Summit Up 12-24-10: Where Cornwallis gets his big break in the role of ‘Donner’ |

Summit Up 12-24-10: Where Cornwallis gets his big break in the role of ‘Donner’

Summit Up
Special to the Daily

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that is stamping impatiently on the roof, clambering down your chimney, rustling about beneath your Christmas tree and slurping down the eggnog and cookies you left on the table (Blech, BTW! What is up without spiking the eggnog, people! Santa needs a blast to get him over the pass! And while you’re at it, please read our high-altitude baking column by Vera Dawson once in a while. Santa is something of a cookie connoisseur, and these things are flat and oily and sucky. What the heck … is this supposed to be a snickerdoodle or something? It looks like one of those fake barf piles you buy at the joke store with rocks mixed in – or are those raisins? All we’re saying, people, is that if you really want to treat Santa right, don’t skimp on the treats! Sheesh.)

(Please excuse us: That was the Evil Santa who got loose and who has since been banished to a dank oubliette underneath the Workshop.)

Yes, it’s Christmas Eve, folks, and that can mean only one thing: huge suspension of disbelief. You must believe that somehow, some way, Santa is going to circumnavigate the globe in a matter of hours and deposit exactly what everyone wants under their Christmas trees (minus all the Jews and Muslims and Hindus, etc., of course – which is sort of the equivalent of those homes on a paper boy’s route that don’t subscribe).

We’ve always figured that Santa has to use some kind of wormhole in the space-time continuum to get this done, since it’d be impossible to do it all otherwise. If he had some kind of cool time machine, he could actually deliver presents all year round, just sort of popping in at 12:30 a.m. or so to every home (or at least Christian, or at least Santa-believing home) in the world. That Buzz Lightyear under the tree may actually have been delivered on July 17th, but you don’t actually see it until Dec. 25!

Where we really have a problem is with this whole reindeer thing. He’s got eight reindeer – nine if you count Rudolph, who we understand is only deployed in foul weather – and they’re pulling his sleigh and all but … what’s holding the sleigh up? Even if we buy that the reindeer are gravity-defying ungulates, the fact remains that gravity is going to pull that sleigh down. What you’d have, then, would be a sled drooping at a 90-degree angle as the reindeer pull it forward. And then all the presents would spill out, wouldn’t they? And Santa would be hanging on like Leonardo DiCaprio on the stern of the Titanic.

And here’s another thing to think about: In the show “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer,” we’re led to believe that a new crop of reindeer is born each year, with the promise from Santa that, if they measure up (the males, anyway), they’ll get to help pull the sled some day. (No word on whether the female reindeer can fly and, if they can, if they ever make it through the glass ceiling to get harnessed up.)

Our point, though, is that, as far as we know, there are only the eight reindeer mentioned in the song: Dasher, Prancer, Comet, Vixen, Donner, Blitzen, Cupid and an eighth whose name escapes us. What about all these young bucks itching to get in front of the sleigh? Will it some day be Fletcher and Dweezil and Muskrat and Dixon and Snoopy and Wombat and Garvin and Bixby?

Another theory promulgated by a friend is that the original eight names are actually “roles,” so even if you’re a reindeer named, say, Cornwallis, you could be going out for the role of “Donner.” You could be the 127th Donner, perhaps – Donner CXXVII – kinda like the Pope.

Think about it.

(Full disclosure: Some of the previous ramblings comes from an archived Summit Up from Dec. 24, 1999. We added a few new things, though, kinda like a director’s cut/update sorta deal.)

Whoa! Look at the time! We out.

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