American Idiot Gets His Ass Kicked by Stinging Nettle in Germany

German Word of the Day: “Die Brennnessel,” (Latin: Urtica dioica), better known in America as “Nature’s Little Fuck You.”

Let me begin this post by saying I am not a smart man.

Okay, so I was walking my dog this morning when we stumbled into an overgrown field of stinging nettle, known in Germany as, “die Brennnessel.” We’d spent the previous hour navigating a narrow trail — roughly the width of my foot — lined on both sides with this evil shit. My exposed shins had already been brushed a dozen times by a few uppity leaves, and I was sick of being stung by them. Turning around was not an option. So, I switched my camera on and recorded myself attempting to leap over the nettle to a safe, clear, wonderful patch of dirt.

It did not go well.

*** WARNING: Video contains a little bit of swearing. Just a smidge. ***

And here are a few pictures of the aftermath: burning, itching, stinging and swelling — followed by the gradual diminishing of the rash — and me switching back to my “indoor” voice as I continued to swear like a sailor with the clap.

Please click one of the images to start the slideshow:

Doesn’t hurt anymore, but even as I type this — several hours after the incident — my shins still have that pins and needles sensation, like when you sit on the pooper for too long and both your legs fall asleep.

Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day!


37 thoughts

  1. You poor stupid Scheißkerl. I’ve got to give you props for shooting some footage of your suffering, though; if nothing else, at least you’ve warned others. Also, you’ve taught me a nifty new German word! I love that die Brennnessel — like Betttuch — has a bonus consonant in the middle. Best wishes on getting the feeling in your legs back!


  2. You need to Google the German equivalent for Dock Leaves (think it might be dock blatt???) – generally they grow near by (to stinging nettles) and when rubbed on stung bits alleviate the awfulness. Knowledge is power :-)


      1. My pleasure. I realised a massive gap in my expat child’s knowledge when they were heading headlong towards a giant nettle patch back home and had no idea of the pain about to ensue – both for them as the recipient of multiple stings and and for me as the carer of subsequently inconsolable small child. Dock leaves saved the day.


    1. I second the dock leaves remedy – as a child I slipped down a grassy, muddy hill and landed smack bang in the middle of a giant patch of nettles. The dock leaves somehow knew they’d have to rescue a slippy-footed child and grew all around the evil stingy bastards.


  3. Oh man, I feel your pain. And so do my parents who are here visiting and heard your video. Are dogs affected by it or does their fur protect them? My only brush (literally) w/the damn stinging nettle was last year when a piece got stuck to my dog’s head. I pulled it off w/my bare hand not realizing what it was and paid the price. My finger stung for a full day! Hope you feel better soon. That stuff is nasty!


  4. the biggest problem with the above solution is that the Dock is ALWAYS found in a mass of stinging nettles. good luck with that. You could, of course, wear long pants.


  5. I feel your pain, too. Learned that lesson as a wee toddler, never forgot it — when in the fatherland. Here in Ontario, though, I’m always thinking, “That can’t be Brennnessel, can it? Looks like it. Do we even have that here? Shit!”


  6. Brennnessel is the freakin’ devil. First touched it on a mountain and thought I was having the first allergic reaction of my life and was going to die because there’s no way an ambulance could get up there. Maybe next time a different walking path would be wise. ;)


  7. Hihi as a child I was stung so often that my legs sometimes looked like yours. But that didn’t keep me away from the forest… or the Brennnessel ;)
    You can make a wounderful spinach dish with them too! So that’s how you can take revenge ;)


  8. Jeezuz! Just when I thought the most evil plant on the planet was Poison Sumac you introduce me to something new. I think I’ll just stick to cobblestone streets.


  9. Yep… I know these ‘suckers’… Did you know that some brave ones use them to make tea? I don’t remember exactly what it’s supposed to cure, but I was lucky enough to smell that sauce once… not something I would volunteer to swallow…


      1. Seriously, I SAW some old ladies drinking that stinking stuff, and they didn’t look like they were in pain… I never dared to get too close to something that looks like dog vomit – and smells equally.


  10. “like when you sit on the pooper for too long and both your legs fall asleep.” Lol what? I don’t think that’s normal.


  11. I was looking up stinging nettle as a remedy for allergies when I ran across your blog. You have my profound sympathy, and thanks for the warning — but you can’t blame Germany for it. It’s all over the States and Canada, too. Wikipedia: “… it is now found worldwide, including New Zealand and North America.”

    I’m going out to find some now, and I’ll definitely try to profit from your experience. I’m wearing long pants and taking gloves.


  12. Here in Turkey, we actually make soups out of these. My grandparents and my family would sometimes meet up and collect these for a soup. With. Their. Bare. Hands. And would tell me to collect them as well. I was pretty young at the time so I still remember my first sting. No warning, no nothing, just my mom saying “yo son, go collect those and put them in the bag”. I brushed my hand on them and, well, you can guess what happened. Idk, they are immune to the pain I guess, they forgot they even stung so they were like “what happened”. So yeah, I am all too familiar with that pain mate.


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