Christmas Ale. A dark stout with a hint of chocolate, vanilla, orange and cinnamon. Warming 5% abv.
Rude Rudolph (but perhaps he uses F [quite a lot])
“Ohh! My f****** head!” groaned the red-nosed reindeer as he stumbled through the dirty slush behind the storage sheds at Santa’s central facility. The fitful pale glow on the South-Eastern horizon was all he’d see of the Sun this winter’s day in Lapland and the sky was already darkening rapidly as he slipped along. He kept out of the light of the few streetlights and he knew where to lie low for a while; at least until some of the heat from his escapades last night died down a bit.
Ever since he’d first heard “God Save the Queen” by the Pistols he knew he should embrace Punk and the natural rebelliousness that came with the movement. The other reindeer looked somewhat askance at the safety pins, studded leather collar and various piercings that he now sported as signs of his allegiance. He had felt reindeer society’s disapproval before in his youth; “well, sc*** ‘em” he thought, “I could do without their reindeer games then and I won through even in the face of their bigotry over nose colour and I’d be fine now too but I had to go crazy on the p*** last night – didn’t I?” It was that last jibe about his “stupid Mohican” that did it; “I mean, ignorant t*****s! Didn’t they know it was a Mohawk?” “Well, they knew now.”
“It was that f*****g Christmas stout too,” thought Rudolph. It slipped down so easily with those beautiful tastes of nutmeg, cinnamon, orange zest and vanilla mingling with the malt and hops; “Christmas pudding in a glass” the Chief Elf had said as he downed his third pint of it. Rudolph should have remembered that mystical creatures, like elves, were relatively unaffected by alcohol: unlike reindeer, particularly those supposed to be in training for Christmas Eve sleigh duty. “They never should have used that picture of me on the pump clip and bottle labels,” he mused. “Well, I gave ‘em ‘copyright resides in the photographer not the subject’, I taught them not to smirk at my punk style and wiped the smiles off their faces, b******d them all, good and proper!”
He looked down at the last bottle that he’d snatched from the bar as he ran for it after the fight. The label stated clearly drink responsibly but where was the fun in that? Comet had been on the p*** too but had slumped down in a corner of the bar and fallen asleep. Rudolph, like a true punk, was made of sterner stuff and had had enough to give him the Dutch courage to show Dasher what a Mohawk was, up close and personal, right in the muzzle. After that c*** had gone down like a sack of spuds; a quick pint glass to the face had done the same for his d******d mate Dancer. Prancer had screamed and fled like the cowardly s**g she was but Vixen seemed impressed as she dragged him toward the door. “I’ll take you all on you f****** ar*******!” he’d bellowed at the rest of Santa’s Little Helpers as he brandished the brown bottle in his fist but Vixen just said, “They’re not worth it Rudolph.” They both legged it sharpish before the Gnomes in Blue arrived – he could hear the siren on the Noddy car getting closer. He just laughed as they thundered out through the doors to the Leprechaun landlord’s cheery cry of, “Yer barred! Yer fe**** red-nosed little g*******!”
After that, things had become a little hazy when the cold air hit him but he remembered going around the back of the stables with Vixen – God, that packet of three in his wallet had been surprisingly difficult to open, but it meant that his nose wouldn’t be the only thing that glowed tonight and the little b**** always did like the taste of mint.
“I’m sorry love, it’s never happened before!” he whined, but he got no sympathy, only, “Shakespeare was right then: ‘drink increases the desire but takes away the performance’, eh Shorty!” He really shouldn’t have slapped her but the little w**** was asking for it now. She ran off in tears and shouted back, “You’ve done it now you punk b******! You know who I’m going to tell, the Big Man himself and you know who he’ll send to sort you out. And I don’t mean the filth but, them!”
“I gotta lie low for a bit.” Thought Rudolph, “I know just the place – nice and quiet and secret. That hippy t*** Cupid will do anything for a bit of cash to buy his s***.”
So he gave the special knock on the storage shed door and was greeted by the reindeer he had replaced on the team. Cupid looked a f****** picture and no mistake, his long hair held back by a tie-dye headband and his face now sporting a goatee beard. “Hey man! Long time, no see. You come for the usual s***?”
“No, let me in you f****** c***s*****. Have you got anything that might help me get out of this place for a bit?” Inside the shed, Cupid rummaged through his drawers looking for something while Rudolph stared at the crop that burgeoned under the grow lights. “I may have something stashed that could be just what you’re looking for.” Drawled Cupid in his public school way. “Santa preserve us from posh hippy pot barons,” thought Rudolph, “No wonder he was dropped from the Christmas Eve team. Still, he’s always been pretty cool about it. I’m sure he’s got something I could use but I haven’t time for a spliff just now.” “This is no time for recreational activities. I need a way out until the heat is off and I can get an opening to charm myself back into Santa’s good books and apologise to the w********* on the team.”
“Ah yes, the team,” murmured Cupid; a faraway look in his eyes, “You replaced me.” He seemed jolted back to reality and said, “I’ve got a connection with one of those French grotto fairies; she’ll fly you to the North Pole and bring you back in a fortnight. I’ll go and get her but it’ll cost you a monkey.” “Good man!” said Rudolph. “You can stay here and have a little smoke then a sleep. I’ll be back in an hour, just got to have a word in the right ear, old chap. As the guru Rajneesh said, ‘we all are friends in need’”. “The Bagwash and his Hogwash? Weren’t his needs horny women and Rolls-Royces?” sneered Rudolph. “Oh ye of little faith!” said Cupid softly as he closed the shed door with a smile breaking out across his face.
The hammering on the door jolted Rudolph out of his dream and he jumped up to let the hippy and his pilot w**** in. “What! Oh holy c***! No!” There were two huge reindeer wearing leather peaked caps and studded jackets. One was light-furred and the other somewhat darker and behind them stood a smirking Cupid. “Hello, Donner! Blitzen! Now look lads, I can explain everything.” The colour drained rapidly from Rudolph’s fur and even his nose as he realised why the Lapland Chapter of Hell’s Reindeer was here. Donner fingered his motorbike chain on a handle as he said, “I hear you’ve been a bit of a naughty boy, red snot!” with more than a hint of menace. Blitzen slapped his baseball bat shrouded in barbed wire and bellowed, “Yo, mu****f*****! This is where we get medieval on your sorry a**!”
Behind them Cupid removed his headband to reveal a swastika tattooed into his forehead in the style of Charles Manson. Rudolph swallowed hard and thought; “The Punks were right, never trust a f****** Hippy!” Before this was over he was going to have a few more piercings.