So, I decided to take the hound for a run and due to the fact that I know the beasties are out, I strapped on my bear spray. We’ve had a good season of snow so the back gate that separates our property and the forest can only open about a 1/4 of the way due to packed in snow and ice. It’s not such a big deal, I just have to squeeze my body at the right angle to get through. Except on this occasion, I didn’t do it quite right. Mid-squeeze I was shocked to hear a loud and pronounced “HIIISSSSSSS” emanating behind me. There was a brief moment where time stopped. I stood there, squashed between fence pole and gate door, one leg up thinking to myself, “Is what I think happening really happening?” It was.
My left butt cheek was on fire.
With Olympic calibre speed I sprinted to the house, threw off the bear spray and belt and peeled off all my bottom layers – much to the surprise of my son who stood agape. I could feel the the heat intensifying as I raced passed him saying “The bear spray exploded on my ass!”. Naturally I did all the wrong things – rubbed water on it instead of misting whole milk (who knew? I know now…), lost track of what my hand had touched when ripping off my infected clothes and only realized as I wiped sweat from my brow and left eye – which now also burned, albeit less intensely. A raging orange welt of capiscum (a waxlike extract of hot pepper) tattooed my cheek and the burn was unrelenting for an hour. It’s still slightly raw. And that’s through two layers of fabric (which I now have to clean with gloves, cold cream and much soaking). I couldn’t begin to imagine the pain of getting a shot of that in the face.