Mother Nature Always Wins, And Here’s the Itch


Stupid, evil tree of itch

This blog has mentioned before that men are creatures of action.

Sure, we spend 99% of the time in our recliners. But that other 1%? When we are in the yard and armed with cutting devices? We are creatures of action.

And once we get a head of steam? There is no stopping us.

We will cut and saw and slash and burn the greenery until the cows come home. And then we will cut and saw and slash and burn the cattle. It’s what men do.

Men think greenery should be trimmed to within an inch of its life. That way you don’t have to trim it again until next year. Or maybe never, if you do a really good trimming job and it dies.

Tragically, this angers women folk — namely, the Missus and, even worse, Mother Nature.

Women folk believe trimming trees should be done as carefully as brain surgery. And they grow certain kinds of plants designed to keep me away.

These plants and bushes and trees usually explode into a wondrous range of reds and yellows and general prettiness once a year.

It makes the women folk all misty eyed. It makes men want to trim.

stupid tree 2

Stupid Evil Tree of Itch

Case in point, we give you the Rhus tree (toxicodendron). We assume the name translates to “will turn a man’s body into an oozing, itching red rash of great pain”.

Oozing Tree

A few days ago, we decided to get out of our recliner (read “get away from the Missus”), and go out into the yard.

We honestly had no intention of actually cutting anything. But we live in the west Auckland suburb of “Titirangi”, which is Maori for “The Fringe of Heaven”.

In Titirangi, Mother Nature insists that everything grows quickly. So if you don’t stay on top of it, you will find yourself living inside a tree, because greenery will come in through your windows as you sleep.

At first, we sere content to get the small hedge trimmer and do only a little bit of trimming.

But, of course, one thing led to another. And the vine trimming session turned into our annual Jihad Against Mother Nature.

tree cutter

We hauled out the 12-foot-long, spring loaded, two section, rope driven Secatur of Death that will cut through steel.

And we decided to trim the hated Rhus tree that has been covering our camper van with leaves and sap and blocks our bedroom’s sun.

And by “trim” we really mean “kill the bastard”.

So despite our bad neck, for the next hour we looked upwards and cut the absolute crap out of the stupid sappy, bee-attracting Rhus tree.

We did not mind the fact that limbs would frequently fall straight down, scratching our face and arms, and occasionally stabbing into our brain.

Manly men do not care about minor flesh wounds when we are in a cutting rut. Nor do we mind a little itching as we gather up armfuls of branches and leaves.

But we do mind, about an hour later, when we have to put down our beer and go into the bathroom to see why we feel like napalm was dropped on us.

On this occasion, there were super itchy bumps covering about three-quarters of our body including, and there is no way to say this delicately, the Johnson Region.

It itched so bad you had to scratch, and scratching made it itch even worse.

After three miserable days, we still had not found the right combination of creams and pills and vinegars to make the angry red bumps and blotchy rashes go away.

The Missus, still angry about the wee trimming of her favorite tree, decided that it was not enough to quietly enjoy my misery.

She needed to rub it in by reminding me that I am way allergic to this tree, a fact she claims to gave mentioned every year.

She then decided to read to me from her big fat gardening book:

Allergy: Toxicodendron species contasin oleoresins known collectively as urushiol. In susceptible individuals, these compounds trigger a type IV delayed hypersensitivity reaction: a “bullous allergic contact dermatitis.

Especially to some men’s Johnson Zone, turns out.



Go HERE for other stories about men being stupid out in the yard.

6 Responses to “Mother Nature Always Wins, And Here’s the Itch”

  1. Eli says:

    SEE? I know working outdoors is bad for the health, and I am but a bloggling

  2. Lillian L.. says:

    Next time you are on a kill mission, might I suggest a haz-mat suit, with a double jock strap duct taped around the Johnson region? Keeping an epipen handy might be a good idea. And for heaven’s sake, stock up on homeopathic pills that are for allergies, as well as Rescue Remedy which helps calm you down. You can even continue with the beer break without side effects. That is all.

  3. Indeed. Women always win. One way or another.
    And yeah – Sorry about the Johnson region….

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