Since the dawn of time, kids have been fascinated by cryogenics. Cave-children dreamed gruntily of a day they might become trapped in a glacier with their pet mammoth. Preschooler devotees of Walt Disney and Timothy Leary imagined a frosty passage into eternal life with every mouth-reddening popsicle.

But how to make these fantasies manifest? Liquid nitrogen is hard to come by on a youth-sized allowance. And, besides, pesky parents won't shut up about "shattering off vital body parts" and "death".

Inspiration, at least for this child, came from God himself; George Lucas. In His infinte wisdom, Lucasfilm released a "carbonite Han Solo" toy. Our Deity is frugal, and the frozen Han was simply a shell with no actual Han Solo toy.

But herein lies the miracle. Many children are the stewards of a vast array of experimental subjects. Subjects who won't complain, demand money, food, or medical treatment, or be the subject of liberating protests by radical groups. Action figures.

If these brave plastic souls could stoically withstand laser burns, raging fires, and being blown to bits by M-80s, why not put some of 'em on ice?

Cryostasis from the comfort and convenience of your own home requires:

  • One (1) action figure, preferably poseable in a "oh, I've been horribly frozen!" fashion. Highy articulated G.I. Joe figures are good.
  • One (1) plastic container, deeper than your figure. Preferably clear, although opaque containers can add drama to the unveiling.
  • Water.
  • A freezer. Check in the kitchen or garage.
  • Time. Yes, sadly, this is not an instant gratification kind of time-wasting activity.

Stand your unfortunate figure in the bottom of the container, and fill it with water. Try to get the figure to stand up straight (trust me; it's more fun later). Place the container gently in the freezer and shut the door. Get in your time machine and travel forward about four hours and remove the container (if it's not fully frozen, wait longer. Go play video games, you unimaginative boor).

When all the water is frozen solid, the fun really begins. The first thing to do is run the container under the tap to melt just enough of the ice perimeter to release your ice cube cryostasis chamber. Set your container shaped ice block somewhere with good light and look at it.

There he/she is, frozen. Encased. Trapped for eternity in the cruel chill.

And it's you to the rescue.

You, the hero, have a couple of options. You can (if you're extremely patient), simply let the ice melt and watch your subject's agonizing freedom unfold. You can break out your magnifying glass, take your ice out into the sun, and use your high-tech super ray to free your comrade from his/her evil tomb. You can go the fast route and run the block under hot water, as long as you're prepared to possibly kill your friend by shocking him or her back to life.

Whichever method you choose, the important part is the story. Who froze our hero? Who is coming to the rescue? How long has the victim been frozen? What sort of world are they waking up to? Is it populated entirely by Lego Blacktron villains?

And just remind your mom, if she accuses you of "wasting water", that you are simply preparing yourself for immortality.

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