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Frozen...For Grownups by Topher Goggin

When Michelle Bowles asked if I would write up a guest post to go along with her coverage of my book, Not Your Mother’s Goose, I thought it might be fun to put together some new NYMG-style content for her. NYMG is a combination of sarcastic fairy tale recaps and fake news stories and headlines involving fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters (e.g. “Old McDonald Struggles on Wheel of Fortune After Only Buying Vowels”). I’ve tried to at least touch on the whole the fairy tale universe, running the gamut from Rapunzel (which receives a couple of pages and two illustrations) all the way to the Bremen Town Musicians (which gets four words).

Despite this, a few things managed to slip through the cracks, most notably an obscure Disney movie called “Freezing” or “Chilly” or something along those lines. I think it grossed like $85 at the box office and maybe sold a couple of Halloween costumes to some eight-year-old girls—nothing big.  Anyway, I figured I’d write that one up so all of Michelle’s readers, plus anyone who’s spent the last couple of years in a cave, won’t be totally out of the loop. Here we go.

For today’s feature, we’re off to Arendelle, a place with all the snowy charm of Eastern New York, but without the disheartening obligation to root for the Buffalo Bills. There we find a king and queen with two daughters, one of whom has the special talent of shooting snow and ice out of her fingers. The other one—maybe she’s really good at Sudoku.

These two, Elsa and Ahhh-na, grow up nicely—right until Elsa drills Lil’ Sis in the head with an ice bolt. Apparently that’s bad for your health. Mom and Dad are not too pleased by this news, but fortunately they know what you do in this kind of situation. You take your kid to see a Grandfather Troll in the woods. Obviously. It was on Dr. Oz.

Gramps the geriatric troll fixes things up for Anna, but notes that Elsa might want to steer clear of visitors in case her out-of-control ice blasting becomes a problem. She safely hides in her room for a while (say, 10 or 15 years), but tragedy strikes when Ma and Pa set sail for a wedding and get wiped out in a shipwreck. That forces Elsa to stop playing Xbox all day and take over as queen. Things then get worse when she turns into a human ice dispenser at the coronation, which (outside of saving on bartending expenses) is generally not recommended by most event planners.

Freaked out by this unfortunate development, Elsa runs off, but not before telling Anna that, no, you cannot marry this “Hans” dude who showed up for the ceremony and put the moves on you faster than The Bachelor. Elsa also accidentally plunges Arendelle into a permanent winter on her way out of town. Nice bonus.

With Elsa on her own (and living in a swanky ice palace), Anna heads out on a mission to “rescue” her. Anna brilliantly leaves Prince Hans in charge of Arendelle—more on that fine decision in a minute. She charges off into the blizzard, packed more appropriately for a weekend in Palm Springs, but does link up with a fellow named Kristoff who at least owns some snow pants (also his own reindeer). He helps Anna find her way to Elsa’s castle, adding a talking snowman/climatology expert named Olaf to their group along the way.

When the intrepid travelers reach Elsa’s place, the welcome they receive isn’t exactly a warm one. (Well, I suppose nothing is terribly warm in an ice palace. But anyway.) Elsa flips on the “No Vacancy” sign and sends her guests off with a couple of fine parting gifts—namely a big mean snow monster chasing them, plus an accidental ice shot through the heart for Anna.

Kristoff takes Anna back to the Troll Medical Clinic, where Dr. Gramps, MD, says that Anna is going to need an act of true love to save the day (preferably from an In-Network provider unless she wants to pay a huge deductible).

Anna figures her problems are solved—all she needs to do is make it back to  Arendelle where Hans can unload some true love and save her. Good plan—except that Hans is simultaneously working on a plan to kill Elsa and take over Arendelle for himself. So this plan is not exactly going to work. Add the fact that Anna is rapidly turning into ice, and things are not looking so great.

Everything culminates in one dramatic scene—shockingly set in a snowstorm. Kristoff realizes he’s the one in love with Anna and comes racing back to save her, arriving just in time to instead get distracted by Hans chasing after Elsa with a sword. At the last second, though, a shivering Anna jumps in front of the fatal swing, simultaneously saving her sister . . . and also freezing to death. Shucks.

But wait just a second, Disney viewers (that surely would like to stop and buy some merchandise at Toys R Us during your drive home). If you read the fine print, apparently diving in front of the jerk that’s trying to kill your sister qualifies as an act of true love. That brings Anna back to life, just in time to knock Hans out of commission with a right cross to the nose. Elsa then suddenly figures out how to turn up the thermostat, thaws out Arendelle, and even saves Olaf from climate change with a personal snow cloud. Meanwhile Anna realizes she’s in love with Kristoff the Reindeer Man, and Elsa gives him a job so he can stay in town. Everything looks hunky dory. (Of course, this is only because the movie ends before Elsa is chased out of town when the commoners lose their marbles from seeing one too many six-year-olds singing “Let It Go” on Facebook. That will be a key plot point in Frozen 2: Elsa Freezes the Internet.”)

Having passed second grade (on the very first try), Topher Goggin is highly qualified to write a fairy tale book like Not Your Mother's Goose. After continuing past second grade to Williams College and Notre Dame Law School, he now works as a small town lawyer in Central Michigan, and additionally does other lawyerly things like teaching college precalculus and showing eight-year-olds the finer points of how to PLEASE stop hitting the kid next to you with a nine-iron in the local junior golf program. He also is an accomplished radio play-by-play announcer, having captured two Broadcast Excellence Awards from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. At age 11, he appeared as a guest on Late Night with David Letterman, discussing the one-man sports newspaper he had started three years earlier. Unfortunately, he then picked the Buffalo Bills to win the upcoming Super Bowl, sending his journalistic credibility straight into the dumpster.

Other random talents and skills include: Escaping from being tied to a toilet in a family magic show (at age 9), officiating a wedding in California (not at age 9), hosting a satirical college radio show that might have gotten 30 listeners on a good week primarily by shelling out over $4000 in prizes, cashing three times in the World Series of Poker, giving a graduation speech devoted entirely to NASCAR, and the always important ability to recite approximately twenty Dr. Seuss tongue twisters from memory. That last one is especially lucrative.

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