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Home > Culture and Society

WAWIBF Surviving heights

14 May 2004

This week a 102-year-old Italian woman fell out of the fourth storey window of her retirement home in Turin and, against all odds, did not shatter like an antique vase and disappear in a groan of dust. On the contrary, she was fine. A hospital spokesperson apparently put the woman's survival down to a hundred years of pasta and olive oil. Which is to say that, had she been Welsh, for example, she would have at least broken a pelvis. Well, maybe. One thing we know for sure is that she was extremely lucky. Unless of course her fall was a botched suicide attempt, in which case, the old woman is clearly cursed.

Also rather lucky to survive were the seven novice climbers who spent the last month scaling 22,000ft of the Lhakpa Ri mountain in Tibet in order that they might eat the highest ever formal dinner and in the process raise money for the British Lung Foundation. The team dressed like toffs and carried tables, chairs, candelabras and posh scran up the mountain. This week their record attempt is being investigated by Guinness. These are the kind of people that, if they weren't doing it for charity, you would just shake your head and loathe them.

Which brings us to the Extreme Ironing Bureau, a group of thrill- seeking lunatics who, in the words of their website, practise 'the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well pressed shirt.'

This can mean ironing up a mountain, under water or in free fall from an aeroplane, ironing furiously and waiting for your chute to open. On Monday an extreme ironing team will begin a two-week campaign across America in an effort to have the nonsense recognised as an Olympic sport. We would like to wish them good luck, but somehow can't bring ourselves to do it.


More Pressing Matters: http://www.extremeironing.com



Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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