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A Winter Wonderland
New Jersey Style

Driver's swear ..... are you listenin',
At the Mall .....folks are bitchin',
A miserable sight ..... they're sorry tonite, Drivin' in New Jersey's TrafficLand!
Gone away ...... are your tires,
meter has ...... just expired,
They towed you away, while you shopped today, Parkin' in New Jersey's TrafficLand!
On the Parkway we will have a breakdown, We'll be stuck and threathened on the side, If we're lucky, muggers might come mug us, And if we plead they may give us a ride!
Santa's sleigh ..... was impounded,
All the Elves ...... were surrounded,
He's now in a cell .... for ringin' his bell, Living in New Jersey's TrafficLand!

My ex-husband and I fought constantly,

Why I married him, I'll never know.

For all those miserable years I said

My hubby has got to go!

Tried poisoning cakes, stripping his brakes,

Salting his pork chops with lime.

Wiring his chair, igniting his hair

Even though playing with fire is a crime.

But I failed at each plot 'til I suddenly thought

Of a way that would set me free!

I got rid of him for good and, know what?

They could't do a thing to me!

I took him back to WalMart!

They'll take anything back you know!

They said they couldn't recall selling him,

But they must have if I said so.

They just credited him to my Visa and said,

"Ya'll come back now, 'ya hear?"

They were so nice, polite, pleasant and insistent,

I took back his mother the next year!

They'll take anything back at WalMart,

Though it's broken or rotten or sweet.

And know what else? This time of year

You don't even need a receipt!


An Engineer's Christmas

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 (except maybe in Japan) religions, this reduces the workload for Christmas night to 15% of the total, or 378 million (according to the population reference bureau). At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that comes to 108 million homes, presuming there is at least one good child in each.

Santa has about 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 967.7 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with a good child, Santa has around 1/1000th of a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the stocking, 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 onto 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 purposes of our calculations), we are now talking about 0.78 miles per household; a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting bathroom stops or breaks.

This means 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, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second, and a conventional reindeer can run (at best) 15 miles per hour.

The payload of the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium sized 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 can pull 10 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).

600,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance--this would heat up the reindeer in the same fashion as a spacecraft reentering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer would adsorb 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 vaporized 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 650 m.p.s. in .001 seconds, would be subjected to acceleration forces of 17,000 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. Therefore, if Santa did exist, he's dead now.

Merry Christmas!

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Page maintained by Wesley Moore. Copyright(c) Wesley Moore, 3rd. Created: 4/19/99 Updated: 12/16/99