Rich.. your words could light up every Christmas tree this side of the world.

    Your Rudolph rant has taken pride of place in my house.

    You are magic, my dear, just magic.

  8. Simon Smithson says:

    Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was a matchstick-splitting, mathematics-spewing, mistletoe-scratching mothersucker; a cold wind from the North Pole who wound his kills with Polish twine.

  9. D.R. Haney says:

    One would assume, Rich, that your position on the other reindeer who used to laugh and call Rudolph names, forbidding him to play reindeer games, were in the right. But they were all apparently obsessed with looks. Surely that couldn’t be true of you.

    • Definitely not true of me in that regard, Duke. This has nothing to do with looks. My grudge with Rudolph goes back to when I once lent him my car for a date. He was drunk at the time. But he swore everything would be fine. Especially since he had that red nose. Told me he’d guide my car safely through the night and get it back to me safely. Well, of course he crashed it. Ran right off the 5 Freeway near Bakersfield and took down a herd of innocent cows as well. Bastard.

  10. Dana says:

    Tell it brother Rich!

  11. Richard Cox says:

    I saw Howl this past weekend, so when I first read this I imagined the voice of Allen Ginsburg as played by James Franco. Then I went back and watched your Judgmental Rushing-to-Conclusions Cashier video and re-read this piece with your powerful delivery in mind.

    Nice work, Rich. Merry holidays!

  12. jmblaine says:

    When Blitzen
    & I used to party
    she would totally
    go off on that
    no-talent ball-hogger

  13. Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer was a dashing dancer and a prancing vixen; a comatose cupid and a dunder-headed, blintze-stuffed outcast from the wrong side of the sleigh tracks in the snow.

  14. Erika Rae says:

    I really like the “satanic sippy straw”. I think I found one of these in the kids’ drawer last week. It had somehow escaped washing and was clogged with month old milk. It gives me comfort, somehow, to think of Rudolph sucking on one of these. The little shithead.

    • You’re too funny, Erika. Oh, you know, I was actually thinking about you recently. I saw a children’s book inspired by Bruce Lee entitled Be Like Water. Have you heard of it?

  15. When my daughter was four, she was so pleased to be able to write a note to leave for Santa and Rudolph with their cookies and milk, but she wrote “Satan and Adolph.” Maybe kids are more intuitive than we give them credit for ;).

    This was great fun. Happy holidays to you!

    • “Satan and Adolph.” That’s too hilarious, Cynthia. And yes, you’re right…kids are definitely intuitive. Especially when it comes to sneaky reindeer. Happy holidays to you, my dear.

  16. This line (“Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was a gas-huffing, pill-popping double-crossing flim-flammer”) accurately describes my companion Rudolph “Paula Abdul” the Red-Nosed Reindeer at my company’s annual Christmas party. I was Frosty “Randy Jackson” the Snowman. Our other sidekick judge was Ebenezer “Simon Cowell” Scrooge. While our co-workers sang various renditions of Christmas carols, we judged them.

    Merry Christmas Rich!

  17. Gloria says:

    I finally read this, Rich. And what a perfect time to do so – when, on Christmas Day, there was a loud bang and then, suddenly, all of the power went off in the whole neighborhood. So now, I sit here in a half-lit room with the half-assed sun allowing me to see my keystrokes, typing on my laptop whose battery will soon be dead, listening to my sons play their new gaming systems that their dad bought them (whose batteries will, also, be dead soon – though not soon enough), and looking for someone to blame.

    I blame Rudolph.

    Fuck you, Rudolph.

    BUT, merry Christmas to you, Rich Ferguson.

  18. Amanda says:


    I was thinking of your Rudolf rant as I opened my Xmas gift from my two-year old nephew last Saturday night. It was a tiny stuffed Rudolf like the guy in the movie with the little marionettes. Only, his face is stitched funny and it looks like he’s scoffing at everyone in sight…my brother explained that my nephew had seen this toy, this particular one and could be persuaded to select no other; THIS was the one for me.

    And, we agreed that after a childhood of bullying, belittling, and being left out, it’s more likely Rudolf would have matured into a rotten little fucker who kicked snow at his sleigh-drawing colleagues and told them all to flip off, rather than a generous and dutiful brown-noser (with a red nose, of course). So, we feel like the toy Rodolf is really the REAL one…heh…

  19. Good or bad spelling, Amanda, I loved your comment. Also, I loved how you spelled Rudolph the first time, “Rudolf.” Kinda like “Adolf.” So you see, if nothing else, at least your sense of grammar knew that reindeer was an evil little shit.

  20. Judy Prince says:

    I so want the Rudolph in the first photo, Rich! How could he ever be a bad Rudolph?! Oh no, my dear Rich, he’s a doodle-eyed, foodie-pied, sirloin-sniffin, kidney-clippin, mint-chippin, Santa-clawed champ! He’s Roooooooo-DOLPH! Yeah!

  21. sheree says:

    “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was a karma-bashing, gun-toting, fully bloated bad tattoo artist that farted at weddings and funerals, and was constantly thinking of new ways to harsh your high while Jimi Hendrix was trying to kiss your sky”.

    That made me laugh like a fool. Your scarf is ready to be mailed to you after the first of the year. I hope you don’t mind that I used Jimi Hendrix face for the moon on your scarf. Thanks again for the great cd of music you sent me. Cheers to a brilliant new year.

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