Column: Extreme ironing anyone?

It doesn’t get any crazier than extreme ironing.

What? You haven’t heard of extreme ironing? Surely, you jest?

Extreme ironing is the next big thing among people who enjoy a combination of extreme sports and well-pressed clothing.

All 15 of them. If you don’t believe me, you can look on their Web site at

Since the sport seems to be limited at the moment to places like England, New Zealand and LaLa Land, I’ve decided someone must bring extreme ironing to Northern Illinois. And since Senator Obama isn’t volunteering his services at this point, that someone must be me.

It should probably be known, though, that I’m not a big ironer. For me, any ironing is extreme ironing. Sure, I own an iron and an ironing board. But they’re for show. Just like a quesadilla maker or an espresso machine or any of those over-complicated home improvement devices that baffle me.

If I need a shirt to be less wrinkly, I simply press my hands against it real hard while I’m wearing it. That way I can tell people somebody mugged me on the way to work and that’s why I’m all wrinkly. And why I need to borrow $5 for lunch.

Ironing just doesn’t do it for me. I like to wear my shirts the way God intended before man so rudely intervened with nature by inventing the iron. But maybe if I was doing an extreme sports at the same time, ironing would be much more enjoyable.

Now, Northern Illinois doesn’t provide a ton of opportunities to participate in extreme sports, but there are a few. There’s a ski jump and there’s parachuting and there’s Chicago traffic during rush hour. But all of those ideas are a little too scary for me even without carrying a battery-powered iron and ironing board at the same time.

Luckily, there are some simpler options like Starved Rock a little bit south of here and Lake Michigan. I could totally iron while hiking or while dipping my toes in the water and then running away.

And then I wouldn’t have to keep telling everybody around me that I got mugged on the way to work either.

I still need $5 for lunch, though.


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