’Twas the Night Before Christmas: Chemistry Style


santa‘Twas the night before Christmas,
The lab was quite still;
Not a Bunsen was burning
(Nor had they the will).
The test tubes were placed
In their racks with great care,
In hopes Father Chemistry
Soon would be there.

The students were sleeping
So sound in their dorms,
All dreaming of fluids
And Crystalline forms.
Lab-Aids in their aprons
And I in my smock.

When outside the lab
There arose such a roar
I leaped from my stool
And fell flat on the floor.
Out to the fire escape
All of us flew.
What was the commotion?
Not one of us knew.

The flood-lights shone out
O’re the campus so bright
It looked like old Stockholm
On Nobel Prize Night.
My fume-blinded eyes
Then viewed (dare I say?)
Eight anions pulling
A water-trough sleigh.

And holding the bonds
Tied to each one of them
Was a figure I knew
As our own Papa Chem.
With speeds in excess
Of most X-rays they came.
As they Dopplered along
He called each one by name.

“Now Nitrite, now Phosphate,
Now Borate, now Chloride
On Citrate, on Bromate,
On Sulfite and Oxide.

Forget what you know
Of that randomness stuff,
Let’s go straight to that roof,
If you’ve quanta enough.”

As fluids Bernoullian
Behave in a pinch,
Those ions said “Alchemist
This is a cinch.”
So up to the lab-roof
Those “chargers” they sped
With Pop Chemistry safe
In his water-trough sled.

Just a microsec later
Electroscopes showed
Charged particles coming
To our lab abode
We raced back inside,
And what d’ya think?
Down the fume-hood Pop Chem fell,
Right into the sink.

He was dressed in a lab-coat,
Quite ragged and old,
With removable buttons
(The style, we’re told)
A tray-full of beakers
He clutched to his heart —
And under his arm
Was an orbital chart.

His eyes through his goggles
I just couldn’t see
His hands were all yellow
From H-N-O-3.
His head was quite bald
With a fringe all around
Like a ring test for iron,
That same shade of brown.

He puffed a cigar
With a smell not at all
Unlike the organic lab
Right down the hall.
The smoke billowed forth
From his angular face
And with Brownian Movement
Enveloped the place.

He was thin as a match
And not terribly tall.
He wasn’t the type
I’d expected at all
But a look at his clothes,
In the lab’s harsh white light,
With their acid-burn holes —
He’s a chemist all right!

He didn’t say much
(He had no time to kill)
And filled all the test tubes
With nary a spill.
Then placing them back
On the benches with care
He dashed to the fume-hood
And rose through the air.

He called to his team
And his ions took off
And kinetics took care
Of Pop Chem and his trough,
But I heard him cry out
As he flew down the street
“Merry Holidays to all!
May your stockrooms stay neat!”

Chemistry tools

Source: Various web sources; original source unknown.

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