I can’t find the origin of this description but it is rather clever and may even be technically correct (I didn’t verify the calculations).

I. There are approximately two billion children–persons under 18–in the world. But, since Santa is not supposed to visit non-Christian children, his Christmas Eve work-load is limited to 15% of the total, or 378 million children–according to the Population Reference Bureau. At an average of 3.5 children per household, that comes to 108 million homes, presuming that there is at least one “good” child in each.

II. Assuming Santa travels east to west, which seems logical considering the earth’s rotational direction, he has about 31 hours in which to complete his gift-distribution task. This works out to 967.7 visits per second, leaving him about .001 of a second to park his sleigh at each
“good” child’s house, hop out, zip down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining present under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left for him, get back up the chimney, jump into the sleigh and get on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around the earth, he would have to cover about 0.78 miles between each pair of houses, a total of 75.5 million miles, not
counting potty stops or rest breaks. His sleigh would have to move at 650 miles per second–3,000 times the speed of sound. For comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a mere 27.4 miles per second. Incidentally, a normal reindeer can run no faster than 15 miles per hour, so Santa’s would have to be quite gifted as track stars.

III. The sleigh’s payload adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets only a medium-sized Lego set (two pounds), the sleigh would be carrying over 500,000 tons, not counting Santa himself. On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that a “flying” reindeer could pull ten times the normal amount, the job couldn’t be done with eight or even nine (remember Rudolph) of them. Santa would need 360,000 normal reindeer, increasing the total moving mass-not counting the weight of the sleigh–by at least another 54,000 tons, or roughly seven times the eight of the QEII (Queen Elizabeth II ocean liner).

IV. Over 550,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second encounters enormous air resistance, creating a deafening onic boom and heating up the reindeer in the same fashion s a spacecraft re-entering the earth’s atmosphere. The ead pair of reindeer would absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second. In short, they would burst into flames almost instantly, exposing the pair behind them to the same consequences. The entire eight-reindeer team would be vaporized within .00426 of a second, or right about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his tour. Not that it would matter, since Santa, having accelerated from rest to 650 m.p.s. in .001 of a second, would have been subjected to a centrifugal force of
17,500 g’s. A 250 pound Santa 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 genuine “bowl full of jelly,” whether laughing or not.

V. Therefore, if Santa ever existed, he’s been dead for quite a while, but he lives in our hearts forever


In line with the climate of political correctness now pervading America, those of us from Arkansas and Missouri will no longer be referred to as HILLBILLIES.
We ask that you now refer to us as OZARK-AMERICANS.
Thank you!

J Charles Bio

J. Charles (John) Cheek was born in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. John’s great grandfather migrated to Arkansas from Georgia in 1870. John was ten years old when his family moved to the State of Washington. He was an enlisted man in the Army Security Agency and participated in the Korean War. He held the rank of Sergeant when discharged in 1955. His novel STAY SAFE, BUDDY is based on his experiences during the Korean War. He was in a section of the Army Security Agency that monitored the front line voice communications of the enemy. It was called LLVI, the army lingo for Low Level Voice Intercept. He was on bunker duty in the combat area during the final three months of the war.

STAY SAFE, BUDDY (A Story of Humor and Horror During the Korean War)


Promised by a recruiter that he will not ve in the infantry and therefore is unlikely to be sent to the war zone, insteat of being drafted for 2-years, 19-year old John Lefter enlists for a 3-year hitch in the Army Security Agency and, as you might guess, ends up in the Korean War. At first, Lefter has a “candy ass” assignment 30 miles behind the fighting area. He breaks down after his foul mouth buddy is hit with burp gun fire while saving Lefter’s life. In the hospital psychiatry ward, his recovery is aided dramatically by an innovative doctor and the only man he has ever hated. Back on the front line and atop the bunker celebrating the cease-fire that has just begun, Lefter is again confronted with a shocking incident that takes him over fifty years to find closure.

NOTE: See for a digital copy of this novel for only $2.99 (the printed version is no longer available).

Short Author Bio

J. Charles (John) Cheek was an enlisted man in the Army Security Agency and participated in the Korean War. His outfit eavesdropped on the front line radio communications of the enemy. He held the rank of Sergeant when discharged in 1955. His novel STAY SAFE, BUDDY is based on his experiences during the Korean War. He was in a part of the Army Security Agency that monitored the front line voice communications ofthe enemy. It was called LLVI, the army lingo for Low Level Voice Intercept. He was on bunker duty in the combat area during the final three months of the war. Now, over fifty years later, his ia retired engineering manager and live in Vancouver, Washington with his wife of 50+ years.

Reader Reviews


Was confined to the house  the past few days and decided to read a book.  Pulled your book off my library shelf and once I got started could not put it down.  Last time I read it was in February 2005.  Sure am glad the Army chose to teach me Russian instead of Chinese or Korean. Served with the 331st Comm Recon Co and worked off the back of a deuce and a half rather than bunkers,  Is your book available in large print?   Have a close friend who would like to read it but has serious vision problems,



One reviewer, Tim Hancock of MWLA Review of Okalahoma, said, A Truly Amazing Story That Keeps You Moving. On the promise that he won’t see combat, John Lefter elnlists for a 3-year hitch in the Army Security Agency. I guess, since we are talking about the Army, you know what happens. He ends up in the combat area. It doesn’t take long until Lefter is in a bunker on the fron lines. A lot of things happen then and most of them were not good. Once I started STAY SAFE, BUDDY I had trouble putting it down. I went everywhere with Lefter. I shared a lot of his pain and hangovers. I even shared his hatred of Major Soss. This is a great tale of the way things were during the Korean conflict, or war or whatever you want to call it. Just read it! Recommendation: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. —Tim Hancock , Director of MWLA, a Reviewer and Author.


I took the book STAY SAFE, BUDDY with me on our 2-week vacation to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and sat up late one night to read it. It was so interesting that I couldn’t stop reading until I finished the entire book. I cried a lot and laughed too. That Mewman was some crazy guy. He also was a hero. I could feel the concern when the soldiers used the phrase, ‘Stay Safe, Buddy.’  The book is a very good read. —- Barbara Byzick of Atoka, OK


One evening at 11:30 PM I decided I would read a bit of STAY SAFE, BUDDY. At 3:30 AM my eyes were blurring so I had to put the book down. I could not wait to get back to the book. I really enjoyed reading STAY SAFE, BUDDY and experienced a wide range of emotions from tears to “belly laughs” as Lefter called them.

At one point in my military service I was Officer In Charge of the Classified Message Center at Division Artillery and Crypto Custodian. As a result I could identify with many of the characters in the book, their jobs and the situation that is seldom discussed because of it’s security nature. It was a story that needed to be told and the author did a magnificent job of letting us in on some of the emotions with combat experience in Korea. This book is a must read for any Korean or any Vet for that matter. I recently read a newspaper article about a group of Infantrymen leaving their unit position on a patrol. “As they parted one of the troopers hollered, Stay Safe, Buddy” so the expression is still alive in the combat zone. I can’t even imagine the emotions the author went through while writing the book. — Jim Rowe of Renton, WA


Just finished reading your book “Stay Safe, Buddy.” Enjoyed it immensely. Having spent 14 months over there with 1st Weapons Company and then Chalie Company, 1st Marine Division, I could visualize the terrain as I read. My wife thought I was nuts because I would suddenly break out laughing in the middle of the night. I could see many of my buddies in similar circumstances. Having been a Corpsman with the Marines, I can visualize myself as Doc Teele except that I wouldn’t know what to do as a full bird colonel. Again, Thanks for writing the book. It made me remember. Semper Fi, Buddy. John “Doc” Steele of Phoenix, AZ