For a good chunk of the early part of this winter, the cold weather seemed to be staying away. In parts of the Northeast, temperatures in December were actually warmer than in parts of Southern California. Unfortunately, the new year seems to have brought the cold with it and while the Northeast is gearing up for incoming polar vortices and massive blizzards, the Midwest has already seen its fair share of freezing weather.
Winters in Minnesota are, unsurprisingly, freezing cold. At a recent NFL playoff game for the Minnesota Vikings, the recorded temperature at kickoff was a positively bone-chilling -6 degrees Fahrenheit. With the wind chill, it felt more like the negative twenties. Since they have to endure such bitter winters, it's no surprise that Minnesotans have a lot of ways to make their own fun out of an otherwise miserable experience.
Back in 2013, Tom Grotting, a photographer from Minneapolis, decided to play a simple prank on everyone - he soaked pairs of pants in water and then places them in strategic locations around town. The weather freezes them stiff, leaving a comically casual looking pair of pants just hanging out in the cold as if they were being worn by ghosts.
Grotting started putting up these frozen pants around his neighborhood back in 2013.
According to an interview with ABC NEWS, Grotting initially started doing it for the benefit of his neighbor, Diane. Apparently, the long winters in Minnesota tend to dampen her spirits (we're kindred spirits, Diane), so he started freezing pants to entertain her.
He soaks the pants in buckets of water then hangs them outside where he sculpts them as they freeze.
He likes to place them at a wide variety of locations around town, from local businesses and coffee shops to parking meters and, of course, front yards.
Minnesotans have a pretty good sense of humor when it comes to winter (they kinda have to), and as more and more people started seeing Grotting's handiwork, they decided to get in on the act too!
Of course, not everyone is a fan. Grotting's daughter recently texted her father after a big band rehearsal with the trumpet section, complaining that "the trumpets saw the pants."
Others, however, are enthusiastically embracing the idea.
According to Grotting the pants are usually salvageable after the prank is done, although this year he used them to the point where they were probably best left for pranking purposes only.