Iron Willy


Recently, I fell and planted my head into a beer glass, which got me thinking about other goofy accidents I’ve had.  None could be more bizarre than my ironing accident from two months ago.  It was a minor event – thankfully – that didn’t leave any lasting scar or injury.  Just an uncomfortable feeling in my pants for two or three miserable days.

About two months ago, I was at the height of my “competent adult” mentality, where I wanted to prove to the world that I could go through my life in a reasonable and responsible manner.  Part of being a competent adult is ironing, I felt.  Mature individuals don’t show up to work in wrinkled clothes that look like shit, and so I began getting out of bed fifteen minutes earlier than normal so I could do my ironing.  Mind you, I hated every second of it, but once it was done I was able to at least look at myself in a mirror and think that I looked rather together.

One morning I had already ironed my shirt and pants, but while I was shaving (shaving every day is another part of the “competent adult” program) it dawned on me that I hadn’t ironed my undershirt.  I thought about this while I took my shower.  A mature individual doesn’t just iron the main shirt and say to hell with the undershirt.  That’s what a lazy individual does.  I washed my feet, turned off the shower, plugged the iron back in, and slapped the t-shirt down on the ironing board.  Confident that I was going to look fantastic, there I stood, completely nude in the center of my apartment ironing.

But my mind drifted.  I lost focus and in a flash the iron slipped off the shirt and briefly made contact with my body.  It was only a second, a short kiss of the hot iron on my skin, but boy did I feel it.  Especially due to where the iron landed. 

I had, in a moment of carelessness, ironed my penis.

“Ahh!” I yelled, realizing what happened.  “My penis!”  I ran to the bathroom and splashed cold water on the tip.  My god, I thought, how bad did I get it?  I looked at it.  Already a small white discoloration had formed.  I touched it and it felt hard, as if one tiny part of my Johnson was in a state of permanent Viagra.

Like I said earlier, it turned out not to be a big deal.  In a few days, things were back to normal.  I wondered, though, what I would’ve said if I was lucky enough to bring a girl home during the time of the discoloration.  How would I have explained it?

“No, don’t be ridiculous, it’s not an STD.  That’s crazy!  See, what happened was, I was ironing and I slipped and I accidentally dewrinkled my Willy with the iron.  That little white bump is just a burn.  So it’s nothing, really!  Get over here, baby!”

The whole “competent adult” thing is all about baby steps.  Right now, the plan is in a bit of a decline.  I haven’t been shaving every day lately and my clothes are wrinkled.  Yet at the same time, my private parts have been unharmed by hot metal items.  It’s a trade off I’m willing to make – sacrificing a bit of my adulthood for the safety of my manhood.


Better Than Hanging: The History of the Dryer


J. Ross Moore was damp as hell, and he was not going to take it anymore.  On his farm in North Dakota, in the early 1900s, Moore knew there had to be a better way.  Frustrated with having to hang his clothes outside to dry, he built a shed, stuck an oven in it, and started hanging his clothes there instead.  With that, the light bulb went off over his head.  Moore took his idea a step further, making an oil-heated drum to dry his clothes in.  He later sold this idea to a manufacturer, who produced a machine they called the “June Day.”  By 1938, the “June Day” was being sold in stores and J. Ross Moore, once only a farmer with clammy clothes, became the inventor of what is known today as “the dryer.”

It took J. Ross Moore about 30 years to invent the dryer.  Several other now-common items had already hit the market when the dryer was finally completed – the iron (1903), vacuum cleaner (1907), dishwasher (1913), and pop-up toaster (1919) were all being used already.  So why, one might ask, did it take so long for a clothes dryer to be invented?  And, greater still, why has clothes drying technology advanced so little in our modern age?

Dryers first started using a negative pressure system to dry clothes back in 1958, and that’s pretty much the same way clothes are dried in a modern dryer.  In other words, while dryers have gotten more gadgets and special features (like settable timers, for instance), the method of drying clothes hasn’t changed.  The dryer, then, despite what could be a fancy appearance, is maybe the most unevolved of appliances; just look in a laundry mat, where the dryers still have coin slots.  Even the soda machine can take a dollar bill, but to dry clothes a person must have quarters, as if they’re at an arcade in 1986.  I remember walking around the laundry mat with a roll of quarters, not sure if I was there to dry my clothes or play Donkey Kong.

I became curious about dryers because I live in South Korea and there are no dryers here.  There are, I’m told, machines that can both wash and dry clothes, but there aren’t machines specifically for drying clothes, and the multi washer/dryer is not that common.  In its place is the drying rack, which I have in my apartment.  It takes about two-thirds of a day for clothes to dry on a drying rack, although I typically leave mine on longer.  I want my clothes super-dry.  Anything less doesn’t make sense to me; that would be like showering, looking at your towel, and choosing to shake-dry instead.

As I collected my clothes from the drying rack this morning, I asked myself that most important question: why has clothes drying technology advanced so little?  The answer, I believe, is that there are some things that don’t need to get any better, and really probably aren’t all that needed in the first place.  As wonderful as J. Ross Moore’s invention is, the dryer is essentially a tool of convenience.  I’ve read that in Japan right now, they’re busy trying to invent a “microwave clothes dryer,” but it has so many safety problems that they can’t get it approved.  Leave a pencil in your shorts, and the microwave dryer will burst them into flames.  Forget a cigarette lighter, and the microwave dryer explodes.  The simple act of drying clothes doesn’t lend itself to all the wonders technology has to offer, and pursuing it any more just isn’t worth it.  This particular field of business, it seems, has all dried-up. 

(Note: I would like to point out that I start this essay with a play on a famous movie quote, and end it with a pun.  That’s all.  Thank you.)