Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Outlaw snowballs!

This, at Kill Zone Blog, is funny: Snowballing Out of Control

In December, 2019, the Wisconsin town of Wausau outlawed throwing snowballs, classifying them in the same category of weapons as “arrows, stones, or other missiles or projectiles.”

Ha ha ha! Way to go, Wausau, you have now made complete strangers several states away think you are a ridiculous town. Outlawing snowball fights! Because snowballs are like arrows! Yes, I clearly remember how the Norman crossbowmen at Hastings mowed down the English with snowballs. Why, even today my neighbors take advantage of snowball season to take a deer every winter. With those deadly snowballs, it’s important to hit a deer just right so it doesn’t stagger off to die slowly of blood loss.

Yes, I’m aware that under exactly the right conditions an ice-packed snowball could in theory cause someone to say ow. But good heavens, outlawing snowball fights!

Recovering from the same insanity:

In a triumph of youthful activism, a 9-year-old mover-and-shaker from Severance, Colorado convinced members of the town meeting to overturn an ordinance banning snowball fights. Now that the activity is legal, young influencer Dane Best intends to throw his first snowball at an appropriate target—his little brother.

Good for young Dane!

My favorite fictional snowball fight occurs in The Touchstone Trilogy by Andrea K  Höst. I guess when you’ve just been fighting monsters that really want to kill you, snowballs might not seem quite so deadly.

Oh, hey, going to her website to copy the o-with-an-umlaut so I could paste it in above, I discovered this: A 10,000-word Touchstone story called “Snow Day,” just went up at the end of December. How about that? Completely appropriate for this post.

If you don’t use a Kindle, Andrea has links to all ebook formats at her website, here.

I wish we’d get real snow here in southern Missouri — preferably coming down starting dusk Friday evening and stopping Sunday morning, to give the road crews time to clear the roads for Monday. We had some nice snow last year. I’d love to see real snow this winter, not just an ice glaze followed by a tenth of an inch of snow, as we had here earlier this week. The dogs all love snow and I enjoy watching them run and play in it.

Okay, so — favorite snowball fight, or snow sport of any variety, in SFF? Any spring to mind? Drop ’em in the comments.

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7 Comments Outlaw snowballs!

  1. Mary Beth

    Snowball fights were outlawed in the town I went to university, too (classified as “missiles” in the misdemeanor code). That didn’t stop a lot of freshmen.

    I love the Setari snowball war! Other fights in SFF, hmmm… The video game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt gives you an option to have a really cute snowball fight between the protagonist and his adopted daughter (on the eve of battle, no less). Can’t think of more just now!

  2. Rachel

    I’m impressed you came up with another example of a snowball fight, Mary Beth! I suspect the eve of battle situations tend to reduce the number of snowball fights in adventure SFF. Good for the protagonist, taking time for a snowball fight with his daughter.

  3. Elaine T

    I recall long ago reading a story about a snowball fight that grew and grew until it took over a town (or college, or something). I have never been able to find it again, probably because I can’t remember the title, and while I think the author was James Thurber, it wasn’t really. But I remember it fondly anyway because it was fun and good humored and wise.

    No others… sorry

  4. Rachel

    That sounds delightful, Elaine. If the title occurs to you, I hope you’ll share it.

    You did make me think of The Pushcart War, a fun little MG story about pushcart vendors who go to war against giant trucks by shooting tacks at the tires with peashooters. Of course that’s completely different, but still, peashooters, snowballs, I guess it sort of makes sense I thought of it in this connection. It’s well worth looking up for anyone with a MG reader in the home. My brothers and I loved it when we were kids.

  5. Hanneke

    The fictional snowball fight that came to my mind immediately was the Touchstone one too ☺️. I do love that series.

    I can’t think of another one right away, but Winter Holiday by Arthur Ransome is the next book that jumped into my mind. It’s a nice older books of kids adventures in the snow, pretending to be in a race to the north pole, rescuing a sheep, skating and sledding – but I don’t remember a big snowball fight in there.
    There is a semaphore alphabet in there, used to communicate illicitly with a friend with measles, which I liked and tried to remember as a kid (I’ve lost most of it by now).

  6. Craig N.

    There’s a brief description of the Great Snow Dance at the end of THE SILVER CHAIR; not technically a snowball fight but at least a first cousin.

    The two leads have a brief snowball fight in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST movie, and I’m kind of surprised I can’t think of flirty versions showing up elsewhere.

  7. Rachel

    Oh yes, of course there’s that snowball fight in the Disney movie! Now, on the edge of my mind, I almost think I can recall a similarly flirtatious snowball scene somewhere. Maybe in a romance with a snowy setting. Hmm.

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