by Jeff Goode

copyright © 1994

[Dasher is the opening monologue from THE EIGHT: Reindeer Monologues] "Dasher" by Jeff Goode (copyright © 1995)
All rights reserved. This script may not be performed, printed, downloaded or re-transmitted without the author's consent.


My name is Dasher.

First reindeer.

From day one.

"Number one from day one."

I been makin' the Christmas run longer than anyone
except the fatboy himself.

I've been the reindeer,
every year,
for as long as reindeer could fly.

So I don't have to put up with this shit.

One time
I was not the lead reindeer.
One time.

foggy Christmas Eve.
Yeah, right.
Fine, whatever, I don't want to talk about it.

Just that one time
he was the lead reindeer.

And what did it get him?

And where am I?
the very next year.
And every year since.

So you wanna tell me it was fog?
Fine, it was fog, I'm not challenging that.
And I don't wanna talk about it anyway.

All I'm saying...

All I'm saying
is "Fog, my reindeer ass."

I have seen blizzards
and torrents of freezing rain and sleet
and lightning
on Christmas Eve.

I have seen
an ice
Jagged shards of ice
like broken glass whipping through the air
like bullets.
all over our bodies
from being all cut up.
And it's freezing cold.
And the wind.
And we were pulling two short
because Blitzen
and The Faggot
stayed home.
They didn't wanna go.
"Unsafe working conditions."
My fuzzy ass! They were chicken shits.

They knew it was bad.
They knew something was gonna go wrong.
They had the funny feeling you get in your antlers
when there's gonna be an earthquake,
or when something's just gonna go down ugly.

And it did.

That was the year we lost what's-his-name.
The guy Hollywood replaced,
Vixen's mate.

His hind leg was cut up real bad
from this weird ice storm.
And when we came down too heavy
on one of those real steep gabled roofs...
He slipped.
And his leg just snapped.
Bone sliced right through an artery in his leg...
He was gone before we even knew what happened.

Fatboy just unhitched him.
Left him on that rooftop.
Said, "Boys, we gotta run to make."
"...ho ho ho."

And we did.

And there was Christmas.

Thanks to the five of us,
and thanks to Victor.
There was Christmas.

He knew it was bad, too.
Victor knew something like this could happen.
But he wasn't sittin' at home saying,
"That's too dangerous."
"I got a bad feeling."

Every boy and girl on the face of this earth
is counting on us
to bring Christmas joy into their home.
And we got no business
sitting at the North Pole
watchin' TV, saying,
"Glad I'm not out in that."
"I don't get paid for that."
That is exactly what we get paid for!
I can name you fifty flying reindeer right now
who will run on a clear night with temperatures in the mid 30's.
are supposed to be
the Elite.
"The Eight."
There's a problem? We handle it.


I will take the risk
of flying head first
into the side of a skyscraper that wasn't there last year.
I've done it before.
Three times.
And am I accusing someone else
of ...unChristmaslike behavior?
No I am not.
My risk, my problem.
And it doesn't matter anyway
because I survived it.
I'm still here.
Still at the front.
Still runnin'.
This year, next year, and every year.

So you wanna hear my story?

I don't know what happened.

I don't know,
and I don't want to know.

So when I hear all this whining.

When I see lawyers
runnin' 'round all over the fuckin' place...

That's not Christmas.

That's not Christmas,
and that's not taking responsibility
for your own
...whatever, actions.
That's not takin' responsibility, period.

Because we've got a responsibility.
And suppose they do find out something?
What if?
What then?
Do we hand it all over to the elves and walk away?
"Oh, I'm sorry. This shouldn't have happened, I quit."
"I'm sorry Johnny and Janey and Jamal"
and two billion other kids
all over the world
for whom Santa Claus
"I just wasn't happy here!
So you
can never be happy
at Christmas again
for as long as you live..."

I mean,
what's happened to Rudolph
is very, very...
very tragic.
But I wanna say this about the kid.
Even after all this,
I know
that if he could,
he would jump
right back in the harness again.
Because that's what you do.

Is what.
You do.

And that is all I'm gonna say to any of you about this.