Lighter Side
December 28th, 1998

Darnit, Santa and Rudolph

A Darnit Stammer Adventure

By Al Campbell

It was the day before Christmas and Santa was reclined on the sofa of a psychiatrist. Obviously disturbed, he shook his head and started a story that shocked even the doctor who was listening to the tale.

"This morning I picked up the sleigh after its annual tune up and decided to take it for a test drive. The reindeer (I like to call them "the boys", sounds more personal), were more than ready to get some fresh air too. After all, except for a few trips to the polar grocery store, they hadn't been out much since last Christmas. Rudolph was the most excited of all.

We cruised south, gaining a feel for the wind currents and just enjoying a ride in the daylight. Since our one major trip each year is made at night, it was a special treat to see the fields and forests covered with snow. Just a delightful ride.

Somewhere over the Dakotas, Dasher and Comet decided they needed to take a nature break. That was fine with me. Stretching my legs on new soil would be a special treat too. I don't often get a chance to walk the countryside anywhere except here at the North Pole. Actually, the thought of a quiet stroll in the pines of the Black Hills seemed like a perfect way to start the biggest day of the year for me and the boys.

I noticed a small, secluded meadow hidden in the trees far from any town, and decided that would be a good place to take a break. We circled the meadow, looking to make sure nobody was around, then landed near the trees. As an extra precaution, I had the boys pull the sleigh back into the woods so nobody could see it if they wandered by.

We hadn't gone twenty paces into the woods when an arrow flew right under Rudolph. It was so close, the feathers grazed his belly. Rudolph was so surprised, he stumbled and fell flat on his back. The rest of the boys started pulling backward on the harness, trying to drag Rudolph out of harm's way.

Rudolph was kicking in the air, trying to regain his footing, the other boys were dragging Rudolph backward and I was looking for an idiot with a bow when we heard a whoop coming from the trees. A voice in the trees was yelling 'I got him! Good Golly Almighty, I got me the biggest deer in South Dakota. The guys at work ain't gonna believe this one. Yippee, I bagged me a real trophy this time!'

That's when I lost it doc, I met that guy at the edge of a tree with the biggest stick I could find. The thump on the head knocked him out. I grabbed his bow and broke it into a dozen pieces, bent all his arrows in half, and gave him a quick kick in the ribs. The bad thing is, he got a good look at me before I hit him. That might ruin my image.

By that time the boys had regained their composure and were signaling to me that it was time to go before anyone else decided to put one of them in the freezer. As a parting gesture, Rudolph led the rest of the boys right over the top of that guy. He was just getting back on his feet when they bowled him over again."

Somewhere in South Dakota, Darnit Stammer was laying on a hospital bed relaying his story to a policeman while a doctor attended to his wounds. The policeman couldn't believe the story he was hearing.

"Well officer, it were like this. I had the day off'n work, so I decided to try a little archery huntin' with my new bow-n-arrows the wifey gave me fer Christmas. I twisted her arm a bit to give 'em to me a little early so's I could use 'em today.

I found me a secluded meadow in the trees far away from any town, an' set my tree stand up in the woods. I han't been sittin there an hour when I heard bells. I was lookin' fer where the bells was ringin' when I caught a motion outa the corner of my eye.

There, walkin' through th' trees was the biggest gol-danged buck I ever did see. It had one'a them bright red radio collar things around its neck, but thet don't make it illegal or nuthin' to shoot it. Right behind him were seven other big bucks with radio collars too, but I chose the first one 'cause he had a big, red nose. Musta been 'cause of the cold his nose was so red.

I shot an arrow at him with one of them new expandin' broadheads. They's s'pose ta do a better job on deer. Anyways, thet deer, the one with the red nose, fell down an' started kickin' in the air.

I nearly broked my dang neck gettin' outa the tree stand so's I could go see thet deer. I were just sure I had me the biggest gol-dang deer in South Dakota. I was whoopin' an' hollerin' all the way. Thet deer was still layin' on the ground with his feet in th' air kickin' around.

'Bout thet time, some Harley biker dude with white hair an' a bushy white beard stepped outa behind a tree and whopped me in th' head with a stick. I seen stars and then I went out. Funny thing 'bout thet Harley biker dude, he were wearin' red flannel pajamys an' a funny red hat with a white dingle ball on it, not th' black leather all bikers usually wear.

I don't know how long I were out, but 'bout th' time I were comin' back round, the whole herd a' deer runned right over top-a me. Thet Harley biker dude with the red flannel pajamys were right behind 'em with a snowmobile, an' he runned right over me too.

Officer, I want you ta find thet biker dude an' charge him with assult and fer breakin' my bow into a hunnert pieces an' bendin' all my arrows. When you ketch him, see if'n he stole my deer. I know I got 'im, but he were gone when I recovered from th' beatin' I took."

Back at the North Pole, Santa was finishing his story.

"Well, doc, that's about all there is to it. I'm worried that the stress of this job is finally getting to me. I've never attacked anyone in my life, before today. Of course, no one's ever tried to kill Rudolph before either. Do you think I need a vacation? You know, all the children of the world depend on me this one day of the year.

Oh, and one more thing, that fool with the bow kept yelling something about a Harley, leather jackets and flannel pajamas. If he thinks he's getting any of those for Christmas after he tried to kill Rudolph, he's crazy!" ~ Al Campbell

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