Poison Ivy One – Susan Zero

Could someone please explain something to me? What on earth could possibly be the benefit of poison ivy? It grows prolifically, withstands floods and extreme drought and can live despite me spraying it with even the most concentrated herbicide I can find on the base of the plant for five minutes. I find this noxious weed all over my yard every time I turn around. I will be weeding away and reach down to pull a weed and there it is, suddenly visible waggling its leaves at me, taunting me, saying “Come on grab hold, I got something for you. I have a really bad rash just waiting for you. Come on pull me.”

As you might have guessed I am one of the eighty-five percent of people out there that has allergic reactions to urushiol, the clear liquid sap in the plant. I even get the rash from the dogs after they’ve run through the miserable plant. Poison ivy doesn’t bother the dogs, just lays a urushiol sappy coating on their coats, waiting for me to pet them and spread it all over me. I went online to research poison ivy, to try and determine what possible benefit there is to the plant and could only find a brief reference to “some animals eat the leaves and some birds eat the berries”. Come on what self-respecting animal would eat the leaves or bird would eat the berries? I know better, no one knows what purpose poison ivy serves, but they can’t put “I don’t have a clue as to why this plant is on this earth” so the vague catch phrase “some animals eat the leaves and some birds eat the berries” is inserted. Probably because I am the only dummy to ask what purpose does this vicious plant serves?

Look at all of the other creatures and plants, large and small, out there. They all serve a purpose; big fish eat smaller fish and so on. Some are pretty gross such as maggots. Maggots are fly larvae that eat decaying flesh so the world isn’t a stinky rotting mess, even as gross as they are maggots do serve a purpose. The thorns on a blackberry bramble are super unpleasant but the thorns keep a creature from stripping the plant of its fruit in one sitting, leaving fruit for other animals. But what purpose does poison ivy serve?

Could poison ivy be the invention of the Calamine Lotion people? Maybe that’s it, somebody sitting in a marketing meeting comes up with the idea, “What if we invent a plant that makes people itch? Then we advertise that Calamine Lotion is great for relieving the itch from poison ivy.” Then the little lab people go invent poison ivy and use a crop duster to spread the seeds. Pure genius. That has to be it; it’s the only plausible explanation. Why on earth would Mother Nature make such an evil nasty plant? Mother Nature is the great keeper of natural order. Surely she wouldn’t play such a cruel joke on the human race.

Maybe that’s it; it was a joke that got out of hand. I don’t know, but I know one thing for sure, poison ivy is out to get me. It’s stalking me, everywhere I go, there it is growing away happy and healthy, laughing at me when I walk the dogs, tempting them to come and rub up against the leaves.

Maybe I should buy stock in Calamine Lotion.

16 thoughts on “Poison Ivy One – Susan Zero

  1. Susan, I did attend a conservation lecture where I heard what purpose poison ivy serves!! Now you really have me curious. Just letting you know, when Ivy is not stalking you, he crosses the street and hangs out here!!

      1. I had bought mangoes a few times before and peeled them with no problem until one day, I cut one in slices and decided to eat it off the peel. Ended up with a rash on my hands and face! Just like poison ivy.

      2. I don’t think it did. It was a bit milder than poison ivy. My last round with poison ivy left me itching for a month and 3 months later I can still see where the worst of the rash was. Probably should have seen a doctor but really don’t like the idea of taking prednisone.

  2. Too strange, my dad I and just discussed the evil beastie, because as far as I know I’m not allergic and asked if he was. Never saw it in FL, but pretty sure I’ve wandered through it a few times in Ohio and W. Va and not a smidgen of a reaction. So sorry!

    It sounds like Calamine needs to subsidise your garden: they are earning enough off you!

    1. I agree. We must be on the same wave length. You must be one of the lucky ones. Mitch is another one that is immune to poison ivy. I even get it from the dogs. I used to have a leather watch band that I got some poison ivy on and ended up having to change the band to metal. Couldn’t get rid of the itch.

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