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My Brief Time As Rudolph's Best Friend

"You know Dasher and Dancer, Prancer and Vixen,

Comet and Cupid, Donner and Blitzen,

But none of those weakass suckas hold a candle,

To the true OG mothafucka known as Daniel."

Origins

Once upon a time, not too long ago, a reindeer was born in the North Pole, but not just any reindeer; this reindeer was very peculiar indeed. Unlike his parents, his brothers, his sisters and all of his friends, this reindeer's nose glowed a bright, shiny, impossible-to-miss red, all day, every day. His parents named him "Rudolph," and they loved him despite this slight peculiarity. He wore a smile on his face and had a love for exploring and an insatiable curiosity.

In that same town, a little boy was found wandering the streets, urinating cursewords into the snow and muttering nonsensically about the government. Unlike the other little boys in this town, this boy smoked like a chimney and always looked like he'd just finished throwing up. His parents, if he ever had any, would be wise to distance themselves from him. He wore a stained t-shirt that read "Daniel!" and smelled like a garbage dump and a pet cemetery had a fight in a sweat factory.

Daniel stumbled into Rudolph's home and, for reasons that will never be made clear, Rudolph's parents decided to take him in and raise him as one of their own. Rudolph and Daniel became quick friends, except the opposite of that.

"Hi, I'm Rudolph! Welcome to our fam-"

"Freak nose."

"...I'm sorry?"

"Freak nose. You have a freak nose. It's not a normal nose, it's a freak nose. I'm Daniel. Your nose is wrong. Your whole face. You were poorly designed."

"Please, Daniel," Rudolph said, "that's hurtful. Say you're sorry."

"Why? It's not my fault your reindeer mom drank while you were in the womb," Daniel said, even though, as a result of the popular illegal moonshine operation he'd been running for quite some time, it probably was his fault.

"That's not why it glows," he said quietly.

"Look, Rudy, there's nothing to be ashamed of, except your nose and by extension, face."

"Stop it!"

"Are you boys fighting in here?" It was Donner, Rudolph's dad, the proud reindeer who led Santa's sleigh every year.

"Daniel's been making fun of my nose, Pa. He called it a 'freak nose' and made a veiled fetal alcohol syndrome joke that I didn't totally get because I was literally just born."

"What was veiled about that?"

"Daniel, now that's not very nice, regardless of its authenticity. And Rudolph, there's nothing to be ashamed of, your nose is perfectly normal."

"I'm not ashamed, and I never said it wasn't normal. Come on, I'm seconds old here, please don't let shame be the first thing I learn. I was just saying that Daniel-" Rudolph said.

"Incidentally," Donner interrupted, "I'd like you to go ahead and wear this black cap over your nose. Just something to hide or- no, 'hide's' not the right word. Cover-up? Let's go with that. Something to cover-up your nose, so no one else ever sees it."

"Bam," Daniel shouted.

Tryouts

Rudolph, his nose still covered up, had just arrived at Santa's North Pole headquarters, were tryouts for his sleigh team were being held. All of the young reindeer chatted excitedly, eager to prove their worth to Santa. Daniel was impossibly trying to look inconspicuous while selling jugs of moonshine out of a van.

"We're just about to start the tryouts, Daniel, so I'd prefer it if you moved your operation elsewhere," Donner said. "You can't sell moonshine, not on public property, not to minors, and not out of a van. Please vacate the area."

"What? You're not my dad and, unless your name is 'Dan O'Brien's Toilet Whiskey,' you're probably not Rudolph's dad, either. And you're not even a man, you can't even vote. I respect none of your authority."

"That's fair."

Donner purchased a leather boot full of bathtub wine to nurse that particular wound.

"Alright future stars of Santa's sleigh, are you ready for tryouts? We only take the best of the best here, and also Prancer, and we're looking for some fresh faces on the team. We'll need a lot of strong, able fliers to compensate for Prancer's laziness and bad attitude, and we need them this year. Who's up for the challenge? Prancer sucks."

All of the reindeer cheered, but it was Rudolph who made the first move, leaping several dozen feet in the air and gliding effortlessly high above the heads of his friends. He landed gracefully, and the rest of the reindeer welcomed him back to earth with wild congratulations.

"That was awesome, Rudy!"

"A new record!"

"You'll all be replaced as soon as Santa discovers jets!"

That last one was Daniel. Obviously.

"Really impressive stuff, young lad." Everyone turned to the source of the voice. It was Santa himself!

"Gosh, thanks, Mr. Claus, I really tried my-" Rudolph was interrupted by the sudden appearance of a rock, hurled by Daniel. The rock, in addition to bruising up Rudolph's face, knocked his nose cap clean off, much to the shock of everyone.

"Daniel," Rudolph cried, "why would you do that?"

"Two parts boredom, two parts hating you and one part Hey everyone, the prices on this liquor are insane! Look at me!"

If he ever went to a doctor, Daniel would learn that he had a pretty aggressive brain tumor since birth. It is largely responsible for why he does things like this. "I get headaches all the time! Buy my booze!"

"Oh Rudolph, that just won't do at all. I'm afraid there's no room on my sleigh for you," Santa said, because it's important to remind children that the kind man who enters their homes and delivers presents every year is a racist.

Rudolph, now feeling like the world's biggest outcast, decided to leave town, to the laughter of the other reindeer boys and girls. Daniel left also, because "How can I run an empire when everyone pays with fucking reindeer shit?"

Meeting Hermey

Rudolph and Daniel continued marching through the snow, without any real clear direction, making smalltalk as they went.

"I'm just saying she would be right to be having sex with someone else right now," Daniel said of Clarice, Rudolph's girlfriend. "Like, biologically speaking, she's programmed to want to mate with someone who is genetically superior to you, which is literally everyone. It'd be wrong of her not to, now that you're gone."

"Please stop it."

"This is a good thing?"

"How?"

Just then, a noise was heard. Daniel and Rudolph turned to see that they'd been followed, by a creepy-as-hell little blond elf with tiny eyes. He looked like one of those kids in middle school who you could always hear breathing heavily whenever the class was silent. The spit heavy on their breath.

"Who the hell are you?"

"Don't be mad, but I've been following you since you left camp. My name is Hermey, the misfit elf. I don't belong; just like you guys! I was wondering... can I join up with you," Hermey asked hopefully. Daniel eyed him suspiciously.

"I will bet you ten thousand dollars that he will try to have sex with one of us," he said to Rudolph in what wasn't even close to a whisper.

"What makes you think you're a misfit," Rudolph asked, ignoring Daniel.

"I want to be a dentist."

"Twenty," Daniel said immediately.

"I just like touching the faces..."

The Island of Misfit Toys

Rudolph, Hermey and Daniel decide to travel to the Island of Misfit Toys. This is a community populated solely by the kind of characters that the world has deemed unfit for society, a collection of socially backwards creatures that can't function as contributing members of civilization. It's like a leper colony, and the three young friends decide to travel there unsupervised, because in the 1960s, no one was paying attention to the lessons children were being taught.

"Weeeeelcome to the Iiiiisland of Misfit Toooooys," whined the clown-like figure who had a spring and box instead of genitals and legs. Every word he uttered sounded like it couldn't decide if it wanted to be a cry or a death rattle. "We are aaaall the undeliverable toys that go unwaaaanted every year. It's teeeeerrible."

Rudolph and Hermey's eyes widened; they recognized that they were in the presence of other true misfits, creatures with which they had a lot in common. Daniel glared with the exact expression of someone who was wondering if killing a sentient clown-monster toy would technically count as murder.

"Gosh," Hermey said, "We're misfits too! I'm an elf that wants to be a dentist-"

"And future serial killer, probably."

"- Rudolph here has his red nose, and Daniel smells like a prison riot had a nightmare."

"Booyah."

Suddenly, a lion with wings flew down to join our heroes and their new friends. He strutted back and forth majestically a while, judging the new travelers.

"You do appear to be misfits," he said in a booming, glorious voice. "You may join us on this island. I am King Moonracer."

"Bitching name," Daniel said. "It sounds like it was dreamed up by the boner of an eight-year-old who was forced to watch Star Wars instead of getting an education." This was the highest compliment Daniel had ever or would ever come up with.

"That's fine," Moonracer said, "but let's introduce ourselves and tell of our sad, sad tales."

"I'm an elephant, but I'm covered in polka dots," said one toy.

"That's not so-" Daniel was interrupted by the next toy.

"I'm a cowboy who rides an ostrich!"

"Well, hold on, can't you just get off and-"

"I'm a Dolly for Sue!"

"What?"

"I'm a bird who swims but can't fly!"

"Uh huh." Daniel turned to the clown on the spring. "What's your thing, apart from just your general awfulness? You're the worst, I hate you."

"Meeee," the clown asked through a pathetic shriek. "Why, I'm a Chaaarlie in the box! Whoever heard of a Chaaa-"

"Stop, Jesus, I'm gonna stop you right-"

"-aaaarliee in the-"

"Shut the Christ up, you spring-loaded jagoff, holy shit. Is that voice not murder to anyone else? Can't just be me."

The polka dotted elephant raised its hand.

"Thatta boy."

"Be nice, Daniel," Rudolph urged, "these are misfits, just like us. They should be allowed to feel safe here."

"What? What society could possibly function by that logic? Take all of the worst people you have and let them get organized under the belief that it's okay to be crappy? You are just begging for the ugliest, fattest most backwards-ass coup in history."

"This is serious business, Daniel," a train with square wheels said.

"Well sure, for you, I can see why no one would want you, you're clearly a poorly assembled piece of trash. Frankly, you never should have made it out of the factory, you should've been destroyed as soon as they spotted you, and I'm sorry that you lived to experience the waking nightmare that is your life. But the rest of these guys are fine. A polka dotted elephant is no more or less retarded than literally any toy ever. A swimming bird is fine because no child expects their toys to actually fly anyway. And a flying lion? That's not a misfit, that's the terrifying and perfect future of evolution. And if that's not enough, your name is King Fucking Moonracer. Come on!"

"I'm a bear riding a bike!"

"WHO WOULDN'T WANT THAT AS A GIFT?!"

"But what about meeee? I'm a Chaaarlie in a-"

"CHANGE YOUR FUCKING NAME!"

Christmas Eve

After several years of traveling, Daniel and Rudolph finally made it back to the North Pole, having explored the whole world on various adventures.

"I still think it was wrong of you to trade Hermey to those bandits, Daniel."

"Got us out of jail, didn't it? We can always go back, Rudolph Lundgren. We can turn right back around, go straight to Mexico and tell them there's been a mistake, I'm sure they'd be happy to take you back in. You want to do that? Go back to Mexican Prison? Yeah?"

"You know I don't, it just... I can't stop hearing his screams."

"Yeah, that'll happen. Oh, check it, shit's going down." Shit was going down, all over the North Pole. It was Christmas Eve, but Santa's sleigh was grounded! Apparently, a storm was so fierce that Santa wouldn't be able to see his way from rooftop to rooftop. It's really weird that he's been doing this for years and is just now discovering that it gets dark at night, but there you go.

"It's hopeless," Santa said. "Ho, Ho, Hopeless! I don't know if I'll ever be able to deliver all of these presents to the good little girls and boys, the storm is just too powerful, the fog too thick, the wind too strong. Those poor children."

Santa took a break from dwelling on his frankly ill-conceived delivery methods when he noticed the return of the two former outcasts.

"Rudolph! Daniel! It's been years, where have you been?"

"I've been in therapy," Rudolph said, "the entire population of the North Pole laughed at my face and you kicked me out of the town. Do you know how damaging that is? You're like the Czar, here, my self esteem plummeted."

"Then we went dicking around Mexico," Daniel added.

"Well," Santa said, "it's a good thing you've returned. I know I've treated you poorly in the past, and I was wrong for that. I see now that you have a value, and your surfaces would be incredibly beneficial. You see, it's too dark and stormy for me to fly my sleigh tonight, but now that you've returned, I think I just might know a way to save Christmas... If you'll help me, that is."

Rudolph spoke up.

"Why, sir, it would be an honor to-"

"Oh, I wasn't talking to you, nose-face. Daniel?"

Ten minutes later, Daniel and Santa had consumed an entire van full of moonshine liquor and were taking turns blasting present out of the air with a shotgun. It was the worst Christmas ever.

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