Jean-Paul Villere: All-night snowball fight

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Jean-Paul Villere

Jean-Paul Villere

SPOILER ALERT: The following has absolutely nothing to do with missing Malaysian flights, awesome local election results, what’s cool and/or gentrifying in New Orleans or St Patrick’s Day.  Nor does it have much to do with fisticuffs, with or without spherical handheld orbs of freshly fallen frozen precipitation, that may or may not last exceptionally long and nocturnally.  On a side note, turns out my high school sociology teacher was right: I don’t take anything seriously.  Rock on, Mrs. Schneider!

I love my brother-in-law.  I just do.  And I have two.  But I love my younger one more.  What can I say?  A parent doesn’t love all their children equally; why would you love all your in-laws the same?  You wouldn’t, and you don’t.  In fact, I’m guessing if you made it past the spoiler alert, chances are good you don’t love your brother-in-law, if you have one.  Which is a shame.  Because life is short, and why marry a spouse whose siblings are jerks?  I didn’t.

The older brother-in-law is alright, but like I said, just not the same.  I’m sure he feels the same way about me and his other brother-in-law.  Yes, my sister-in-law has a husband.  Which makes my brothers-in-law have a brother-in-law in me and him.  But him to me, our wives are sisters, and thankfully it ends there.  We hail from the South, but goodness gracious more Southern than this, I would decline to elaborate, surely.

At some point over this egregiously long winter, Thomas, the younger brother-in-law, was over for a meal.  Maybe it was a birthday, maybe it was Thanksgiving, I don’t really recall.  We were sitting at the dining rom table, I think, when almost out of nowhere my 5 year old daughter spouts out “All night snowball fight!”  Eureka!  I thought I tweeted it.  I don’t know, maybe I didn’t.  I remember Thomas raising his eyebrow at the notion of her words.  I too was intrigued.

Ah!  The poetry of these four words queued together!  Just genius.  When he isn’t keeping a local university’s IT department up to snuff, Thomas plays guitar.  He has done so most of his life.  We basically agreed that his next band, next song, or next album, somewhere and however, all night snowball fight must surface.  For the 5 year old knows not what she’s inspired.  But that’s how life is.  Remember: the invention of gunpowder was an accident.

The sno-ball (also spelled snoball) is a regional, seasonal frozen treat of Southeast Louisiana often viewed as a respite from our oppressive spring, but moreso summer, temperatures.  Purveyors who spell it with a ‘w’ (ergo snowball), in my wife’s view, are not to be trusted.  Just like the shudder worthy ‘poor’ boy, imitators and carpetbaggers be damned!  The extra ‘o’ and ‘r’ underserve and give you away.  From hell’s hot, I stab at thee!

These misspellings and faux fares: consume at your own risk.  The authenticity authorities are not en route, but Guy Fieri might be on Line 2 for you.  It’s a mixed bag down here most of the time, but in the same breath anyone that spells New Orleans as N’Awlins or proceeds to pronounce New Orleans as N’Awlins, well, there’s the door.  You sound like a slobbering dog gnawing on a splintery bone.  No really, that’s what you sound like.  Please take your snowball, poorboy, and exit Orleans County post haste.  Moving on.

When I consider the all night snowball fight, I take equal parts David Bowie’s Young Americans, Tom Petty’s American Girl, and Ezra Jack Keats’ Snowy Day and then like an overthought turducken I mash it all into an old Skid Row song.  Pop culture just works that way I guess, at least for me anyway.

Lately the all-night snowball fight has come to me in the parenting session that comes in the season of toddlers and their sleeping habits.  In their own beds, they’re too hot or too cold or they wake each other up.  And in the case of the 3-year-old it is the inevitable dead of night trip to the bathroom.  So sleep is a luxury I cashed long ago.

How valuable is a REM cycle?  My guess is not as golden as the stray and quickly forgotten musings of young children.  But ask me again tomorrow morning.

Jean-Paul Villere is the owner of Villere Realty and Du Mois Gallery on Freret Street and a married father of four girls. In addition to his Wednesday column at, he also shares his family’s adventures sometimes via pedicab or bicycle on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

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