Sometimes a wall of irony slaps you in the face. I think. A wall of something. I'm still not clear on that irony thing.
A student came to the desk of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom this week, seeking medical advice. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is not a doctor. Nor does she play one on TV. But she has years and years of ER viewing experience under her many-notched belt.
"Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, don't take this wrong...but can you tell me what this might be?" She exposed her inner thigh area, where a slightly-raised, slightly-pink welt was evident.
"Well, I don't know. Could it be poison ivy? Poison oak? Does it itch?"
"It itches. But I'm not allowed to go outside because I'm allergic. So it can't be poison ivy."
"Do you have a dog? A pet? Does it go outside? Maybe it rubbed against poison ivy, and you petted it, and got the oil on your hand, and then touched your leg."
"No. I don't think so."
"Is it a bite? Did something bite you? See that little speck there that's redder? Maybe that's a bite, and your skin is reacting. The histamines go to the bite to fight the toxin, and that causes swelling and itching. That's what ANTIhistamines are for. To stop that reaction."
"I see that little speck. But I don't remember anything biting me."
"Well...maybe you should check with the nurse when she gets here."
"Okay. I just thought you might know."
As she walked away, I swatted at a gnat that had suddenly appeared on my desk. It jumped. So unlike a gnat. But so like a flea. I trapped it with a Post-It note. It had a hard shell. Like a flea. It took a lot of force to smash that thing.
I am itching right now.