Steam Machines

Extreme ironing adds excitement to a dull household chore

By Sean Sweeney

I hate ironing. Honestly, I couldn’t iron a shirt if someone set up the iron and shirt on the board and told me they would take me out for a buffet at Pizza Hut if I got the wrinkles out. It’s just a needless thing to me.

Yet, the world is full of weird, eclectic people like Phil Shaw, an avid rock climber who turned boredom into adventure. One day coming home from work, Shaw decided to spice up an annoying chore like ironing by taking it to the rocks.

Now, extreme ironing has people all over the planet doing the household chore in exotic places. To describe how big the wacky sport is becoming, it is actually going to be featured in an upcoming video game. Get that. Soon you will be able to pretend to iron outside while inside.

Extreme ironers have tried just about anything – always on the lookout for another thrill. Perhaps the most famous attempt was by a man in Sydney, Australia. The short clip begins with the man jumping off of a cliff, iron board in hand. He parachutes down the side of the rock face and slowly combs over a shirt on his board, ironing away as the ground gets closer. Impressive.

Extreme ironers have done the deed underwater. They’ve done it on top of moving cars. They’ve even done it suspended from a rope latched to two neighboring cliffs, their feet dangling right along with the shirt.

So far, no one has died from this. But, eventually you know some lunatic is going to try to iron on the wing of a plane or iron a shirt while sitting on top of a stampeding elephant.

My momma always told me irons could burn – but no one ever thought ironing could become this dangerous.