Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Snow Job

172 Snow Job

Age and arthritis have turned the electric can opener to a handy gadget, from its original position, which was the Ultimate Example of Suburban Decadence. Plus there’s something new out now that’s even more ultimate than ultimate.

It’s the snowball maker.

Really.

It’s two hemispheres attached to handles. You stuff it with snow, clamp the handles closed and presto, a glob of snow becomes a perfectly spherical snowball.

The thing’s about two feet long and makes a snowball that measures about three inches across.

Perfectly formed snowballs, which you then fling at a nearby object or person, and it smashes into a glob of snow again.

How did we ever get along without this thing. We never knew we needed it until it appeared.

Is there no end to American inventiveness?

Is there no end to the performance of stuff by device that used to be done by hand? Think of the possibilities. You can put away that summertime lemonade stand a make a wintertime snowball stand. Machine made 5 cents (ever notice that many IBM style keyboards don’t have a key for the “cent” sign?) Hand made, ten cents. Guaranteed for one throw or your money back.

Why make snowballs by hand when you can make them by machine. And why make them by machine when you can buy one and let a neighborhood kid make a few cents?

An enterprising youngster can even take advance orders. How about a dozen on the first “real” snow day, the kind that closes schools? Half down, half on delivery? Ten percent off if you pick them up and we don’t have to deliver? Free hot chocolate for orders of two dozen or more?

A REALLY enterprising 5th grader can arrange for Mastercard or Visa payments. But he’ll (or she’ll) have to charge more because the banks take a cut of the funds and that can be costly, especially since those snowball makers are about eight bucks each.

Or undercut the competition. Sell your snowballs at a loss until you drive the other kids out of business, then jack up your prices to maybe 12 or 15 cents. Either that or get to the store and buy up the entire stock or there’ll be way too much competition. It was good enough for Standard Oil, it should be good enough for you.

Get a small business loan from the First National Bank of Mom and Dad. They’ll stake you to start up capitalization, and they’ll be proud of you. Who knows, you might be able to retire before you’re old enough for Middle School.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

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