House at Pooh Corner Revisited

Before going off on a tangent, as done normally during my weekly tirades, allow me to discuss what I had intended last week: poison ivy. By doing a search through the pages of this journal, one can find it’s a common topic around this time of the year.

Behold, two shots of what helps me keep my sanity in check during bouts with that dastardly weed:

The photo on the left goes back to an entry made on September 7, 2016. Note how nice and clean it was. On the right is the same bottle almost three years later. As is evident, I’ve used the remedy a lot during this past season so far, and should really clean it up.

The nasty rash has existed consistently at one place or another since June. The only prevention is for me to stay out of the woods and off the Delaware Riverbank, which ain’t going to happen.

The caked-on spillage is from pouring the lotion in the middle of the night, usually in total darkness, on various spots throughout my body that are driving me nuts. The insane itching is so bad, I end up dreaming about it, which wakes me up from not wanting to scratch and make the eruption spread.

‘Twas out in the woods today at Pennypack Park on the Delaware River, walking the trails and chasing butterflies, birds and bees, sort of like a grown-up Christopher Robin à la Winnie-the-Poo, hoping to get that award-winning photograph. Since it was a tad milder, temperature- and humidity-wise, long pants were the order of the day, so as not to tramp through any poison ivy, which was plentifully found during my excursion.

I took great lengths to avoid the poisonous plant, raising my arms above my head at times, due to wearing a short-sleeve shirt. Things were going well, so I thought. Tonight, as I type this, I’ve applied the Caladryl to my left elbow, which grazed a vine of my summertime nemesis presumably while I was photographing a red-bellied cooter on a fallen tree in Pennypack Creek:

Notice the blue damselfly on the turtle’s shell.
A closer view of the blue damselfly

My left ring finger has a dot of the dreaded affliction as well. Maybe I didn’t brush up against it. I’m like a poison-ivy magnet that can capture its poisonous vapor while just being near it.

My allergic reactions to the plant go in seven-year cycles. Considering I’ve written about it in my jeremiads here annually since 2015, methinks I’ve got three more seasons of grief to go before this problem ends. Surely if I had caught the scourge anytime before that, an entry dedicated to my woes would have been found.

August has turned the corner, leaving us with a month and a half of summer. I’m hoping the bottle of Caladryl will last through the duration, as its contents are getting low. Fortunately I haven’t had to rely on Benadryl to aid in my prevention of scratching.

At the end of last entry, I mentioned my desire to write about hemorrhoids also in this week’s essay; but, luckily for you, my five-hundred-word quota has been met. Thanks for stopping by and for your continued support.

About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at
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