I went into the closet ignorant and came out smarter

The other evening, Herself and I heard a muffled thump somewhere in our house, We looked around but found nothing amiss.

I breathed a sigh of relief, owing to the fact that my idea of a complex home project is to vacuum the carpet now and then. Put another way, I’ve wondered for years why there are straight-slot and Phillips screwdrivers. Who needs that much confusion in their life?

The next morning, Herself slid the closet door open and exclaimed, “Eek!” When she gets that emotional, it’s a sure sign big trouble is at hand.

Peering apprehensively in the closet, I discovered that the center bracket supporting the long wooden clothes rod had pulled out of the wall. The rod had fallen and our clothes were in a heap on the floor.

I’m permitted only a small portion of the closet, meaning that my one pair of trousers and both shirts were somewhere in the jumble. They were sure to be wrinkled. Herself’s vast array of dresses, skirts, slacks, blouses and assorted female garments formed an impressive mound.

She merely pointed at the wreckage as she made her serene way out of the bedroom and up the hall. No words were needed. 

A short time later, I had everything out of the closet and piled on the bed. The pressure was mounting. The rod had to be back up and the clothes rehung before bed time. For most men, that would be a simple task. Not me. Cold chills quivered their way down my back. I considered asking Herself if it would be okay to pile all the clothes on the floor for a couple of years while I worked out a plan of attack. But I figured there was a chance she would give me a severe look and call me a bad word. On the rare occasions she does that, I nearly always end up staying with my Seattle-based daughter for a couple days.

Off to the hardware store I went, armed with the determined confidence of the blissfully ignorant.

The screws which had pulled out of the wall were two inches long. After a lengthy inspection of the huge array of fasteners at the megastore, I concluded wood screws would be just the thing. The sheet metal screws were all far too short.

A very helpful fellow suggested I use three-inch screws to ensure the bracket would be securely mounted. He also recommended I drill a pilot hole. Drill? Pilot hole? The good man clearly didn’t understand who he was dealing with.

Before the ordeal was over, I made a second trip to the hardware store to acquire the proper-sized bit for the pilot hole and a larger screwdriver. Also sneaked down to the garage for a swig or nine from the pint of rutabaga-flavored vodka I keep hidden there. I needed the fortification.

I’m proud to report that the clothes rod will now survive anything except a withering glance from Herself. She even gave me a buss on my afternoon shadow when I completed my mission. I was delighted not to have to stay with my daughter again.

The bad part is that one of my shirts somehow disappeared. Oh, well, at least now I don’t have to puzzle every morning over which one to wear.

Loren Fairman is a freelance humor writer living in the Federal Way-Kent area.

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