My 2 friends and I got together to exchange funny stories with each other. L is the storyteller in this, C is the second friend, and I am ‘Me.” My friend heard this modified version of a proverb from her dad, who read it in a newspaper article.
L: So you know how there’s like, “Leaves of 3, let it be”?
L: Umm, I think my dad heard it in a newspaper or something. He told me and I can’t stop thinking about it. Where it’s like – it was a newspaper competition to purposely give bad advice, and one of the winners was Leaves of 3, good TP. And so now every time I think of poison ivy, I think of leaves of 3, I don’t finish it with the normal proverb ending, I think, “Leaves of 3, good TP!” and then it’s all messed up in my head.
C: Is that because you have to like, itch your…?
L: Yeah, like good toilet paper and it’s bad advice. And another one was strangers have the best candy.
Original proverb: “Leaves of 3, let it be; berries white, take flight.”
The original proverb is a rhythm to teach people how to identify poison ivy and stay away from it, as contact with the plant causes severe itching and rashes. The play on words of this proverb in the text above is joking that leaves of three (poison ivy) makes good toilet paper! Well, the point of the newspaper article was to give bad advice. So you would not want to use poison ivy as toilet paper or you’ll have a serious rash in an uncomfortable location…
I thought this was a clever play on this proverb. I’ve heard of the original 3 leaves proverb and keep it in mind when I go hiking. Here is a link to another version of this proverb: http://www.stillmannc.org/Poison%20Ivy.pdf