More Reindeer Games? Donner Files to Legally Change Name

santa sleighThere was Dasher and Dasher and Prancer and Vixen.  Comet and Cupid and… Tony????

Get ready to relearn the names of Santa’s reindeer, Modern Philosophers, because Donner has gone to court to legally change his name.  The papers were filed today in North Pole Superior Court, and the change should be official by the end of the week.

This Modern Philosopher Skyped with the reindeer of the moment to discuss why the sudden change.  “It wasn’t sudden at all, Austin,” Tony explained.  “I’ve been mulling this move for a few decades, and finally decided that the time was right.”

I pressed him for why he felt a change was needed after being known for centuries as Donner to generations of children who love and adore him.

donner“Being one of Santa’s reindeer is a big deal,” Tony quickly replied.  ” We are the big men on the North Pole campus.  I never thought Donner was a cool enough name to go with such high profile celebrity status.”

Hollywood legend Richard Donner might disagree with that statement…

After a little prodding, I got Tony to open up a bit more.  “Okay, you got me,” he admitted as he peered at me over top of his sunglasses.  “I always thought Donner sounded too much like Donna.  The other reindeer teased me about it.  Even Rudolph with his ridiculous red nose felt he could mock me.  I couldn’t take it any more.  Tony is a macho, masculine, tough guy name.  No one taunts Tony!”

I couldn’t bring myself to tell him that Toni also happens to be a pretty popular female name.  I had to let the guy have his moment.

How do the other reindeer feel about the change?  None of them would go on the record about that.  My Modern Philosopher gut told me, however, that the rest of the team wasn’t too keen on the idea of one reindeer singling himself out for attention this close to Christmas.  They are a very tight knit and elite unit.

If you recall, there were a lot of problems when Santa brought in Rudolph to lead the team, and he suddenly got all the publicity.  It took years of group therapy before they all worked through that one.  Clearly, the team doesn’t want to go through that again, and is remaining silent in hopes that this will quickly blow over.

SantaSanta Claus was obviously too busy to meet with me for the story, but his amiable brother Fred was more than happy to chat.  How does Fred Claus feel about the change?

“I’m happy for the guy,” Fred excitedly screamed at me as he looked like he wanted to bear hug me through the laptop.  “He’s the salt of the earth.  Not a better reindeer will you ever meet.  Yeah, I’ve seen the rest of the guys sassing him about the name, and I even saw him taking some crap from a couple of elves about it.  So I get the vibe he’s working through and why he needed to make the change.”

“Yo, Tony!  What’s up, T-Bone?  Tony, Tony, Tony!  I think I might call him Anthony just to mess with him a little, but it’s all good.  All’s well at the Pole.”

There was one more being I wanted to speak for this piece, and luckily, being in Maine made that one a cinch.  I met the ghost of Clement C. Moore down by the river and we took a stroll on this nippy Winter afternoon to ponder the implications of the name change.

“I am most certainly perplexed by the notion,” confessed the author of the most famous poem ever written about Christmas.  “For me, the name Donner will forever be a part of my work.  By changing his name, he is changing history as far as I’m concerned.  How many children have had my poem read to them on Christmas Eve?  Millions I suppose.  All of them hearing the name Donner recited.”

We walked in silence and the strong winds caused the ghost to shimmer.  “Then again, if the name change goes through, my publishing house will have to fire up the printing presses and churn out hundreds of thousands of new copies of my work.  That’s going to seriously help me catch up with Shakespeare and Stephen King on the publishing charts.  Plus, it means tons of cash for my heirs.  Ka-ching!  Woot, woot!  Show me the money!”

So what do you think, Modern Philosophers?  Is it okay to mess with centuries of holiday tradition because one reindeer doesn’t like being teased?  Is Tony the name you would’ve chosen if you were Donner?

Send your comments my way.  Make sure you address them to Austin because that is a name I will never change.

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
This entry was posted in Holidays, Humor, Philosophy and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

93 Responses to More Reindeer Games? Donner Files to Legally Change Name

  1. L. Palmer says:

    Is Tony/Donner embracing his Italian heritage?

  2. heysugarsugar says:

    Ahhh in Tony Soprano..Donner is a wannabe mobster reindeer and no one messes with Tony! 🙂

  3. heysugarsugar says:

    Brooklyn ahhh not too far from New Jersey where ole Tony rules..its a tough guy name for obviously a tough little reindeer…just hope hes packed his cannolis for the xmas eve flight ! Personally I love Mr Soprano..see my bad boy post….so I think Donner soz Tony is going to love his new name 😉

  4. heysugarsugar says:

    Hmmm tricky situation…reindeer get very upset by change and as you said they had group therapy over Rudolph! Maybe if Tony shares his cannolis (delivered magically from Little Italy) with the others in their magical reindeer feed, they will accept the new name and publicity? Very tricky and a situation to be handled with extreme care otherwise they may call a strike on xmas eve !! Oh my 😉

  5. heysugarsugar says:

    Who dares wins and all that jazz huh? Well thats SAS but as secret service agents are secret who knows maybe the reindeer have a Seal Team and SAS Team and they learn their hardcore skills at magical flying school ? This conversation will have the blog world trending on Tony the magical Seal secret service cannoli eating reindeer with Soprano tendencies ! There could be a movie here ! 😉

  6. momshieb says:

    Huh. Tony, eh?
    If he really wants to embrace his wannabe Italian side, AND sound tough, he should take my Pappa Nonni’s name: Carmine.
    Now that’s a tough guy name!

  7. gatesitter says:

    I may have some reindeer in my dna because I too hate change…..Santa should give Tony;nee Donner a long time out. It’s time some of the lady deer got a shot at the Christmas Eve world tour so just ground old Tony.

  8. heysugarsugar says:

    Carmine? shhh Prancer just heard and is plotting to change his name too ! I woke up with a craving for Cannoli ..strange that 🙂

    • Prancer is secure enough in his masculinity to never have to worry about changing his name. From what I’ve heard, he’s the toughest of the bunch and gets into street fights all the time…

  9. Honestly, Dancer, Prancer, Cupid & the Red Nose should just learn to shut it! Seriously, Donner/Tony needs to work on his come backs and shut these bullies down.

  10. tedstrutz says:

    I was not aware that Clement C. had Canadian blood in him. Santa needs to tell Donner he is being to sensitive, Austin, and to step back in line. And, he needs to rein Fred in too!

    Tiny Dancer sent me… the two legged one…

  11. susielindau says:

    Hey Austin! That Tony, I mean Donner, he is just one of those guys, reindeer. There is always one….
    Thanks for stopping by the Wild Ride and dropping off a link! I hope you will have some fun clicking on a couple too!

  12. Angelia Sims says:

    I don’t know. I don’t think he should be allowed to change his name. This could be anarchy. He changes to Tony. Cupid changes to —- just a sign, because duh, it’s CUPID. Dasher changes to DAN. Vixen wants to be Vicki. Then Rudolph wants a sex-change operation. Surely, you saw that one coming??? Right! Dolphina the Diva, a legend is born. I hear she lights up the stage with her cabaret show.

    But hey, it is modern times….maybe we should let them, be them.

    Love this post. Too funny! And that wild one sent me here. 🙂

    • Who are we to decide if Donner can change his name? This is his life, his name, his issue. We can have an opinion, but we really don’t have a say, you know? I’m glad you enjoyed the reporting…all I can do is tell you guys the facts and hope you have some Deep Thoughts about what you read. 😀

  13. Pingback: Rudolph Knows Pain, Dear; More on the Famous Fractured Nose | The Return of the Modern Philosopher

  14. Its all been a long standing plot to confuse innocent children anyway…only female reindeer maintain their antlers through the winter. Another biological debacle. So Vixen you were true to your orientation, Toni’s on his/her way back, Prancer & Dancer & Cupid have been on the fence or something. And Rudolph’s got that red light nose thing going, hmmm, so Santa can fly, but he can’t make light? Actually the names sound kinda like that Candy Cane post? I think more reporting is needed, this story is deeper than it appears.

    • All worth investigating. Thanks for the tips. 😀 Did you find this post by just going through my blog? I ask because this one keeps getting a ton of hits and I’m just wondering how people are finding it. Any insight?

      • Found post partly because it’s getting so many hits. You had liked a couple of my posts and I had read several of your posts in return, so when this like came up in my email notifications, I went to the listed one of three that WordPress sends out in the moveiwriternyu liked _____ notification, I hadn’t already read it, so I did and voila. If the three that came up had already been read by me I would have scrolled through your blog to see what else I could look at. Hope that helps…what gets liked, gets more advertisement and becomes easiest to like by someone visiting.
        And I do really like your comedic voice.

    • Thank you for explaining that. I’m still very new to this, so I was curious as to why this one post was getting so many hits. I’m glad you are enjoying the silliness I post here. I have enjoyed my trips around your blog and will return…especially if you put out some snacks… 😉

  15. Creative and funny. Donner, er that is, Tony, needs to ignore the haters and remember the reason for the season.
    Thanks, Austin, for visiting my blog..

  16. soad88 says:

    Tony would have gone with Michel…ummm…….Michel Corleone…….cannoli……I have to go now.

  17. Don’t change your name. Austin is the coolest town in Texas. Much better than to be called Waco.

  18. Rhino House says:

    I think I swallowed my tongue laughing.

  19. I think I’ll take a pass *cough* on the whole Donner thing. Fun blog post!

  20. I can’t really blame Tony for wanting to change his name from Donner. He probably also hates the fact that it’s so closely tied to the Donner party…and all that entailed. :-/

  21. ctoby says:

    Regardless of what the legal system says on the matter, Tony will always be Donner to me. Kinda like the whole Prince thing…hey no one can even type that bizarre symbol thingie, man, so the artist formerly known as Prince is, as far as I’m concerned, the artist who shoulda stayed Prince Roger Nelson which was annoying enough to begin with. Though not his fault. So Tony, Hildegarde orSnidely Whiplash, the cute little sickens will always be Donner to moi!

    the flying little sicken

  22. ctoby says:

    Okay now…I did NOT mean to post ‘flying little sicken!” Or the ‘cute little sickens’ either. I hope we all know that I would never disrepect any reindeer. There was a loose nut on my keyboard. And the keyboard (so-called) was on my phone, so…that just made the nut nuttier. I mean looser, LOOSER. Sorry mon… I am clearly more senile than I was this morning! Aaaack!!!

  23. ctoby says:

    PS: Not to put too fine a point on all my prrevious blunted verbiage but…wasn’t his name originally DONDER anyway? I smell some legal action in he near-ish future….But I don’t really trust my sense of smell ever since Woodstock. Or the way I smell, for that matter.

  24. ctoby says:

    Ah…oh deer. Erm, dear, that is. Yes,I am a huge fan of reindeer…HOWEVER I forgot to read my note to myself which VERY clearly says: You are not allowed to type anything or make ANY phone calls after you have taken your Ambien. Probably because I forgot I wrote that note, since I wrote it after I’d taken my Ambien…Sor ry! Thanks for your patience 🙂
    I really like the way you write, btw…Sheesh. [writing new note to self: Never write notes to yourself after you’ve taken your Ambien.]

  25. I was laughin’ so hard, my tiny little hoofs fell off the roofs!

  26. Austin says:

    Reblogged this on The Return of the Modern Philosopher and commented:

    How about a little Christmas in August? A classic from The Modern Philosopher Vaults

  27. navery101 says:

    I would have thought that being the same name as the infamous “Donner Party” of 1846 was a “name changer” for sure!

  28. Pingback: Putting the Reindeer Robot Rumors to Bed | The Return of the Modern Philosopher

  29. Louise says:

    OMG all of you are so funny. lovin’ sugar sugar remarks about Donner becoming tony. I love the the idea he wants to be tough. Have you guys ever been charged by a deer??? Of course he needs a tough sounding name. As for it being feminine. did you not see our toni collete in some of her roles.
    Maybe Prancer can become Ricky, after the latino singer !!
    God i just had chocolate ice cream for first time in 4 months. Cannoli would have been g8 w it. MMMMM i can smell mrs Anna from next door making hers for xmas. keep it up

  30. Louise says:

    Austin this is the most hilarious post you have put on. That is why we are all reblogging it and your hits are way out past MARS 😀

  31. Louise says:

    Reblogged this on valencia princess – Living outside the Hexagon and commented:
    This is one of the most hilarious posts that Austin has ever done. Read it. I challenge you not to reblog nor laugh out aloud.

  32. mathie says:

    I thought maybe he just really doesn’t like kebabs. 😀

  33. Tony is and adjective described in the dictionary as ‘very expensive and fashionable’. I’d have to agree that being one of Santa’s reindeer is fashionable. I think he chose well. 🙂

  34. Donner, is a corruption of donder, the German word for thunder. I think Tony Thunder, or Tony Thunderhooves, would be awesome names.

  35. hollie says:

    Since Vixen is already taken, Tony is fine.

  36. susielindau says:

    How did you repost this without getting a 404 error? Neat trick. 🙂

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