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NIELSON MISSES MINK

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Desires by Rep. Howard Nielson, R-Utah, to be a good husband and tidy up his home before his wife returned from a trip to Utah ended up costing her a full-length mink coat.

Nielson left early from a dinner sponsored by the New York congressional delegation where the door prize was the coat - and his name was drawn for it."I knew I had to be present to win. But I left early to go clean up the house before my wife's flight came in," Nielson said.

He usually doesn't go to such dinners. "They had food catered in from a lot of the fancy restaurants in New York. I didn't stay long, though. I wanted to get back, clean the dishes and pick up things before my wife returned."

He said his wife wasn't too happy later when she heard what her husband had almost won for her.

"But I told her we would have had to pay half of what it was worth in taxes anyway," he said, adding that he listed several other excuses, too. "She decided after about three minutes of excitement that she really wouldn't have wanted it anyway."