Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Rudolph the Camel

image from pinterest.com 

Rudolph the Camel

So much depends on how one defines naughty.”


As an innocent kid,

the holidays always

confused me.

Some Christmas cards

depicted Jesus in Judea,

with herds of camels,

and palm and olive trees,

while others depict

Santa Claus up to his butt

in ice and snow

somewhere way up north,

surrounded by fir trees.

I mean if farm animals

were allowed to be present

during the birth of Christ,

why aren’t those same animals

allowed in churches

as part of the congregation?

Now Santa Claus

is nicknamed old Saint Nick, right?

His origins can be traced back

to a monk in Turkey in 280 AD.

I guess this monk became

a saint, known for his kindness.

He was known as the patron saint

of sailors. But Jesus was not a sailor,

that was Peter, right?

Jesus had no use for a boat;

he could walk on water.

He didn’t have to go fishing,

he would just snap his fingers

and a cartload of fish and loaves

would appear.

Later on, why did Saint Nick,

after he had become a bishop and shit,

give up the Mother Church,

take the vows of poverty,

and immigrated to Finland? Was it because

suddenly he had a jones for tannenbaums,

and there were no fir trees in Israel--or did

he ditch his vestments in order to give up

celibacy, which was reported to be much more

satisfying than masturbation, homosexuality,

or beastiality?

He must have set up his first headquarters

in Lapland, where reindeer are plentiful. I 

always thought it would have been cool if

Santa had recruited camels to pull his sled.

Then Rudolph would have had a much bigger


Obviously, St. Nick had to get back in the good

graces of God in order to bring about the

miracles necessary to make Christmas work.

So why doesn’t the bible have any mention of

these Christmas miracles? 

I think I was around ten, and during that holiday

season, after reading Steinbeck’s East of Eden,

I came to the conclusion that the mythos of

Christmas, part Madison Avenue, part

ecclesiastical, was mostly Hallmark bull shit,

and that I no longer had to search for a logical

thread within the miasma of holiday madness,

and this clarity, this epiphany, helped me elude 

any sense of guilt, and that I could just be

naughty ad infinitum.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at d'Verse Poet's Pub


Dora said...

I could almost hear Bill Murray reading this, Glenn! The ten-year-old Glenn's rude awakening, I think, comes to us all. All the "holiday" contradictions and obfuscations and superficialities coming up against your encounter with the harsh realism of Steinbeck's and our own childish apprehensions of the adult world is disillusioning. You make us see that in technicolor history and humor and wit. And why not Rudolph the Camel?

robkistner said...

This is killer brother. You were an enlightened child indeed Glenn. Wonderful writing. 👍🏼

Brendan said...

Delightful ad infinitum. I heard a guy say once he was in church and saw the Savior up on the cross and thought, geez, if God did that to his only son, imagine what he'll do to YOU. Somehow kids manage to figure it all out.

forestbather said...

Stunning. Dosed just tight, wonderful turns of phrases, highly engrossing & entertaining — reminded me a touch of some of Milan Kundera's writing in his "The Unbearable Lightness of Being," where a chapter suddenly appears as a rant on similar (but not same of course) lines. Brilliant read.

ben Alexander said...

The only thing you couldn't have known back then, Glenn, is that you would some day write a brilliant poem about your realization.

-David [ben Alexander]

Ron Rowland said...

There is so much I can relate to here -- I don't know where to begin.
"Was it because suddenly he had a jones for tannenbaums"

Helen said...

Glenn, this is quite priceless. Reminding me of all my own childhood epiphanies.

Ingrid said...

Hahaha Glenn! What a marvellous story and epiphany. Interesting historical details too :-)

brudberg said...

So many funny things about the Hallmark (or Disney's version) in reality I think the myth of Santa Claus has merged from the nordic myths of a gnome taking care of the farm to make it prosperous and the Christan Saint...

I grew up closer to the Nordic version where you were supposed to give porridge to the gnome on Chrstmas.

Grace said...

I appreciate the notes Glenn. For me it was more about the Christmas story and family gathering, rather than the Christmas tree, gifts and St Nick.