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Drat! tinfoiled again!

Posted: Sunday, January 11, 2004

OLYMPIA (AP) What kind of friends coat your apartment and nearly everything in it with tinfoil while you're away?

Here's a hint: One of the only objects that escaped the shiny treatment was a book titled ''Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends.''

Chris Kirk found his downtown Olympia apartment encased in aluminum foil when he returned home Monday night from a trip to Los Angeles.

The walls, ceiling, cabinets and everything in between shimmered, after the prank orchestrated by Kirk's longtime friend, Luke Trerice, 26, who was staying in the apartment while Kirk was away.

''He's known for large-scale strangeness,'' Kirk, 33, told The Olympian. ''He warned me that he would be able to touch my stuff, but it didn't sound so bad.''

Trerice, who lives in Las Vegas, and a small group of friends draped the apartment with about 4,000 square feet of aluminum foil, which cost about $100.

Not surprisingly, the idea was hatched on New Year's Eve.

''It was just a spur of the moment thing,'' Trerice said. ''I really don't even consider it art. I consider it a psychology project. ... He seems to be upbeat, so I consider this a success. ''

No detail was too small or too time-consuming. The toilet paper was unrolled, wrapped in foil, then rolled back up again. The friends covered Kirk's book and compact disc collections but made sure each CD case could open and shut normally. They even used foil on each coin in Kirk's spare change.

And to sweeten the theme, they left silver Hershey's kisses sprinkled throughout the apartment.

''The toilet was hard. The molding around the doorways took a very long time,'' Trerice said.

Aside from ''Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends,'' which doesn't include this particular trick, only a portrait of his girlfriend, the bed and a bath mat were left unfoiled.

''He took special pains not to move anything,'' Kirk said.

A foil-encased picture hanging outside his apartment was Kirk's first clue that something inside was amiss.

''I heard him open the door and gasp and start laughing,'' said Beth Kelly, who lives in an apartment down the hall. ''I love the quarters. It's almost more funny realizing the things that were left unwrapped.''

Andras Jones, who lives on the same floor, became curious about what was transpiring in Kirk's apartment as he noticed ''a parade of strange characters'' going in and out.

Since Kirk's return the entire building has been buzzing about the transformation, Jones said.

''There's a party atmosphere down by the room,'' Jones said. ''Of course, everyone has their favorite part. I think the kitchen is just amazing.''

Kirk's awestruck neighbors and friends kept him up until late Monday night. He hasn't started unpacking his belongings and isn't sure when he will. ''

''As I was trying to sleep last night, I realized that, actually, it's creepy,'' Kirk said.

And as for whether Trerice will ever be allowed to stay again at the apartment unsupervised, Kirk said: ''I don't know. We'll see.''

But Trerice hopes Kirk will find a way to get him back.

''I'm going to be insulted if he doesn't try,'' Trerice said. ''It's kind of a challenge.''



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