Saturday, December 17, 2011

Twelve Days of Christmas Day Four: Critical Refrigerator Snowman

Welcome to the fourth day of Christmas! Today I will explain one of the darker traditions of the holidays: Critical Refrigerator Snowman.

My Mom has always loved ridiculous things that make noise.

When I was in high school she brought home Macarena Monkey and delighted in hiding him around the house. What made Macarena Monkey so special was that he was sound activated. And so, being a latchkey kid, I'd come home after school, kick back, turn on the tv, and just about jump out of my skin as Macarena Monkey started singing behind the couch.

One evening I spent a quiet night in my room reading and drawing. As I settled down for bed Mom stuck her head in the door and said, "Goodnight, Bunny. I love you...and I'm so sorry--" She leaned into my room for one loud CLAP of her hands and then dashed down the hall laughing as Macarena Monkey came to life under my bed.

So it should be no surprise that last Christmas my Mom sent the Hallmark "Fun in the Fridge" talking snowman.

Don't be fooled, he is a monster.

Now, "Fun in the Fridge" snowman is not sound activated, he is light activated. What this means is every time you open your refrigerator (where he lives and lies in wait) he greets you with a cheery message. The only trouble is, none of his preprogrammed sayings are actually friendly. They are all passive aggressive quips demanding you close the door.

"Here in the fridge where it's nice and cool, there's one very simple rule, once you have found what you're looking for, do me a favor and shut the door!"

"You again! I'm going to have to get a lock for that door!"

And the more direct, "Hey! Shut the door! You're letting all the cold out!"

If he wants to be cold so much, why did he bother with the hat and vest?

And so Ryan and I have come to call him 'Critical Refrigerator Snowman.' Last year we made it two weeks before we shut him off. We're trying to make it to Christmas this year, but he's not making it easy. The first couple of days he is pretty cute. Fast forward one week and I'm typically yelling over him "STOP TELLING ME HOW TO LIVE MY LIFE!"

Critical Refrigerator Snowman slowly breaks your spirit over the course of December.

He has one saying that isn't a snarky comment about your need to get the milk, and it's him asking in a smarmy voice "Is it cool in here?...Or is it just me?" A few nights ago I heard Ryan holler into the refrigerator "IT'S COOL IN THERE! OF COURSE IT'S COOL IN THERE, YOU'RE IN A F*@&ING REFRIGERATOR!"

You sure do open the refrigerator a lot.

The only thing worse than his nagging cheers to shut the door is the knowledge that when it is closed he's just sitting in there in the dark waiting to criticize you.

I rule everything the light touches. Shut the door!

Like ugly sweaters and seventy five pound fruit cakes, he has become a terrible part of the holidays. Sometimes one of us will open the refrigerator to silence and have a moment of joy believing that his little batteries have finally worn out. However, upon turning him over we realize that the other person has temporarily switched him off during a fit and we begin to believe that he probably doesn't even have batteries. He just runs on hatred.

And yet, here he is, a part of the our Christmas. The struggle we face with an automated robot snow person has become a tradition that however irritating, still reminds me warmly of my Mom who would be happily retreating down the hall laughing her head off if she could see the look on our faces whenever we open our refrigerator.

Here is a video I made over the course of this morning, so you can experience the season's wonder of Critical Refrigerator Snowman for yourself! 


  1. Ryan standing blankly in front of the fridge (rather like the girl in Paranormal Activity) is just killing me.

  2. Haha! He had literally just woken up about ten minutes before, when I asked, "Hey, would you open the fridge a few times?" He's always super groggy for a spell after waking up, and watching him react to the snowman singing in the closed fridge by hopelessly pushing on the door again is my favorite moment.

  3. You additionally need to consider the space where you will introduce your refrigerator.


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