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Deep thoughts (and photos) by M. Scott Smith

From the Less Mature Files: Instant Blizzard 🔗

As an undergraduate at Drexel University in the mid-90's, I served as a columnist, contributing weekly bits of satire in an effort to amuse others or at least myself. I'm dusting off some of those columns and reprinting them here, in raw, unedited form.

Continue reading below to learn about a revolutionary product called Instant Blizzard. Of course, the product doesn't really exist, but numerous students didn't catch that subtle fact. One person said he couldn't find the product at the local Trak Auto and asked me for advice on where else to find it.




From time to time, I'll use this column to write about exciting new products. I recently came across a product which is so innovative that I had to share it. I'm talking about Instant Blizzard, by the makers of the Club.

Surely you've heard of the Club, an auto anti-theft device which attaches to the steering wheel of a car, making the car difficult to drive. Despite the Club's popularity, many car thieves have discovered easy ways to circumvent the Club. For example, thieves now know that it is easy to saw through the steering wheel and slide the Club off. In response to this, the makers of the Club now produce Clubs in designer colors such as neon blue. This does little to prevent thieves from cutting the steering wheel, but who can resist buying neon blue Clubs?

Now the makers of the Club have a new product which is sure to put a chill down the spine of auto thieves: Instant Blizzard. According to their literature, Instant Blizzard is the "most effective way of ensuring that your automobile is not stolen."

Instant Blizzard, which comes in single-use containers about the size of a coffee mug, produces a mound of snow six feet tall, covering an area the size of an average sedan. When activated, a collection of chemicals is mixed in a patented way to produce self-expanding snow crystals. When the container is properly positioned on top of the vehicle, the snow expands to completely surround the vehicle, making any attempts at stealing the vehicle futile.

Instant Blizzard is currently sold in a set of three single-use containers, with a retail price of about $29.95. I've seen Instant Blizzard selling for as low as $24.95 at some stores such as Trak Auto. For larger vehicles, such as sport utility vehicles, it is recommended that two containers be used.

Instant Blizzard almost didn't make it to market, after several consumer advocacy groups raised serious questions about its safety. Apparently early users of Instant Blizzard suffered from frostbite and, in one case, a consumer accidentally discharged Instant Blizzard in a shopping mall, surrounding himself with snow and freezing to death before anyone could help him, after being mistaken for an ice sculpture.

To pacify the consumer advocacy groups, the makers of Instant Blizzard now include a warning message on the canister.

Instant Blizzard has won rave reviews and several lucrative endorsements. Its endorsers include the Fraternal Order of Police, a group of unemployed police officers who were fired after posing for calendars in the buff, and now make their living by endorsing products such as business-size envelopes.

Unfortunately, Instant Blizzard's effectiveness is decreased in warm summer months, which is apparently because the snow quickly melts, leaving the car vulnerable to theft. The makers of the Club state that they are working on this problem by designing an Instant Blizzard which can be placed inside the car and attached to most car alarms. The car alarms trigger Instant Blizzard, which causes a would-be theft to be covered in snow, leading to hypothermia.

In addition, the makers of the Club are working on a product called Instant Tsunami, although they haven't released details about it yet.

M. Scott Smith is a senior majoring in computer science. The Triangle does not endorse Instant Blizzard.

- By M. Scott Smith, January 17, 1996. All rights reserved.

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