Back when I was a kid…
I walked into a Bed, Bath & Beyond yesterday and saw a curious display of colorful plastic items that looked like those protective plastic cases that some eggs come in but on a much larger scale. Each one had two hinged sides of six round indents the size of half a baseball that could close creating a six-pack of hollow ball-shaped spaces.
And what was the purpose of this fantastic, unnecessary plastic thing? It was a snowball maker. That’s right, a snowball maker! It said so right on the package- SNOWBALL MAKER!- in big, bold letters.
I picked one up and turned to the charmingly bored 20-something behind the counter.
“A snowball maker? Really?”
“Ooh, they’re great!” she said, with entirely too much enthusiasm. “You can make snowballs with’em!” emphasizing the obvious just in case a gentleman of my age hadn’t quite grasped the difficult concept of snowball production.
“Yes! You just pile in snow….”
“Wow! You know when I was a kid” I said, cutting short her useful do-it-yourself sales pitch , “we just used our hands to make snowballs.”
“And we sell snowball thowers as well!”
“You just put a snowball into the round end…”
“Wow! You know when I was a kid we used our arms to throw snowballs,”
She looked at me, silently. This was going nowhere but I was beginning to really enjoy myself.
Her stare was that won’t-you-just-go-away look that seems to be a birth right to all creatures under 30.
“Throwing snowballs seems just so 80’s,” I said, trying to engage her on a more age appropriate level. “Can’t you just hire someone to throw your snowballs for you? And to make’em too? Then you wouldn’t actually have to go outside. You could do it as an app on your phone. You pick a target using GPS, send it to your hired hurler and Bingo! No mess, no cold hands, no going outside! Brilliant! You should tell your bosses.”
She stared at me with a you’re-an-idiot look I know so well. I smiled back. Silence.
“Would you like to make a purchase, Sir?” she said, icicles hanging from each word.
“No thanks. I’m good. Just curious!” I said turning to head off toward Kitchenware.
“Have a nice day,” I heard her say behind me but I don’t think she meant it.
She should get a snowball maker. It would be just the thing to brighten her day.
I, myself, am waiting for the app.