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The Iron Menace
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Today is Mary's monthly entry at the Poisoned Pen Press author's blog. In Woman Ironing she writes about -- not surprisingly -- irons. She mentions my childhood encounter with an old fashioned iron in an antique shop.

It's a painful memory. On Sundays, my parents were forever dragging me out on their antique hunts which ranked just ahead of sitting in a classroom in the list of things I wanted to be doing on weekends. I'm not sure antique shops didn't bore me more than classrooms. My naive eyes saw nothing but tables and shelves cluttered with dusty junk. It was like a visit to the dump but without the fire, smoke, stink and destruction to make it interesting.

In winter the shops were brutally cold and in summer they were sweltering. I'd scuffle along in my sneakers behind my parents in abject misery, listlessly scanning the wasteland for anything to relieve the horror, pondering what a fine thing it would be to see it all ablaze.

During one such torture session I noticed several flat irons of the sort my grandmother probably had heated on her coal stove. I grabbed one. It seemed stuck to the table. No, it was just heavy. Really heavy. About the heaviest thing I'd ever run into for its size. No wonder they named it an iron!

I raised the iron slowly, my skinny arm trembling with effort, and brought it closer to my face for examination. Here was something worth thinking about. Its weight confounded all normal expectations. It might have been composed of matter from the interior of a star. Maybe this is what picking up a glass of Fizzies felt like on the surface of Jupiter.

Its obvious age impressed me also. Unlike a modern iron it was crude, simply a solid piece of metal. Like something a caveman might have used. Although there was some kind of button on the handle. Scientific curiosity took over. What would happen if I pressed....?

I only needed to wait a split second for the results of my experiment. What happened was that the button released the iron from the handle. My toes recognized this before my brain had it figured out.

If there had ever been any chance I would collect antiques that treacherous flat iron put paid to it. Whether curiosity actually killed the cat, I can't say, but I know for sure that sometimes curiosity costs a toe nail.

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