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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

Favorite Fictional Characters, #358: The Tenth Day of Christmas: Yukon Cornelius

"It's rich with gold. Goooolllldddddd."

We all know that Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is the most savage and hellish of the classic holiday specials, depicting a Hobbesian dystopia at the North Pole. Rampant bullying among the reindeer, class division among the wage-slave elves, and a distant, dismissive, disinterested second-term Reaganesque Santa. It's a middle school counselor's worst nightmare up there. No wonder Rudolph and Hermey split.

But in the midst of this brutal Arctic wasteland comes a hero. Yukon Cornelius is the Greatest Prospector in the North, but he's also so much more. He's strong and brave, tackling the massive carnivorous Bumble with his bare hands (despite packing a firearm in his ample belt), and tough, surviving the resulting plunge into an icy crevasse. He's flexible, willing to mine silver or gold or even peppermint to satisfy his rapacious economic imperative. He's loyal, helping to guide and rescue his newfound friends. Plus, his mustache and beard are the envy of every hipster or Movember dilettante among us. Nothing dampens Yukon's enthusiasm or cheer, and among all of the victims and jerks and enablers at Santa's North Korean-style closed society of degradation and oppression, he's the one beacon of freedom and hope. I dare any bully, four-legged or otherwise, to laugh at Yukon Cornelius or call him names, or to tell him what games he could or couldn't play. Homey don't play that.

So here's to you, Yukon Cornelius. Of all the Christmas cartoon characters, you're the one I want with me for the zombie apocalypse or the Trump administration or whatever other end-of-days action is coming. Well, you and the Winter Warlock. Yeah, that's my squad.

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