Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ironing Man/Ironing Maiden

I think it was a gift for my 22nd birthday. An unromantic Sunbeam iron and ironing board from my soon-to-be starch-ridden spouse. I was not impressed, mainly because I had made it known right from the get-go that I did not get along with irons. I'm predominantly left-handed, and no matter what right-handed ironers say, it is more awkward (and dangerous) for us south-paws to wield one of those fire-breathing appliances. And I had the scars to prove it, one of which was emblazoned on my stomach from an attempt to iron a dance costume...albeit, while actually wearing the costume.

Future Spouse, aka The Ironing Man, ironed everything under the sun. Empty cans of starch lined his laundry counter like trophies. So after the I-do's were said and done, I made a few lovingly unsuccessful attempts to press his garments, which tragically wound up costing him more to replace than the value of the iron itself. I had over-zealously burned the hell out of more than one of his favorite shirts, leaving an array of Star Trek shaped emblems in undesirable locations.

So I kept my distance from that Sunbeam...until years later, after moving to Hawaii. Our munchkin Ryan was two years old and was sleeping peacefully in his bed. I was up late, perhaps working on a new piano song, when I went downstairs to use the bathroom. It was dark, and with my poor vision, I caught a glimpse of what looked like something scurrying toward Ryan's bedroom. I flipped on the light switch and there on the carpet, underneath the ironing board was a six-inch long centipede. It stopped moving when I turned on the light, so I used the foot of the ironing board to temporarily pin the beasty creature, which began to wriggle every which way in frantic desperation to eat me alive.

I had to think quick and upon noticing that Mr. Ironing Man had left his appliance plugged in, I cranked it up to the highest setting and after a few seconds, I gave it the old finger-saliva sizzle test. It was ready, but I wasn't as I made eye-contact with one angry centipede that was bound and determined to escape and wreak havoc on me and my home.

Finally, feeling like Xena, Warrior Princess, I felt a surge of adrenaline as I raised the steaming hot iron over the centipede's head (or maybe it was its tail as it's hard to tell one end from the other). In one fell swoop, I seared that buggah good. Stinking, burning centipede flesh consumed the air. In horror, I watched the other end twist and contort, so to put it out of its misery, I finished him off.

When it was all over, I turned off the Sunbeam and left the charred remains of the centipede there on the carpet as a caveat to any of his devilish friends. I went to bed with one eye opened that night, and after a long night of patrolling the graveyard shift, my husband in his stiffly pressed uniform came home in the morning to a crime scene unlike any he'd seen before. I assigned him to clean-up duty, which upon removal of the body, he would discover a permanent imprint of the centipede's mutilated form on the carpet. The imprint served as a permanent reminder to Ironing Man not to ever entrust his wife with such an appliance ever again.


  1. My God I hate centipedes so much. They are so creepy.

  2. Gross! I hate centipedes!! And I totally agree with the whole "left-handed ironing" bit!

  3. This is terrific. I'm not sure which I love more the title or the pic.

  4. Ha! I would have worked at the photoshopping better but no more time for all that fun stuff...I had a shorter version of this one published in the Honolulu Advertiser, but for the life of me, I cannot find the original, so I had to pull it out of my hat afreash.