Years ago I spent a weekend clearing brush from a roadside embankment, then picked up the brush in both arms and carried it to where I was dumping the debris — and I was wearing a short-sleeved shirt, and my arms broke out in such ugly welts and gruesome lesions that I had to be prescribed steroids to counteract my skin’s reaction to what the doctor said was a combination of poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac.
Did I learn my lesson? Today I spent four hours clearing brush from the front yard of the house where I’m staying in the Berkshires. And I was wearing a short-sleeved shirt. And I picked up the brush in both arms and carried it to the tractor wagon I was carting it in to be disposed of in the brush pile. And I’ve got poison ivy welts on my both of my inner forearms — although I was smart enough to realize and notice, and quickly washed my hands and arms with soap and hot water, perhaps minimizing the rash.
Anyway…apropos of nothing, really, except that it’s a song title about the vine that afflicted me, here are The Coasters singing “Poison Ivy:”