By Alex P. Vidal
“The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live.” — George Carlin
It all looks so effortless.
Innocent children would swallow the propaganda, a fantasy peddled by generations of Christmas cards to divert attention away from what is, undoubtedly, the most spectacular research and development outfit this planet has ever seen.
In the Physics on Christmas, Roger Highfield differed on the view that, apart from the occasional slip up with drunken reindeer, narrow chimneys, and blizzards, Santa manages to deliver millions of gifts on Christmas Eve, maintaining his smile and composure all the while.
Santa’s support team: a few reindeer and a handful of diligent elves.
“I have good reason to believe that Santa has drawn on the benefits of centuries of inventions and insights generated by a scientific effort that would make the likes of Albert Einstein weep with admiration,” observed Highfield.
Somewhere in the North Pole, or perhaps buried in a vast complex under Gemiler Island, original home of Saint Nicholas, there must be an army of scientists experimenting with the latest in high-temperature materials, genetic computing technologies, and warped space-time geometries, all united by a single purpose: making millions of children happy each and every Christmas.
“Put yourself in Santa’s boots,” Highfield suggested: “How does he know where children live and what gifts they want? How can he fly in any weather, circle the globe overnight, carry millions of pounds of cargo, and make silent rooftop landings with pinpoint accuracy?”
Some years ago Spy magazine reportedly examined these issues in an article that has since proliferated across the Internet.
The piece concluded that Santa required 214,200 reindeer and, with his huge mass of presents, encountered “enormous air resistance, heating the reindeer up in the same fashion as a spacecraft re-entering the earth’s atmosphere.”
In short, the article concluded, the reindeer “will burst into flame almost instantaneously, creating deafening sonic booms in their wake.”
The article continued: “The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity…If Santa ever did deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he’s dead now.”
The point is that Santa is now dead.
He delivers presents every Christmas Eve, as reliably as Rudolf’s nose is red.
And he overcomes the kinds of problems outlined above with the aid of out-of-this-world technology.
COMMON SENSE 1: Can we send an e-mail thank you (for the Christmas gifts), or do we have to use snail mail?
A: An e-mailed thank you is simply not as warm and personal as a note. If we have a casual relationship with the gift giver and we regularly correspond via e-mail and Facebook, an electronic thank-you may be OK. But for most people, a written note is the best way to offer an expression of genuine thanks.
COMMON SENSE 2: Q: Should I send Christmas cards to non-Christian friends?
A: It’s more considerate to go with cards that offer the message “Season’s Greetings” — with no religious figures, messages, or symbols—when we aren’t sure of a friend’s religious preference.
TO MY FELLOW GROCERY HABITUES: While reusable shopping bags are best, plastic bags are recyclable. Most large grocers and retailers now have recycling bins. The plastic is made into fences, decks, and new bags. Source: Kathleen Huddy, GHRI textiles, paper and plastics director… It’s confirmed: Hawaii has implemented a state law imposing a fine of $500 to any bus passenger with B.O. One of those nabbed and fined recently was, believe it or not, a female tourist from Arizona…The word “pornography” comes from Greece, meaning the “writing of prostitutes”.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)