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Re: season's greetings

That's about enough alcholic eggnog for you, Ken. Mark
--- Ken.Carpenter@dmns.org wrote:

> Twas the nocturnal segment of the diurnal period
> preceding the annual
> Yuletide celebration, and throughout our place of
> residence, kinetic
> activity was not in evidence among the possessors of
> this potential,
> including that species of domestic rodent known as
> Mus musculus. Hosiery
> was meticulously suspended from the forward edge of
> the wood burning
> caloric apparatus, pursuant to our anticipatory
> pleasure regarding an
> imminent visitation from an eccentric philanthropist
> among whose
> folkloric appellations is the honorific title of St.
> Nicholas.
> The prepubescent siblings, comfortably ensconced in
> their respective
> accommodations of repose, were experiencing
> subconscious visual
> hallucinations of variegated fruit confections
> moving rhythmically
> through their cerebrums. My conjugal partner and I,
> attired in our
> nocturnal head coverings, were about to take
> slumberous advantage of the
> hibernal darkness when upon the avenaceous exterior
> portion of the
> grounds there ascended such a cacophony of
> dissonance that I felt
> compelled to arise with alacrity from my place of
> repose for the purpose
> of ascertaining the precise source thereof.
> Hastening to the casement, I forthwith opened the
> barriers sealing this
> fenestration, noting thereupon that the lunar
> brilliance without,
> reflected as it was on the surface of a recent
> crystalline
> precipitation, might be said to rival that of the
> solar meridian itself
> - thus permitting my incredulous optical sensory
> organs to behold a
> miniature airborne runnered conveyance drawn by
> eight diminutive
> specimens of the genus Rangifer, piloted by a
> minuscule, aged chauffeur
> so ebullient and nimble that it became instantly
> apparent to me that he
> was indeed our anticipated caller. With his ungulate
> motive power
> travelling at what may possibly have been more
> vertiginous velocity than
> patriotic alar predators, he vociferated loudly,
> expelled breath
> musically through contracted labia, and addressed
> each of the octet by
> his or her respective cognomen - "Now Dasher, now
> Dancer..." et al. -
> guiding them to the uppermost exterior level of our
> abode, through which
> structure I could readily distinguish the
> concatenations of each of the
> 32 cloven pedal extremities.
> As I retracted my cranium from its erstwhile
> location, and was
> performing a 180-degree pivot, our distinguished
> visitant achieved -
> with utmost celerity and via a downward leap - entry
> by way of the smoke
> passage. He was clad entirely in animal pelts soiled
> by the ebony
> residue from oxidations of carboniferous fuels which
> had accumulated on
> the walls thereof. His resemblance to a street
> vendor I attributed
> largely to the plethora of assorted playthings which
> he bore dorsally in
> a commodious cloth receptacle.
> His orbs were scintillant with reflected luminosity,
> while his
> submaxillary dermal indentations gave every evidence
> of engaging
> amiability. The capillaries of his malar regions and
> nasal appurtenance
> were engorged with blood which suffused the
> subcutaneous layers, the
> former approximating the coloration of Albion's
> floral emblem, the
> latter that of the Prunus avium, or sweet cherry.
> His amusing sub- and
> supralabials resembled nothing so much as a common
> loop knot, and their
> ambient hirsute facial adornment appeared like
> small, tabular and
> columnar crystals of frozen water.
> Clenched firmly between his incisors was a smoking
> piece whose grey
> fumes, forming a tenuous ellipse about his occiput,
> were suggestive of a
> decorative seasonal circlet of holly. His visage was
> wider than it was
> high, and when he waxed audibly mirthful, his
> corpulent abdominal region
> undulated in the manner of impectinated fruit syrup
> in a hemispherical
> container. He was, in short, neither more nor less
> than an obese,
> jocund, multigenarian gnome, the optical perception
> of whom rendered me
> visibly frolicsome despite every effort to refrain
> from so being. By
> rapidly lowering and then elevating one eyelid and
> rotating his head
> slightly to one side, he indicated that trepidation
> on my part was
> groundless.
> Without utterance and with dispatch, he commenced
> filling the
> aforementioned appended hosiery with various of the
> aforementioned
> articles of merchandise extracted from his
> aforementioned previously
> dorsally transported cloth receptacle. Upon
> completion of this task, he
> executed an abrupt about-face, placed a single
> manual digit in lateral
> juxtaposition to his olfactory organ, inclined his
> cranium forward in a
> gesture of leave-taking, and forthwith effected his
> egress by
> renegotiating (in reverse) the smoke passage. He
> then propelled himself
> in a short vector onto his conveyance, directed a
> musical expulsion of
> air through his contracted oral sphincter to the
> antlered quadrupeds of
> burden, and proceeded to soar aloft in a movement
> hitherto observable
> chiefly among the seed-bearing portions of a common
> weed. But I
> overheard his parting exclamation, audible
> immediately prior to his
> vehiculation beyond the limits of visibility:
> "Ecstatic Yuletide to the
> planetary constituency, and to that self same
> assemblage, my sincerest
> wishes for a salubriously beneficial and
> gratifyingly pleasurable period
> between sunset and dawn."
> Merychippus and a Hippo New Year
> Kenneth Carpenter, Ph.D.
> Curator of Lower Vertebrate Paleontology & Chief
> Preparator
> Department of Earth Sciences
> Denver Museum of Nature & Science
> 2001 Colorado Blvd.
> Denver, CO 80205 USA
> Office phone: 303-370-6392
> Museum fax: 303-331-6492
> For PDFs of some of my publications, as well as
> information of the Cedar
> Mountain Project:
> (if you have problems with the link, cut and paste
> it into the browser
> address bar)
> The scientific method is a myth:
> --------------------------------------------

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