I have reached the conclusion that most of the world’s ironing is now being done by men. I say this because it’s the only explanation I have for a sport called “extreme” ironing, which is actually being lobbied as an Olympic event by “ironing enthusiasts” — a phrase referred to in the Bible as a sign of the coming apocalypse.
“And four horsemen will come from the sky. And they will lay waste to the land, but not before having their robes pressed by ironing enthusiasts.”
It’s easy to understand how extreme ironing evolved if you keep in mind this simple truth about the male species:
Given enough time, any man performing a mundane task will find a way to hurt himself.
And if you can hurt yourself doing it, then it’s practically a sport already. Sure, bowling and golf may appear to be exceptions to this rule. But ask anyone who has ever jammed their finger in the ball return, or inadvertently left a tee in their back pocket, and they’ll tell you there is plenty of danger involved.
As a man who irons, I know, firsthand, the danger that comes with pressing my daughters’ favorite clothes. Especially if I use the wrong setting and turn what was once her favorite band shirt into our newest hand towel. Until recently, men who ironed were looked upon as being wimpy. This was a stigma left over from an earlier time when men brought home the bacon and women cooked it …
… Then cleaned the kitchen, vacuumed, washed the dishes, bathed the kids, and did all the laundry. Back then, men who refused to perform domestic chores were still called masculine things such as “The Breadwinner,” “King of the Castle,” and “Man of the House.”
Generally by other men.
Today, men who want to bring home the bacon — while avoiding any domestic chores — are called other things, such as “single” or “recently divorced.”
As a result, we men have come up with a way to demonstrate our unquestionable maleness by 1) taking a simple task and 2) making it as difficult as humanly possible. This is the general idea behind “extreme” ironing, which, according to its website (www.extremeironing.com) “combines the excitement of an ‘extreme’ sport with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt.”
Being a man, I can appreciate that kind of logic.
Anyone woman can iron a pair of slacks; it takes a MAN to do it while jumping out of a plane.
Because of this, I have decided to train for the 2016 Extreme Ironing World Championships, which my daughters have pledged their support for by providing me with as much ironing to do as possible. In fact, as a demonstration of their unselfish commitment to my goal, they each recently purchased entire new wardrobes, none of which is “wrinkle free.”
My hope is that the experience will draw us even closer together as a family.
At least, once I can find them on the other side of this pile of ironing.
WARNING! This has been a shameless excerpt from my book, Humor at the Speed of Life, which is a collection of my most popular columns over the years (as opposed to the kind I usually write) and is available in hardcopy or eBook version at Port Hole Publications, Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. It makes a great gift for Mother’s Day! (Note: results may vary). Order yours from Port Hole Publications and let them know you’d like a signed copy. It can even be signed by someone else!
54 thoughts on “Only REAL men iron clothes at 3,000 feet”
1. You can start shopping at the Gap. You can pay a million dollars for a current line of men’s dress shirts called “The Lived-In Look.” It’s pre-wrinkled for you, ostensibly removing the ironing requirement.
2. I appreciate your ability to adapt.
3. You think ironing is bad? Get yourself a hot glue gun. You’re guaranteed as many 2nd degree burns as you have digits while making a fashionable wreath for your home.
Lol! I may up the ante and wear “Lived-In” clothes from The Gap while hot gluing a wreath for our home from 3,000 feet. Of course, my Gap clothes will be re-enamed “Pooped-In” because of the circumstances…
Leading to extreme laundry….
Haha! Maybe the ultimate challenge: Wash clothes from 3,000 feet AND get them dried and ironed before you can pull the ripcord?
I have never understood the attraction of stepping out of a perfectly fine airplane whilst it is flying. I must confess that adding a smartly creased shirt and pants ensemble to the mix certainly makes me reconsider.
Well then, I’ll save spot for you on the team, Paul!
Hahaha! 🙂 Want to come to my house? There’s extreme ironing practise of all sorts. And, I’m a pilot. 🙂
It sounds like a perfect match! Not that I’m offering to iron your socks…
Ironing? I’m supposed to be ironing? Oops…
Thanks for a good Monday laugh. And make sure you check for any stray tees in your pocket before you sit down.
Haha! You’re welcome, Carrie 😉 And there’s no danger of me sitting on any tees. I’ve been forbidden by both local courses from playing on anything but the miniature course.
Now that sounds like a blog post in and of itself.
I learned quickly when I had to start wearing dress shirts for a living: no cotton.
For years, now, I’ve wanted to write about ironing, just so I could use the title “The Agony and the Ironing.” I don’t know why.
Sometimes it’s easier to work through the trauma on paper…
good luck with it. i gave up ironing a long time ago and generally just throw something into the dryer for a few minutes to fluff it back up and out.
Do you know how hard it is to jump from 3,000 feet with a dryer?
I made it all this way with only a little smirk on my face.
Then, the visual of jumping with a dryer at any altitude gave away my cover on the entirely unmuted work teleconference.
I’ll be sending my pink slip to you 😉
I’ll be happy to iron it for you, Michelle…
You are so kind 🙂
Your Zn extraordinary man! I dont iron. I do use the dry cleaners
If I could talk my dry cleaner into jumping from a plane, I’d do that intead.
That’s probably a good idea. If I were to jump out of an airplane, I’m sure that my pants would need a dry cleaning more urgently than my shirt would need to be ironed.
And by that I’m pretty sure you don’t mean Woolite…
What is this “ironing” you speak of. *confused*
Lol! Remain blissfully unaware for as long as possible, Gretchen!
Growing up, I’d always hoped that endless hours of ironing for a family of seven would lend itself to a Cinderella fairy tale ending complete with marrying a prince who would have servants do the ironing for us.
I married a prince, but alas, there are no servants, offspring, or spousal unit that even know what an iron looks like.
We found the “spray out wrinkles” stuff. I haven’t ironed anything since the patent was perfected in 2001.
Maybe fairy tales really DO come true!!
“When you wish upon a star, a prince who irons is taking it to far” — Walt Disney (I think)
Definitely Disney 😉
TOO far, dang it!
I don’t iron unless I am sewing something for myself. This is why there is perma press as a dryer setting. Ironing sucks.
Until now, I only ironed if I knew I was having poutine with a Canadian… 😉
I used to iron. Until I threw my ironing board down a flight of stairs. You can count on me to cheer you on at the 2016 Extreme Ironing World Championships.
I’m sure the ironing board mishap was an accident. Just like the time I backed the car over my daughter’s iPhone four times when her creepy boyfriend wouldn’t stop calling.
And thanks for your support, Maddie!
Very funny! No question Mr. B is the better ironer in our house. He is one of 6 boys and his mother taught them all how to iron. I have no patience and make creases where they don’t belong. 🙂
Yes, it’s best to leave the ironing to Mr. B. There’s nothing more embarrassing than a crease in your crotch….
I can’t for the life of me figure out what ironing is?
Avoid the answer to that question for as long as possible, Gibber.
Ah, the world needs more Free Floating Iron Man Competitions. Yep, one comp worth the entry fee, even if it is all hot air.
PS: I hope you are going to make a video and post on your blog.
I’ll make that video as soon as my Cling-Free dryer sheets endorsement comes thru… 😉
I’m not allowed to do the laundry in our house; not since the great “Hello Kitty pajamas debacle of 2001.”
I’m banned from ironing too. And after breaking my leg last summer, I’m eternally banned raising myself above the ground more than a foot.
But I loved your post, Ned. I’d kill for your confidence and easy-flowing style, buddy. Truly.
It sounds to me like you’ve got a good thing going, Robert. Before long, you won’t have to do anything around the house. Well played, my friend.
(And if there’s any lack of confidence in your writing, you’re the only one who notices it 😉 )
As a woman who has never ironed in her life before (I don’t even own one) this might just be the thing to turn me into a proper grown up who irons. Phew.
Claire, I’d be happy to make you an instructional video…
Both I and my mother who despairs of me ever turning into a proper woman would appreciate that!
I steam press at 3000 feet. That way I can also sky write HELP simultaneously.
Hahaha! At least you’ll have a nice pressed shirt when you land. Of course, the landing will take care of the pressing anyway…
If only it were possible to change shorts in the air….
I used to iron all the time and my husband was always stumped as to why I would even bother. “Just wear everything slightly wrinkled!” he’d suggest like a crazy person. Now, 17 years and two kids later I have to agree with him. Looking like a mess is the least of my worries.
Good point! Besides, as I get older, having clothes with wrinkles will offset the wrinkles everywhere else.
“Today, men who want to bring home the bacon — while avoiding any domestic chores — are called other things, such as ‘single’ or ‘recently divorced.'” Oh, man I read this as I was sipping some coffee and nearly spit it out. I did that super classy laughing/choking thing. It is a good thing I wasn’t reading this post in public!
Hahaha! You know Hollie, I get that reaction a lot from women. Not necessarily while they’re reading something I wrote, though… 😉
Thanks for reading (Love the name of your blog, btw!)
I don’t understand the whole fascination. I don’t even like taking an iron out on the golf course.
Haha! And I don’t understand the fascination with golf. The only time I bring a 9-iron with me is during the holdiay shopping season.