A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Melting Frosty

It’s time for my annual commentary on some aspect of the holiday season. In past years, I have offered my profound opinion on the holiday songs. Or, more accurately, I ripped them to shreds. This year, I wish to clear up a few misconceptions about the timeless television holiday classic, “Frosty The Snowman”.

It all started as a children’s song, in which a group of school kids build a snowman, using a hat that is said to have magic powers. The snowman, now christened Frosty, comes to life and plays with the children until it gets too warm for him to survive. Frosty melts, but vows to return at a later date.

The 1969 Rankin/Bass production expands the story to include Frosty’s efforts to get to a colder climate, i.e., the North Pole. In this way, they tie in another mythical icon of the holidays, Santa Claus. I presume it’s at this point in the story that many people outside the Christian community lose interest and change the channel.

First, there is the main character, who is after all just made of frozen precipitation. Some may want to read other meanings into the term “snowman”, but there’s nothing more to this than just being the hero in a children’s song. There is no way we should include this cartoon on a double bill with “Reefer Madness”. So we should get that out of our heads right now.

Frosty gets help in his journey from a group of children who are obviously all orphans. How else do you explain how they are dressed in a snow-covered town on the day before Christmas; the boys are in shorts, and the girls wear short dresses! What parent in their right mind would send their offspring out on a snowy day dressed like it’s the Fourth of July? When I was their age, I couldn’t go out unless I was encased in the vinyl equivalent of a knight’s armored suit. We even wore bread wrappers around our stocking feet in case any snow fell down between the pants and the inside of our boots! No short shorts here!

Of course, we should raise the issue of a stranger suddenly appearing in a schoolyard, and compelling the children there to follow him Pied Piper style without the adults in the town so much as batting an eyelash. You see, boys and girls, this was years before such concepts as the Amber Alert and Megan’s Law. Now you know one of the dirty little secrets of our parents’ generation, because this is how they really dealt with bad little boys and girls. Those stories about children getting coal in their stockings was bull crap! Bad children in every town were gathered together in schoolyards, where they just...disappeared. Now you know!

All right, don’t get excited! I was just kidding! Still, I’ll bet there are some parents out there that wish it were true!

Later in the story, Santa Claus arrives just in time to resurrect Frosty with a blast of icy cold wind. My objection here is with the number of reindeer used to bring Santa and his sleigh. Tradition calls for eight reindeer (see Twas the Night Before Christmas, Rankin/Bass' production of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, blah blah blah). Here Santa shows up with only four reindeer. What happened to the others? There are several theories explaining the deer deficit.

One theory proposes that Santa got hungry shortly after leaving the North Pole and - dreading the millions of gallons or so of milk and the billion or so cookies awaiting him in living rooms all over the world — stopped to have a kick-ass venison barbecue. A second theory states that the reindeer were simply laid off as part of a restructuring plan at the North Pole. This second theory further elaborates that Santa’s elves - facing their own cutbacks on their grocery allowance, and wanting to spare the reindeer the humiliation of unemployment and the pain of starvation — had their own kick-ass venison barbecue.

In either case, it doesn’t look good for the reindeer. You’re definitely better off being a snowman, at least in this show. On the other hand, if you are one of those other “snowmen” pushing blow on America’s youth, then it’d be best if you stayed away from the schoolyards. We have laws against that sort of thing now.


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