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Forwarded-by: Nev Dull 
Forwarded-by: Tim Ruddick 
Forwarded-by: Nick Ruddick 
Forwarded-by: Ron & Sandy Klopf [SMTP:rsklopf@bendnet.com]

The following is a true story:

THE CHRISTMAS TROUSERS
Roy Collette and his brother-in-law have been exchanging the same pair of
pants as a Christmas present for 11 years -- and each time the package
gets harder to open. This year the pants came wrapped in a car mashed into
a 3-foot cube.

The trousers are in the glove compartment of a 1974 Gremlin. Now
Collette's plotting his revenge -- if he can get them out.  It all started
when Collette received a pair of moleskin trousers from his
brother-in-law, Larry Kunkel of Bensenville, Ill. Kunkel's mother had
given her son the britches when he was a college student.  He wore them
a few times, but they froze stiff in cold weather and he didn't like them.
So he gave them to Collette.

Collette, who called the moleskins "miserable", wore them three times,
then wrapped them up and gave them back to Kunkel for Christmas the next
year.  The friendly exchange continued routinely until Collette twisted
the pants tightly, stuffed them into a 3-foot-long, 1-inch wide tube and
gave them back to Kunkel.
 
The next Christmas, Kunkel compressed the pants into a 7-inch square,
wrapped them with wire and gave the "bale" to Collette.  Not to be
outdone, the next year Collette put the pants into a 2-foot-square crate
filled with stones, nailed it shut, banded it with steel and gave the
trusty trousers back to Kunkel.

The brothers agreed to end the caper if the trousers were damaged. But
they were as careful as they were clever.

Kunkel had the pants mounted inside an insulated window that had a 20-year
guarantee and shipped them off to Collette.

Collette broke the glass, recovered the trousers, stuffed them into a
5-inch coffee can and soldered it shut. The can was put in a 5-gallon
container filled with concrete and reinforcing rods and given to Kunkel
the following Christmas.

Two years ago, Kunkel installed the pants in a 225-pound homemade steel
ashtray made from 8-inch steel casings and etched Collette's name on the
side. Collette had trouble retrieving the treasured trousers, but
succeeded without burning them with a cutting torch.

Last Christmas, Collette found a 600-pound safe and hauled it to Viracon
Inc. in Owatonna, where the shipping department decorated it with red and
green stripes, put the pants inside and welded the safe shut. The safe
was then shipped to Kunkel, who is the plant manager for Viracon's outlet
in Bensenville.

A few weeks ago, the pants were trucked to Owatonna, 55 miles south of
Minneapolis, in a drab green, 3-foot cube that once was a car with 95,000
miles on it. A note attached to the 2,000-pound scrunched car advised
Collette that the pants were inside the glove compartment.  "This will
take some planning," Collette said. "I will definitely get them out. I'm
confident." But he's waiting until January to think about how to recover
the bothersome britches.

"Wait until next year," he warned. "I'm on the offensive again."
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