What is this ball hanging from my ironing board?
Calyx and I purchased a new ironing board recently. Unlike any other I have seen, it came with a curious red rubber object attached to it with a ball chain. It is roughly spherical in shape, with a hole through its center, and has resisted all attempts at analysis and experiment.
A Google search found only this entry on Yahoo! Answers, which is a mystery in itself:
- The “best answer” claims it is for hanging the ironing board in storage. This seems preposterous to me, because:
- the ball chain and fastener are not strong enough to safely hold the ironing board
- the sphere is much thicker than necessary for this purpose, and would be awkward to fit a hook through
- it’s attached near the long edge, at the center of the ironing board, when logic would suggest hanging it vertically from the short edge
- Another popular explanation is that it can be placed on the tip of the iron. This doesn’t make sense either, because:
- it doesn’t fit on our iron
- if it did fit some other iron, its shape and texture would prevent the iron’s surface from resting on the fabric, which would make it ineffective
- there’s nothing to keep it attached there
- Some people say it’s for the cat to play with to keep it out of the way of your ironing. I like this explanation best, but not because I think it’s true.
Any other ideas? Does anyone else have one of these?
Update: It appears to be a safety mechanism, which fits over the lever which holds the legs in place. By placing the ball over the lever, the operator can prevent the ironing board from being inadvertently collapsed by a child or a wayward limb. Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions!