It has long since been accepted that the saying "reindeer are better than people" is, in fact, apocryphal. The legendary Norweigan saying has its roots in ancient folklore, harking back to stories of Odin and Flekslborg, and, though passed down into modern day proverbs, has almost always been assumed to be nonsense of the type that old-folk tend to spout. Scientists, however, know better than everyday folk, and they've proven the old adage to be true.
The startling results of tests performed by Dr Archspear Netherwhack at Laughingstate College, West Virginia, have taken much of the world napping. Dr Netherwhack is the founder of Laughingstate College, whose reputation is so far on a level with other schools such as "clown" and "mime". She is, however, is looking to change that state of affairs after a number of career false-starts.
"We're on our way up!" she famously declared almost four years ago when he claimed to have discovered the clitoris, unaware that this feat had, in fact, been previously discovered by anyone brave enough.
This time, however, it looks like the good doctor may well have discovered something truly interesting.
"The results of my tests are entirely conclusive. Using a selection of factors and variables entered into my formula, it is impossible to deny its truth," Dr Netherwhack informed us in a telephone interview. "The writing's on the wall - Reindeer are better than people."
Dr Netherwhack has produced a variance on the Drake equation, a famous probabilstic argument vaguely aimed at quantifying the number of intelligent civilisations in a given are of space. In her case, however, Netherwhack has apparently devised a system to determine answers to almost any vacuous or even rhetorical question.
"What good is that?" we asked.
"Well, if you bear with me..." Netherwhack replied. Within minutes, and with only the noises of pencil scribbling in the background, she declared the answer.
And the reindeer? Well, it appears that we've all been taken for a ride. I have attempted to document this story in a way roughly analogous to the movement of my credulity while investigating it. My apologies. Reindeer are better than people? Perhaps. But until we have better ways to find out, I'm going to tell Sven I think he's wrong.