In 1964, Larry Kunkel’s mother gave him a pair of moleskin pants for Christmas. He found that they froze stiff during the Minnesota winters, so the following Christmas he wrapped them up and gave them to his brother-in-law, Roy Collette. Collette returned them to Kunkel the next year, and the pants began oscillating between the two as a yearly joke. This was fun until it escalated:
- One year Collette twisted the pants into a tight roll and stuffed them into an inch-wide pipe 3 feet long and gave them to Kunkel.
- Not to be outdone, Kunkel returned them the following year compressed into a 7-inch cube and baled in wire.
- So Collette gave them back immured in a 2-foot crate full of stones and banded with steel.
- Collette next had them mounted inside an insulated window with a 20-year guarantee.
- Kunkel soldered them into a 5-inch coffee can and sealed that in a 5-gallon container filled with concrete and reinforcing rods.
- Kunkel locked them in a 225-pound homemade steel ashtray made of 8-inch steel casings.
- Collette returned them welded inside a 600-pound safe decorated with red and green stripes.
- Kunkel put them in the glove compartment of a 2,000-pound 1974 Gremlin crushed into a 3-foot cube.
- Collette put them inside a tire 8 feet high and 2 feet wide and filled it with 6,000 pounds of cement.
- Kunkel hid them inside one of 15 identical concrete-filled canisters, which he loaded into a 17.5-foot rocket ship filled with concrete and weighing 6 tons.
- Collette put them in a 4-ton Rubik’s cube fashioned from kiln-baked concrete and covered with 2,000 board-feet of lumber.
- Kunkel put them into a station wagon filled with 170 steel generators welded together.
- Collette returned them inside a cement-truck tank delivered by a flatbed truck and accompanied by a crane.
Here it ended. In 1989 Collette planned to encase the pants in 10,000 pounds of glass and leave them in Kunkel’s front yard. “It would have been a great one,” Kunkel admitted. “Really messy.” But the insulated container failed during pouring and the molten glass reduced the pants to ashes. They reside today in an urn on Kunkel’s mantel.