My Hanger

johnny-automatic-coat-hanger-800pxThe laws of physics may rule the universe but in our house other laws apply. For instance, we have this thing called: the hanger law.

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 to walk the dog), the hanger will linger on the rod only until such time as I return it 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 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.

Author: Almost Iowa

38 thoughts on “My Hanger”

  1. The word that popped into my mind as I read your funny post was d.i.v.o.r.c.e. (the skunk, the tshirt or whatever takes your fancy). Alternatively you could do have your clothes in a separate closet like me and my other half do. Otherwise, I’d do abracadabra on his clothes-hangers too, I suspect. 😉

  2. Welcome back to blogging, Greg. I have missed your humorous writing which always causes me to laugh out loud. I hope you’ve found a wider market for your work (perhaps related to that “project”).

    I will admit to swiping hangers from my husband’s side of the closet since a shortage of hangers always exists.

    And I will admit to threatening to throw his favorite ragged sweatshirt (grey with a Farmall tractor on the front) away. Unlike your wife, I have not had the courage to do so. Perhaps I need to speak to her and learn her stealthy tactics.

    1. “with a Farmall tractor on the front”

      I am green with envy….. oh wait a minute, green would be John Deere. It’s all so confusing. 🙂

      Never throw out anything with a likeness of a Farmall on it. 🙂

  3. We have a carnivorous washer that prefers things well-worn with unraveling collars, holes and a certain je ne sais quoi that smells like curry. Like a roach motel, things go into the laundry room and never come out.

  4. Funny! Glad you are back. Missed your stories.
    Fold sweatshirts because they stretch on hangers. Wire hangers multiply, other kinds disappear as do socks. My theory is that missing socks morph into wire hangers. I threw away my wire hangers and voila, my sock count has remained the same.

    1. Oh my gosh, I think you are onto something Nobel Prize worthy with your wire hanger/sock metamorphosis theory. If you want to write a paper exploring the subject, I will be glad to peer-review it.

  5. How great to see you here again. I thought you’d hung it up, but apparently that was only the new sweatshirt. Honestly, though — who hangs up sweatshirts? I’ve never in my life used a hanger for a sweatshirt — always folded them. I don’t know why. That’s just the way we did it. Maybe that’s the difference between Iowa and Almost Iowa: folded vs. hung.

    1. It is a regional thing. Around here, a ripped, torn and paint splattered sweatshirt is worn with pride – but a crease is unforgivable. How could one be seen at the Fleet Farm store like that?

  6. When I used to wear socks this always happened to one. Disappeared. I finally started buying socks that looked the same so when one was gone I still had others to wear. It finally got so bad I only had one sock. i gave up wearing them. Fun post. Welcome back.

    1. If I get back to Port Aransas this year, I will definitely look you up and just as definitely go without socks. But if I stay here, socks and thick ones at that, are a must.

      Great to be back.

  7. OUR law of closet physics says that, if one new piece of clothing comes in, at least one piece must be banished. Of course, the pieces I tell her I’m getting rid of, usually end up in the bottom drawer of my dresser.

  8. First, and most important of all, it is good to see you’re back. I have missed your reportage for many a blue moon. Secondly, I can tell you where the hangers go. Check with your missing socks. You find the missing sock and you will find the missing hanger.

    1. I wondered about that sock and hanger thing until a neighbor, who knows everything, convinced me that they were mortal enemies.

      Hope to be around more in the future – but I have a whole lot of things to get done before the onslaught of a Minnesota winter.

      1. You could move to Florida. We have only two seasons down here. Summer and more Summer. In fact, the weather was so warm here this summer the weather guys came up with an official name for the weather. Hot. It’s amazing how much thinking they had to do to come up with that one.

      1. he used to have an orange road-safety sweatshirt….the physics in our home somehow made it disappear. he now has an olive drab one that isn’t road safe…but it does actually remain on it’s hallway hanger.

  9. Wait – you share a closet? How did that happen? Closets in our house are his or hers, not his and hers. Actually, we do have a couple in common. I try to never remove anything from them for fear of these very same laws.

    1. We started out with his and hers. Then it became his/hers and hers. I suspect that is happening to you too with the “couple in common”. Wink, wink, I know what that means. I suspect soon we will have hers and hers and his are in the basement.

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