If you have access to the Internet, and use it for something other than checking for winks on Match.com,  you may have read how the lovely folks at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) have discovered a new particle they believe to be the Higgs boson, affectionately known by us laypeople as the “God particle.” The LHC is a 17-mile tube situated a football field or so below ground outside Geneva, near the Swiss-Franco border.  In this tube, ridiculously smart physicists are able to accelerate tiny particles called protons to nearly the speed of light by using 1,600 superconducting magnets, each of which weighs almost 60,000 pounds. And for these magnets to work properly, they must be cooled to a soul-crushing temperature of -456.25 degrees Fahrenheit, which is two degrees colder than outer space.

On St. Patrick’s Day, a holiday significant to engineers in the USA, I wrote about the prominence of that profession within my family. It so happens that I’ve had occasion to expand upon that on another holiday. I’ve never really been big on Father’s Day, despite having four children of my own, but on the usual phone call to my father we got to talking about his background in electron microscopy.  He was not only a pioneer applying it to materials engineering, but also involved in education, looking to produce the next generation in his field, particularly from Nigeria.

From a Nigerian-American on Memorial Day to my father, veteran officer, Biafran Infantry and my father-in-law, veteran, U.S. Navy (served in Vietnam). They and others like them, then and now, are the reason I have myself never had to experience the horrors of war.

There are no voices over ordered rows of stone,
Visitors silent over silent hosts,
And, dotted nationwide at work or recreation,
The quiet few who lend voice to comrade ghosts.
No more than honest pride at our acclaim
That they went to serve when we called their name.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was a carminative, carnival-hating carnivore with a voracious appetite for plump pluralists speaking in the persnickety pluperfect; and was constantly being busted for driving drunk with an expired poetic license.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was a highly intoxicated, contumacious succubus; a mealy-mouthed, heavily medicated, nitrous-huffing hitman that couldn’t shoot his way out of a greasy paperbag.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was a snide, snafu-loving, crappy lapidary, whose drooling dreams of overly depressed dromedaries were more painful than a demonstrative dreadnought in your noggin.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was a double-crossing, conniption-throwing con artist that was once busted for keeping an arsenal of saccharine, Silly String, and sodium nitrate in a mountain cabin once owned by the Unabomber.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was a sarcastic, hotel towel-stealing, hangover artist; a hanky-panky practicing, skank-loving, loopy & loquacious Wall Street banker whose soul was an all-night crematorium for creativity & coincidences.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was a defrocked and dehydrated follower of zymurgy and zombie logic; a bowlegged & brainwashed, jukebox-bashing bondsman, highly skilled in the ju jitsu of junkfood.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was a Viagra-popping, far-from-demulcent denominator for the fraction of fractured faith healers; a hernia in the body of hope; a hemorrhoid on the ass of ardency; and a total cheater when it comes to Parcheesi.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was a somnambulant, shrink-wrapped & wilted vibrator for the sex life of lethargy; a tantrum-throwing, Mother Theresa-hating headbanger whose great hubris & halitosis were far more unnerving than being tailgated by a time bomb.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was a fainthearted & hypersensitive sesquipedalian; a distraught & divisive virologist whose life was a facsimile of a facsimile of a poorly written simile.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was a cholera-ridden, mosquito-bitten polysyllable basher; a party-crashing conduit for slobbering dromedaries and fractured fairy tales full of false endings and wishes that never come true.

 

Happy a happy holiday season anyway, y’all!

 

 

Every year one of my Jewish friends will try to explain how lame Chanukah is and how it couldn’t possibly stand up against the awesome power of Christmas. With a junkie’s conviction they tell you how much they love all of it: snow! Reindeer! Stop animation TV specials and the mountain of presents under that glorious tree, with the needles that smell like they’ve been hauled out of some magical forest just yesterday!