Lessons Learned in an Emergency Room Waiting Area at 11:45 on a Sunday Night
1. Poison ivy is contagious. As in, a person could contract the burning, itchy rash on the palms of their hands one day, whilst gardening in the overgrown area behind their mate’s new digs, then transfer said rash to far more delicate and sensitive areas later that night whilst watching old Neve Campbell movies, hopped up on painkillers and anti-histamines, and covered in calamine lotion.
2. If one manages to avoid the poison ivy, only to lose a small appendage in a still-to-fresh-to-be-funny weed whacker incident, the first course of action is to insure the neighbor’s dog is nowhere in the immediate vicinity. Failing that, one must enlist all help in locating the severed appendage as quickly as possible, preferably before the canine finds it. If all fails and the little bastard gets the digit first, again enlist all help– this time in grabbing the mutt for a trip to the ER.
3. Do not enlist the help of anyone who has had contact with the poison ivy, as dogs apparently love the taste of calamine lotion.
4. Perhaps it might be best to send any poison ivy infected persons over to the neighbor’s house, to apprise them of the situation. This would seem to hold particularly true if the neighbors, in addition to the dog, happen to have a BB gun-toting child about.
5. It is possible for a BB gun pellet to rip through thin materials and lodge in the fatty tissue of the buttocks. This is every bit as painful as it sounds.
6. If an uninjured party is unavailable to hold the dog, keeping in mind any poison ivy infected and/or calamine-lotioned persons must not even be in the same car, some sort of device will have to be improvised to hold the animal as long as the vehicle is in motion. Energetic and frightened animals can be highly distracting, especially in combination with a searing pain in the buttocks.
7. An accident which occurs when the driver is fending off a snapping terrier, whilst driving 10 mph above the posted speed limit, may very well be held against said driver and will doubtless cost precious time if the purpose of the trip is the pursuit of medical treatment.
8. If one has recently purchased a new home, in dire need of landscaping in the rear yard, hire a professional. Resist the urge to bribe friends with beer.
9. If one happens to have a friend who has recently purchased a new home, in dire need of landscaping in the rear yard, do not offer assistance of any kind, except possibly to help said friend find a reputable landscape contractor. For the love of Christ, a couple of twelve packs is simply not worth it.