I love this season. In my never-to-be-humble opinion, Christmas really is “the most wonderful time of the year.” I love the songs. I love the decorations. I love the food. (A little too much, as the scale will confirm on Jan. 1.)
I also love the memories. And now I’m going to wreck one of yours. I apologize in advance.
Many of my fondest childhood memories revolve around Christmastime. Like pretty much everybody, I had my share of struggles growing up, but Christmas was by-and-large a time that everybody put aside their differences and celebrated together.
There were certain traditions that stand out in my mind. Mom baking cookies. Midnight Christmas service at the church. And watching the Christmas specials on TV.
Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer was my favorite.
Now, I have to be honest. When I was really little, the abominable snow monster horrified me. In retrospect, I have to wonder why. Remember when he tipped over? The bottom of his feet looked just like the bottom of my footie pajamas. How did I not notice that? How did I not realize that the abominable was a fake? I guess a 5-year-old has limited powers of observation.
But other than being scared of the PJ-footed snow monster, I loved that show. Honestly, I still do.
Funny thing, looking back. When I was a kid, I didn’t really like Yukon Cornelious all that much. He was kind of annoying, and let’s be honest, the licking thing was kinda weird. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve grown to really enjoy old Yukon.
I mean what’s not to like, right? He’s a man’s man. He openly carries a gun. He travels with cornmeal and gunpowder and ham hocks and guitar strings. And he’s always on the lookout for silver and gold.
Here’s a fun fact – and the moment I start to toy with your childhood memories. We really don’t get the full story on Yukon Cornelious in the version of the show that comes on TV today. They actually cut out some crucial info. Kind of like a Federal Reserve statement.
You’ll recall that when Cornelious meets Rudolph and Hermey, he launched into a dramatic and emphatic introduction.
The name’s Yukon Cornelious, the greatest prospector in the north! And you know, it’s rich with gold! Gold! Gold and silver! Silver and gold! Wahooo!”
He punctuates his greeting by tossing his pickaxe in the air, licking it and declaring, “Nothin’.”
The pickaxe toss and lick repeats throughout the show. Like I said — kinda creepy. And on a sidenote – yuck. Germs! And how did his tongue not freeze to the metal?
Anyway, you are probably under the impression that Yukon was hoping to discover riches in gold and silver. That’s certainly the impression the show gives you.
Well, here’s where I wreck your childhood because that’s not what he was doing at all.
There is a scene that was deleted by CBS that explains exactly what Yukon was looking for. Rick Goldschmidt wrote a book on Rudolph and calls this “the most significant deleted scene.” An article in the Huffington Post explains what happened.
It comes right after Rudolph guides Santa through the air to the Island of Misfit Toys. Rudolph’s parents, Donner and Mrs. Donner, Rudolph’s girlfriend, Clarice, and Cornelius are featured, while Donner says, ‘That’s my buck!’ finally confirming Rudolph’s dad is no longer ashamed, as Goldschmidt points out. But more illuminating is that the scene finally gives an answer as to why Cornelius kept licking his pickax throughout the special. In this deleted scene, Cornelius throws his ax in the air, lets it strike the ground and then, after licking it as he has been wont to do, declares, ‘Peppermint! What I’ve been searching for all my life! I’ve struck it rich. I’ve got me a peppermint mine … Wahoooo!’”
And here’s the deleted scene. You’re welcome!
I’m sorry if I’ve just blown up your childhood. But, the truth must be told!
Interestingly, if you’re a bit older than I, you may remember the deleted scene. It last aired on TV in 1964. It’s also on the DVD. So, if you have watched it with your kids, you already knew this little secret. And I feel better that I didn’t smash your childhood memories.
Anyway, peppermint is great for Christmas, but I think Yukon was a little misguided. I’ll take gold and silver, thank you very much.
Now, you aren’t going to get gold by throwing a pick-ax in the air and licking it. You might get tetanus, but not gold. Or peppermint, for that matter. I suggest calling a SchifGold precious metals specialist instead. They can hook you up. With gold – not peppermint.
Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year! from the entire SchiffGold family!
Fun on Friday is a weekly SchiffGold feature. We dig up some of the off-the-wall and off-beat stories relating to precious metals and share them with you – with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Click here to read other posts in this series.
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