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A JEWISH CHRISTMAS EVE 'Twas the night before christmas, and we, being Jews, My girlfriend and me - we had nothing to do. The gentiles were home, hanging stockings with care, Secure in their knowledge St. Nick would be there. But for us, once the Chanukah candles burned down, There was nothing but boredom all over town. The malls and the theaters were all closed up tight; There weren't any concerts to go to that night. A dance would have saved us, some ballroom or swing, But we searched through the papers; there wasn't a thing. Outside the window sat 2 feet of snow; With the windchill, the said, it was 15 below. And while all I could do was sit there a brood, My girl saved the night and called out: "CHINESE FOOD!" So we ran to the closet, grabbed hats, mitts and boots - To cover out heads, our hands and our foots. We pulled on our jackets, all puffy with down, And boarded the T bound for old Chinatown. The train nearly empty, it rolled through the stops, While visions of wontons danced through our kopfs. We hopped off at Park Street; the Common was bright With fresh-fallen snow and the trees strung with lights, We crept through "The Zone" with its bums and its thugs, And entrepreneurs selling ladies and drugs. At last we reached chinatown, rushed through the gate, Past bakeries, markets, shops and cafes, In search of a restaurant: "Which one? Let's decide!" We chose "Hunan Chozer," and ventured inside. Around us sat others, their platters piled high With the finest of fine foods their money could buy: There was roast duck and fried squid, (sweet, sour and spiced,) Dried beef and mixed veggies, lo mein and fried rice, Whole fish and moo shi and shrimp chow mee foon, And General Gau's chicken a ma po tofu... When at last we decided, and the waiter did call, We said: "Skip the menu!" and ordered it all. And when in due time the food was all made, It came to the table in a sort of parade. Before us sat dim sum, spare ribs and egg rolls, And four different soups, in four great, huge bowls. And chicken wings! Dumplings! and Beef Teriakis! The courses kept coming from spicy to mild, And higher and higher toward the ceiling were piled. And while this went on, we became aware Every diner around us had started to stare. Their jaws hanging open, they looked on unblinking; Some dropped their teacups, some drooled without thinking. So much piiled up, one dish after another, My girlfriend and I couldn't see one another! Now we sait there, we two, without proper utensils, While they handed us something that looked like two pencils. We poked and we jabbed till our fingers were sore And half of our dinner woulnd up on the floor. We tried - how we tried - but, said truth to tell, Ten long minutes later and still hungry as hell, We swallowed our pride, feeling vaguely like dorks, And called to our waiter to bring us two forks. We fressed and we feastered, we slurped and we munched; We noshed and we supped, we breakfast'd and lunched. We ate till we couldn't and drank down our teas And barely had room for our fortune cookies. But my fortune was perfect; it summed up the mood When it said: "Pork is kosher, when its in Chinese food." And my girlfriend - well... she got a real winner; Her's said: "Your companion will pay for the dinner." Our bellies were full and at last it was time To travel back home and write some bad rhyme Of our Chinatown trek (and to privately speak About trying to refine our chopstick technique). The MSG spun round and round in our heads, And we tripped and we laughed and gaily we said, As we carried our leftovers home through the night: "Good Yom Tov to all - and to all a Good Night!"
Star Trek Christmas: A ST:TNG XMAS 'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the ship Not a circuit was buzzing, not one microchip; The phasers were hung in the armoury securely, In hopes that no aliens would get up that early. The crewmen were nestled all snug in their bunks (Except for the few who were partying drunks); And Picard in his nightshirt and Bev in her lace, Had just settled down for a neat face-to-face... When out in the halls there arose such a racket, We leapt from our beds, to pull on pant and jacket. Away to the lifts we all shot like a gun, Leapt to the cars and yelled loudly, "Deck One!" The bridge Red-Alert lights, which flashed through the din, Gave the lustre of Hades to objects within. When, what, on the viewscreen, should our eyes behold, But a weird kind of sleigh, and some guy who looked old. The glint in his eyes was so strange and askew We knew in a moment it had to be Q. His sleigh grew much larger as closer he came. Then he zapped on the bridge and addressed us by name: "It's Riker! It's Data! It's Worf and Jean-Luc! It's Geordi! And Wesley, the genetic fluke! To the top of the bridge, to the top of the hall! Now float away! Float away! Float away all!" As leaves in the autumn are whisked off the street, So the floor of the bridge came away from our feet, And up to the ceiling our bodies they flew, As the captain called out, "What the hell is this, Q?!" The prankster just laughed and expanded his grin, And, snapping his fingers, he vanished again. As we took in our plight and were looking around, The spell was removed, and we crashed to the ground. Then Q, dressed in fur from his head to his toe, Appeared once again, to continue the show. "That's enough!" cried the captain, "You'll stop this at once!" And Riker said, Worf! Take aim at this dunce!" "I'm deeply offended, Jean-Luc," replied Q, "I just want to celebrate Christmas with you." As we scoffed at his words, he produced a large sack. He dumped out the contents and took a step back. "I've brought gifts," he said, "just to show I'm sincere. There's something delightful for everyone here." He sat on the floor and dug into his pile, And handed out gifts with his most charming smile: "For Counsellor Troi, there's no need to explain. Here's Tylenol-Beta for all of your pain. For Worf I've some mints as his breath's not too great, And for Geordi LaForge, an inflatable date. For Wesley, some hormones, and Clearasil-Plus; For Data, a joke book; for Riker, a truss. For Beverly Crusher, there's sleek lingerie, And For Jean-Luc Picard, a brand new toupee! Then he sprang to his feet with that grin on his face And, clapping his hands, disappeared into space. But we heard him exclaim as he dwindled from sight, "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good flight!" Presented to Mr. John DeLancie by El Diablo & Mindbender - July 1993
IS THERE A SANTA CLAUS? As a result of an overwhelming lack of requests, and with research help from that renowned scientific journal SPY magazine (January, 1990) - here are the results of a scientific inquiry into Santa Claus. 1) No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen. 2) There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total - 378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes. One presumes there's at least one good child in each. 3) 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 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75-1/2 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding and etc. This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second - a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour. 4) The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that "flying reindeer" (see point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal amount, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload - not even counting the weight of the sleigh - to 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison - this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth. 5) 353,000 tons travelling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecrafts re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each. In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force. In conclusion - If Santa ever did deliver presents on Christmas Eve, there's a pretty good chance he is "no more".
Chemistry Christmas 'Twas the night before Christmas, The lab was quite still; Not a Bunsen was burning (Nor had they the will). The test tubes were placed In their racks with great care, In hopes Father Chemistry Soon would be there. The students were sleeping So sound in their dorms, All dreaming of fluids And Crystalline forms. Lab-Aids in their aprons And I in my smock. When outside the lab There arose such a roar I leaped from my stool And fell flat on the floor. Out ot the fire escape All of us flew. What was the commotion? Not one of knew. The flood-lights shone out O're the campus so bright It looked like old Stockholm On Nobel Prize Night. My fume-blinded eyes Then viewed (dare I say?) Eight anions pulling A water-trough sleigh. And holding the bonds Tied to each one of them Was a figure I knew As our own Papa Chem. With speeds in excess Of most X-rays they came. As they Dopplered along He called each one by name. "Now Nitrite, now Phosphate, Now Borate, now Chloride On Citrate, on Bromate, On Sulfite and Oxide. Forget what you know Of that randomness stuff, Let's go straight to that roof, If you've quanta enough." As fluids Bernoullian Behave in a pinch, Those ions said "Alchemist This is a cinch." So up to the lab-roof Those "chargers" they sped With Pop Chemistry safe In his water-trough sled. Just a microsec later Electroscopes showed Charged particles coming To our lab abode We raced back inside, And what d'ya think? Down the fume-hood Pop Chem fell, Right into the sink. He was dressed in a lab-coat, Quite ragged and old, With removable buttons (The style, we're told) A tray-full of beakers He clutched to his heart-- And under his arm Was an orbital chart. His eyes through his goggles I just couldn't see His hands were all yellow From H-N-O-3. His head was quite bald With a fringe all around Like a ring test for iron, That same shade of brown. He puffed a cigar With a smell not at all Unlike the organic lab Right down the hall. The smoke billowed forth From his angular face And with Brownian Movement Enveloped the place. He was thin as a match And not terribly tall He wasn't the type I'd expected at all But a look at his clothes, In the lab's harsh white light, With their acid-burn holes-- He's a chemist all right! He didn't say much (He had no time to kill) And filled all the test tubes With nary a spill. Then placing them bak On the benches with care He dashed to the fume-hood And rose through the air. He called to his team And his ions took off And kinetics took care Of Pop Chem and his trough, But I heard him cry out As he flew down the street "Merry Holidays to all! May your stockrooms stay neat!"
POLITICALLY CORRECT XMAS "Twas the night before Christmas and Santa's a wreck... How to live in a world that's politically correct? His workers no longer would answer to "Elves" -- "Vertically challenged" they were calling themselves. And labor conditions at the north pole Were alleged by the union to stifle the soul. Four reindeer had vanished, without much propriety, Released to the wilds by the Humane Society. And equal employment had made it quite clear That Santa had better not use just reindeer. So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid, Were replaced by 4 pigs, and you know that looked stupid! The runners had been removed from his sleigh; The ruts were termed dangerous by the E.P.A. And people had started to call the cops When they heard sled noises on their rooftops. Second-hand smoke from his pipe had his workers quite frightened, His fur trimmed red suit was called "unenlightened." And to show you the strangeness of life's ebbs and flows, Rudolph was suing over unauthorized use of his nose And had gone on Geraldo, in front of the nation, Demanding millions in overdue compensation. So, half the reindeer were gone; and his wife, Who suddenly said she'd had enough of this life, Joined a self-help group, packed, and left in a whiz, Demanding from now on her title was "Ms." And as for the gifts, why, he'd ne'er had a notion That making a choice could cause so much commotion. Nothing of leather, nothing of fur, Which meant nothing for him. And nothing for her. Nothing that might be construed to pollute, Nothing to aim, nothing to shoot. Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise, Nothing for just girls, nor just for the boys. Nothing that claimed to be gender specific, Nothing that's warlike or non-pacific. No candy or sweets (they were bad for the teeth) Nothing that seemed to embellish a truth. And fairy tales, while not yet forbidden, Were like Ken and Barbie - better off hidden. For they raised the hackles of those psychological Who claimed the only good gift was one ecological. No baseball, no football - someone could get hurt! Besides, playing sports exposed kids to dirt. Dolls were said to be sexist, and should be passe; And Nintendo would rot your entire brain away. So Santa just stood there, disheveled, perplexed; He just could not figure out what to do next. He tried to be merry, tried to be gay, But you've got to be careful with that word today. His sack was quite empty, limp to the ground; Nothing fully acceptable was to be found. Something special was needed, a gift that he might Give to all without angering the left or the right. A gift that would satisfy, with no indecision, Each group of people, every religion; Every ethnicity, every hue, Everyone, everywhere - even you. So here is that gift, it's price beyond worth... "May you and your loved ones enjoy peace on earth." (This poem is copyright 1992 by Harvey Ehrlich. It is free to distribute, without changes, as long as this notice remains intact).
The Net Before Christmas 'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the nets Not a mousie was stirring, not even the pets. The floppies were stacked by the modem with care In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. The files were nestled all snug in a folder The screen saver turned on, the weather was colder. And leaving the keyboard along with my mouse I turned from the screen to the rest of the house. When up from the drive there arose such a clatter I turned to the screen to see what was the matter. Away to the mouse I flew like a flash, Zoomed open a window in fear of a crash... The glow from the screen on the keyboard below Gave an electronic luster to all my macros. When what to my wondering eyes should appear But a little sleigh icon with eight tiny reindeer And a tiny disk driver so SCSI and quick I knew in a nano it must be Saint Nick. More rapid than trackballs his cursors they came, He whistled and shouted and faxed them by name. "Now Flasher! Now Dasher! Now Raster and Bixel! On Phosphor! On Photon! On Baudrate and Pixel! To the top of the stack. To the top of the heap." Then each little reindeer made a soft beep. As data that before the wild electrons fly, When they meet with a node, mount to the drive, So up to the screentop the cursors they flew With a sleigh full of disks and databits, too. And then in a twinkling I heard the high whine Of a modem connecting at a baud rate so fine. As I gazed at the screen with a puzzling frown St. Nicholas logged on though I thought I was down. He was dressed all in bytes from header to footer And the words on the screen said "Don't you reboot 'er." A bundle of bits he had flung on his back And he looked like a programmer starting his hack. His eyes how they glazed, his hair was so scary, His cola was jolt, not flavored with cherry. His droll little mouth was drawn up like a GIF And the pixels of his beard sure gave me a lift. The stump of a routine he held tight in his code And I knew he had made it past the last node. He spoke not a word but looked right at me And I saw in a flash his file was .SEA. He self-decompressed and I watched him unfold, Into a jolly old elf, a sight to behold. And the whispering sound of my hard drive's head Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread. He went straight to his work without saying a word And filled all the folders of this happy nerd. And 'tis the whole truth, as the story is told, That giving a nod up the window he scrolled, He sprang to the serial port as if truly on fire And away they all flew down the thin copper wire. But I heard him exclaim as he scrolled out of sight "Happy Christmas to All, and to all a good night." by Jim Trudeau & Jay Trudeau (1991) With apologies to Clement C. Moore
A VISIT FROM ST. HICK 'Twas late Christmas eve, and throughout the White House All slumbered but Socks (who was chewing a mouse) When all of a sudden a thunderous roar Rattled the East Wing from rafter to floor. Unsure if the noise was just gas or artillery, Bill Clinton took action: he deputized Hillary. In her robe and her slippers, she trudged to the source Of the noise and saw nothing, but then heard a coarse Texas twang from the fireplace clamor "Down here! Are y'all just as blind as those tinhorn reindeer?" There, on the hearth, 'midst the timber and tinder, Sat H. Ross Perot, all covered wit cinder. "Your flue," he complained, "is disgusting with soot. You gave far too many staff members the foot. Cutting budgets is wonderful; better is cheaper. But you need either Zoe's or Kimba's housekeeper. >From ashes that thick, someone's breathing might fail. Thank goodness, like Bill, that I didn't inhale." "Why, Ross," replied Hillary, "pray tell what is it To which Bill and I owe this Christmas Eve visit? You're certainly welcome to use the front door. Did you come down the chimney to hide from Al Gore?" Shaking the layer of ash from his head, Ross brushed his flattop, glowered and said: "No, M'am. I'm a shareholder in Santa Claus, Inc., Whose dividends recently started to sink. When I finally cornered old Santa himself, He offered to hire me on as an elf! So I planned my attack, set my financing snares, Then bought all the company's outstanding shares. Christmas trees won't be all that get trimmed from now on; The era of deficit budgets is gone. The business is gonna be run right because All day, every day, now I am Santa Claus." >From his inside coat pocket Ross whipped out a chart And a pointer he brandished with well-practiced art. "Now, you look at this. You see this here graph? The way Santa's workshop was run is a laugh. Those North Pole utility bills are a joke, And the union-scale wages will soon have us broke. We need much, much cheaper electrical power, And elves who don't make fifteen dollars an hour." For dramatic effectiveness, Ross took a pause, Then resumed his debut as the new Santa Claus. "Each new day brings another environment rule. Recycling toys is a pain in the Yule! The slogan 'keep the North Pole white' Is driving expenditures clear out of sight. Luckily, NAFTA provides a solution, A haven in which I can discharge pollution Into the air or the land of my neighbor, Where the powe union committee: I'm moving the workshop to Mexico City." Then, in a twinkle, up the chimney he went, Back through the soot out the cold rooftop vent. But not before saying, with a wink and a nod, "Buenas noches, Miss Hillary, and Feliz Navidad!" (c) 1993 Christopher M. Mislow

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