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In Praise of Ironing Boards

    Okay - here's a fairly typical example of my ineptitude excelling itself. It occurred when I was living in Tel Aviv with my then girlfriend in her absent mother's rather well appointed apartment.

    I had bought some transfers in town (a few "Goldstar" beer logos, some from the motorcycle dealership "Otsma Bet-Nuah" and the "Voice of Peace" off-shore radio station on which I spent a year) which I hoped to apply to some T-shirts to send back to the UK as gifts for my friends and family. When I returned to the apartment I found that she was out and, bored, decided to iron the transfers onto the shirts straight away.

    Unable to find an ironing board, I looked around for a substitute flat surface on which to perform the task. The only flat surface other than the floor was a large veneered table. Being a carpenter, I immediately ruled this out as an option knowing that I would likely de-laminate the surface veneer. So that left only the floor.

    I laid all the T-shirts out in a grid on the carpet and methodically set about attaching the transfers, applying sustained pressure on each one with the hot iron as I had been instructed in the shop. Soon I had finished and I regarded my efforts with some satisfaction. I was just about to start lifting them off the floor to stack them when I heard a key in the door and so decided to leave the shirts where they were so that my girlfriend could admire my handy-work.

    "That's nice," she said, entering the room, "You found the ironing board alright then?"

    "No," I replied smugly, bathing in the warm glow of my ingenuity, "I couldn't find it anywhere so I just ironed them where they are."

    Somewhat perplexed by her uncharacteristic and statuesque silence, I started to lift one of the shirts. I quickly noticed that, for some reason, it wouldn't release itself from the floor. I gave it a good tug and it ripped free with a loud rasping sound, leaving a perfectly solid and smooth T-shirt shaped patch in the middle of the otherwise luxuriant carpet. It transpired that the weave was, in fact, a semi-synthetic wool and nylon mix and by the time all the shirts had been removed, there remained a patchwork of melted iron marks over the entire floor.

    My girlfriend utterly freaked, shrieking, "You really do have a special talent for this, don't you!"

    Needless to say, for the lack of anything intelligible by way of an explanation, I soon found myself on the road again - not that I imagine for an instant that was the only reason... I was a damn fool and she was well rid of me.

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