‘Extreme ironing’ steams into JP

(Photo Courtesy Rhea Becker) Anne McKinnon irons a shirt in front of the South Street Mall on June 1.

Anne McKinnon wants to raise the standards for the “slobs of the world.”

Jamaica Plain resident McKinnon partakes in “extreme ironing”—a new sport that takes the often-dreaded laundry chore and does it in unexpected and possibly dangerous places.

A cursory Google search shows participants ironing garments on mountains, on kayaks and strapped to the side of an amphibious Duck tour vehicle.

McKinnon, however, is more interested in the ironing than doing it “extremely.”

“There are some real kooks out there.  Many of the E.I. events are simulated—no power—but that to me is a waste of time,” she said. “People are still slobs afterwards. How is that helping society?”

McKinnon set up an ironing station earlier this month in the South Street Mall park, running extension cords across Carolina Avenue, and offering to iron commuters’ garments. Three people took her up on her offer.

“We had a changing area for people who wanted to, say, take off the skirt while waiting for the bus to have it pressed,” she said. “This is a public service to keep the slobs of the world from being laughed at.”

A friend, Rhea Becker, chronicled the outing on her blog at rheabecker.com.

McKinnon told the Gazette she enjoys the satisfaction of seeing “results, unlike too many government and agency public processes which are also completely mindless but produce few tangible results,” referring to the Casey Arborway project.

She added that she was once a professional presser, where she “developed an appreciation for a well-pressed garment.”

“Although my membership in the [North East] Fabricare Association has lapsed, I guess you could say that I am committed to promoting better dressing standards, helping stamp out sloppy dressing, and the eradication of ‘wash and wear’ clothing,” she said.

She and some friends are considering a “mob ironing event” downtown later this summer, with possibly another JP event as “warm-up.”

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