Sunday, October 27, 2013

Epic Snowball Fights

My fave is the international snow war staged by Coca Cola® at the Olympic Village 3 years ago. But the biggest on record involved 10,000 Confederate soldiers.

Of course it’s still autumn. And all my northern friends and relatives are plastering their Facebook pages with idyllic foliage photos just to make me crazy. I swear one of these years I’m going to totally freak and start painting palm trees.

Now here comes the December issue of mental_floss with all these esoteric snow stories and I’m doomed to yet another season of homesick misery. And it’s only October.

Anyway…what caught my eye is an article entitled “Most Epic Snowball Fight Ever” with illustration to match – both uncredited. But here’s the gist of the story:

Southern soldiers, driven far from home in the cause of battle, were seeing snow for the first time. It didn't take long for them to discover the possibilities. Things came to a head on January 29, 1863 in Virginia’s Rappahannock Valley. With a two-foot snowfall impeding action with the Yanks, an intramural snowball fight unfolded.

It started with the First and Fourth Texas Infantry Divisions launching a sneak attack on the Fifth. Then the Texans united to spring an assault on the Third Arkansas. Each vanquished unit joined forces with their vanquishers to take on yet other units. Soon the snow battle was raging out of control, escalating to snow covered rocks and cannonballs.

Needless to say, commanding officers put an end to the fun, and snowy warfare was henceforth banned in all Rebel camps.

But the best snow battle in my lifetime was that epic Coke event at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. You gotta watch it! A Canadian athlete gets a Coke knocked from his hand by falling snow. Thinking it was a nearby group of Swedes, he fires one off. The conflict quickly brings in France, Russia, USA, Japan, South Korea and Jamaica. It’s an unimaginable blizzard of snowballs flying every which way. Pure genius on the part of Coke’s ad agency. Cracks me up every time.
Okay (sigh) time to go water the flower beds.

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