To Whom it May Concern

From: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer <rreindeer@rovaniemi.fi>
To: The Christmas Ombudsman <xmasombudsman@un.org>
Subject: Regarding the matter of ongoing reindeer rights violations
Date: 19 December 2018, 12:18:30

To Whom it May Concern,

I wish to bring to your attention the repeated flagrant breaches of labour laws, as well as contravention of occupational health and safety standards, under management of a Mr Santa H. Claus (henceforth referred to as the Red Devil‘).

Breach 1: Physical abuse

According to guidelines, the average deer’s cargo capacity is 90-100 kg during winter and 30-40 kg during summer. Adjusted for the Bockelberg formula, the gross tractive effort of a sledge team that includes nine deer harnessed in tandem is about 40%. This means at Christmas time we can carry up to 360 kg, but not a metric tonne like someone counts!

We therefore demand that the aforementioned Red Devil complete a basic course in reindeer husbandry and transport engineering, and start a strict diet that does not include 6 packets of Jumbo Ho Hos a day. We will not budge on this.

Breach 2: Sexual abuse

In what reality is it acceptable for an overweight 1,748 year old white male to slap us on the ass and call us ‘dear’? Even with the quantum multiverse model of reality factored in, the total is none.

Not only is this behaviour patronising in the extreme, it also reduces us to mere pieces of meat, ripe to be ogled, demeaned, and condescended to. Several deer have already suffered severe emotional trauma due to this, and taken months of unplanned sick leave as a result.

Breach 3: Psychological abuse

Last, but not least, the gastronomical predilections of the aforementioned Red Devil.

He brazenly and callously consumes ‘rilkeil’ within eyeshot of all reindeer employees. As his waistline expands, more unplanned leave is taken, and morale plummets to an all-time low.

For your reference: “Rilkeil is a traditional Chukchi dish that is made from semi-digested moss from a slaughtered reindeer’s stomach mixed with blood, fat, and pieces of boiled reindeer intestine.” (Source: Nelson J. 2013. Before They Pass Away. teNeues, Kempen. 408 pp.)

We ask that you deal with this issue forthwith. He must not be allowed to ruin Christmas 2018 for everybody!

Regards,

Rudolph the Red-Nosed, the Shaft-Reindeer of Tinsel Squad (on behalf and upon authorization of: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen).

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

Open-Source Poetry Two #5 (Final)

Dear Readers,

These lines from the poem of a famous Russian poet Fyodor Tyutchev came to mind while we were preparing this post:

Нам не дано предугадать,
Как слово наше отзовется,-
И нам сочувствие дается,
Как нам дается благодать… *

Really, we never know what the last line of a poem will be when we write the first one. Especially when we’re collaborating with you, our Dear Writers and Readers.

And guess what? It’s this very thing that makes the Open Source Poetry feature one of our favourites here on Unbolt Me. We believe it’s one of your favourites too. The overwhelming number of submissions bears this out!

The lines quoted above also serve as a kind of epigraph. They’re strangely relevant to the themes of our newly completed poem, and pose pertinent questions. How often do we regret words that were said? How often do we hurt those closest to us with our tongues, sharpened with jealousy, even obduracy?

But, hey, you can rest assured that we won’t have any such regrets concerning our new poem! (Oh, and g’day Andy! Your contribution to our Open Source Poetry feature was an absolute corker!)

Вензель

She looks in the book like into a mirror
The face of her sister is there
She wears daffodils in her hair

She reminds her of Shakespeare’s Ophelia
Amid weeping willows along the shore
She lives in the memory of a love no more

She regrets a past whipped with hysteria
And a tongue sharpened by jealousy
That stabbed at fond hearts so zealously

Вензель_нижний

Time will return the word we place
In ways we cannot ask ahead;
Compassion comes our way instead
Much as the blessedness of grace.
(Translation by Evgenia Sarkisyants)

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINATONY SINGLETHOM TNKERRFRAGGLELAKMI & ANDY SMERDON
© All rights reserved 2018