Good Advice Is Poison To His Ears

, , , , | Friendly | July 13, 2017

(Every few months or so, our troop has to clean out and organize the trailer containing our camp supplies. Some poison ivy has started growing at the back of the trailer, but it’s out of the way.)

Friend: “I’m gonna try and clear out that poison ivy.”

Scoutmaster: “You don’t need to do that. It’s out of the way, and it’s best to have a professional deal with it.”

Me: “Yeah, and you don’t want to end up catching poison ivy… again!”

Friend: “I have gloves and clippers. I’m not gonna touch it.”

Scoutmaster: “That doesn’t matter. You can still catch it if it gets on your clothes.”

Friend: “I’ll be fine. Don’t worry.”

(Whenever he gets his mind set on things like this, it’s almost impossible to try and talk him out of it.)

Me: *sigh* “Your funeral.”

(He managed to clear out the poison ivy, while I tried to stay away from him. After we’re back home, I noticed I’m starting to breakout. I called him up to yell at him only for his mother to inform me that he was far worse. He ended up missing school for a couple of days because it got all over his face, causing his eyes to swell shut.)

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  • Deadpool
  • Matt Westwood

    So he just has to touch it to make his eyes swell shut? If he gets that big an allergic reaction, perhaps he’s better stay indoors.

    • chaotik_lord

      Touched the gloves to take them off, touched his face without washing his hands with an oil-busting soap.

      I’m not allergic to poison ivy, thankfully, but I had a bad experience with some hot sauce and a burrito so I know. I ended up in the kitchenette at work pouring milk into my eyes, and I’ve been especially careful since.

      • Regret

        Oh man, I do that all the time!
        Once you get used to pain, it is mostly fun because you can’t stop laughing at yourself.

      • Matt Westwood

        Yeah, rubbing my eyes after having chopped chillies is a favourite technique of mine to get out of any irksome chores that require the use of my eyes …

        • chickenface

          My MIL had some troubled teens in her foster home, and told them to be sure to wash their hands after chopping the hot peppers, BEFORE they used the toilet. Of course they didn’t want to listen to authority so they didn’t wash up first. And they were very unhappy.

      • heymoe2001

        It could have been something very simple like pushing his hair out of his eyes or wiping the sweat off his brow with the back of his gloved hand. A quick move with no thought put to it and “boom”, exposure.

      • Leiko Burningbear

        A friend’s wife took great joy in telling me about the time he was chopping jalapenos and then went to the bathroom…without washing his hands.
        Apparently the resulting scream echoed throughout their house.

    • AJeS

      I’m the same level of sensitivity but I love the outdoors. I’ve just gotten very good at spotting & avoiding Poison Ivy & Oak. Also, even if I get exposed I can just wash with common dish soap to remove the oil though it does have to be within 10 minutes of exposure.

  • Big Daddy

    Your Scoutmaster really fell down on the job here. Just because some teenager is stubborn doesn’t mean the SM lets him jump off a cliff. What happened to “Obedient”?

    • Matt Westwood

      IIRC “being obedient” was not part of my Scout’s Promise.

      • Aaron

        Obedient is in there.

        • Matt Westwood

          “On my honour, I promise that I will do my best. To do my duty to God and to the Queen, To help other people. And to keep the Scout Law.”

          The Scout Law:

          A Scout is to be trusted.
          A Scout is loyal.
          A Scout is friendly and considerate.
          A Scout belongs to the worldwide family of Scouts.
          A Scout has courage in all difficulties.
          A Scout makes good use of time and is careful of possessions and property.
          A Scout has self-respect and respect for others.


          • DB

            I don’t recall swearing anything to the Queen when I was a scout in DC. 😉

            Obedient is in there for us Yanks.

            Actually, it’s pretty interesting to compare the two–I wonder how it varies with other countries, and what it says about those countries.

          • Matt Westwood

            Interesting. I had never realised there was a difference before. I suppose obedience is important to Americans because there needs to be a chain of command from top to bottom, like in the army. For Brits, the key concept appears to be “duty”, which is more complex and requires a certain latitude of interpretation — if you consider that you are given an “order” which conflicts with what you consider your “duty”, then you don’t obey the order (but, of course, be prepared to justify yourself).

          • DB

            America likes its clean, loyal drones. 😉

          • Leah

            This is bizarre because in my experience americans tend to be a bit over-obsessed with the idea of authority NOT telling them what to do… so it surprises me that they would have ‘obedient’ in the scout law when the commonwealth doesn’t.

          • Aaron

            A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.

      • Joe Weatherford

        Scout law…

        A Scout is:

        • Siirenias

          It should be noted that a scoutmaster is not the top of the troop authority.

        • Matt Westwood

          That’s what it is in loser-land? Ugh.

          • Big Daddy

            How many world wars did we bail you out of? After kicking you out of a continent – twice?

          • Matt Westwood

            Late, twice, after we had held the bu66ers off practically single-handedly, and for your second point, we were more than happy to get out and leave you festering colonials to rot in your own sewage.

          • Leah

            ^ This, exactly. Every time I hear americans claim they won the world wars (esp. 1) it makes me laugh. Look up ‘if world war one was a bar fight’. Can’t link it here due to ridiculous auto-mod.

          • Theonewhoplays

            also taking pride in having a part in the shitfest that was world war 1 seems strange to me, world war 2 i get, the crimes of the third reich and it’s rapid expansion had to be stopped, but in ww1 and leading up to it pretty much everyone was a dick

          • Theonewhoplays

            the red army beat the wehrmacht, not the western allies

    • Siirenias

      A lot of adult leader training now includes a lesson on learning the hard way. Sometimes kids need to fail.

      This probably isn’t one of them, though, because swelling of the face can be like threatening.

  • CeeCee

    What an idiot.

  • leslie

    I caught poison oak when working retail. Man that sucked. Thank goodness for dermatologist. Can’t remember what it was called, but gave me this gel and that stuff worked so fast.

  • Patrick Mccurry

    I’m so glad my family has zero reaction to that stuff. 85% of people have contact reaction, and around 95% will react if it gets under skin. I’m of the 5%. 🙂

    • My husband has always been a bit sensitive, but after he carried me through a knee-high patch of poison ivy while we were still dating, he can’t touch it. The outbreak was so bad, 45 years later he still has scars on his legs. I’m the one who deals with it in the yard, usually by pulling it out, but if there’s too much or located somewhere I can’t get it, the can of ivy killer comes out. We’re as organic as we can manage but I do not mess around with poison ivy.

      • Anne

        Get a goat! Goats can eat poison ivy without being hurt. 😉

        • ValleyLeada

          I know you’re probably joking, but I feel that I should add (in case anyone takes it seriously) please do not get a goat! Impulsively buying goats is a bad idea for yourself and the goat, plus they need a friend so you’d need at least two. Just not good all around. They seem cute, but they’re a lot of work!

          • Trihan

            Instructions unclear, now have five goats. Please advise.

          • ValleyLeada

            Oh no! Goats are very addictive. Unfortunately there’s nothing you can do about it now, you’ll fall in love and just keep getting more! I’ll be praying for you and your fuzzy little goaties . . .

          • tulip_poplar

            There are places that rent out a herd of goats for a day though to clear brush and poison ivy. There is one near me. $400 flat rate for a day assuming the area is already fenced in (I looked into it because I just bought a house and the yard is filled with PI).

          • However, judging from the fact that one of my neighbors recently rented sheep to help clear out English ivy on their property, you could potentially look into that option.

        • I’d be tempted if my city would let us have them, but we’re not even allowed to have chickens, so no goats. Plus we don’t get poison ivy that often. I’d probably end up like Trihan anyway. Goats are just too cute. 😀

      • mashava

        My grandfather was immune, his brother highly allergic (hospitalized several times). Well, my grandfather decided to burn the ivy one day… after that and a long stint in the hospital he was no longer immune.

        • He’s lucky to be alive, from what I’ve heard. Burning it gets the irritant in your lungs, and apparently that’ll do anyone in.

          Don’t burn poison ivy, people!

  • Kathryn Baggs

    Was his name Tim McGee?

    • Erin Elizabeth

      Fellow NCIS fan?

      • Kathryn Baggs

        Oh yea. 😀

  • Sheh

    Poison ivy doesn’t grow in my country. And we basically only have two dangerous animals.
    Y’know that feeling when you read about all the crazy things in Australia? That’s how I’m starting to feel about every other country in general.

    • ValleyLeada

      What country? I’m curious now!

      • Sheh

        Sweden! The land of IKEA and, apparently, safe wilderness.

        • Servali

          You have one dangerous snake too, it’s huggorm in swedish, but is it viper or adder in english? Though they’re not too dangerous when compared to snakes in Australia.

          • Sheh

            I am aware, but it is literally the only venomous thing in the country to my knowledge.

            According to wikipedia it is known as both the “common European adder” and “common European viper”. So, thanks for nothing, wiki!
            I never learned the English name myself, but as a side note the direct Swedish translation of “huggorm” means “biting snake”. We’re super good at naming, yes. So good. Doesn’t at all sound like something a five-year-old came up with.

  • James Smith

    True poison ivy story: Back when my wife and I were dating, one evening she came over to my house to relax in the jacuzzi with me. A little while after she left, I broke out in hives all over. A little detective work revealed the cause. Her back yard was full of poison ivy. The dog was out there playing in the yard and picked up the “poison,” but the dog is immune to it. Then she played with the dog and got it on HER, but she is also immune to it. I, however, am not. I had spent an hour in the jacuzzi soaking in diluted thirdhand poison ivy.

    • You poor thing.

      I had a friend in school who was apparently immune as well. One of my sisters and I went to play at her house. She told us about this great little wooded area on her family’s property that was fun to play in. She said her mom claimed there was poison ivy there, but my friend had never had a reaction, so it was fine.

      My sister and I had lovely rashes after that playdate.

    • Joe Weatherford

      That sounds horrible.That one lyric from The Coaster’s “Poison Ivy” comes to mind reading this.

      “You’re gonna need an ocean of calamine lotion.”

  • Phil Adler

    “I tried to stay away from him.”

    Didn’t try hard enough, did you, OP?

  • Darryl Hamlin

    My old man got himself bad with poison ivy once. We were doing some yard maintenance in the back yard, and he sees these weeds poking through the fence from the neighbor’s yard. I take a look and tell him it’s probably poison ivy, but he decides to go at them with the weed whacker anyway. I go back inside because I’m not going to be party to this level of idiocy, he breathes it in, and now any time he’s exposed to poison ivy, it goes completely systemic for him.

    It’s really not something to mess with.