20 most worthless pieces of junk: #15 -- The tie rack

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necktiesIf men from Portland, Maine to San Diego consider ties either a necessary evil of corporate life or the couldn't-care-less Father's Day gift ... if this is so, then why, oh why oh why oh why do we gather around tie racks like moth-brains drawn to the pretty light?

I have this theory that my several forays into Tie Rack Timbuktu have to do with the male fascination with gadgets and things that can be tinkered with. I picked up a tie rack at a garage sale a few months back for $2.50. Nifty, I thought: It has dozens of metal prongs extending to either side of a hanger loop, and upon snagging it, I thought, "How cool. I can get all my ties nice and organized."Yet in my fit of consumer buzz, I overlooked two obvious design flaws. One was with the doodad itself, which had slippery prongs (and no grip) capable of keeping ties from sliding onto the floor.

And the other irregularity? In my brain. You see, I have lots of ties, but I don't even like to wear them.

Sometimes ties are needed to add some formal flair to my presentation-but mostly, they make me feel as if I have invited a rash of Velcro to affix itself around the irritated skin of my just-shaved neck.

I'm trying to think of an alternative use for the thing, kind of like the way Picasso turned a bicycle seat and handlebars into a bull's head. Let's see: Ties. Tie rack. Tie-you-up torture device?

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