Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Hung up.

What do you do with these?

Of course that's a wire hanger, the type one might get from your dry cleaner, or buy in bunches of 200 for whatever reason.

Unlike the legendary Joan Crawford, I have no problems with wire hangers. You have to hang up your shirts on something, and these work fine. But I get too many of them. Like Christmas lights, they tend to tangle up when nobody's looking. Eventually you get this clanging wire clot on the closet pole.

When I lived in the city, the laundry I used to go to had a dry cleaner attached and they welcomed the return of your hangers. But the dry cleaners around here don't want your old skanky hangers, even if they gave you the hanger in the first place.

They're not wanted for the town's recycling collection, although knowing how bad my neighbors are at following recycling directions, I suppose they do it anyway.

No one seems to need wire hangers for television antennae anymore, thank heavens.

Back in the 90's it became a big thing to turn trash into treasure! by reusing, reducing, and recycling in schools -- mainly by using garbage for craft projects. I never thought much of that, as -- let's face it -- it was just postponing the inevitable. Most kids' craft projects wind up in the trash anyway. Although in a way everything is postponing something inevitable, so I'd rather not dwell on that too long.

The one craft project with wire hangers that was awesome can't really be done anymore. Back when Mobil, the gasoline giant, had a line of plastic consumer products, Baggies (which is still a live trademark, my drug-addled friends, so always cap Baggies in formal writing) were somewhat different than they now are. Baggies were originally invented by the Spotless Plastics Corporation in the 50's; when I got to know them they were still commonly found in supermarkets, but not so much now. They were thin plastic bags that closed with twist-ties rather than a zip top, and they had a slightly rough exterior, like alligator scales. Now they are a smooth plastic, but they still use a cartoon alligator for their mascot. And they're owned by Reynolds, sold under their Hefty label.

What a lot of us did back then was bend the hanger into a circle and tie gallon-size Baggies to it, dozens of them, which made a fluffy plastic wreath with its own hook. You could decorate them with ornaments, spray paint them green, or otherwise Christmas them up. It was a fun project and they lasted for years.

Unfortunately you can't even do that now. Since Reynolds made the plastic smooth instead of rough, they don't look right on the hanger. They don't seem to fluff out properly. What were you thinking, Reynolds? Geez.

So now I don't know what to do with wire hangers, except hang a few shirts, straighten some out to get things that can't be reached or as backscratchers, stuff like that. Every now and then I have to ball some up so they don't poke holes in the bags and get them in the trash.

What do you do with YOUR old hangers?

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