How to build an EU-approved snowperson

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The Independent Online
During this recent spell of snowy weather it has become blatantly obvious that the British people are unaware of the new Brussels-based regulations concerning the construction of snowmen. I know this for a fact, as I have received a helpful note on the subject from John Gummer, as follows:

"Dear Columnist,

I wonder if I could enlist your aid in a worthy cause, and help to publicise the new Brussels-based regulations in the snowperson-building field? I enclose a copy of these new rules. The rules are not, of course, drawn up in Brussels - they are merely our draconian interpretation of a note from Brussels asking us to regularise snowperson-building. In most of the EU snowmen are unknown, so this is purely a British matter and I have tried to be as comprehensive as possible."

I am always happy to oblige my old friend John, so here are the main points of the pamphlet he sent me.



1. The dimensions of all snowpeople should be expressed in metric units.

2. For safety reasons, no snowperson should be higher than 1.5 metres. This is so that the snowperson will not topple over on the builder or other innocent parties.

3. All snowpeople should be built by a workforce of at least two persons, so that in the event of an accident occurring to one, the other can drag him or her clear.

4. For safety reasons, the head of the snowperson should not be larger than the body.

5. When the head of the snowperson is being placed on top of the body, it should not be lifted bodily on top of the body in a manner likely to cause physical injury to the lifters. Instead, the head should be rolled up a long plank placed with one end on the ground and the other on the body, in the manner first used to construct the pyramids in ancient Egypt. (See our earlier booklet on legal ways to build your own pyramid: "Pyramid- building - an EU-based directive".)

6. The body of the snowperson should not contain more than 5 per cent pebbles, stone, grass and other non-snowy objects.

7. The snow used to construct the snowman should be 100 per cent EU- manufactured snow. No imported snow must be used in any EU-based snowperson, as this is subject to hefty fines.

8. The carrot used as a nose for the snowperson must not exceed 10cm in length or be shorter than 6cm - that is, it must conform to the EU directives on vegetable conformity. (If in doubt, send for our explanatory booklet, "Some Extremely Stupid Rules About Vegetable Growing Which Only the British are Stupid Enough to Issue and Only the British are Honest Enough to Obey" by John "Selwyn" Gummer.)

9. All persons engaged in the construction of snowpeople must be fully insured against damage or injury. They should also be issued with adequate protective clothing, and wet socks should be replaced as soon as possible.

10. All persons engaged in snowperson construction must be registered residents of the EU, and no immigrant labour may be used unless authorised to do so. Under-age labour is expressly discouraged.

11. Only EU-manufactured coal may be used for the eyes.

12. All twigs used for hands, fingers, etc should be boiled first to remove all risk of infection.

13. If a pipe is stuck in the mouth of the snowperson to represent a pipe in the mouth of the snowperson, it must not be lit in places where smoking is not permitted.

14. In workplaces, gardens, parks and so on where snowpeople are being constructed, there must be adequate provision for hygiene, health, etc - that is, plenty of washbasins, toilet facilities, creches, nappy-changing facilities, showers, first-aid kits, etc. (Send for our booklet: "How You Have to Build Your Own Private Hospital in Your Own Home Before Some People are Satisfied" by Dr John "Sellby Date" Gummer.)

15. As soon as thawing begins, ALL snowpeople must be dismantled and safely disposed of. Stringent fines will be imposed by our snow inspectors after unannounced spot checks.

16. Have fun!

PS. John Gummer adds, in a curious footnote: "This copy of the Snow report is being shown well in advance to all snowmen mentioned by name in the Snow report, so that they may have a chance to formulate their answers to all criticism of them well in advance."

I wonder what he can mean ...