chain saw

Chain Saw Nightmare

As a teenager in the ’70s, I helped my dad clear some land in the country for a house. We camped out there for the weekend. Giant 4-inch diameter vines were choking the large pecan trees. We’d pry a section of vine away from the trunk, and I would hold it away from the trunk by hand while my Dad chain-sawed out a section so the vines above would die.

The chainsaw sprayed “juice”, and when the cut was made all the way through, a huge flow of clear liquid would gush from the upper part of the vine (perhaps a half gallon each), that completely drenched my clothing. Just wild grapevine sap – poison ivy can’t get THAT large, right?

We camped that night in our sleeping bags, and by the following afternoon, I started feeling an itching sensation. By Monday afternoon, I was red all over and breaking out in blisters. Oh, the agony. It only got worse over the next 3 days. It took three weeks to get the rash under control, and over a month and a half to get totally rid of it.

I went camping again the following winter in the same sleeping bag: THE SAME THING HAPPENED ALL OVER AGAIN!!! Another month of misery. So I repeatedly washed the sleeping bag in hot water.

I went on a spring camp-out a couple of months later. And good grief! It happened YET AGAIN, though to a much lesser degree. I threw out that sleeping bag.

(The photo shown was NOT from the actual event, as you might guess. Added for impact by site editor, as a reminder to think twice before chain-sawing a poison ivy vine.)