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After you slice a bunch of extremely hot peppers, always wash your hands before going to the bathroom.

(If you don't, all females within hearing distance will laugh hilariously when you start screaming.)
The setting
Boy Scout summer camp in the Midwest
The participants
The nature staff - no, not au naturale (that was the waterfront on the weekends), but rather the guys who showed stuff about plants and animals.

"And this boys, is poison ivy. Its not a good thing to touch it, like I just did, but its an oil that irritates and so if washed off promptly it should not be a problem."

Following this lecture on poison ivy and its makeup, how to identify it and proper avoidance of it, the nature director would go to the shower house and wash his hands.

Once, and I am certain only once, he made the mistake of going to the restroom first. Just a quick unzip and let it go and then wash hands. This was a mistake that few ever make twice. He walked funny for the next week or so. He owed a few favors to the commissary director (who assigned who-went-where) to make certain he didn't have to walk to the other end of camp.

While the above anecdote is very male oriented this can be a problem for anyone who takes a bath after coming into contact with poison ivy. As mentioned above, the irritant is an oil and will then float on the surface of the bath. As someone gets out, the oil will cling to them providing a light rash on the entire body. There are places people just don't want to itch in polite company.

Ah. The Great Northwest. The wild sea. The beautiful ocean.

Running along the coastal side of Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska is an area of thriving marine life. Many research opportunities and hands-on expierence in the field of biology exist for those who seek it.

Of course, beneath its waves lurks a terror. No...not Great Cthulhu...nah...it's not the ship from Sphere. It's a bit more subtle.
It's a common jellyfish.

The tale begins on brisk and sunny day on the Pacific. Mr. *(name removed) gazes out upon the ocean, preparing for another long session of manual labor. It's his job to go sorting through the hundreds of jellyfish caught today, picking them up with his bare hands, finding good samples, andfilling them crates - typical grunt labor.

With the work being intensive, and so much having to be done, Mr. *(name removed) can not simply take bathroom breaks. Instead, he simply urinates off the edge of the boat to help relieve the ship's overused bathroom of his prescence.

His system of bodily fluid management seemed flawless. How could anything go wrong? He was working more efficiently, waiting less, and helping others do their business faster. Dodging the needless line seemed like a genius ploy. One day though, his reckless time saving would catch up to him. After handeling a large batch of the little spineless bastards, Mr *(name removed) decided it would be an appropriate momment to relieve himself.

...I'd like to interrupt this story with...well...a little fact about jellyfish. Jellyfish belong to the kingdom Cnidaria, and capture food with stingers called nematocysts. Their stingers, although feeling like nothing more than the smallest prick on your hand (if even noticeable at all), are constantly being stuck into you whenever you handle them. In these stingers are neurotoxins - among other nasty things. These neurotoxins are injected into you (which could lead to discomfort, paralysis, or even death), but in most situations your body can shrug off the poison (because of its low concentration).

After a sigh of relief, Mr. *(name removed)'s eyes dilated, and his breath froze. Immediately followed were several weeks worth of incredible burning pain.

So...to all those noders out there who are above the washing of hands, remember the tale of Mr. *(name removed). Also remember, that the opportunity for infection when contacting anything with the region (or any for that matter) is extremelly higher for those who do not take part in the standards of sanitation.

* I removed the name of this poor, unfortunate, helpless soul because it's most likely not something he would like to have a lasting legacy of. Would one like to go down in history as "that one guy that touched his member after handling jellyfish?"

In this neck of the woods, most farm fences are electrified (a electrified wire greatly decreases the propensity of animals to lean on the fence, thus increasing its lifetime).

Never pee on an electric fence. Never even pee on a fence that might be electric.

Fortunately it's unusual to damage oneself in this way.

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