Sunday, December 13, 2009


On Christmas Day, 1993, I received a gift from my niece, Shannon, who was then just four or five years old. My Sister had Shannon dictate the story of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (from her little perspective), which my Sis wrote in a handmade book of cardboard tied together with ribbons, and then Shannon illustrated it. Well, this story has since grown into a McCarthy Family classic.

At some point on Christmas Eve, after we have all played the 'It's A Wonderful Life' Triva Game and everyone's bleeding has stopped, we all gather together, usually around the Christmas Tree, and brother Napoleon reads Shannon's story. It's my book, damn it, but Nappy insists he gets to read it. And he has done so for so many Christmas Eves that to change it now would be to upset the Traditional Applecart. Mustn't screw with tradition! (Besides, Nappy is one of the toughest men on the planet and he would kick the crap outta me.) And every December 24th, when Nappy reads the book, Shannon gets all embarrassed. Personally, I think all the metal rods and rings sticking out of her (follower's) face is far more embarrassing than anything in the book, but maybe that's just me.

Anyone familiar with the 1964 Rankin-Bass animated television special 'Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer' will surely notice that Shannon has drawn heavily from it in telling her tale. But at times, she looks elsewhere; in one place she borrows the term "street rat" from Disney's movie 'Aladdin', which was very popular at that time. And then later, she unplugs the story from all television shows and movies when from out of nowhere, she introduces these malevolent scissors, which threatens to turn the entire story into a bad LSD trip. But fortunately, however, she somehow manages to rein it all back in again and provide us with a happy ending. I also appreciate how Shannon occasionally restates certain ideas just to make sure that the reader hasn't missed them.

So, sit back now with a nice cup of hot chocolate or a glass of Sailor Yoey O'Dogherty's 130 proof South Pacific Raping And Pillaging Spiced Rum, and enjoy this McCarthy Family classic:

by Shannon

Once upon a time, it was a beautiful morning.
Rudolph woke up that morning.

He met Clairesse.
They both ate too many breakfasts.
Their tummies hurt.
They had stomach aches.

They joined the reindeer games,
but they laughed and called them names.
Rudolph said, "Stop calling me names."

But they all cheered and laughed at him.
They kept doing it and called them names.

They called him "Donner" and "Blickson"
and "Street Rat" and "Santa"
and "Dumb Guy" and "Dumb Rudolph."
Poor Rudolph, he had to go home and never
come back to the reindeer games again.

He sat next to a Christmas tree
and out of the snow there were berries and leaves.
A face sticked out and it reminded him of Herbie,
and it was Herbie.

Herbie said, "Is this your bank?"
And he said, "Uh-uh."
"It's not your snow bank?" said Herbie.

The Snow Monster came and he was horrible.
He hated everything to do with Christmas.
The Monster started grabbing them
but they got away over a gate.

They tripped over a tree branch.
Rudolph jumped over it before he got cut by The Scissors.
The Scissors went "Snip, Snip, Snip."

Santa came and said,
"Herbie, you're supposed to be making toys."
He snapped at him and sent him to his work.
His leg was hurt and he couldn't sit down.
He had to walk on one foot.
A storm came and blew the snow out of the North Pole.

Rudolph sent Herbie to the hospital
and ripped a Band-Aid off and put it on him.
He went to the store for medicine
and made Herbie all better.
And they lived happily ever after.

The End

Classic stuffs, sez I. Hope ya dug it, too.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy
Author Shannon's Uncle


arlee bird said...

That's some fun family reminiscing there. Judging from the story content sounds like Shannon was thinking about bizarre piercings even as a child. Maybe I'm not reading this right but what did you mean by: "sticking out of her (follower's) face". I don't understand (follower's).

This sounds like a script from a David Lynch Christmas movie.


Stephen T. McCarthy said...

rLEE-b ~
I only meant that with all the ridiculous piercings, she has the face of a typical "Follower" in 2009.

~ "Lonesome Dogg" McME

arlee bird said...

Oh yes, I remember that one. A bit of insider lingo.


mousiemarc said...

That is some funny stuff brer. Oh, and I agree I too would be more embarrassed about the all the rings and such coming from ones face. In time she will be just as embarrassed by that. Trust me on that one. With teenagers you have to understand a few things. 1) They at times make sense, 2) This is what makes them the most dangerous.

Having raised my wifes teenage nephew for three and a half years I learned this with alarming regularity. Teens are still children. Just more manipulative, cunning, and more untrustworthy than most two year olds. Some have it together. Most won't have it together until at least 21 if ever.

The story is cute. I liked it... I'm sure your niece will appreciate it in the future. By that time she'll be embarrassed at all those pictures of her as a teen. Believe me I know.