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The Night Antecedent to Christmas

A consistent theme in my newspaper column has been how legal language can obscure and hamper our ability to understand even simple concepts. Here is my gift to illustrate what attorneys are capable of doing to the language.

On the night antecedent to Christmas Day, a national holiday pursuant to 5 USC Section 1603 (despite some rabid rhetoric to the contrary), when all through the domicile, not a creature was stirring, not even the resident rodent.

The stockings were hung by the chimney pursuant to tradition and within the requisite statutory care requirements, in regards to the anticipated arrival of the tresspasser, one St Nicholas, aka St. Nick, aka Santa Claus, aka Jolly Old Elf (hereinafter (The Claus”) which is the subject of this Complaint.

The minor residents were having hallucinogenic visions as if having ingested certain controlled substances banned under Section 58-37-8 of the Utah Code. The biological mother and father maintained appropriate head gear for their nocturnal slumber. The biological father swore out the Complaint and is to be hereinafter referred to as the Affiant.

Several noise ordinances were violated on the front lawn and the Affiant immediately inspected the disturbance from the domicile’s second story window.

The Affiant appears to have been imbibing in egg nog in excess of public intoxication limits all though no breathalyzer tests were performed on site. The Affiant expressed increased interest in astronomy, meteorology and claimed to have witnessed eight rangifer tarandus becoming airborne.

At this moment, the alleged tresspasser, The Claus, according to the Affiant, began with rapid movements to converse with said rangifer tarandus, utilizing several different nominatives, namely Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. The Claus was allegedly encouraging the rangifer tarandus to evacuate said premises.

Affiant returns to meteorological concerns and alleges that The Claus absconded in a sleigh filled with merchandise traditionally used by minors for amusement.

The Claus, rather than escaping, vacated the front of the premises and was observed through sounds by the Affiant to have attempted access to the residence through the roof.

According to the Affiant, The Claus entered his residence through the chimney flue, refer above to alleged suspicions of egg nog consumption. The Claus was attired in apparel derived from animals and maintained on his person, a sack of loot from previous excursions. The Claus, according to the Affiant appeared to be quite jovial despite having been caught in the act of breaking and entering. He was also observed to have significant redness about the face and white facial hair. The Claus was seen to be smoking on some sort of pipe.

The Affiant stated that he did not feel in any way threatened by The Claus. Affiant observed The Claus throughout the trespass until he exited again through the chimney flue. Affiant thus observed The Claus escaping. A check of the premises showed that no larceny had been committed.

In conclusion, Affiant, after first being duly sworn, deposes and states as follows:

“But I heard him [The Claus] exclaim, as he drove out of sight,

‘Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!’”

Despite the obvious hearsay of the above statement, I too would like to wish you all, a very Merry Christmas.

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