Every year in December, I make a trip to the North Pole where I am always welcomed with open arms, lots of eggnog and a great interview.
This year was no different, but my interview didn't go as well as expected. Deciding to talk with Santa's reindeer might have been a little mistake. However, dedicated reporter that I am, I chose Dancer as my victim for 2006.
Dedicated Reporter: Dancer, you're one of the reindeer nobody really knows that well. Is it your intention to stay out of the spotlight, or has Rudolph taken over as head honcho?
Dancer: Head Honcho? Rudolph? That'll be the day. If he didn't have that beacon for a nose, he wouldn't qualify to shine Santa's boots.
DR: That's a little cynical, isn't it? After all, this is the North Pole. Kids and adults around the world think of your home as a place of peace and love. We never dreamt that you and the other reindeer were squabbling, especially with Rudolph.
Dancer: Did I mention anything about the other guys? That's because they're all too scared to bring it up. After all, this is our only gig all year long. If it wasn't for Mrs. Claus bringing food and blankets to the stable, we'd be homeless.
DR: You certainly have a chip on your shoulder. Maybe I'd better talk to one of the other reindeer.
Dancer: No! Don't do that! It'll get back to Santa and I'll never fly again. Especially since that disaster last year.
DR: What disaster is that?
Dancer: You reporters can't leave well enough alone, can you? Just because I stumbled over Georgia a little and dumped a bag of trains in the middle of the Savannah River doesn't give you the right to question my abilities.
DR: Well, if it makes you feel any better, nobody I know has ever mentioned anything about it. Were there some children who didn't get their toys?
Dancer: No, Santa always keeps a few reserve bags under the hood. It all worked out OK.
DR: Why are you so upset then? You didn't lose your job. Santa certainly doesn't appear to be upset, and didn't I see Rudolph shaking your hoof a little earlier today?
Dancer: Yes, you did. Guess I'm just mad at myself. This year will be different. Santa made us all magic horseshoes. Nobody's gonna stumble with them on.
DR: That's good to hear. See, everything worked out all right. You should be proud of the job you do every year. Some of the children wait for months to see what your group delivers. Dancer, it really was an honor to talk with you. Just goes to show, everybody has bad days. You just need to pick yourself up and start all over again.
Merry Christmas, Martinez.
Pat Fickle is a Martinez resident.
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