Can I change my order?

We run a very tight ship with a load of automated processes to help us keep the service running smoothly and in a timely manner. Disrupting these processes can cause a cataclysmic breakdown of the service chain resulting in the various components crashing into each other.

Worst case, the glitter will mix with the international postage stickers producing a massive explosion so violent that the energy released would cause the envelopes situated next to the stickers to be launched out the office door at 0.9c aka 90% the speed of light. That’s approx. 60,355,496,644,596 MPH. Pretty quick hey!

So, what happens next? The answer is, “a hell of a lot of things happen”, and they all happen really, really quickly, put it this way, it doesn’t end well for the envelopes, our office, in fact, our entire town and probably the Southeast of the UK.

Once the explosion has occurred, the envelopes are now travelling so fast that everything else is more or less stationary. Even the air molecules would appear to be static.

For a typical room, the air vibrates at about 500 m/s (close to 1000 miles per hour), but the envelopes are moving through them at 600 million miles per hour. This means that as far as the envelopes are concerned, air molecules are just hanging there, frozen.

Aerodynamics simply doesn’t apply here. On a normal day at Knicker Sniffer HQ, the air would simply flow around anything moving through it, but given what’s just happened, the air molecules in front of envelopes just don’t have the time to be bumped out of the way. The envelopes smack into each of the air molecules so hard that the atoms in the air molecules actually fuse with the atoms on the surface of the envelopes.

Things start to get a bit nasty here as each collision releases a massive burst of gamma rays and scattered particles, i.e molecules, atoms, electrons, photons etc.

These pesky gamma rays and various other debris expand outward in a bubble centered in our workspace.  The gamma rays begin to rip apart the molecules in the air, tearing the electrons from the nuclei and turning the air in the room into an expanding bubble of incandescent plasma.

The wall of the plasma bubble rips through everything and everyone and approaches the end of our road at about the speed of light, only slightly ahead of the envelopes.

This relentless fusion at the front of the envelopes pushes back on it, slowing it down, a little. Unfortunately, the envelopes are going so fast that even the tremendous force from this ongoing thermonuclear explosion barely slows them down at all.

It does, however, start to eat away at the surface of the envelopes, blasting tiny particulate fragments of the envelopes in all directions. These fragments are travelling so fast that when they hit more air molecules, they trigger another two or three more rounds of fusion.

Approximately 70 nanoseconds later the envelopes arrive at end of our road. Poor Paul the postman hasn’t even seen the flash from the initial explosion since the light carrying that information arrives at about the same time the envelopes do.

All these collisions with the air have almost completely eaten the envelopes away, and they are now a bullet-shaped cloud of expanding plasma (mainly, hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen) pounding into the air and triggering even more fusion. The shell of x-rays hit Paul the postie first, and a handful of nanoseconds later the debris cloud hits him.

From there, it’s goodbye to Essex, most of London, Suffolk, Norfolk, and pretty much most of the Southeast of the UK. Even the poor bastards fishing 30 miles out of Harwich will be annihilated.

So, please think carefully before asking to change your order.

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