As with anything 'fashionable' in the seventies, snorkel jackets were the absolute height of chic - but for a very limited period only: I think, in the case of these monstrosities, about ten minutes.

They came in one colour only: dark grey, with a very fetching bright orange lining (they also, or so it seemed at least, came in just one size - 'too large'). They had big, deep pockets, a huge zip (which always, always, always stuck) and a massive hood.

The hood was central to the whole 'snorkel' bit. You see, when you zipped this thing up, it kept on going, all the way past your chin and nose, and then came out providing a sort of 'diving mask' effect. The hood had mock fur all the way round it. The only things visible were your eyes. For those ten fashionable minutes, this was the absolute cream of cool. For the remaining eternity, though, you looked a complete and utter prat.

Needless to say, I wanted one so badly. I thought they were incredibly cool. And I got one too. It came, unfortunatley, with idiot mittens (my mother insisted), half an hour after those ten minutes were up, and in June.

Yes of course I wore it. Yes of course I looked like a fool. Yes of course I baked my self senseless in one of the hottest summers 'since records began'.

I was just not a sensible kid.

Thinking about it, I'm sure Kenny has something very like a snorkel jacket on South Park. But it's not a real one - because it's not the seventies, it's not black, and - more importantly - it's not got fake fur round the hood. These things are important.

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