Poke! I stepped back into a cactus and bounced forward without even thinking about it. It didnít take long for me to learn that when you are in the desert you donít back up or lean close to any plant. While I was in Tucson I went running with my brother in law Rob steering clear of those prickly plants as we explored an old jeep trail. Running through the dry desert is very different than the lush dense woods of the Midwest. Most noticeably at home I run beneath the trees through the underbrush however in Arizona I am taller than many of the plants. In Missouri we worry about poison ivy and oak. In the desert you know when you accidentally encounter a cactus. Poison ivy doesnít hurt or show up right away. Which made me wonder, what if everything bad poked us? What if for example poison ivy had thorns? Now hereís an even crazier thought: I could easily stay away from potato chips if they poked me.
Ok maybe I would quit eating the chips but probably not. The problem is that some bad choices are just so easy. If you ever go to the southwest you will find many items made from Prickly Pear. You can have Prickly Pear syrup, jelly, margaritas and an assortment of other delights made with the juice of the Prickly Pear Cactus. Rob told me that he once harvested the fruit of the prickly pear and burned the spines to make syrup. Besides the thorns the prickly pear fruit has glochids which are small clusters of spines that can easily detach and stick in your skin. Rob had only done this once, I presume because all the work involved and the high poking potential. Now back to my potato chips, what if I had to do that much risky work to get a chip, would I? Almost certainly not, now all I have to do is figure out how to make my good choices easy and the bad choices difficult. I need to give myself a poke.