Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February 1, 2012 – Snowballs

Today L and I went to the Gemeinde in town to renew our residency permits.  I actually thought this might be my mini adventure for the day, but considering the efficiency of the Swiss it took 5 minutes and was without incident.

However, and this brings me to the fun part, it’s been snowing here the last couple of days.  Not enough to qualify as anything other than a dusting, but if you can find enough snow you coule perhaps fashion a snowball.

While I was driving down the road, at a seriously slow rate of speed, I saw a young boy on the sidewalk.  My best guess is that he was 11 or 12 years old.  It’s hard to know, because I’ve noticed EVERYONE looks young to me.

Anyway there’s this kid on the sidewalk, and he looks a little nerdy (no offense) and I can see he has some snow in his hand.  Now this is not an exaggeration, the snow might be the size of a 50 cent piece (or a franc).  It’s small.  I can also see the wheels turning in the kids head, he wants to be cool, he wants to do something… mischievous.  So what does he do?  He tries to throw the piece of snow at me and the car as I crawl past him.  I say tries because it sticks to his hands.  Now, I will admit that in the historical past when a kid has thrown a snowball at my car it has (a) startled me and (b) thrown me into a rage.  This kid’s effort at best worked up a little giggle, but then I saw the flash of disappointment in his eye so being who I am, I thought I’d give him a little thrill and a lesson in American Reactions.  Yes, you guessed it.  I gave him my best glare, slammed on the brakes and acted like I was going to give chase.  The kid got that wide eyed “Oh Shit” look and started to run.  The little girl who was several paces behind him looked a little shocked, until I smiled at her and laughed.  I’m thinking that at least initially the whole thing was way more fun for me and the little girl, but I have no doubt that kid got to school and told the story of how he threw a HUGE snowball at a car and barely escaped the crazy woman who chased him for blocks.

So here’s the thing.  There are rules about throwing snowballs at people, cars, whatever.

(a)    If you are going to throw a snowball at something you need to commit.  You decide and you do it.  No debating the process looking at the snowball, then looking at the target, and then back at the snowball thingy.  Seriously, that only happens in cartoons and apparently with young Swiss Children

(b)   Have a “real” snowball.  None of these snow marbles.  It needs to be an actual honest to goodness hand sized ball.

(c)    Make sure there is nothing in the snowball that will actually do any damage

(d)   Be prepared to accept the consequences… which means

1.       You better run

2.      You better run fast

3.       You better have a good hiding spot

Now beyond that a word of caution, back home when this has happened to me, it’s scared the crap out of me to suddenly hear a loud thunk hitting the car.  My first thought was “Did I hit something?” My second thought was: “damn kids better not have damaged my car… the car that I paid a good chunk of money for” hence the: “you better run” advice and the comment about flying into a rage. 

On second thought maybe the only snowball rule you should be aware of is:  Snowballs are meant for snowball fights between willing participants.  Don’t throw them at cars, crazy people drive cars.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

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