When I say “out of the closet,” I am not talking about the kind on “Ellen” the TV show. I’m talking about a clothes closet. That thing where you hang up the garments you wear, those you intend to wear and those you will wear if the proper occasion ever arrives. You might ask, “Whatever got me on the topic of closets'” Well, I was just “a-lying” there in bed, cogitating on the clothes I was going to wear this particular morning, when that familiar and often used argument of my roommate came to mind. It always begins something like this: “Bill, why don’t you get rid of the clothes in your closet that you never wear'” Well, I get so tired of hearing this constant bickering that I decided that this is the morning I will get rid of some of the durned things. So, up I get and open my closet door. The first things I notice are my shirts hanging from the top clothes rod. “Dang!” I say, “There sure is a mess of ’em.” So I proceed to count them and find there are 35 of those rascals hanging there. Now I think, “Heck, that isn’t many’most men have far more than that (why I know one man who has that many white shirts alone).” Of course, I am not counting the seasonal ones my roommate has stored away in big popcorn cans (that’s because I am allowed precious little closet space). So, I start going through them, and the first one I come to is one with paint all over it. It’s my paint shirt, so I can’t give or throw it away. That’s just being practical. Ah, the next one is a real pretty blue short sleeve shirt (practically new) that my stomach has outgrown but I have always insisted on retaining it because I say to her, ‘I might lose some weight one of these days.’ Next, I come to the three shirts that I always wear with tan or brown slacks, so I have to keep them. Then comes two knit shirts with the ‘G. Rollie White Downs’ emblem on them’of course, I rarely ever wear them, but heck I can’t give them away. They may be collector items one of these days. Hey, here is one that my son outgrew. I never wear it, but it is too good to give away. I might wear it the next time he visits. I wear blue slacks a lot, so the next big batch of shirts is all blue coordinated colors, so I’m not going to get rid of any of them. Next comes the shirts I wear to parties, funerals and weddings. Some of them are too small, but heck, with a coat on, it will not be noticed. Hey, here’s that long sleeve black mail order shirt I bought because I thought black looked so nice on other men (I wore the dang thing one time and then outgrew it, but I’m still hopeful.). Hells fire, if I gave all of those away that I don’t wear, I would have to buy some new ones, and I am not about to do that. So, I tell my roommate, “I’m sorry, honey, but I can’t do without any of those shirts.” Now I come to the bottom clothes rod where I have 25 pairs of slacks hanging, and I say to myself, “Man alive! I’ll sure be able to give her some business here.” So, I start looking them over, and the first one I come to is an old pair of jeans covered with paint. Sure, this is a match with my paint shirt and is a natural keeper. Then, I find that I have 10 pairs in all different shades of brown and I say, ‘My goodness! I need some more brown colored shirts.’ Next comes 11 pairs in all shades of blue and they are all keepers. One pair of dark gray and one pair of light gray come next, and I make a mental note, ‘I need some more grays the next time I buy slacks.’ And last, but not least, comes a pair of summertime light greens, and I wonder, ‘What color shirt do I wear with these’ Now that gets them all except the trousers I wear with my party and funeral suits and they don’t count. But wait just a dang minute’and I say to my wife mate, ‘Hey! Where are those two pairs of slacks with the real wide legs’ ‘I gave them away long ago because they were out of style,’ she said. “Now how many more pairs are you going to give me. You know very well that some of these are too big and some are too small.” “But,” I said in defiance, ‘the ones that are too big can be taken up, and the ones too small can be let out’I’m not about to give you anymore of my britches for you to give away.” There now. I feel much better. I won’t have to clean out my closet for at least another year. FOOTNOTE: For several years now I have been enjoying the Arizona Highways magazine which is a Christmas present from one of my grandsons. The articles are interesting and informative and their photography is outstanding and compares in every way to that of Texas Highways. I especially enjoy their Arizona “Humor” page and have, in the past, successfully resisted the temptation to include some of their stories in my column. However, I could not resist filching the following two stories: *** Devine Purchase My Uncle Joe, who lived with his wife in a mobile home park just west of the Superstition Mountains, decided to sell his old pickup truck. ‘The only one who would buy that old truck in July is Jesus’ proclaimed Aunt Kay. Uncle Joe ran an ad in the Arizona Republic anyway, and on the last day it appeared a man called and said he wanted to come out and look. He did, and he bought the truck. As he was signing the bill of sale, Aunt Kay read his name out loud. Jesus Hernandez. (R. B.) Parish Blues Upon attending one of my first church services in Arizona, I listened to the minister lament that it was difficult to get his message across to the congregation. ‘It is so beautiful here in the winter’, he said, ‘that heaven doesn’t interest them. And it’s so hot in the summer that hell doesn’t scare them.’ (J.M.) *** Now for a drought story from the repertoire of none other than Joe McDonough: During an extended drought a farmer was standing on his front porch gazing up into the sky when he noticed a lonely cloud hanging high overhead. Calling to his four year old son he pointed to the cloud and said ‘Son, that is called a cloud and that is where rain comes from.’ About that time one small drop of water fell from the cloud and landed on the boy’s face. Not knowing what hit him the boy fell over into a faint. They had to throw three buckets of sand into that kid’s face to revive him. Bill Bodenhamer is a weekly columnist for the Brady Standard-Herald. Email him at email@example.com.