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Santa and the Scientist

It would almost certainly give us all pause
If there were not a real Santa Claus.
And yet there are some who truly believe
That our friend Santa Claus is a name in the breeze.
Now isn't that strange? Now what do you say
To a boy or a girl who would think that way?
It's hard to imagine, and yet all the same
Some believe Santa is only a name.

Well, draw yourself close, for I'd like to tell
A story that I think will hold you a spell
For not long ago, someone had doubt
That Santa in fact was out and about.
This someone claimed that he had the proof
That would make Santa's sleigh dissolve in a poof
And so Santa Claus, along with the reindeer --
From Dasher to Blitzen -- would all disappear.

The man's name was Edgar, and his situation
Was to be living at McMurdo Station
Which was to be found, if you feel you must know
Not too far off from the earth's Southern Pole.
That's right, it exists on Antarctica's shore
(And it makes, for our story, quite good sense for
Edgar to be, of places men inhabit
The one furthest away from Santa Claus on the planet.)

Edgar was not bad, but his brain never got
Beyond the pale realm of rational thought.
For every event there was explanation
For the laws of physics were not known to vacation.
And if something did not make sense to these laws
Well, then the premise was sure to have flaws
(You might agree that it was somewhat tragic
That Edgar's world was one without magic).

One Christmas Eve, Edgar reached the conclusion
That Santa was but a communal illusion.
"It is hard," Edgar said, "But let's face the facts
And what we discover very simply is that
There is no way, try though he might
That Santa could do all his work in one night.
It's more than impractical, it's more than implausible
It is -- I must say -- quite clearly impossible."

His coworkers laughed, but Edgar was smart
He grabbed a felt marker and made up a chart
It was incredibly busy and contained lots of math
But when he was done, he took a step back
And said "Look, you'd be an idiot to miss this
What we have here is a violation of physics."
His coworkers stopped and gathered around
And then Edgar's voice was the only sound.

"Think of how many children there are
Spread over the world -- some near and some far
That Santa attends to in one single visit
There's hundreds of millions! It's not possible, is it?
To visit each child, you'd have to reckon
Santa could spend just one-thousandth a second
To hop down a chimney, deliver his gift
eat all the cookies and return to his skiff."
"And how does he fit all the toys in his sleigh
For each girl and boy -- how much would that weigh?
It would in fact weigh hundreds of thousands of tons!
Driving that sleigh would not be much fun.
Especially with only eight reindeer to try
To pull that whole thing -- even ones that could fly.
But can they really? -- were I one I would panic
The fact is that deer are not aerodynamic."

Edgar's coworkers saw it must be the truth
The facts of the matter were not in dispute.
And as they were scientists, to whom truth is binding
They felt honor bound to publish their finding
So they turned on their computers and announced to the Web
That Santa was for all practical purposes dead.
Then they came together and cried their hearts dry
They were all sad but they did not know why.

Then suddenly there was knock on the door
And everyone jumped -- this had not happened before!
Everyone staying at McMurdo Station
Had been there to hear Edgar's revelation.
That being that case, it just did not fit
That behind the door someone was knocking on it.
They were busily discussing what it is they might do
When the door opened up and someone came through.

That someone was dressed from his head to his toes
In a suit of red, which had boots caked with snow.
He was portly -- indeed, some might say he was fat
(but if you were polite you would never say that)
It was, point of fact, our good friend Santa
And Edgar was wishing he had some Mylanta
When Santa said, in a voice hard to miss:
"I hear someone here thinks that I don't exist!"

"Uh...that would be me," Edgar had to reply.
"I appear to be wrong; I don't understand why.
How can you exist? We've quite certainly proved
That there's no possible way on earth you can move
As fast as you need to, to do your job right
And get it all done in the space of one night.
Explain to me please -- use small words if you can!
How you can break the laws of physics and man."

"The laws of physics!" said Santa, who laughed.
"There is more to our universe than just only that.
It's a place filled with wonders, with things that would seem
To remain unexplained outside of our dreams.
Edgar, there is science, and then there is art
What is the speed of light, next to the speed of the heart?
There are things we believe, that we cannot explain
And yet they exist, just as real, all the same."

"Edgar," said Santa, "I have a gift for you.
It's something I think that you really could use.
It's something you had, but lost on the way
I found it and kept it for this very day
What it is, my friend Edgar, is the faith to believe
In things your heart knows but your eye cannot see
Believing in Santa can be in there too
But what you believe in, well, that's up to you."

And with that, Santa gave Edgar a hug
And then stamped his feet hard and fast on the rug.
The door opened up as wide as a gate
And Santa rushed off; he could not be late
Because even by measure of the speed of the heart
Santa simply cannot be late to the start
Of another Christmas Eve, to fly in his sleigh
To deliver his presents 'til dawn, Christmas day.

And so here children is the end of the story --
I hope with my heart you found it not boring.
Now get you to bed and snuggle in tight
So Santa may visit you this very night
And if someone doubts that Santa exists
I would ask you simply to remember this
That Santa exists if you want him to
At the North Pole, but in your heart too.

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