An essay by R. W. Thorsley, as edited and provided by M. Kelly Peach
[Editor’s Note: The following is the first and only draft for a planned article for the American Journal of Biology, written in apparent haste as opposed to his typically methodical, scientifically rigorous style, by Richard Walter Thorsley (B.S. Biology, Lake Superior State University; M.S. Biopsychology, University of Michigan; PhD. Zoology, Michigan State University). After the disappearance and assumed tragic death of Dr. Thorsley, it was discovered by his confidante and closest friend M. Kelly Peach upon examination and organization of the papers and journals (occupying no less than five overflowing four-drawer file cabinets) in Thorsley’s study. Journal entries pertinent to each section of the proposed paper were discovered and appended by Mr. Peach to provide the reader further insight into Dr. Thorsley’s state of mind while preparing his report and greater understanding of the highly controversial subject matter herein. Also included are enlightening excerpts from a lengthy interview Mr. Peach had with Mrs. Thorsley on January 28, 2013, recorded with her permission.]
Clothes hangers, as evidenced by their proliferation in clothes closets, are a previously unidentified species cleverly disguised as inanimate objects. Their uncontrolled procreation is a threat to all mankind and can no longer be ignored.
Journals, Vol XIX, p.34:
4/10/2013 – … observed the following new Vestes uncus in the master bedroom closet this morning: 3 regular weight gray wires, 1 heavy weight brass wire, 4 light weight white wires, a white plastic, a rare wood with wire for suit coat and pants, and a never before seen powder blue plastic! … Now is the time to finally begin the long delayed experiment that will prove to the world the existence of Vestes uncus. My skeptical cohorts, with their rational thinking, may scoff but rational thought has never been a hindrance to my genius!
The great mysteries of life for citizens in 21st century Western civilization abound. Perhaps the greatest of these enigmas is: Why are there so many clothes hangers in my closet? This is an issue so deeply perplexing and overwhelmingly thorny that no great thinker of the past has been willing to contemplate its answer and put forward an explanation. Philosophers such as Whitehead, Russell, Sartre, and Santayana avoided it in favor of trifling matters like existentialism or process philosophy; scientists like Planck, Einstein, Bohr, Schrödinger, and Heisenberg found it easier, I can say with absolute uncertainty, dealing with quantum theory rather than wrestling with this conundrum; writers like Hemingway, Camus, Mann, and Solzhenitsyn eschew any references to the topic. Now is the time for one man–steadfast in the breach, brilliant and farseeing (if only from having stood upon the shoulders of the aforementioned giants)–to finally, and for all time, answer the burning question: How did I get so many hangers?
Diagram 1 Anatomy of Vestes Uncus
To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Summer 2014 collection.
Although his colleagues might demur, Richard Walter Thorsley thinks of himself as a research scientist and professor. He studied Biology at Lake Superior State University, the Harvard of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and received a Masters in Biopsychology from the University of Michigan and a PhD in Zoology from Michigan State University. He is the world’s foremost expert on obliviosity and is famed for his development of the formula for calculating Range of Memory. An avid outdoorsman and Eagle Scout, he is a lifelong resident of Michigan who enjoys hiking, camping, hunting and fishing. He is married to Gretel Thorsley, Physician’s Assistant, and is currently between jobs.
M. Kelly Peach is married and the father of four children. A recovering addict/alcoholic with over twenty-three years clean and sober, he lives in northern Michigan and enjoys hunting, camping, fishing, and walking in the woods. He is, however, a hardcore bibliophile, who has no plans to do anything about his addiction to reading and collecting books and writing speculative fiction. He has work published or appearing in Punchnels, Alternate Hilarities, and Alternate Hilarities 2: Vampires Suck and can be followed on Tumblr at peachmme.tumblr.com.