(originally posted 6/1/2014)
Always on the lookout for the next threat to global stability, I started doing the math on hangers the other day. If the average working person wears five shirts a week that require dry cleaning, they are bringing in five additional hangers into their closets every week. Assuming that their non-dry cleaned clothing wears out and is replaced by new items at a constant rate and these hangers are not utilized that means that the average working person brings in 20 empty hangers a month into their closet, 240 per year. In the United States I would reckon that there are at least fifty million people that would fall into the definition of “average working person,” which means that every year there are twelve billion empty hangers clogging up closets from coast to coast. Over the next twenty years that is two hundred and forty billion hangers in the United States alone. Don’t even get me started on China.
I don’t want to come off as an alarmist but by the year 2034 I expect the world to be waist-deep in unwanted hangers.
You’ll note that I don’t call them coat hangers. The little metal wires I’m referring to cannot support the weight of a real coat. In fact (a little known fact at that) the wire coat hanger was invented hundreds of years before they became commonplace in the dry cleaning industry. Unfortunately there was no use for them because giant Viking coats would instantly cause them to lose their shape and the garment to fall onto the ground, at which point the Viking would rage and twist the hanger into all sort of obscene shapes and then hurl it out into the wilderness.
Which brings me back to the crisis we’re staring at presently.
If you take the time to figure out just how much metal would be involved in two hundred and forty billion hangers, which I obviously don’t have thanks to America’s stubborn refusal to embrace the metric systems which would have everything divisible by tens instead of trying to figure out ounces and pounds and tons, you’ll probably see what my next threat to global stability is … horrible sculptures.
The kind that sit out front of corporate parks and have you scratching your head until you find out what the sculpture costs and then you start scratching with such fervor that bloody clumps of hair end up in your hand. I keep calling them sculptures but the truth is they are just giant hunks of crap welded together by talentless frauds. “Modern Art” they call it. I’ll stick with my initial summation.
These “artists” will try to ride in and save the day but the truth is the world would much rather be waist deep in hangers then have to stare at more horrible sculptures.
Which leaves us screwed unless of course genetic engineering makes some great leaps forward and we find out a way to bring back Vikings, heavy coats and all. I think we all know how the average Viking would react to Modern Art. Assuming they could wade through the waist-deep hangers (no doubt exclaiming “What sorcery is this?”), they would make short work of lopping off the heads of all these pretentious “modern” artists that are clogging up corporate park entrances from bow to stern of this great country, despite our lack of enthusiasm for the metric system, with enormous shiny twisted entwined phallic symbols most of which are saddled with annoyingly ostentatious names.
And the best part?
You didn’t know there was a best part yet did you? I’m self-aware enough to know when a story is screaming out for a best part and if there was ever one that needed a little bump in the “best part” department it’s this one. Oftentimes I will forgo a point in exchange for a best part. This story for example (which has you shaking your head and muttering “What sorcery is this?).
The best part is that with all these new Vikings running around the need for multiple hangers would go through the roof. It would take at least seven to nine wire hangers to support each of their heavy pelts. Within a single generation the hanger crisis would resolve itself.
Yeah Vikings! Yeah best parts!