Monday, June 19, 2006

Urushiol (you-ROO-shee-ol)

On Saturday past, I decided to finally get off my ass and clean out some overgrown bushes and brush in my backyard. I dread this job every year because I know the ultimate result will probably be the attack on my person of a mean red red rash all over my hands, legs, torso, and if I am lucky, nowhere else. Now this area of our yard is a partially landscaped no-mans-land, between our yard and the one behind ours. I should just spray the whole area with ROUNDUP and be done with it. But that would kill everything back there and I am not about to let a yearly bout with a dumb plant make me into a mass murderer just yet.

By the way, did you know that poison ivy is part of the cashew family. Now, cashews I love. I often get the big tub of them from Costco. Supposedly nuts have have good fatty acids in them so I eat fistfuls of them. Anyway... I digress.

Poison Ivy and I go way back. I remember getting it so bad when I was in 8th grade that the rash on my face forced one eye shut and forced the other one to stay open. If you can not imagine what that looks like check out this guy; except I had it much worse. Just imagine a brown skinned kid with a red rash, a puffy face, and pink chalky calamine lotion spread all over. And to think, my parents still made me go to school that way.

Since then cutting lawns, trekking through the woods, or walking within 10 feet of the stuff always proves to be an adventure.

God, I can't tell you how much I want to scratch my arms right now....

Urushiol (you-ROO-shee-ol) - that's the oil from this whole family of plants that causes all of this misery. If you have been around this stuff, About.com says that you are supposed to clean the exposed area with rubbing alcohol first to kill whatever makes this stuff so lethal and then take a soapy shower. Doing the suds without first enduring the alcohol will only spread the misery. But if your like me, you really only have ten or so minutes before the evil oil gets under your skin.

I could not see my usual doctor today so I had to see one of the other ones. He asked me if my arms and legs had been covered while I was working out there. I lied and said yes. I did not want to waste my breath explaining that this was more about destiny than it was about defenses. You see, every year I dig, rip, and dare the glossy leaves out to a fairly one sided duel. Mother nature wins two out three years and I run off to the doctor for my usual dose of methylprednisolone. But I refuse to wear long sleeve shirts and pants in 95 F degree weather out of mere fear. A hazmat suit may have protected my hide but in my soul, I would felt like a loser.

Yes, I do realize how stupid this all sounds. But remember, your odds of getting out unscathed from a bungee jump are better than an honest fight with poison ivy. Guess which is the cheaper thrill?

1 Comments:

Blogger AppleTina said...

vanity is the quicksand of reason...next year, wear the hazmat suit.

not commenting on your love affair with cashews, peanuts, animal and other "good fat" foods.

does poison ivy curb your appetite out of curiosity or create a certain undying need to go to the gym?

hmmmm :) lol.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006  

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