Well, see, I needed a hobby

Here we go again, the folks at Dykema Rubber Band Co. must have thought when an order for 1.5 tons' worth arrived from Steve Milton in Eugene, Ore. Dykema, according to its website , is the supplier that "leading industrial firms prefer to deal with." But Milton is not a firm; he's one of those Americans who are trying to build the heaviest rubber-band ball on record but cannot scrounge or buy enough locally to meet their needs. So they turn to Dykema in suburban Pittsburgh. The mark at which they're aiming: 3,120 pounds, set eight years ago by John Bain of Wilmington, Del. As far as we know, however, only Milton has had the perseverance to stretch all those bands because his ball now tips the scale at 3,300 pounds. It's five feet high – so big that it takes up half the floor space in his two-car garage. And when dropped from a forklift onto an old van, "it completely flattened the roof and blew the doors off." Working on the thing now requires precautions. It must be held in place by blocks of wood so it doesn't roll away and crush something else. Milton plans to use it this weekend as the centerpiece of a charity drive, challenging donors to match its weight in food and toys. He also may not be through doing business with Dykema. He wants to add another 1,000 pounds to the ball.

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