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How-to guide on building snowman

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POSTED January 7, 2009 1:16 a.m.

How many snowmen did Jack London make?

He spent plenty of time in conditions optimal for the creation of temporary friends with dumb smiles and disproportional limbs. He had to have at least rolled three masses gradually decreasing in size at least once.
What about Walt Whitman?

Is there a long lost verse about America Singing through crafting wet snow into 4-foot carrot holders? Did they use carrots back then? Was it a stick, pinecone, rock?

To ease the transition back to work, I woke up at 6:30 Sunday morning and drove east until I hit snow, in search of answers to no particular question. In fact, I usually come up with more questions than I answer when I stalk nature alone.

I was temporarily fascinated with the idea of making a dude out of snow.

Whoever birthed that idea rose to my top three of people in history I’d love to meet (just below William Seward, who agreed to purchase Alaska in 1867 for $7.2 million. In case you care, Saturday marked Alaska’s 50th anniversary of statehood).

Anyway, after a couple hours of slaloming up ridges, I pulled off on a glaciated turnout.

I saw a myriad of tracks — human and animal that had converged on this spot, but not at the same time. The crusted snow moaned under my waterproof boots as I surveyed.

There was devastation in all directions. Heads of snow-people lay about as well as torsos and, lower torsos?

There were also unfinished ice people whose potential had not been fully realized.

The goal was to make a snowman of my own, paying attention to the details of my emotions as I reverted back to Jeff 9.0, then write about it.

The frozen snow encased powder that lacked snowman glue — moisture. There was no way I’d be able to make a snowman of which to be proud.

Rather than despair, I decided my buddy Eric needed a snowman in his yard. I’d pile pre-made snowballs into the back of my truck, drive home, and assemble Frosty on his front lawn.

The drive down the hill would allow the snow to soften and be easily shaped.

I wasn’t sure what I was doing was even legal. The last thing I needed was to conclude the weekend with a citation for snow man poaching.

During one of my Christmas breaks in college, I returned home and a couple buddies and I drove around the island with a snow man on the roof of my mom’s explorer. We named it Ramen.  People laughed.

Would I get the same reception here?

I rolled a couple to the bed of my truck and hoisted them in, and upon reaching the closest general store, I bought a tarp to cover the remains.

When I saw a state trooper in the general store, I could feel him sizing me up as I dropped the 9-foot tarp and a cup of French Roast on the counter.

I frantically signed the receipt, knowing that if the trooper made it outside before I could cover the snow carcasses melting in my truck bed, I’d have a really interesting column I never wanted to write, of my paranoia held true.

As if he knew, the cashier fired up a conversation with the trooper, and I was able to cover the eight snowy masses resting in the bed.

The rest of the trip was uneventful, and I delicately placed a snowy lawn ornament in Eric’s yard and left without ringing the doorbell, then moved on to the other drop zone.

When I got home I tried to research Jack London and snowmen. Didn’t find anything.

I also Googled “California snow relocation regulations”.

Didn’t find anything either.

To contact Jeff Lund, e-mail

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