I get quite a few funny things sent to me during Christmastime, games, jokes and stories. However, I have yet to receive anything as hysterical as A Lawyer’s Christmas, which I found on a group site I belonged to, and Santa Claus: An Engineer’s Perspective, sent to me by my engineer-in-training brother John, boy can he make you laugh. So for your holiday enjoyment I give you the following:
The Night Before Christmas – In Legal Retrospect
Whereas, on or about the night prior to Christmas, there did occur at a certain improved piece of real property hereinafter “the House” a general lack of stirring by all creatures therein, including, but not limited to a mouse.
A variety of foot apparel, e.g., stockings, socks, etc., had been affixed by and around the chimney in said House in the hope and/or belief that St. Nick a.k.a. St. Nicholas a.k.a. Santa Claus (hereinafter “Claus”) would arrive at some time thereafter. The minor residents, i.e., the children, of the aforementioned House, were located in their individual beds and were engaged in nocturnal hallucinations, i.e. dreams, wherein visions of confectionery treats, including, but not limited to, candies, nuts, and/or sugar plums, did dance, cavort and otherwise appear in said dreams.
Whereupon the party of the first part (sometimes hereinafter referred to as “I”), being the joint-owner in fee simple of the House with the party of the second part (hereinafter “Momma”), and said Momma had retired for a sustained period of sleep. (At such time, the parties were clad in various forms of headgear, e.g., kerchief and cap.) Suddenly, and without prior notice or warning, there did occur upon the unimproved real property adjacent and appurtenant to said House, i.e. the lawn, a certain disruption of unknown nature, cause and/or circumstance.
The party of the first part did immediately rush to a window in the House to investigate the cause of such disturbance. At that time, the party of the first part did observe, with some degree or wonder and/or disbelief, a miniature sleigh (hereinafter “Vehicle”) being pulled and/or drawn very rapidly through the air by approximately eight (8) reindeer. The driver of the vehicle appeared to be, and in fact, was, the previously-referenced Claus. Said Claus was providing specific directions, instruction and guidance to the approximately eight (8) reindeer and specifically identified the animal co-conspirators by name: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen (hereinafter the “Deer”). (Upon information and belief, it is further asserted that an additional co-conspirator named “Rudolph” may have been involved).
The party of the first part witnessed Claus, the Vehicle and the Deer intentionally and willfully trespass upon the roofs of several residences located adjacent to and in the vicinity of the House, and noted that the Vehicle was heavily laden with packages, toys and other items of unknown origin or nature. Suddenly, without prior invitation or permission, either express or implied, the Vehicle arrived at the House, and Claus entered said House via said House’s carbon particulate matter emitter, sometimes hereinafter referred to as “Chimney.”
Said Claus was clad in a red fur suit, which was partially covered with residue from the chimney, and he carried a large sack containing a portion of the aforementioned packages, toys and other unknown items. He was smoking what appeared to be tobacco in a small pipe in blatant violation of local ordinances and health regulations.
Claus did not speak, but immediately began to fill the stocking of the minor children, which hung adjacent to the chimney, with toys and other small gifts. (Said items did not, however, constitute “gifts” to said minors pursuant to the applicable provisions of the U.S. Tax Code).
Upon completion of such task, Claus touched the side of his nose and flew, rose and/or ascended up the Chimney of the House to the roof where the Vehicle and Deer waited and/or served as “lookouts.” Claus immediately departed for an unknown destination. However, prior to the departure of the Vehicle, Deer and Claus from said House, the party of the first part did hear Claus state and/or exclaim: “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!” Or words to that effect. Also in violation of local environmental Noise Control regulations. Author unknown.
And now for something completely different
Santa Claus: An Engineer’s Perspective
I/ There are approximately two billion children (persons under 18) in the world, however since Santa does not visit children of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or Buddhist religions, this reduces the workload for Christmas night to 15% of the total, or 378 million (according to the populations reference bureau). At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that comes to 108 homes, presuming that there is at least one good child in each.
II/ Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 967.7 visits per second. This is to say, that for every Christian household with a good child, Santa has around 1/1000 of a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left for him, get back up the chimney, jump into the sleigh and get on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false, but will accept for the purpose of our calculations). We are talking about 1.25 Km per household, a total of 120.8 million Km, not counting bathroom stops or breaks. This means Santa’s sleigh is moving at 1040 Km per second……..3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 43.8 Km per second, and a conventional reindeer can run (at best) 25 Km per hour.
III/ The pay load of the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium Lego set (two pounds), the sleigh is carrying over 500 thousands tons, not counting Santa himself. On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds, even granting that the “flying” reindeer could pull ten times the normal amount, the job can’t be done with eight or even nine of them…..Santa would need 360,000 of them. This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh, another 54,000 tons, or roughly seven times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth (the ship, not the monarch).
IV/ 600,000 tons traveling at 1040 Km per second creates enormous air resistance….this would heat up the lead reindeer in the same fashion as a space shuttle re-entering the earth’s atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer would absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second each. In short, they would burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team would be vaporised within 4.26 thousandths of a second, or right about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his trip. Not that it matters, however, since Santa, as a result of accelerating from a dead stop to 1040 kps in .001 seconds, would be subjected to centrifugal forces of 17,500 G’s. A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of the sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force, instantly crushing his bones and organs and reducing him to a quivering blob of pink goo.
V/ Therefore, if Santa did exist, he’s dead now.
Merry Christmas Everybody!