by Mitchel Cohen
December 28, 2010
WHAT A GLORIOUS BLIZZARD!
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- It must suck to be British.
I'm not saying British people suck. I love British people, and am something of an anglophile. I read British mysteries, drink British tea, watch British television, and enjoy writing sentences where I say "British" at least four times.
No, what I mean is, the British bureaucrats can suck the fun and common sense out of anything they put their fingers on. They're like King Midas, only everything they touch turns sucky.
And the British citizens are forced to live under these rules being foisted on them by people who wouldn't know Common Sense if it kicked them in the googlies wearing a pair of sensible shoes and a crash helmet.
This month, as I write about all things Christmas, I'm wagging a finger at Dr. Franco Cappuccio and Dr. Michelle Miller, who work at the University of Warwick Medical School.
Dr. Miller and Dr. "Skim Milk" Cappuccio (not his real nickname) recently made the news by claiming that Santa Claus is a crash risk and a harm to himself and others, because of his annual sleep deprivation combined with all the alcohol left for him on Christmas Eve.
"Each year, Santa Claus and his team of elves and reindeers stay awake for days and nights so he can deliver presents to children all over the world for Christmas," the two Dr. Killjoys told French news service Agence France-Presse. "But he could be putting his and their health at risk."
Days and nights? Days and nights?! For Santa to cover all time zones, he'll need 31 hours to travel the entire globe. How is that "days and nights?" It's one day, plus seven extra hours. It's not like he's going for weeks without sleep.
Plus, they're totally ignoring the fact that Saint Nick already covered all of Western Europe on December 6 (Saint Nicholas Day), so he's saving himself a couple of time zones there already.
I can only assume that Dr. Miller and Dr. Skim Milk are either trying to get attention for their new book about sleep deprivation (which I imagine, if I read it, I could cure), or they're truly the Christmas killjoys they've presented themselves to be.
"Considering that he does it only once a year, it may not be too bad for his long-term health," said Debbie and Donny Downer.
"However, in the short term, there are risks. Lack of sleep will make him drowsy, his vigilance will fade and his ability to think and remember will diminish. There is a risk for himself and others - he could fall asleep at the reins and crash his sleigh."
Yeah, right. That assumes Santa's reindeer are complete idiots who don't know how to drive a flying sleigh. They've been doing this for over 200 years, so the odds that they're suddenly going to forget how to fly just because Santa puts the sleigh on autopilot to catch a little catnap is completely ludicrous.
I think Dr. Miller and Dr. Skim Milk are overdramatizing their report just so they can improve book sales beyond the copies their mothers will buy family members for Christmas, so I'm not going to give them any help by saying the name of their book in my column. (Mostly because the article didn't mention it.)
A few years ago, physicists took a poke at Santa, determining that his Christmas flight would be nearly impossible, because he would need to fly at 650 miles per second to deliver gifts to 100 million homes (again, forgetting he already covered Europe three weeks earlier), but would be instantly vaporized by friction with the air.
Really, physicists? You're trying to kill Santa with science? We're talking about a fat guy who has lived for 230 years without a single doctor's warning about diet, who uses eight talking reindeer to fly (nine, if you count the dude with the magic glowing nose), and carries more than 100 million toys on a sled. You manage to suspend accept all of that long enough to work out that he would need an ion-shield to avoid turning to into a big pile of Santa soot.
The only thing more fun-sucking than a health and safety bureaucrat or book-hawking doctor is a physicist who thinks it's fun to kill Santa in a cloud of vapor and physics. If you guys hurry, you can ask Santa for a life, because you seriously need to get one.
I hope none of these people get what they want for Christmas. Maybe Santa can skip their houses and save himself a few more minutes.
For everyone else, and especially the British, have a healthy and very Merry Christmas!
AR Humor Writer Erik Deckers publishes humor and other articles at his Laughing Stalk blog.