The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Bob Huber 

Love, marriage and Santa's reindeer


January 15, 2005

It’s hard to let go of Christmas. Take for example a yuletide footnote I have in hand signed off by none other than the Alaska Department of Fish & Game. It has to do with love and marriage among Santa’s reindeer.

By the way, Alaskans call their reindeer “caribou,” although we know a reindeer when we see one. They’ve been on TV for years in holiday cartoons.

What the note says is this: Both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer, but in early December, when the rutting season is over — I love that term — the buck drops his antlers. The doe doesn’t drop hers until after she gives birth to baby deer in the spring.

What does that mean? Why does this call for media scrutiny? Does an asafetida bag really work? Keep your tinsel on, and I’ll tell you.

According to the report, all but one of Santa’s reindeer must be — FEMALES! That’s because they still have their antlers on Christmas Eve. They’re probably pregnant too! The exception, again, is Rudolph, who is without antlers, so he must be a buck.

All this plays the devil with the names of reindeer we’re familiar with in Christmas poems and songs, so I say let’s change them. We can always blame Alaska.

Thus, on behalf of truth, honor, and the American way, which are cornerstones of these columns, I’ve compiled a list of female names for Santa’s sleigh haulers. For instance: Instead of Donner, we’ll say “Donna.” Instead of Blitzen, we’ll use “Babs.”

I can hear Santa now as he sits on my rooftop. “On Donna, on Babs! Aw, c’mon, girls. I promise not to use the whip again.”

The remaining reindeer will be named Doris for Dasher, Dianne for Dancer, Patrice for Prancer, Vicky for Vixen, Cathy for Comet, and Aphrodite for Cupid. Rudolph’s name will remain Rudolph, of course.

All of which brings up the subject of love and marriage for reindeer and everyone else who’s interested in that quaint pastime. Deep in the dusty archives of my files I found a mountain of quotes from folks who are experts in love and marriage any time of the year, with or without antlers. They are as follows:

• If I was the best man at the wedding, why did she marry him? (Jerry Seinfeld)

• If love is the answer, could you rephrase the question? (Lily Tomlin)

• After 15 years of marriage, my wife wants to renew our vows. But I say, we got our toaster — let’s move on. (Robert G. Lee)

• No wife ever shot her husband while he was doing dishes. (Anonymous)

• My wife thinks I’m snoopy. Anyway, that’s what she writes in her secret diary. (Drake Sather)

• Marriage is like a violin — after the beautiful music is over, the strings are still attached. (Jacob Braude)

• What do you call a woman who knows where her husband is at all times? A

widow. (Anon)

• My wife is the most wonderful woman in the world, and that’s not just my

opinion — it’s hers too. (Anon)

• When the bride was asked, “Do you take this man for richer or poorer?” she replied, “Richer, please.” (Anon)

• A woman must wait motionless until she is wooed, like a spider waiting for the fly. (George Bernard Shaw)

• The man who boasts he never made a mistake is often married to a woman who did. (Anon)

• Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight. (Phyllis Diller)

• The difference between being married and being in prison is that in prison they let you play softball on weekends. (Bobby Kelton)

• Let me give you an idea how long they’ve been married. They met when the Cubs played in the World Series. (Jay Leno)

• I remember when I got married, even where I got married. But for the life of me, I can’t recall why. (Anon)

• Macho has little to do with mucho. (Zsa Zsa Gabor)

Bob Huber is a retired journalist living in Portales. He can be contacted at 356-3674.


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