Take, for instance, the wire coat hanger. Simple in design and production– just a long piece of metal wire bent at each and, twisted together in the middle and then curled for a nice hook.
Between advances in plastic coat hangers and consumer disinterest in having those weird puffy shoulder lumps, the wire coat hanger is slowly going the way of the rotary phone.
That’s a shame. Aside from the fact that wire hangers don’t break every single time you try to get a shirt out of the closet, they have the multi-purpose ability of a Swiss Army Knife. Chances are, if you have a problem, a wire coat hanger can solve it.
n Locked interior door? Not a problem if you have a wire coat hanger. Just take your favorite shirt off, bend the hook a bit and push it into the little hole in the knob.
When you’re done, bend it back in place and put your shirt back.
n Questionable substance down the drain? This has happened at some point to anyone who has a child in the house. For some reason sinks, toilets and bath tub drains seem like the ideal place to stuff action figures, dolls or your watch.
If you’ve got a wire hanger, no problem. Unwind it a bit, make a crook and dig out whatever is obstructing the drain.
n Muffler bracket break? That’s a problem duct tape can’t fix... but your friendly neighborhood wire hanger can. Good for 40,000 miles, or until you hit a speed bump really hard.
n Need a fishing net? Cut the foot out of some panty hose and tie it around a wire hanger bent into a circle.
n Antenna break off the radio? Straighten out a length of wire hanger and jab it in there. No more static.
Note: May be used in conjunction with tin foil for improved reception.
n Dropped your keys in between the seat and the console? Or maybe between the front porch and the house? Use the hanger like a really long arm extension.
n Sagging plants? Tie ‘em up with a hanger and a post.
n Sagging pants? Tie ‘em up with a hanger. Post optional.
n Trouble finding the remote control? The wire hanger has you covered two ways. First, you can be preemptive. Secure the remote to your favorite chair or table by wrapping the hanger around it. Or, if you’ve already lost it, move your chair closer to the television. Unfold the hanger and, at maximum extension, you should be able to push the channel buttons at least three feet away.
n With my sparkling personality I don’t hear it very often, but every once in a while someone will tell me to “go fly a kite.”
The problem? Who carries a kite with them? I would probably honor their request, but I never have a kite handy.
Not a problem if you’ve got a wire coat hanger. Just grab an old copy of the Tribune-Courier and some string and make your own kite.
As a bonus, you’re recycling.
n Sometimes there’s just too many pages in a report to file it with an average paper clip. Straighten out your wire hanger and fold it back up into the shape of a paper clip. It only takes three clean bends, but your giant sized paperclip should be able to hold at least one Harry Potter book together.
And really, is there anything better than a giant-sized paper clip?