Following my trip to see AC/DC in Copenhagen, I’ve spent a few days regrouping, restituting and recovering in Nyborg at my dad’s and his family. It’s been an all-together good experience with me doing what I do best: Eating other people’s food and drinking their expensive beers and wines.
As a new bonus, my dad has actually gotten with the program, pole vaulted into the 21st century and bought a wireless router, so I now have Internet connectivity on my laptop when I’m here. Well, okay, that’s a truth with modifications, thing is, it’s down right now so I haven’t actually got Internet at the moment. Either way, it’s caused me to keep up somewhat with the outside world and work on my thesis alongside goofing off.. Oh, and doing yard work!
No, this is true.. Johan doing yard work! I know, that does sound odd, and yes, I had no idea what I was doing most of the time. But I got suckered into it yesterday anyways. All I was doing was really trying to take a walk to clear my head and somehow I got pulled into helping out. Not that I really knew what I was doing as I stomped along in the garden sporting my $200 designer shoes and looking utterly lost, but I managed to rake a lot of soil.. And apparently destroy a lot of would be plants in the process.. I will claim no responsibility for this, though, I made it fully clear to everybody that I had no idea what I was doing before being left to fend for myself!
The end result was a unanimous decision that it would probably be better if I just returned to my books.. Which I gladly did, but not before – in true Johan fashion – wrecking complete havoc and causing myself sufficient amounts of pain and bodily harm. See, I decided on completing one final task before returning to the books – namely helping one of the neighbors dispose of my dad’s mom in law’s Agave.
Anybody here know anything about Agave? Well, I didn’t.. Other than the obvious fact that it’s a cacti-like plant which is used in the production of tequila (count on me to know this and nothing else). Apparently it’s also a really decorative thing that will eventually grow pretty damn huge, at which point your dad’s mom in law might want to get rid of it.. And that’s where my learning process began. As it turns out, agaves not only sport torns that sting like a motherfucker, their juice is also part of their natural defenses and as such is a grade A irritant to most mammals.. Humans included. Again, no one had bothered to tell me, so I showed up for the disposing process wearing nothing but gloves and a t-shirt.
Things went well for a good long while. The agave plant itself was located in the dear old lady’s basement and my helping hand, the neighbor had already been wise enough to cut down the plant sufficiently as for us not to get stung by the needles and reduce the weight… Smart that. We now only had a 120 pound root and a few exposed branches dripping with fresh juice to carry to a conveniently placed dumpster down the street. So I grabbed the thing with my exposed arm and off we went.. And things were good for a good long while until we started struggling with getting the damn cacti-like thing out of the pot and I started feeling a mild stinging sensation in my arm. The ensuing conversation went something like this.
Me: “I thought you said you’d cut the thorns off”
Neighbor: “I did!”
Me: “Then why do I feel this… Holy fuck.. Ow!”
(At this time we both look down on my exposed arm and see red rashes starting to form in several places)
Me: “Well, this is a problematic result..”
Neighbor: “Doesn’t that hurt?”
Me (whimpering ever so slightly): “Somewhat?”
Neighbor: “You’re not allergic to these kinda things, are you? You should probably go wash that.. And maybe let Birthe know just in case you start falling over or anything..”
Me: “Thanks, that’s really reassuring, I’ll go do that”
And with that, I left the neighbor to bring the empty pots home and went to wash my arm which was, by the way, now burning ever so slightly more than my face did the last time I fell into a wasps’ nest.. And yet, as I stood there alternating between washing my arm in cold water and in soothing aloe lotion, I couldn’t help but giggle a little at my own ingenuity when it came to constantly finding new ways of hurting myself.
I eventually calmed down enough to go look up into on the agave plant only to find that articles about it contained serious health warnings saying that contact with the juice of most agaves will cause acute inflammation and blistering of the skin lasting up to two weeks and itching sensations lasting up to a year after the inflammation has died down.. “Swell,” I thought, “once again something that could have been brought to my attention yesterday!”
But I’m not one to complain, really, the acute burning sensation died down after some ten hours and is now only a bit of an itchy sensation which is a lot easier to ignore. my skin has now gone from bright red to interestingly dry, striped and blistered. Iffy as that may sound, it’s actually a huge improvement. I sure hope it doesn’t wear on for a year, though, I could think of better things to do with my time than spending it resisting the urge to scratch my arm.
And I can think of better things to do with agaves and agave juice than causing bodily hard to innocent computer geeks.. I’ll stick to the tequila next time, thank you very much, at least that way I’ll only have myself to blame for any resulting bodily injuries or discomfort.
Also, I think I’ve had my fair share of yard work for the summer now. If I ever get rich enough to own a house with a large garden, my main priority will be to also get rich enough to be able to hire a gardener! Hah! 😉