Itching to Play

Tuesday, September 6th, 2005, 12:20 pm

Someday I’ll learn. Two years ago I did some yardwork on the side of my house, got bit by something nasty, and ended up in the hospital for 4 days. Last year trimmed some bushes in the same place, broke out in hives all over, had to get a steroid shot in the ass. Yesterday, got out the clippers and did my thing. I was wearing gloves (well, at times), I tried to avoid any crawly critters…and I’ve got poison ivy. Or poison something.

You know how, when you’ve been drinking all night, you wake up the next morning and there’s this quiet moment of clarity before you say, “Uh, oh. What did I do last night…”. Same thing happened to me this morning. Woke up, cat crawled over me, and I thought, “What’s wrong with my hand? And why is my eye swollen shut?”. Great feeling.

The moral of this story is a simple one–don’t do yardwork, ever. But its a lesson you can’t ever take fully to heart because eventually the cops will show up and hand you a scythe and tell you to get busy. It looks like I got off easy this time, I don’t see or feel any other red, itchy areas (the ominous patch on my right leg has calmed down) so I might be able to ride out the storm this time.

I wonder, what is the etiquette for playing live poker when you’re suffering from some sort of contact dermatitis? Poker chips quickly pick up dirt and grime and smears of ketchup, how about whatever it is that’s making the webbing between my middle and index finger all sticky? If you’re involved in a hand with a guy, and you’re holding the nuts, and after you check you see him grabbing chips with fingers dotted with water-filled blisters and palms slick with weeping sores, how much would there have to be in the pot for you not to say, “You know what, you just take that down. Nice hands…I mean, hand.”

If you’re playing with an especially pestilential bunch, is it OK to wear surgical gloves at the table? How about repeatedly washing your checks with with isopropyl alcohol? Would you be offended if, after you lose a big pot, the winner incorporates your chips into his stack using a pair of barbeque tongs? Perhaps this bears further study. But after seeing how many guys use public bathrooms then leave without washing their hands, I’m getting a tetanus booster before I make my first trip to Vegas.

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5 Responses to “Itching to Play”

  1. Tapin Says:

    And here I thought Howie Mandell was just going for cheap laughs last week on Celebrity Poker. I guess surgical gloves are going to be the hot item at poker tables this fall.

  2. Maudie Says:

    My cure for yard work is to pay somebody else to do it. 🙂 As to the hygiene issue – watching someone sneeze into their hands then pick up their cards, almost demands a deck change at the very least – lol… take a bottle of hand sanitizer, a must for Vegas.

  3. Chad Says:

    The chip gunk factor is something that I choose to believe isn’t there. If I think about it too much, it will break me.

    Why yes, I did just channel Ivan Drago.

  4. DuggleBogey Says:

    I am absolutely certain I have caught something from Poker Chips in a Casino before.


  5. DuggleBogey Says:


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