In Crouch End yesterday (this will become important) I saw a small child gleefully playing in the snow after being let out of school. The poor nipper was possibly upset that his primary school had not been closed by an inch of snow, but he was making up for it afterwards by pelting friends and the occasional passer-by with snowballs. I beamed on with thoroughly appropriate adult bonhomie*. Until I saw his friend who was pelting him back using this:

Yes, the Sno-baller (check the Wicked spelling of the device to give it that extra edge of cool).
According to the website where it can be purchased at a pinch for £8.95 for that one day a year IF YOU ARE LUCKY fun, the Sno-baller has all these great features:
-Long handles preventing
-Soggy Gloves
-Frozen Fingers**
-Makes perfectly round, ice-free snowballs.

That last claim is one which I am sure attracts many middle-class parents afeard of the potential ice dangers hidden inside every snowball. OR Worse. Because the snoballer does not, as claimed, remove the likelihood of these dangers. Firstly if your Walter The Softee kid only throws harmless powder puff snowballs, he is going to get hurt more by the hardcore snowballs. But the device does not even guarntee that the users balls are pure as the driven. Rather it increases the likelihood of the chance of the fabled “yellow snowballs” and worse “the white chocolate Ferrero Rocher”. If the kid doesn’t have to touch the snow to make and throw, he can throw some pretty nasty stuff inside his snowball.

If only the innovation catalogue still existed…

*For all the whinging about cold, and lack of buses, snow days are ace. For one its the only time an parent (or indeed any adult) can throw something at a child and not be seen as a monster.

** I Bet Captain Scott wished he had one when he had the most southerly snowball fight ever.