Rash Decision

Edited Rash.jpeg

(Sunday Paper, Volume II, Issue 42)

I hope I'm not violating any kind of decorum here.

I don't think I'm venturing too far into the 'too much information' department.

I think this is a common enough ailment that I'm just sharing an experience...not grossing people out.

I was even courteous enough to edit that picture on the left to make sure it didn't show anything even remotely gross...the full picture is further down in the post and even that's not very gross.

All this is to say: for the first time in my life, I ended up with a case of poison ivy.

And it was a bad one.


I still know very little about poison ivy - I think we talked about this a little bit last year when I finally went back to the doctor after a long time away:

I'm someone who lets things run their course. And I don't do a lot of research. I don't want to find out anything worse than what I was expecting...or something that I think is worse than it is because I read something and then overblow it in my mind.

So I didn't look anything up. And that was partly because when I first got the poison ivy...I didn't even know it for a while.

(I guess I should put this caveat in here: some of you might be reading this and thinking throughout it, "Oh John, you dope. These are the exact warning signs of poison ivy and you should have known immediately and you could have prevented this whole situation." OR "Didn't you learn in school what poison ivy looks like and to avoid it?" And to you I defend myself by saying that where I grew up poison ivy wasn't something I needed to worry about. I remember seeing pictures of poison ivy and knowing not to touch poison ivy - but if I saw poison ivy in the backyard again tomorrow, I'd probably touch it. I still don't know if I could identify it in a lineup. It's like cars - I know what a car is but I can't identify a specific make and model. I know what a plant is - I just don't know makes or models. Poison ivy included.)

Kathy, though, is a big looker-upper. I told her not to tell me anything that might upset me. She said, "Just, if you develop a fever, that's not good."

I did not develop a fever.

But man did I get itchy.

I realized, when I wore pants that rubbed more against my leg, that's when it got bad. And last weekend, after driving a couple of hours to New Hampshire on Saturday and then three hours to New York on Sunday, it was really itching up.

So I applied some (likely 30-plus-years-old) calamine lotion from my mom's medicine cabinet and realized that's what I should have done from the beginning. It pretty much immediately eliminated my need to scratch my arm and leg raw. (Oh, did I tell you it spread? It went from my elbow to the part of my leg where I rest my arms when I sit with my oh-so-awful posture.)

When we got back to Framingham I bought some of my own calamine lotion, so rest assured I'll never get poison ivy again, now that I'm prepared.

All told it was about a two-week ordeal - I figure I contracted it on a Monday when I was working in the yard, didn't really notice it until that Friday or Saturday night, and then it kind of sat for a week before it drove me nuts the following Saturday/Sunday. It's pretty much all gone away now.

The picture below is the unedited version of the picture I used above. I don't think it's too gross. (And trust me - I know gross.)

I got a really good poison ivy joke (in my opinion) out of the experience. Maybe two, if I work on that car/plant make/model thing. That was kind of funny. And, of course, I learned a tremendously valuable lesson, which really only confirmed what I previously believed: Yard work really isn't for me.


Writing and Comedy

*Has it come to this? Has the comedy become so sporadic that we're just going to combine these two categories now? No. I just had a slow week. I was supposed to go to a mic on Tuesday and then there was an unexpected dance class on Tuesday that I had to take my daughter to and it shifted everything. So I enjoyed some family time this week and next week will get out more than a few nights. (Wednesday night in Manchester, New Hampshire!) Tackled a couple of new writing assignments this week, met a few new people at work...writing-wise it was a pretty productive week.

What I've Been Enjoying

*As soon as I determined I had poison ivy you'd better believe I couldn't get 'Poison Ivy' by The Coasters out of my head. (And as soon as I talked to my mom about calamine lotion my dad started singing the song too. Very few songs feature a lyric involving 'calamine lotion', I would guess.) Anyway, that sent me down a bit of a Coasters YouTube kick. You could do worse - 'Charlie Brown', 'Yakety-Yak', 'Along Came Jones'...so go ahead and click below and get 'Poison Ivy' stuck in your head too.


*As you may or may not remember, I like to see new matchups in the World Series every year. In order for that to happen this year, I'll need the Astros to win the American League. The Astros are a little bittersweet for me, though, because they made the 2005 World Series as a National League team (playing the Chicago White Sox), so that turns out to be kind of a waste of a year in the long run. Just like Yankees-Dodgers or Yankees-Cubs would be this year if that were to happen.

*I told you last week: I'm not proud of myself for how hard I was rooting against the Nationals winning their first-ever playoff series. I'm even less proud of myself for staying up until 12:48am late Thursday night to watch the sad players after the last out was recorded. I think I told you - I just feel like it's bad karma to root against a team so hard. But hopefully my comeuppance was swift and relatively painless - I have just been exhausted all day Friday and Saturday for staying up so late on Thursday. I'll take it though, if it means no bad karma for my sports teams.

*Jets-Patriots today. I'm not going to pretend like the Jets are good enough to beat New England - I don't think they are. But here's what I think after watching the Jets last week: Their defense is good enough to put pressure on Tom Brady, and when you do that the Patriots become beatable. The problem with the Jets this year, though, is I don't see any way their offense can put together some points. Even the Patriots' defense is good enough to stop this Jets offense.

*Midway through October and still no 2018 calendar. Am I panicking? No. But we're getting close. I don't like not having it yet.

*Also, holy moly, halfway through October. The weeks feel like they're zipping by to me and that means the holidays will be here before you know it, which is crazy to me.

*Have a nice week. Thanks for taking a few moments out of your Sunday to read the Sunday Paper. Especially this week, considering it's about my rash. You're the tops.