And now, because I am very busy, I give you an email story I wrote:
From: David Nunez
Sent: Thu 6/13/2002 11:44 AM
Subject: Poison Ivy
So a few weeks back, Alex and I participated in an adventure race in Houston.
Although I recognize what poison ivy and oak look like, in the heat of battle, I must have plunged my arms into thick patches of the stuff.
Over the next few days, I developed severe blistering and oozing rashes up and down my arms.
To make matters worse, I had a trip to Chicago planned for the following weekend, right as the rashes were at their ugliest and messiest.
I put large bandages on my arms for the sake of anyone who might have seen those weeping sores… I was wearing a jacket; my heart skipped a beat when I was stopped at the security check point to be patted down (you know, because of my Latin American origins)… They didn’t ask me to take my jacket off, thank God. I wish I had taken a picture of myself, but you’ll just have to believe that I looked like I was suffering from the final stages of Ebola. It looked like I was contagious and shouldn’t be near people, at any rate.
When I boarded the plane, it was very, very hot. I was worried that other passengers would think that I was behaving strangely as I was scratching my arms and legs incessantly and darting my eyes back and forth to see if anyone was looking. To top it off, the heat caused sweat to pour from my skin.
I just had to take my jacket off.
A rather robust lady (who really should have been made to pay for two seats) across the aisle said in a cigarette-tortured, trailer-park voice, “Oh my GAHD! What happened to your arms??”
The only sound I heard was the whirring of airplane engines since all conversation stopped and dozens of heads turned to look at me to try to evaluate my ethnic and national background…
I beamed the most American smile I could muster, “Oh, it’s just poison ivy. Its bark is worse than its bite.”
I could feel the collective relief of the passengers around me as they turned back to their magazines and in-flight drinks. They were satisfied with my non-middle-eastern accent and decidedly American colloquialism.
Although the temptation was high, I guess it was a good idea that I didn’t crack a joke about small pox:
(expired link to news story about man getting arrested for joking about small pox to airport security)