Saturday, April 15, 2017

Extreme Ironing IV

April 12, 2017.  It’s now or next year.
The time had come for another extreme ironing stunt in the far northern community of Arctic Bay.  I have a reputation to uphold, following last year’s stunt that landed my picture in Nunatsiaq News.  I had bigger plans for this year but circumstances prevented me from turning them into reality.  Those plans have been postponed until 2018.  And no, I’m not saying what they are because that will spoil the surprise.  This year was Plan B.
For the newcomers & confused: extreme ironing (EI) is “an extreme sport in which people take ironing boards to remote locations and iron items of clothing.”  Why do we do this?  Because we can.  Why bore yourself the traditional way when you can get out of the house, enjoy the world, and iron your clothes at the same time.  Google “extreme ironing” and plenty of pictures & videos come up.  (Thank you Google for posting some of my past EI pictures in the Images section).  The extreme sport began in the late 1990s in the United Kingdom.  So far, I have done three EI stunts in Arctic Bay.  You can read about them here: Part 1, Part 2, & Part 3.
Planning an extreme ironing outing requires much thought and planning.  Plan B was ironing my formal attire on the roof of my apartment.  I recruited two coworkers, JF & John, to photograph the stunt.  JF would take pictures from the roof and John would photograph from street level.  I borrowed a long ladder from Frank to gain access to the roof.  I decided to iron my clothing midday when the sun would be high in the sky.  John’s girlfriend happened to be in town visiting and wanted to watch this hard-to-believe-this-sport-actually-exists stunt.  I gave her the title of Official Spectator.
JF & I discuss where we'll set up the ironing board & coat hanger.
JF & I lumbered up the ladder and stepped onto the roof of the fourplex.  I was standing on the roof for the first time.  There was a strong cold breeze passing through the neighbourhood.  John helped us bring up the ironing board, iron, coat hanger stand, and clothes.  It soon became apparent that the coat hanger would not stand for very long because of the wind.  I would have to hold it or JF would have to take the pictures quick enough before it fell over.  We set everything up close to the edge so that John & his girlfriend could see me.  With the cold wind steadily blowing from north, I gave everyone a thumbs up and started ironing.  Another one for the history books, I thought.

Me giving instructions to John.
The only instruction I gave my photographers was to keep snapping pictures while I ironed.  I would alternate my poses between ironing & looking at the camera . . .  and maybe throw in a smile here and there.  The wind decided to get in on the fun and blow over the coat hanger a few times.  We only included the coat hanger in several pictures when the wind stopped for several precious seconds.
Maybe I should have placed the coat hanger a little closer.
Posing for the camera with King George V Mountain in the background.
I was having the time of my life up there on the roof.  Despite the wind making my face & fingers cold, it was fun seeing Arctic Bay in a new perspective and ironing my dress pants & shirts at the same time.  Traditional ironers are missing so much!  I think my official spectator & photographers were having fun witnessing & documenting an important moment in Arctic Bay’s modern history.  JF & John weren’t the only ones documenting my antics.  Several people walking by snapped pictures with their iPods.  Someone driving in a pickup truck slowed down to see what I was doing.  I waved to him with my iron.  He must have thought he was dreaming.

JF & I came down after about 45 minutes.  The cold was making our fingers & faces numb.  It was the same for John & his girlfriend.  We brought everything down and warmed up inside my apartment.  I personally thanked the trio for helping me.  I copied all the photographs from both cameras in the afternoon.  I spent the rest of the day editing & cropping the pictures.  Most of them turned out quite well.  


If you haven’t tried EI, you should definitely consider it.  It’s a lot of fun.  Be safe & happy ironing!  

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