You remember Rudolph. We sing about him every December (well, these days the Christmas songs start somewhere around the fourth of July, but I digress). Most of us have seen the claymation Rudolph Television Special more times that we care to remember. I mean, who could ever forget the Abominable Snowman and his yellow snow cones? “They’re lemon, I promise.”
If, however, you’ve been living in a Himalayan monastery for the last fifty years and don’t know the story, here’s a synopsis.
Rudolph is a reindeer. He lives at the North Pole and is a part of Santa’s herd. Rudolph doesn’t fit in with rest of the reindeer. He is a reject, an outcast. He’s different. Instead of an ordinary black nose like every reindeer throughout history, Rudolph has a big, shiny, red one. Apparently, it glows in the dark.
This glowing proboscis is not welcomed by the rest of the herd and neither is its owner. Poor Rudolph is left alone and abandoned, a misfit amidst his own kind.
Then it happened. Christmas Eve arrived, and with it, the worst fog bank in the history of Christmases. Santa can’t see Blitzen’s butt, much less the roof tops and chimneys of the world’s children. Christmas is in jeopardy and along with it, the hopes and dreams of munchkins everywhere.
Santa is in a panic. What can he do? Where can he turn? Who can rescue Christmas?
Just when all seems lost, Santa raises his head from where it’s been buried in his hands and he sees it. From somewhere out on the snow, Mr. Clause beholds a bright red glow that serves as a beacon in the mist.
He rushes out and finds the source of the light, our own beloved Rudolph. Santa, with great anticipation, and a little relief, asks this outcast to guide his sleigh and provide a light for his team to see.
Rudolph is ecstatic at the opportunity. He alone, among all the reindeer is prepared for this dark night. Santa harnesses Rudolph and his nose to the front of his sleigh, and off they go into the fog. Christmas is saved. And they all lived happily ever after.
I’m sure that story’s true, otherwise they’d never put it on TV, right?
As a Prepper, I understand the rejection Rudolph felt. In many circles, we just don’t fit in. In corporate America, for example, it’s normal to have a golf club membership and maybe a ski or fishing boat, but having a mule and a pair of goats, not so normal. It’s acceptable to spend thousands of dollars filling a room in the basement with the latest multimedia gadgets, but filling a room with a year’s supply of food and staple goods will get your name taken of the Christmas party invitation list.
I know. I’ve been there. Sure, there are plenty of workmates who know we’re preppers and homesteaders, who think it’s cool. They buy eggs and milk from us and bring their kids over to play with the animals or to dig sweet potatoes. There is, though, a certain well heeled group that looks askance at me and who hope I don’t sit near them at meetings and conferences. I have been told not to discuss farming and prepping with certain executives and in certain settings, because it’s inappropriate, unprofessional.
I just smile and listen to them ramble on about golf handicaps and the latest fashion. Sure it hurts knowing you don’t fit in. I also know that if a disaster should strike or if for some reason our company went out of business, my family and I are ready.
It’s been estimated, that in the event of a genuine crisis, supermarkets could be bare, even the artichokes, in as little as 4 days. That’s creepy. Should that happen, Rudolph will morph from zero to hero in an instant. My wife and I have enough food, supplies and cash to survive a full year just on what’s in storage. We have developed a suburban homestead that can sustain us nutritionally, indefinitely. We have enough hunting and fishing supplies to supplement what we can’t raise and without going into too much detail, enough firepower to defend ourselves for a long time.
Yes, I’m weird, but I’m ready. I hope disaster never strikes. I hope I’m just the weird guy in the last row office for the rest of my life. If trouble comes, however, I’d be less than honest if I said I won’t gloat just a little bit, when that crowd who thinks I don’t fit in, comes calling for food or toilet paper. I have Toby Keith’s, “How Do You Like Me Now”, all cued up and ready to play at full volume. I’m a simple man, in search of simple pleasures.
Are your family and friends supportive of your preparations? What do people think when they learn you’re a prepper? Have you had any negative feedback? Have you had any positive feedback, for that matter? Please, share your stories with us. We’re in this together.