The One With the Extreme Ironing

Ever since I was 14, I’ve longed to live in a world that was basically an endless episode of Friends. Doesn’t that appeal to everyone at some point in their lives? There’s certainly a Friends quote for pretty much every occasion – in fact, it’s rare when they’re not appreciated.

There is, however, one aspect of the Friends world that I have not lusted after – beautiful loft apartment, awesome wardrobe, endless fun, seemingly free hot beverages, and hot men – yes; my very own Ugly Naked Guy – no.

My new flat is on the top floor of a super quaint building, in a charmingly lovely street. Above shops that sell ridiculously expensive things, are a whole host of flats that over look the pavements of Bloomsbury. Aware that my bedroom is rather visible, I’ve tried to be careful about keeping my curtains closed when changing clothes or wandering around naked. However, it seems that my opposite neighbour isn’t quite as careful…

On Monday morning I’d just returned from a breakfast date with our lovely American seminarians who were about to leave London and was dashing round the flat packing my bag for a few hours of diligent theological studying at a lovely coffee house. So far, already quite Friends-like. (Though I don’t recall any studying of theology in Central Perk.) Then I looked out of my bedroom window and there, lo and behold, was my very own naked guy.


I did what any sane person would do on sighting such a thing and finding themselves completely on their own – I told Twitter (and a few minutes later, told Facebook for good measure). I commented on the nakedness and the fact that surely ironing naked was rather dangerous. The responses this tweet garnered kept me entertained during my long wrangling with theologians. Women seemed to react with horror/amusement, while men tended to make comments on the seedier side of the spectrum…

Man #1: “What? Why is this not across my street?” 
[This particular guy would have the same interest in a naked man as I would.]

Man #2: “Dangerous? I’d say traumatising!”
[I’m not sure if he meant the ironing, or my sighting. But if the ironing went wrong, I’m sure it would be traumatising.]

Woman #1: “AHAHAHAHHAHAHA. He might be ironing his pants…”
[It’s the only logical explanation for naked ironing. But what’s the point in ironing pants?!]

Woman #2: “Think ugly naked guy used to do it in friends.”
[He probably did. I’m just glad Bloomsbury Naked Guy wasn’t doing some of UNG’s more questionable activities…]

Woman #3: “Ha! Anyone we know?”
[Fortunately not. But the church treasurer does live over the road…and several doors down. Thank goodness!]

Woman #4: “Have you fashioned a poking device?”
[If only the window had been open, and I’d stockpiled chopsticks.]

Man #3: “Life is too short to iron ones pants – which would be about the only excuse. Sure you’re not in an episode of Friends?”
[I quite agree – see above. And yes, this is clearly the point when my ambition became reality.]

Man #4: “Well, I don’t think you’ll go blind. Oh you mean for him.”
[I came up with several retorts to this tweet. I held fire on all of them…]

Man #5: “There are so many inappropriate answers to that…#tempting”
[I replied that he didn’t need to contribute – others were doing well on that front.]

Man #6: “Um, seriously, how long *is* it?”
Man #6 – again: “I mean, presumably you were worried it would get caught?? #ironsandwich”

It was those final tweets that got me. The second arrived 15 minutes after the first – presumably because their author thought I hadn’t understood his meaning the first time, when in fact I was simply buried in the intricacies of some New Testament Greek. Our exchange got a little personal…

Me: “Regardless of length, it’s surely a risk not worth taking?? I wouldn’t do it…”
Him: “yeah, but you’re dyspraxic…”
Me: “Well, ironing sans bra would certainly be a risk…”
Oh so slightly inappropriate for a public forum.

Anyway, the real question is what to do next? Obviously, I’ve been checking that window at sporadic intervals – not to get another eyeful, I’ll assure you – but to see if I can see him fully clothed, or so he can see me and realise just how easy it is to be seen from across the street. Perhaps I should put a note up in my window alerting him to his exhibition? But do we really want the amusing Bloomsbury Naked Guy sightings to end? It’s a tough call.

Who knew life in Bloomsbury could be quite so exciting?

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