He Ain't a Bizarre Animated Freak,
He's My Brother

Friends, it's time to take another look at that tired old mystery: Who fathered the Miser brothers?

This question has come up in years past while viewing the classic Rankin/Bass animated show "Year Without A Santa Claus." The standout players in this gripping drama were, of course, those climate-controlling rascals, the Heat Miser and the Snow Miser. And here's the puzzle: One of the Miser brothers refers to the other as his "step brother." However, it seems clear that Mother Nature is the biological mother of both Snow and Heat Miser. We can safely assume that the term "step brother" was used incorrectly, and that Snow Miser and Heat Miser are actually half brothers. No surprise that either brother might get these terms confused -- outside their limited area of expertise (that is, the stupid temperature), they are most likely dumb as boxes.

So then, the question: Who are the fathers?

Last year, after a bit of consideration, I proposed that perhaps Heat Miser's father is the devil, while Snow Miser's father is Jack Frost. They would seem to be likely candidates... at first glance.


Recently, Felicity and I watched another Rankin/Bass classic, "Jack Frost." I hadn't seen this show in many years, and had forgotten that Jack Frost was just so... you know, frosty. The little elf-like suit, the girlish features, the way he just pranced around, taking to the sky as dainty as Brian Boitano on ice... suddenly it just didn't add up. (Admittedly, a slightly better argument could be made for the Jack Frost we see in "Frosty's Winter Wonderland", but still... no.)

But a new candidate emerged, during that same viewing of "Jack Frost." Felicity realized that Father Winter (Jack Frost's boss in the winter-making operation) just might be the weirdo we're looking for. Father Winter is a great big hulk of a guy, a truly commanding presence. One could certainly see him catching the eye of Mother Nature. And his name -- FATHER WINTER -- speaks volumes.

A longshot possibility as Snow Miser's true father is the Winter Warlock, as seen in "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town." (We're talking pre-"One Foot in Front of the Other", of course.) But that's rather unlikely, and just plain creepy to think about. So at this point, the smart money is on Father Winter.

As for Heat Miser's father, I'm still going with my original theory that it's the devil. In fact, at one point during "Year Without a Santa Claus," Snow Miser refers to Heat Miser as his "devil of a brother." Come on.

So that's where we stand at the moment. If anyone digs up any more useful information, please contact me, as well as your congressional representatives. Then just wait by the door until help arrives.

No matter what new evidence is unearthed, one fact shall always remain clear: Mother Nature must have really been kind of a tramp.

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