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TMCNet:  Plain City man, friends gift-wrap mom's house

[December 25, 2012]

Plain City man, friends gift-wrap mom's house

PLAIN CITY, Dec 25, 2012 (Standard-Examiner - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Nick Garrett wanted to wrap up something special for his mom this Christmas.

Her house.

Garrett and friends Johnny Murdock and Tyler White, all of Plain City, formed a business, Bangakang, and aspire to make G-rated viral videos. Their motto is "Making the smile... viral :)".

Projects have included: --A video of the three, who gathered all the bags of leaves they could find for leaf-jumping purposes. The video has been viewed by 3.1 million.

--A video of California crowds going crazy as the guys dug up a chest of gold coins on Venice Beach. (The chest, purchased online, was filled with chocolate coins and buried the night before.) Viewed by 2 million.

--A video of an elaborate flash-mob marriage proposal (by Murdock to his now fiancee). Viewed by 550,000.

--A video of reverse trick-or-treating. The men took a portable door up to doorsteps. When homeowners knocked, the prankers opened the portable door, handed out candy, and complimented home owners on their "costumes." Viewed by 430,000.

The Plain City friends made about $10,000 last year, earning a few cents at a time when viewers watch the commercial that precedes each video on YouTube.com.

Which brings us back to Jenny Garrett, who arrived home from a business trip never expecting to find the video camera rolling as she discovered her one-story home wrapped in holiday red and green.

"Nick's mom had said she didn't think she'd have much to open this Christmas, so that gave us the idea," said Murdock, 25, a business student at Weber State University.

"We spent about $200 on bulk wrapping paper, and we used about 3,000 feet of paper, with green on the roof and shutters and red on the house. It's a one-story house, extremely long, and with a roof that is extremely steep." The friends spent Dec. 19 through 21 on the project, working long days in the cold, and stopping only after the roof frosted up each night.

Murdock, with Garrett, 21 a Utah State University student, and with White, 21, studying at WSU, purchased 500 feet of nondamaging duct tape to hold the package together. They worked on the roof in stocking feet, for traction, each wearing through a pair or two of socks a day due to the roughness of the shingles. All finished the job with blistered hands.

The friends documented Jenny Garrett's arrival by car, her head-grabbing gesture of shock, and the communal unwrapping of her "gift." The discarded wrapping paper weighed about 150 pounds, Murdock said, and easily would have filled a large dumpster.

As of Christmas Eve, the house-wrapping video had been viewed by more than 2,600 people on YouTube.

The men of Bangakang (a word made up because it sounded fun and memorable) are hoping the new video will go viral, although it is suffering from a slow launch.

"We sent the link out to people and businesses who usually share our videos," Murdock said. "But we got a lot of email messages back, saying people were out of town for the holidays." ___ (c)2012 the Standard-Examiner (Ogden, Utah) Visit the Standard-Examiner (Ogden, Utah) at www.standard.net Distributed by MCT Information Services

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