Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Iron and Steel

Iron and steel are traditional symbols of strength. Superman was referred to as The Man of Steel ...

Although, of course, it has been said that when he gets intimate with Lois Lane, he changes metallurgically to The Man of Tungsten, ha, ha.

Josef Dzhugashvili might not have gotten the same traction as a world leader if he hadn't changed his name to Stalin, which means - of course - "man of steel" ...

And Iron Man probably strikes more fear into the hearts of evildoers than, say, Molybdenum Man would ...

Speaking of iron, I call your attention to this horrifying article from Slate.com: "The Shirt From Hell: The appalling rise of the smelly, sweaty, scratchy no-iron shirt." The article maintains that

"The no-iron shirt may be the greatest fashion crime of our age. A grotesque invention, it is the satanic love-child of chemistry and retailing, combining all the worst qualities of plywood, vinyl, and embalming fluid in a garment that would be more at home in the Spanish Inquisition than the cubicles of the modern workplace."

The good old 100% cotton dress shirt is comfortable and natural, but it does have its drawbacks. It tends to shrink if not carefully laundered, and has to be ironed so that you don't look like an ad for wrinkles. But ironing is a pain. It takes time and bit of practice to be able to get the creases in the right places, and it's just another chore to be done in the crush of other things that have to be done every day.

Thus, the no-iron shirt is an appealing alternative, at least from a time investment standpoint. But how does an all-natural cotton shirt get to be wrinkle-free ... or, at least, wrinkle-resistent? The article tells you that the cotton is soaked a formaldehyde resin bath which bonds the cellulose strands to one another at the molecular level and can make a new shirt smell like you've just been embalmed when you wear it. Although the smell goes away after a few washings, those spiffy no-iron shirts tend to be scratchy and stiff, rather than soft like natural cotton. They also tend, like infamous polyester, to not "breathe," making them uncomfortable to wear on hot summer days. And as for the feel of the no-iron material, the author maintains that the formaldehyde treatment gives it the feel of a stiff "barbecue-cover," rather than the original softness of the cotton.

So ...

If you want to look spiffy and not smell like the guest of honor at a wake, you may want to just suck it up and accept that you'll need to spend the time pressing those nice cotton shirts. After all, it may be your only chance to take part in an ...

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.

Bilbo

P.S. - Yesterday's post included a picture of an "inner-city cell phone" that combined a cell phone with a 9mm pistol. This led Faithful Reader Chrissy to comment that Ohio has changed its gun laws to allow the carrying of concealed weapons in bars, hotels, restaurants, and other public places. She goes on to say, "For some reason, I'm excited to hear your opinion on this one."

So, Chrissy, here is my opinion:

The Second Amendment to the Constitution gives us the right to "keep and bear arms." The right to act stupid is not spelled out in the Constitution, but is nevertheless claimed by many people. For myself, I somehow fail to feel safer knowing that people liquoring up in the corner tavern may be packing heat.

'Nuff said.

B.

6 comments:

Leslie David said...

That's why God invented dry cleaners. Actually I used to iron and watch television at the same time--2 mindless tasks which complimented each other. When I stopped watching television I stopped ironing.

Big Sky Heidi said...

It's amazing how philosophical I've grown regrding the rumpled look.

John said...

If you wear a jacket, you only have to iron the collar, cuffs and front (not that I've ever done that)!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

My Journal was restored today. The Blogger robots had decided two weeks ago that it was a spam blog and deleted it. I had to go through an appeal to get it reinstated. They did so today, apologising for any inconvenience caused!

My 1200th post is now showing.

chrissy said...

haa...i knew i would like your opinion on this one :)

Bilbo said...

John,

I've never done that either. And I stretch the office dress code to the limit in winter by wearing turtlenecks underneath sweaters...