It may be a little early for the obligatory “Christmas ain’t what it used to be” column in which an old geezer like myself moans and groans that the holidays were so much better in the glory days of our remote youth.
But it is certainly not too late to moan and groan that this Christmas is not going to be all that it could be. It was so exciting when Domino’s announced last month they were going to use reindeer to deliver pizzas during the holidays. Granted, I was never going to be able to get a reindeer-delivered pizza myself. The plans were only for the snowy areas of northern Japan.
But it seemed only logical that if reindeer could deliver pizzas in Japan, they could deliver pizzas right here in the good old US of A. Why should they not? We’re Americans, and we deserve to have nice things like the rest of the developed world. Except universal health care. We don’t deserve that.
Then, my hopes were dashed when I learned that the plan had been scrapped because, as it turns out, reindeer are not very good at delivering pizzas. Which was a shocker since they are supposed to be such hotshots at delivering everything else. And guess what. They can’t fly.
Not only can they not fly, they’re not at all good at pulling a sleigh. Even horses, who are good at this kind of thing, need a lot of training and practice for harness work. Just strapping a sleigh behind a reindeer and expecting him to instinctively deliver the goods was a bit naive, at best. Pizzas flew everywhere when the reindeer swerved the sleigh off the test track. Reindeer delivery apparently has quite a long learning curve.
Dispensing with the sleigh altogether and putting the pizzas directly on the reindeer’s back didn’t work out any better. It has to be said that the special delivery saddles made to hold the hot pizzas were not very well designed. They slid to the ground by the time the reindeer worked up a good trot, which took a while. It seems reindeer are also kind of lazy. Could be because they are only used to working once a year. But when they finally got that trot going, it was really bouncy. Who knew reindeer had such a bouncy trot? Not me and certainly not the folks at Domino’s.
We can only conclude that reindeer training is not easy. Sadly, the plan was scrapped, and once again, any hopes of goodies coming to my house via reindeer were dashed. How many times in one lifetime can a person take this kind of disappointment?
My disappointment was especially bitter because this time around the reindeer weren’t going to be controlled by a judgmental old man in a red suit. Naughty and nice alike would get their pizza. That would have been so cool.
But, alas, it is not to be. It’s not pretty when dreams die. Maybe we should think about that when we set kids up for big disappointments by telling them lies about reindeer. They’re unruly, obstinate creatures — reindeer, not children — who can’t even get an undamaged pizza to your house, much less a Playstation.
The only bright side is that the reindeer have been replaced with tricked-out three-wheel scooters disguised as reindeer. They’re pretty cute with antlers up top, a snout, a tail and more or less covered in faux reindeer fur. They look a little like the Flintstones’ car when the carhop puts the big rack of dinosaur ribs on top. Well, sort of, but furrier.
It’s actually a little more likely that this version will make its way here. It does seem better engineered than the delivery saddle which wasn’t really much more than a pleather blanket and some twine.
One might almost suspect that the whole idea of reindeer pizza delivery was nothing but a publicity stunt, a successful publicity stunt with a very cool video of disastrous attempts at reindeer training which lead to worldwide press coverage. One might almost suspect such a thing, but that would be cynical, wouldn’t it?
And if one is cynical enough to believe that the interweb is purveying misleading advertising from a foreign country, it’s only a skip and a jump to suspect the existence of fake news coming from other countries. But that would be ridiculous, wouldn’t it?
And not in keeping with the spirit of the season. A season in which we are all supposed to regain for this brief month the wonder and innocence of a child.
It would have worked, too, if reindeer had finally brought something to my house. Even if it was only a pizza and I had to pay for it. But I’ll have to settle for the hope that someday a fake-reindeer-scooter thing will bring me a pizza when the technology finally arrives here.
As cool as that will be, it’s a little like getting socks for Christmas when you really had your heart set on a Red Ryder BB gun.
But not as bad as pink bunny pajamas.
Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.