The laws of physics may rule the universe but in our house other rules apply. For instance, we have this thing called: the hanger rule.
Elsewhere in the universe, whenever an item of clothing is removed from a closet, the hanger will remain until such time as the item is returned.
Not so in our house.
Whenever I remove my favorite sweatshirt from the closet, the one I wear on cool mornings to walk my dog, the hanger will linger on the rod only until I go to return the sweatshirt from the wash – then POOF, no hanger!
I find this deeply troubling.
In modern life, we must rely on simple things. When we hit the brakes, we trust our car will stop. When we put mayonnaise in the refrigerator, we trust that the appliance will not decide to take the evening off. So when something as simple as a hanger blinks in and out of existence, it rattles our confidence to the core.
I am not sure why the laws of physics do not apply in our house but whenever strange things happen, I do as I always do. I blame the cats.
I know they steal things. I know how they love to climb to where they should not be and knock things down and then bat them under the furniture – but they denied any wrong doing.
So I put them to the test. The next time I took down my favorite orange sweatshirt, I hid the hanger in my sock drawer.
This worked…. once, then the laws of household physics came roaring back and hangers began vanishing from wherever I hid them.
Next I figured I would test the power of the rule itself. I went to the big box store and bought a package of fifty hangers.
The batch lasted a week.
I bought fifty more.
These lasted less than a day.
So I did what I always do after failing to blame the cats. I blamed my wife.
“You’re stealing my hangers,” I accused, waving my favorite sweatshirt at her.
“That rag,” she said, “does not belong in our closet.”
“Because it smells like your dog,” she said.
“I just washed it.”
“And that is another thing,” she said, “now the washer smells of dog.”
“Then where should I put it?” I asked.
She led me out of the bedroom, down the hall, through the living room and out the front door toward the side of the garage where our trash bin dozes in the warmth of the afternoon sun.
“There,” she said.
“Because it is faded, ripped, stained with coffee, splattered with paint and does not fit.”
I failed to see her point. I told her that.
“…and it smells like dog.”
I refused to give in – and as a result the laws of household physics intensified. My sweatshirt repeatedly vanished from the clothes basket and reappeared in the trash. Empty hangers kept popping off the rod and less desirable sweatshirts began inexplicably appearing in their place…
Goodness knows how this would have ended up, had Scooter not scared up a skunk.
It would have been okay if the skunk had only nailed Scooter – but this crafty fellow knew it was far more effective to spray the owner than the dog.
My favorite road-safety orange sweatshirt could not be salvaged, so I relegated it to the trash and bought a new one. Within minutes: the laws of household physics reverted to the natural order of things and almost a hundred missing hangers suddenly reappeared in the closet.
I do not understand these things and I probably never will – but I really do like my new sweatshirt. It is soft and warm and after only a few wearings, smells strongly and wonderfully of dog.