Friday, March 22, 2013

Of Course You Know This Means War...

There are fences along two sides of my backyard and every Spring and Summer they're virtually covered by various trees, bushes and unknown scrub. The stuff grows so fast and so thick that it completely envelopes the fences and it grows so high it gets tangled up in the power lines overhead.

Every year I battle with this stuff, cutting and trimming it to within an inch of its miserable life, and every year it comes back faster, thicker and higher than before. Like bamboo it grows.

Worst of all, something in the scrub is highly toxic. I don't see anything resembling poison ivy, but there must be some close relative in there somewhere. Three years ago I got into the toxic stuff while clearing it out and suffered a massive breakout of rashes and angry red welts all up and down my arms. It lasted for three weeks and itched like a motherf... like crazy.

Last week I began the annual War Against The Fence Scrub, hoping to head it off before it started greening up and engulfing the fence line. I decided this year I'd be smart and wore a long sleeved shirt and gloves to keep the toxic stuff off me. It worked. Almost.

The protective clothing kept it from touching my arms and hands, but I forgot one tiny little detail-- there was a small gap between the sleeves and gloves. Apparently some of the toxic plants brushed ever so lightly against this exposed sliver of skin and... well, you can see what happened below. 

Warning! Disgusting image ahead!

This is what happens when the crap growing along my fence grazes my skin. I guess I should have taped my gloves to my sleeves, the way doctors do with their hazmat suits at the CDC in Atlanta.

You can't really see it in the photo, but those nasty red welts are a study in bas relief. They're lumpy and stick out an eighth inch or so. Huge they are. Last time I had this it lasted for about three weeks before finally fading, so I have another fourteen days of it to look forward to.

So that's it, Fence Scrub. I've wasted my last weekend cutting you down, and you've poisoned me for the final time. This Is War. I'm buying the strongest weed killer I can find and dousing every inch of your roots with it, water table be damned. See you in Hell, Toxic Plants!

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