The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

IRON MAN PNGI will do almost anything to avoid ironing. It’s the truth- I will. I don’t know what it is about ironing that is so abhorrent to me, but I will consider almost any other method of getting wrinkles out of my clothes. Maybe it’s the ironing board. It’s all big and squeaky, and inexplicably hard to operate. Mine has not one, but two security features- you have to compress this metal…thing while applying downward pressure on the legs to get it to close. Then, it catches on the second security doodly, which requires that you, maintaining aforementioned downward pressure, AND compressing the first metal thing, also compress a second metal thing. It’s next to impossible. It’s actually easier to remove a Volvo 850 engine or a human heart. I know irons are hot and dangerous. But a double lock? There are nuclear silos with less integrity.

As an added feature, or possibly as evidence of the degradation of the ironing board over time, this security feature also activates while you are opening the ironing board, locking the board halfway open, approximately three feet off the ground. Three feet off the ground is too far below my natural waist for me to comfortably iron there, and slightly too high for me to iron at from a kneeling position (as me how I know) so I must begin a reverse version of the closing the board/security catch deactivation process: I clench both metal doobobbies like I am falling off a cliff, and vigorously shake the whole thing up and down until the legs finally release, like a huge metal crane, and snap into ironing board, full-height position. My ironing board is like, a hundred years old. I suspect it is made from old streetlights, based on its overall weight and girth. But I refuse to buy another stupid ironing board, since I already hate this stupid one, in addition to hating stupid ironing, and can’t make myself spend stupid money on stupid something so boring and stupid! I already have to buy both toilet paper and toothpaste, both of which are dull as beige tee-shirts and nonetheless complicated to buy- I must spend an hour in each aisle navigating a mind-bending array of double-rolls, triple-plys, ultra-concentrateds, etc., just attempting to formulate some common unit of measurement with which to compare takes all of my cognitive ability. Genetics probability equations are easier. Then, I have to spend another hour making a series of horrible choices about which qualities I am willing or not willing to pay for: cavity-fighting? Yes! Long-lasting fresh-breath? Why doesn’t that accompany cavity-fighting? No? I guess? Is my fresh breath really worth another $0.35 cents? Shouldn’t toothpaste just do all of those things? Otherwise, it’s just cream cheese, really. Right? Wait- there’s another one over here in a 6.7 oz package that will do all those things and prevent gingivitis for $0.45 cents more per fluid oz. Now I just need to decide which of the 35 flavors to buy… I should probably just remove my teeth individually with a ball peen hammer.

God bless whoever came up with Charmin Basic toilet paper and Colgate Total. And screw them, at the same time, for making Charmin Super Complicated and Colgate Partial.


To avoid extracting and clutch-shaking my 500-lb., galvanized steel ironing board into functioning mode, I will do just about anything to get wrinkles out of my clothes. I will hang my clothing from the shower curtain and run the shower on full hot, no fan running, for long enough to desiccate a measurable percentage of the Amazon. I will spray water on my shirt (while wearing it), and blow-dry the wrinkliest parts. I will throw my wrinkly item into the dryer with a wet towel for 15 minutes. And if I absolutely must iron, I will iron on the end of the bed, a wet towel on the floor, or, in extreme necessity, on my actual person. And I will only iron the part of the garment you can see- if I’m wearing a blazer, a cardigan, or will only be seated during the fancy-clothing event, you can safely bet your addled 401K on the fact that the back of my clothes look like a hobo just yanked them out of his rucksack. I’m not ashamed.

If questioned, I will calmly explain that everything I am wearing is 10% linen, or got wrinkly as I was saving lives.

My iron also blows. Literally- it’s like a middle-aged, gassy man. You don’t know when it’s going to blow, but you can be certain it will – it’s just a matter of time. And when it does, it always contains particulate matter- rust chunks, little bits of dirt, and the occasional fruit fly. I know about the vinegar trick. The inside of my iron is safe to use for surgery, should the need arise. Somewhere, in the bowels of that iron, is a portal to a spot along the train tracks in Gary, Indiana. And, like the ironing board, I simply cannot bring myself to purchase another one. I’d literally rather buy anything else in the world first. Washcloths! Yes. Dried pinto beans! Certainly. Lint traps! Absolutely.  Shoelaces? By the dozen.

I imagine, in my professional work attire, that I look like everything I’m wearing was retrieved from a trunk in the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Which, now that I’ve thought of it, is exactly what I’m going to say from now on.