Story Archive

Citywide Pants

It got cold in Minneapolis, Minn., a few years ago — “it was just on us for weeks on end,” says Tom Grotting — so he decided to have some fun with the “polar vortex” by freezing pairs of pants, and standing them up in his yard. Then, since cold weather in Minneapolis is not exactly rare, he made it his winter custom. One year he even stood pants by some parking meters downtown. “I put them right outside my office window, so I took pictures of people awkwardly squeezing in between the frozen pants as they tried to fill the meter.” This year, the 61-year-old promoted pants-freezing on a local Facebook page and the practice took off. How do you freeze pants? First you soak them, then you sculpt them during the half-hour or so it takes them to freeze in suitable weather, Grotting says. National media have criticized the pants — “We already get it: It’s cold outside ... Please stop with the creepy frozen ghost pants,” said Esquire magazine — but Grotting says the pants are a “time-honored tradition.” He got the idea from his grandparents: they did it on their farm. (AC/ABC, Minneapolis Star-Tribune) ...Everyone has traditions. Some are just funnier than others.
Original Publication Date: 14 February 2016
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 22.

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