It's the twenty-first century, right? (That wasn't the question. That was rhetorical.) I look around at my house full o' wonders. Over there is the clothes-washing machine...there the clothes-drying machine...but why am I still flattening my clean clothing by hand with a heavy piece of hot metal? Where is my clothes-ironing machine? That was the question. Now I'll just go ahead and answer it. I hate the smell of perc and don't want to dry-clean my clothes anyway: too expensive, too toxic, the list goes on. And clothing steamers, while they might be nice for the occasional delicate knit item, are time-consuming, humidifying, and just can't put a crisp crease in your duds. We wear a lot of cotton, and there's no getting around it. So whereas washing and drying have come a long way from when I was a kid helping my mom put wet clothes through the wringer in the basement sink and then hanging them out to dry on clotheslines held up with long bamboo poles (where they would often fall off into the dirt or get caught in the rain,) I'm ironing things exactly the same way she taught me, with a device that looks, feels, and works exactly the same way. And it takes just as long to complete the task now as it did then. The only difference? Now I'm listening to an iPod while I do it.