Monday, May 31, 2010

Got itch?

Recently I packed up a carful of Girl Scouts and headed to Jack London State Park for a hike in the hills with a bunch of other scouts.

The week before our hike, a number of the parents peppered me with questions about our plans.

Would the hike be particularly strenuous? What time would we be back? Should the girls wear pants or shorts? Should they bring bug spray? More than one quizzed me about poison oak.

What a bunch of Nervous Nellies, I thought. Come on, it’s just a walk. And as far as poison oak goes, there’s no one more vigilant than me, I assured them.

When I was about 14 I got poison oak so bad I missed a week of school. I must have rubbed up against it at the Christmas tree farm because within a day I was covered head to toe with poison oak. I had it on the palms of my hands, I had it down my throat, and my face was swollen like a balloon. Readers may also recall my infamous poison oak/high school dance episode of 1980.

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