Saturday, July 11, 2009

My Ivy League Education

Prednisone? Never heard of it before...thanks Doc.

And so I left the good doctor's clinic with a small vile of the steroid-based wunderdrug. Perhaps now I'd find some relief from my overwhelming desire to go ape-shit with a garden rake on my skin. To say that I was 'itchy' would be an understatement. I was itchy, and scratchy, and close to going insane.

All of this, the result of a brief encounter with poison ivy.

I simply wanted to tidy up some bushes that were threatening to obscure my path down to the lake. With electric hedge trimmers in hand, I tackled the job with a vengeance. Slashing, spinning, swiping, crawling on my belly...I was a horticultural Rambo.

So what were you wearing, Ian? Fatigues and a wife beater? Ah yes, and a headband?

Actually I was wearing deck shoes, shorts and a t-shirt.
You're not exactly the poster boy for the Workplace Health and Safety Commission, are you?

Shut up!
My little voice, as appearing in italics, is quite unkind to me, but that's the way of the devilish subconscious. Do you remember the Great Gazoo, the little green alien who may have contributed to the cancellation of The Flinstones? He had a huge head and a tiny body, somewhat of a freak if you ask me. He was always calling Fred and Barney "dum-dums" in the most condescending 'I'm smarter than you' manner. My little voice sounds a lot like the Great Gazoo's, but it's appearance is in stark contrast to that of Gazoo's. For example, my little voice doesn't wear a helmet, which would indicate he's not safety oriented...the dum-dum.

It's not much of a stretch to think of me as a horticultural Rambo. I'm using a steroid puffer to ease a little bout of asthma. My anti-itch prescription is also a steroid. I don't even bother going to the gym anymore. All of this medication has me worried, though not that I might be harmed by the side effects. I'm worried that Dick Pound (his real name, and not a scale tipping personal measure), formerly of the IOC and World Anti-Doping Agency, will come by and test me for doping. My Olympic dreams will be in tatters if I test positively. Right now I'm making Ben Johnson look like he's Amish. Me? I'm totally on the juice!

Despite being such a fine physical specimen (thanks steroids!), I'm still pretty self-conscious because I've got rashes all over my body, but mostly on my (immense) upper torso. Click here for a reminder of what I looked like before I started the 'roids. The great catch 22 with poison ivy is that scratching feels great, but that's what spreads the rash. Let's say that I scratch my arm then inadvertently rub my guessed it, a rash could show up around my eye two days later. Imagine what I have to do when I go to the bathroom, suffice to say that we'll have to burn the oven mitts when I'm done.
I've got a rash on my chin and I don't dare shave in case it spreads. I don't think Rambo ever had a beard, so I'm not too thrilled that I might have to grow one. Maybe I'm taking this whole Rambo thing too far. After all, I was wielding a pumpkin and noir coloured, electric Black and Decker hedge trimmer with a 'radius of terror' of just fifty feet. Rambo had an M2 Browning machine gun.
Has comparing me to Rambo got you scratching your head? If only I were so lucky.

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