Closet collapse

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By Ken Begley

It was late one night two weeks ago.

The rest of the family was asleep while I was on the computer working on a story.  The only sound you could hear was my fingers clicking across the keyboard.

Suddenly, I heard a deep rumbling sound that seemed to bellow up from the earth.  I paused and looked around in concerned wonder.

Then I felt the shock wave hit.  The floor began to shake and quiver.   It was then that I heard the high pitched girlish screams that pierced my ears.

Two of my daughters came rushing out of their rooms to me.

 My 10-year-old yelled, “Daddy, what are you screaming about?  It’s piercing my ears!”

“You exaggerate, Jenny.  That’s a bad habit to get into.   You would never catch me doing it.  I was just clearing my throat.”

“Sure sounded like screaming to me.”

“Remind me to tell your mother to get your ears checked.”

“What?  I couldn’t hear what you were saying.”

“Smart aleck.   What the heck was that noise?”

“Closet collapse” said the eldest.

If you have teenage girls, then you’re probably already aware of this terrible fashion catastrophe.

A “closet collapse” is when the strain coming from the weight of clothing exceeds the load bearing capacity of the metal pole meant to hold up all those hangers.

I ran into the girls’ room and the entire storage shelf and the pole lay on the floor in a tangled, twisted heap.  Chunks of drywall and bits of 2x4 studs had ricocheted about the room when the construction failure took place.

I placed my hand across my heart and played “Taps” for a closet that had lost its life after such a torture- filled existence serving my daughters.  

I deny all responsibility for what happened.

My daughter loves dressy clothes.  

One of the principle reasons she went to work as a freshman was to obtain them, as she couldn’t get me to buy them.  Yep, you sure can’t get blood out of turnip, but she would have had more success at that than persuading me to part with a buck.

Men are different than women when it comes to clothes.

Men never quit wearing anything until it has holes in it, and then we will think about it.

Yes sir, a pair of boxer shorts may have the whole bottom out of them, but as long as the elastic waistband is still good, a guy will put them back into his drawers and, on occasion, wear them after they have been washed.

It’s true.

Women, on the other hand, like to have style.  They buy something just because it looks good, even if their other clothes don’t have holes in them.

What’s up with that, anyway?

And what about shoes?

Real guys don’t buy 10 pairs of shoes in different shades of black.


We generally have three pairs of shoes: One pair of work shoes, one pair of tennis shoes, and one pair of dress shoes in case someone dies one day and we’re going to a funeral.

Real guys don’t buy a lot of clothes and aren’t picky about them.

Take me for instance.  

I never buy clothes at the local Wal-Mart, where all the rich people go.  I like my clothes, just like my cars, to be test driven for a year or two before I acquire them. I do this by shopping at consignment stores.  Everything on my back was on somebody else’s back at one time or another.  

Real guys just don’t care.

And one last thing.  Real guys don’t care if their clothes don’t fit any more.  We’ll let our bellies lap over our belts until it touches the zipper before we consider getting something else.

Why is that?

Because there aren’t any holes in them yet!

Real guys like to have just the bare minimum of everything.  

My boy is living proof.  If you look in his closet, you will see that he has one shirt, one pair of pants, one sock and one shoe.  If he’s lucky, he’ll get another sock and shoe at Christmas.

Well, I’ve got to go and finish up that closet.  It’s been two weeks since the collapse, and all my girls’ clothes have been piled up in a heap in the floor since then.  

I was going to put the job off for another week, but the eldest climbed up on top of the heap and is threatening to jump off.

We called 911 but the fire department didn’t have a ladder long enough to get her down.