For those of you just now joining us, we're going to play the poison ivy game, the game where you get poison ivy! Are you excited to play? I know I am. Let's get things started with Round One. The object of Round One is to determine who gets poison ivy. The contestants (who may or may not be aware of their participation in the game) are told to avoid contact with a certain three-leaved plant, which can be found on roughly every square inch of earth in the State of Michigan, where our game is being played today. Certain contestants will have been given "imunity" up until this point in the game, where they could touch the leafy foe and be unharmed, but there is no guarantee that this will be the case for any single contestant in the current round. Were you immune last round? You might be immune in this round, but on the other hand you might not. In any case, Round One concludes when one of the contestants notices a rather itchy rash somewhere on their person, most likely somewhere on their person that could not have possibly come into contact with the aforementioned plant, such as a part of the ankle that had been covered by a sock, a boot, and a trouser leg. This is where the fun begins, with Round Two. Play in Round Two is subject to three over-arching rules:
1. The contestant cannot, under any circumstances, touch the infected area on his skin. The penalty for doing so is that all other parts of the body will quickly be infected.
2. The contestant is allowed to use whatever medical treatments are at his disposal - ointments, creams, bandages, snake oil, voodoo, alcoholism, amputation - in an attempt to treat the poison ivy and keep it from spreading to the rest of his body.
3. (And this is the important part.) It makes absolutely no difference what the poor fool tries, it isn't going to work. He's just going to keep on finding more and more festering, infected sores all over his wretched body, that will continue to ooze and itch for a period of time that one might be forgiven for mistaking for the remainder of his accursed life. At this Point, we begin Round Three.
Round Three is always interesting, because it's played somewhat differently every time. In Round Three, the contestant walks out onto a tall bridge, or perhaps a tall building, or maybe even a cliff, and hurls himself over the edge, generally (though not always) yelling something along the lines of "Goodbye, cruel, itchy world." Maybe he goes out and buys himself a cheap replica of a Japanese Katana, sharpens it with all the skill that his suburban upbringing affords him, and commits sepuku. One contestant accidentally (or so we think) drowned himself in a tub of calamine lotion. You just never know what to expect from Round Three!