Fire and Ice is a popular drinking game among my friends.

Requirements;

One deck of cards

A metric fuckload of beer, or a smaller amount of hard liquor.

Instructions

Spread the deck of cards out face down on the floor, or table. (I suggest the floor because I have seen people hurt themselves rather badly in late rounds of said game by slipping on pointy corners and such.)

Hopefully your group of drinkers has made a circle around the table by this time. Assign a starting person, and proceed counter-clockwise thereafter (no, it really doesn't matter).

The first person calls either fire, or ice. Fire is a red card, Ice is black. The person then proceeds to pick up a card and turn it over. If the card turned over is not the color he called, then they have to drink. And there was much rejoicing. The number of the card dictates how much that person drinks. Number cards dictate that many seconds of drinking (chugging). Face cards are ten seconds, and an ace is an entire beer. The rules are different for liquor drinkers, just a shot per wrong card.

Disclaimer Alert

I have seen poor unlucky bastards drink upwords of seven (7) in as short as twenty minutes of play. Please use your own discretion in playing this game

Happy Hangover!

‘Fire and Ice’ was a 1983 animated feature directed by the famed Ralph Bakshi known for his work on the Lord of the Rings, Fritz the cat and later Cool World. The film was based on the paintings of Frank Frazetta and featured some of his more popular recurring characters such as the Death Dealer. Artistically the film is a powerhouse of animation. At a time when most American animation endeavors were sub par, ‘Fire and Ice’ was practically a spectacle of rich backgrounds and detailed characters.

Some critics complain about Bakshi's heavy use of rotoscoping his characters movements, but I've always believed it aids the viewer in the suspension of disbelief. The scoping is handled well against the static scenes, doesn't fall into the problems that some modern films have had when mixing dynamic scene movement with rotoscoping characters. Anastasia is a good example of the later. While a great looking film, there are scenes were the characters movement looks unnatural as the audiences point of view moves around the scene, aided by computer generated backgrounds.

While stylistically exciting, especially so for fans of Bakshi or Franzetta, the plot of the story is so typical it has nearly become cliché. The Bad Guy, Nekron, (voiced by Sean Hannon, a man who's only other film credit is 'Large Creature' in the 1986 television movie 'Escapes.') is using his magical expanding fortress of ice to conquer the southern lands in a desperate bid to destroy the Fire Keep ruled by the Good King Jarol (voiced by Leo Gordon, whom you may remember as 'Joe the Blacksmith' from 'Big Top Pee-wee' or as the man Books shot in his flash back scene from 'The Shootist.'). Despite what Robert Frost believes, Nekron doesn't seem to believe that ice is sufficient and also employs a large army of pillaging sub humans.

Unfortunately for Nekron he made the mistake of destroying a small village and leaving one young man alive. Larn, (Voiced here by Randy Norton, the 'Jeep Guy' from 'Honky Tonk Freeway.') is of the proper age and physique for revenge and sets out to destroy Nekron despite the fact that he's dressed in nothing but a loincloth.

We know from the beginning, of course, that he shall succeed.

Nekron's no dummy though, and he knows that the best way to insure the success of his evil machinations is to kidnap Jarols's beautiful daughter Teegra (Cynthia Leake, famous for appearing in two episodes of 'CHiP's as two different characters in the same season.). Of course our young semi-nude hero must rescue her and fall in love.

What follows is a titanic and magical battle between good and evil. Very pretty, but no one is fooled, and the Hero wins.

Sometime in 1984 (or was it 85?) my mother took us down to the local theater in Wasilla to see 'The Great Muppet Caper". Wasilla is a little town in Alaska and at the time the only movie theater was a little fifty seater in a commercial center that couldn't really be called a strip mall. It was abreast of a hardware store and a feed and tackle shop. The outside doors opened straight into the theater without the civility of a lobby and there was no restroom. Mann's this was not.

Upon arriving, we found that the film was being shown as a double feature with 'Fire and Ice.' No one had known about it and my mother decided she had made a crafty selection and received two movies for the price of one. 'Fire and Ice' played first and my mother’s opinion changed almost immediately.

My mother is a Puritanical Poster Child. I was surprised she was taking us to see a secular movie, she must have presumed the Muppets incapable of allying with Satan, no one was more surprised than her when the animated heroes and heroines began prancing around nearly nude. Teegra's sheer costume was little more than a scarf that strategically covered her naughty bits but left her nipples poking through the thin material. To avoid being called a complete hussy around the Fire Keep, she also wore a terribly small bikini bottom. I recall she was curvy, voluptuous, divine.

My mother started speaking in tongues and I thought the demons might escape this time, but I was oblivious to all save Teegra's pokey breast caps. It was a sexual assault that my pre-pubescent brain could barely handle. Had I known the fire of desire I probably would have peaked right there in the theater. Unfortunately for my recently possessed mother we had to sit through the entire show before we could watch the Muppets. Mom wasn't about to waste money by walking out, so I was treated to the entire animated flesh fest.

Since then I've always wondered why these two films were part of a double feature. At the time I simply assumed that the drunken reprobate that ran the theater simply assumed that a cartoon was a kids film, no matter what its content was, and deserved to be shown with another kids film. While researching this node though I discovered that Cynthia Leake was also part of the cast of 'The Great Muppet Caper.' I find it difficult to believe that whomever was in charge of the theater could know that though. Strange coincidence?

I only saw the movie that one time. It was crystal clear in my mind for so long that I didn't need to see it again. Ralph Bakshi practically formed my early adult conceptions about the female body and Teegra was frequently the guest at the fantasy parties that boiled between my ears.

In recent years I've had the opportunity to rent the movie and view it again. I've always resisted that impulse because I'm positive it was a horrible movie. The fairy of hindsight assures me that this movie was terrible and could only induce the lust of a cloistered teenager. I want to remember it the way it was on that one gray afternoon when Bakshi introduced me to boobies.

Thanks Ralphy!

My Thanks to IMDB.com and the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church for information included in this wu.

Other Dimensions: An Analysis of "Fire and Ice" and "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost

Robert Frost was born in San Francisco in 1874, but lived most of his life in New England. He led a life punctuated by personal tragedy, losing three children, and enduring the loss of his wife early in life. Though these troubles did not generally manifest themselves in his poems directly, it seems undeniable that they had some impact on his writing. As a writer, Frost is considered one of the most successful American poets of all time. He published numerous collections of extraordinarily popular poetry, and won four Pulitzer Prizes. Frost’s language is often very plain and seemingly simple, rarely using an extensive vocabulary and following a plain rhyme scheme. His rhetoric is measured and exact as he attempts to use the rhythms of speech and language as it is really used, or "the sound of sense", in his own words . His poems also seem to dispense simple or amusing wisdom about life in general. However, beneath the simple language and basic platitudes of both "Fire and Ice" and "The Road Not Taken," are complex meanings that are not initially evident.

Upon initial reading of "The Road Not Taken", Frost’s intent seems obvious. The poem is in the first person, and the traveler is presented with two paths leading to the future. He makes his choice, and later relates it:

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
(Frost, "The Road Not Taken" lines 16-20)

We are led to believe that the choice of paths has been beneficial, and that "the one less traveled by" was the correct choice. This is a comforting platitude, and is the most common interpretation of "The Road Not Taken," but it ignores many elements of the poem which become evident upon further inspection. The common interpretation also ignores the biographical element present in the poem. Frost himself noted that the "The Road Not Taken" was "the best example in all of American poetry of a wolf in sheep’s clothing." According to a letter between Frost and his good friend Edward Thomas, the poem springs from their walks together, where Thomas would take Frost down one path and then regret not having taken another. It seems that "...Frost assumes the mask of his friend, taking his voice and his posture, including the un-Frostian sounding line ‘I shall be telling this with a sigh,’ to poke fun at Thomas’ vacillations..." (Kearns). This interpretation is sarcastic, and drains the platitude from the poem, but leaves room for even further interpretation.

Several times in the poem Frost insists that the two paths in question are identical and equal:

Then took the other, as just as fair
...Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same
And both that morning equally lay"
(Frost, "The Road Not Taken" lines 6, 9-11

Yet the walker makes a decision based on one road being "better." One biographer notes that this could be Frost’s dark irony striking again: "Frost signals the mockingly self-inflated tone of the last stanza by repeating the word ‘I,’ which rhymes -several times - with the inflated word ‘sigh.’ Frost wants the reader to know that what he will be saying, that he took the road less traveled, is a fraudulent position, hence the sigh." (Parini). It seems that Frost is saying "When I am old, like all old men, I shall make a myth of my life. I shall pretend, as we all do, that I took the less traveled road. But I shall be lying." (Parini)

"Fire and Ice" is a far more compact poem than "The Road Not Taken," but is in some ways more dramatic. The most common interpretation of it is that the options outlined in the title and the poem represent the heat of passion and the cold of hatred, two ways of destroying the world (Meyers). The first-person narrator of "Fire and Ice" says that "From what I’ve tasted of desire / I hold with those who favor fire," (Frost, "Fire and Ice" lines 3-4) likely indicating Frost’s preference to passion over hatred as the lesser of two evils. Frost underscores this by making ice the cause of the second death:

But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
(Frost, "Fire and Ice" lines 5-9)

Comparing this poem with Dante’s "Inferno," additional layers of symbolism and complexity become apparent. "Fire and Ice" is only nine lines, making it quite short, but also mirroring Dante’s nine circles of hell. One comparison points out: "Although Frost’s poem is not exactly funnel shaped like Dante’s hell...Frost literally cuts in half his general pattern of four stresses (iambic tetrameter) to close on two lines having only two stresses each (iambic dimeter). " (Serio 1). Frost also uses the rhyme scheme Dante created for use in his Divine Comedy, called terza rima.

Frost also follows the representations of desire and hatred that Dante derived from Aristotle. As noted above, fire represents desire and cold hatred. The organization of Dante’s Inferno is that sins of reason are worse than sins of passion. Frost associates fire with the senses and places it first, or near the top of his poem, while cold is associated with calculated hatred, the perversion of reason (Serio 2).

The two poems, "Fire and Ice" and "The Road Not Taken" have a great deal in common. Both introduce a first-person speaker who experiences and relates the events in the poems. The language, like much of Frost’s work, is rhyming and structured, but simple and without overt verbal ornamentation. Both poems offer the narrator choices in his predicament: in "The Road Not Taken," the choice between roads, in "Fire and Ice" the choice between passion or hatred. They both, as has been illustrated, have hidden layers of constructed "tricks" with multiple meanings. Similarly, the poems deal with global issues, things which effect all of mankind. "The Road Not Taken" addresses choices people make in life, especially if one subscribes to the more in-depth interpretation of the poem. "Fire and Ice" deals with ethics and morality, and uses the symbolism of Dante and the logic of Aristotle to make Frost’s point.

It is obvious that as Frost’s poems are examined carefully and compared with other poetry, hidden meanings and greater depths emerge. In "The Road Not Taken," the poem initially seems to be a cliche, but when closely examined both biographically and verbally, it becomes an almost sarcastic commentary on the choices people make in life. An introductory interpretation of "Fire and Ice" will hint at the meaning that Frost intended, but the depth of his ethical examination only becomes apparent when the poem is compared to Dante’s seminal work. "Fire and Ice" is very nearly a compact version of the Inferno. When interpreted in this way, both poems reveal a darkly ironic and troubled man, which based on Frost’s past, certainly seems possible. Nonetheless, these poems are clearly the work of a master, carefully woven with meaning while remaining true to the author’s style of simplistic language.

Works Cited

Frost, Robert. "Fire and Ice." Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. Harcourt College Publishers, 2000. 589

Frost, Robert. "The Road Not Taken." Harcourt College Publishers, 2000. 802-803

Kearns, Katherine. Robert Frost and a Poetics of Appetite. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994

Meyers, Jeffrey. Robert Frost: A Biography. 1996

Parini, Jay. "Frost." Columbia Literary History of the United States. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998

Robert Frost: Biography. A site to support Kennedy & Gioia’s Literature, 7th Edition. Literature Onine - Poetry Author Casebook. 4 Apr. 2001 (http://longman.awl.com/kennedy/frost/biography.html)

Serio, John. "Frost’s Fire and Ice and Dante’s Inferno." Explicator 57.4 (1999) : 218- 222

A rather tasty, yet easily prepared dish. If it has any downside it is probably that, as it involves pasta, it does not keep very well as a leftover.

You'll need:

enough chicken to make the eaters happy in about 2 to 3 inch pieces*
enough uncooked long noodles to fill them
your favorite barbeque sauce

*Optionally, substitute tofu chunks.


Soak the noodles in a bowl of cold water until they are soft. You might consider placing the water bowl in a larger container of ice, or in the refrigerator, if you really want to get the noodles chilled.

Saute the chicken, or, if you take the easy way out and buy your chicken pre-cooked, start to heat it up. Then pour on the barbeque sauce and heat until the air is filled with the tangy smell of barbequed chicken.

Toss some of the soft, chilled noodles in a serving bowl and top with the chicken and barbeque sauce. Cold and hot and done in about 10 minutes.

Interpetation of "Fire and Ice"

I am a huge Robert Frost reader. I am in no way stating this analysis as a fact, rather my own personal interpretation . If you read a lot of Frost, you notice almost all of his poems start with a very basic, shallow setting or idea, usually pertaining to nature. As you progress in the poem, the pool gets deeper to the point where the surface of the pool is a mere reflection blanketing the poem's actually symbolic depth.

"Fire and Ice" one of Frost's shortest poems, but it is also one of the most powerful, symbolic, and broadest. Frost is known as individualist, and also believed in mutualism. He believed that in extremes no side is better than the other. "Fire and Ice" illistrates this beautifully. For your convenience I will restate the poem.

SOME say the world will end in fire, 1
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire 3
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice, 5
I think I know enough of hate
To know that for destruction ice 7
Is also great
And would suffice. 9

Lets start with the first couple lines. For now, we will interpret it as it is. Frost is stating the Earth can either end in a great fiery apocalypse, or an frigid ice age. Easy enough, right?

In the next line Frost throws the reader a curve ball. What does desire have to do with the world ending? Hmm..maybe perhaps he isn't talking as literally as we once thought.

Lets consider this. Maybe he isn't talking about the destruction of the world. What does the word desire bring to mind anyway? Think about, it will come in handy later, I promise.

One time or another we have all been in love. This love often can be a synonym with desire. Furthermore, sometimes this love, this desire, this all consuming passion can sometimes be destructive!

Line four supports my idea of what fire really means even more. Frost states that from what he has tasted (or experienced) of desire (the apocalyptic fire) he would rather be consumed by extreme love than ice...but wait a second. Love and...ice? This makes no sense, UNLESS ice has a emblematic meaning.

Lines five, six, and seven are very important to understanding this poem. Line five states "But if it had to perish twice". This tells us Frost is talking about losing love twice! This of course, is a very bad thing, so line six goes on to say that losing a love twice would expose Frost to enough hate and pain of losing who you once loved the most that he would rather the world (or his being) end in 'ice' then going on with fire, which has burned him once too many times. I think this is very true. Is it not often those who we come to love the most in our life we can end up hating the most (after a relationship ends badly)? Such a strong contrast in feeling is hard to imagine, but it happens all the time.

Line seven pretty much spells out what this mysterious 'ice' is. Its hate. Plain and simple, Frost is saying he would rather love and be consumed by passion, but if he had to of loved and lost twice he would be so broken that he would rather end his days frozen in hate, for too much of either can be destructive to the soul (mutualism), and to echo the final line, nine, either would suffice in breaking a man.

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