Jan McInnis – The Work Lady®

Cleaning Out The Closet – Comedy in Strange Places

–By Jan McInnis, Comedian and Keynote Speaker


Comedy is found in the strangest places .  . . like cleaning out the closest. Not my closet, my parents’ closet. . . actually that would be “closets” with an S because there were many! Recently, after moving my dad into assisted living memory care, my three siblings and I immersed ourselves in a multi-week odyssey of cleaning out my parents’ house . . . the one we had moved into right before I entered sixth grade.


To start this journey, the four of us spent one last night in the house together, maybe secretly hoping that Mom would show up in a vision and give us some direction on what to do with everything. She did not. It was up to us to figure things out, and it was a massive job.


But what might be a time of fighting over who gets what for some families, we turned it into a time of joking about who really needs to take what. “I would love to enjoy this (insert item) AT YOUR HOUSE” was a popular phrase as we shoved something towards someone. Other notable quotes included “Oh my God, look in here!”, “How many of these things do they have?”, ”How are you going to sneak that past Robin?” (my brother’s wife), “I found another one!”, “This is YOURS! I remember, you made it. You have to take it!”, and “Is it time for wine?”


Don’t get me wrong. My parents had many valuables, but they weren’t the kind that most people would fight over. They didn’t collect antiques, there were no million dollar insurance policies stuffed into books (we checked about 100 books), and gold bullion wasn’t sitting in the safe. . . though we did find a few flakes of gold in a tiny bottle from our cross-country trip where we kids “panned for gold” like real prospectors.


Click here for Part 2 of Cleaning Out The Closet – Comedy in Strange Places