At least, that's what Brad thought was a good title for this post after I read it to him. I say, it's justified whining.
A couple weeks ago, our next door neighbor to the left of us pointed out that the juniper bush that sits on the property line was becoming infested with vicious honeysuckle vines on our side of the bush. She was worrying that it would affect the health of the bush...and would we please do something about it.
So we threw ourselves into a violent tug of war with nature twice in the last two weeks. It was a huge job and very difficult. Honeysuckle! Who knew that it could be such an insidious enemy? It sounds so harmless and charming...a word that should be associated with sunny mornings and cozy cottages. But it had grown into a mass of tangled, deeply entrenched vines and until the neighbor pointed it out, I actually thought that it was how it was supposed to look- it looked so established. I carted several wheelbarrow loads full of vines down to the garage and stuffed the trash can full- both times we did this. Brad borrowed a massive, two-handed machete from Nate and used it to hack away at the evil growth. We also tried to dig up some of the stuff by the roots so it wouldn't grow back.
My opinion was that we should just torch the stupid bush and be done with it. It was not worth the gwunting and stwuggling.
Last Friday I discovered some weird looking bug bites that had sprung up on my arm. I attributed them to some brutish gnats that I remember attacking me at a yard sale that day. The bug bites blossomed to a frightening size and I began to look like a victim of an atomic disaster.
It suddenly dawned on us a couple days ago that these were not bug bites and realized that I was suffering from an allergic reaction. I'm still not sure whether it's poison ivy (I've never had it before) or simply honey suckle. Or maybe we're the first victims of a terrorist attack. Anyway...much suffering has ensued. And now Brad has it too, poor fellow.
The urge to scratch cannot be ignored. This situation reminds me of the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon when Calvin and his family are on a road trip and Calvin needs to answer the call of nature...and as they look for a rest-stop all he can think of is Noah's Ark, Hoover Dam, and Niagara Falls...All I can think about is sandpaper, steel wool, and claws...
I have woken myself up the last couple nights itching my arms and legs like crazy. In fact, last night I realized in the wee hours of the morning, as I convulsively scratched my arms, that even if I knew that scratching myself would kill me, I would still do it....because I just HAD TO. It was a horrifying realization: if that was the choice, I would plunge down the road towards death without a moment's hesitation. I suddenly felt like I could relate to those with self destructive addictions.
I also felt a strange kinship with poor Eustace Scrubb-turned-dragon in the Voyage of the Dawn Treader. As I slathered on a mixture of calamine lotion and aloe vera, at 1:30 this morning, I felt like I was preparing myself for a strange decoupage project. I wished with all my heart that Aslan would come along and tear off my skin.
The latest thing we've tried is a mixture of three parts baking soda and one part water. We slathered it on our poor welted skin this morning. I look like a science experiment gone bad. Sigh. What a mess. And the calamine lotion makes me look like a wall of sheetrock with random spots of joint compound. Our skin is like hideous living Braille.
I want to hide myself upstairs til it's all gone.
You will no doubt laugh when I tell you that after all this, there was some question as to whether we should do a video blog about this... I think if we did a video blog, no one would ever come back to this blog again. I haven't really had much writing exercise recently anyway...