Getting the hang of hooks

wire-coat-hanger2I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that if I were to ask you which part of a wire coat hanger the “hooky” bit is, that is to say, the part of the hanger that endows it with all its “hookiness”, you’d quite reasonably tell me that it was the part circled in green and labelled A in the picture opposite. However, I have a theory that it is in fact the part circled in red and labelled B. Furthermore, it is a theory that I can back up with evidence from a simple, repeatable experiment which you can try for yourself at home.

1) On a school-day morning as you are trying to leave the house take the last clean school jumper one of your children owns and get them to drop it down the back of a radiator.

2) Run to your wardrobe and attempt to extract a wire coat hanger from in amongst the contents. You will notice that the hanger becomes repeatedly hooked on pretty much everything in the wardrobe. The rail, other hangers, clothes, itself, your hand. Even the very air itself seems to snag as you wrestle the hanger out of the wardrobe. It is, in short, a very hooky thing.

3) Now proceed to unwind section B and bend the hanger out until it is a long piece of wire with a hook on the end.

4) Finally attempt to hook the jumper out from behind the radiator. You will notice at this point that the hanger has lost all its hookiness. You might as well be trying to get the jumper out with a slice of cheese.

You see ? Same hook, same wire but once you undo that twisty bit in section B…useless.


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