Friday, August 5, 2011

Irons and Other Special Birthday Presents

So have you heard this one?

Husband buys his son an iPAD, daughter an iPOD, himself an iPHONE & his wife an iRON. She wasn't impressed even after he explained it can be integrated with the iWASH, iCOOK & iCLEAN network. This triggered the iNAG service, which totally wiped out the iSHAG function!!

This joke was first told by cavemen who decided that their loincloths would look neater if they were pressed flat.  As I heard it, the man kicked a hot rock out of the fire and told the woman to use it to press his clothes while he was out hunting. It was her birthday, and when he came home without having caught dinner and then refused to take her out to eat, she threw the rock/iron at him. He spent the next several nights wearing a wrinkled loincloth and sleeping under a tree outside the cave.

Much later (when iron had actually been forged), women had to put their small clothing irons in the kitchen fire to heat. It would have been no small undertaking to iron cotton clothing without burning little holes in it. It also added an extra day to do the laundry, which already took 2 days to wash by hand and hang dry. So just imagine Ma’s delight if Pa gave her an iron for her birthday. Little House on the Prairie was a family show, but I can tell you that behind the scenes Pa would have been spending an uncomfortable night or two sleeping in the barn.

Electric steam irons were invented in the early 1950’s. That would have been a nifty gift for Ralph to give his wife Alice for her birthday. hmm…I’m thinking I might have actually seen that episode of The Honeymooners. Remember? It was the one where Alice sent Ralph “Bang, Zoom, to the Moon!”

In these enlightened times, a husband would never give his wife an appliance for her birthday, right? He would have heard these jokes and realized that she doesn’t want an iron as a gift. She doesn’t want an electric fryer or a vacuum cleaner either. Women don’t view these tools as toys the way men do. Give a man a cordless drill for his birthday, and he will happily go off and poke holes in pieces of wood for hours. Give a woman an iron for her birthday, and watch how long it’ll take before she’s aiming it at your head.

Of course, if you’re younger than I am (my kids would interject “and who isn’t?” here) and your boyfriend/husband gives you an iron for your birthday, you will have no idea what to do with it. Modern fabrics usually don’t need to be pressed, but if you do buy something that needs to be ironed you can always have the dry cleaner on the corner take care of that for you. My suggestion, girls, is to return that iron and buy yourself a nice blouse with the money. Don’t forget to politely thank your man for the lovely shirt he gave you for your birthday. Maybe he’ll get the idea. If he does, that will make him the first man in history to get it. You should keep him.

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