University of Rochester 2007 Research Retrospective

December 24, 2007

Twas the night before Christmas, when across all the planet,

A wormhole was forming, so Santa could span it.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

With a route for St. Nick lit by solar flare.

The children were wheezing, though snug in their beds,

As visions of video games danc'd in their heads,

And Mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just cleared out our brains from a long winter's nap --

When out on the lawn, where it had been snowing,

Flashed a bright lightSanta’s brain cells were glowing!

Dashing down the stairs, I almost cracked up my head,

Though the house was said healthy, with nary some lead.

I swung open the door, slapped by twist and a chill,

As super-sonic rain from the sky did spill,

And then, before me, what else should pass,

But an Earth-friendly sled, fueled by dead grass.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

Straight through star babes, then follow the poles,

Now he was here, with his reindeer – good souls!

"Now! Maiken, now! Geunyoung, now! Kerry and Kara,

"On! Wendi, on! Giuseppe, on! Dahu and Dina;

"To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

"Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

Just as a sniff test shows gender in worms,

Or beef-eating mothers have sons with less sperm,

So quickly to the house-top the coursers they flew,

Hauling those toys --  they really wanted to!

They worked as a team, the tops in the nation,

Friends in the workplace, they did not ration.

They tackled their task with fervor and PEP,

No getting SAD – with joyness they leapt!

And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof,

A remark not mindful but rather aloof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:

“You think it’s just gifts that I’m all about,

But I just happen to have a case of the gout.

Pricing these items has brought me great puzzles,

And one giant pain in my Meissner corpuscles.”

He was dress'd all in fur, his mind blunted by red,

His clothes were all filthy, from the smog of his sled;

On his back a sack of treats, fresh off his sleigh,

Was also brimming with cameras, to stall dental decay.

Though he wore a big smile, it was only a mask,

Clearly in decline, in self pity he basked.

“I’d like a little empathy,” came from Santa the plea,

“For this year, it’s all about me!

“I keep getting fatter, with a shortage of fruit,

With cold sores aplenty, my dementia is moot;

A product, no doubt, of the water I drink,

Or the microbe to which I am forever linked.

“My genes are confused by a snippet called JAK,

I wish it would just, to maggots go back.

To steroids I turned, to be just like Barry,

But they expanded my head and made me look scary.”

It was just then that Santa’s new turf,

Was invaded quite suddenly by Smurf upon Smurf,

And robots marching to a beat in a hurry,

Shouting, “Santa, you need a big dose of curry!”

With a jolt from the Jarvik, and a hot bowl of rice,

A sip of his SLuRPie, and some help from the mice,

A song in his heart, and defense against flu,

Santa was again jolly, as good as new.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And fill'd all the stockings; then turn'd with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose

And giving a tap, up the chimney he rose.

Then to Mrs. Claus he turned over the reins,

So he could tend to the children, who had made such great gains;

It was clear that Santa had learned the power of X,

Even for patients whose back pain did long vex.

With Carmala aboard, to fly over the Andes,

And onward to Paris – for patients, is handy;

To navigate the heavens, he brought along Pipher,

A star all her own, a Hall of Fame lifer.

With vision so clear, not at all hazy,

His team climbed skyward, and he tossed us a daisy,

And I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight --

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

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