Item N22 454 1775 in the new Eddie Bauer catalog (just out today; check your mailbox) is the Eddie Bauer Snow Slinger. One of the very few items in the catalog that is not down-filled, this $14.50 jimcrack (slogan: "Just scoop 'em, pack 'em and sling 'em") represents the absolute perigee of American boyhood.
Back in the days when all boys waited for snowfall, and their parents did not freak out over the very thought of white hell descending from the heavens and clogging the streets with a half an inch of powder, why, we actually bent down and picked up enough snow in our non-down-mittened mitts and packed a snowball and let 'er fly.
Today's boy, once he tears himself from "Felony Auto Theft 2" on X-Box, or whatever other screen he's staring at for hours on end, will now go outside and, instead of packing his own snowballs, will have a $14.50 plastic snow mini-catapult, which he will probably use as a weapon itself, tossing it at some sibling who just came out to ask his password so he can log onto Pyromaniac.com.
I just can't stand it.