Ice-cream (sort of) from the seventies and eighties. Imagine an upturned Dalek (on a much smaller scale, obviously) made of plastic and fill it full of ice-cream with a kind of strawberry sauce. It was eaten with a small wooden shovel. The name 'Screwball' came from the fact that right at the bottom, where the head of the Dalek would have been, was a chewing-gum ball, a hard candy-shelled thing. Is this what the majority of people felt they wanted to eat after noshing on an ice-cream? Or was it just a gimmick? - Call me a cynic, but...

After the success of the Screwball had waned, they came out with the 'Two-ball Screwball': you can probably guess what else they'd added to it to warrant the name. What on earth would an ice-cream consumer do with two pieces? They could eat one, sure. But where would they put the other, all covered with ice-cream as it was? The feminine rhyme of 'Two-ball Screwball' is all very well - but should it really dictate marketting policy? No doubt this shouldn't distress me as much as it does...

I have no idea why either variant was popular, mind you - in essence it's just a wafer cone with vanilla ice-cream and strawberry sauce (and the brilliance of the wafer cone, of course, is that you can eat all of the product - there's no plastic kicking about for the rest of the life of the planet (mind you - who cared about that in the 70s and 80s?)). And with a Screwball you can't eat the cone afterwards. Or push all the ice-cream to the bottom with your tongue until it squirts out of the end. Or snap off the end and use the resulting small cone to scoop up a little bit of the ice-cream and make mini ice-cream cones.

All the taste and fun of an ice-cream cone. Without the fun...

A screwball (or "scroogie," as it is affectionately known), is a pitch in baseball that breaks sharply to right when thrown by a right-handed pitcher and sharply to the left when thrown by a lefty. Although often thought of as the reverse of a curveball the motion of a screwball is usually more comparable to the motion of a reverse slider, and screwballs are often thrown with a different grip than the curveball.

The best way to picture how a screwball is thrown is to grasp a doorknob with your right hand. Turn the doorknob sharply to the left. That is how it feels for a righty to throw the screwball.

New York Giants legend Christy Mathewson is credited with inventing the screwball, which he called the "fadeaway."

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