Tree huggers, are you contemplating a Zoom meeting with Mr. Elm instead?
Yes, this is dedicated to the millions of you who share my susceptibility to seasonal allergies.
(Seasonal allergies? Yes, “When is allergy season?” is a popular Google question. I don’t mean to be ungrateful for fleeting symptom interruptions around Christmas, but that question is as Pollyannaish as asking “When is double-chin season?” or “When is robocall season?”)
Hopefully, this column will also have a little something for the lucky stiffs who AREN’T bothered by pollen. Perhaps you can pause your fairy-tale existence long enough to ponder it. Hmm … I hadn’t realized just how lucky we are that our fairy tales aren’t marred by allergies. (“Fee fie foe fum … I smell the … I smell the … actually, I can’t smell anything. By dose is all stobbed ub.”)
Although we adults whine about the “return” of allergy season, we’ve known forever that it’s part of Earth’s life cycle. Our biology teachers taught us all about stamens and pistils — although, in retrospect, they should have been telling us more about CVS and Walgreens!
We’re resigned to the fact that pollen-based, bee-enabled plant reproduction is a necessary evil. It’s just that sometimes, when we want to enjoy the Great Outdoors without coughs and sneezes, we’d like to tell Mother Nature’s flora and fauna, “Get a room!” Too late -- the dust mites and mold have already claimed all the indoor accommodations. (“Bermudagrass, did you not see the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door, dude?”).
Yes, I Googled “Do bees have allergies?” That search brought up astonishingly few results. I guess we just have to IMAGINE those rare worker bees sniffling and putting in for sick leave -- and the queen responding with, “We are not amused. Off with their heads and thoraxes and abdomens!”
I did encounter lots of advice about surviving allergy season. After you’ve been outdoors, leave your shoes by the door, wash your face and hands and change clothes -- or, better yet, take a full shower. And if you can stand the pet dander, maybe encourage your cat to lick off the top several layers of skin. (Admit it -- you’ve never seen a skeleton using Flonase.)
Allergies like to add insult to injury. We are advised to pick out the medication that is right for US, but when your eyes are red and itchy, it’s difficult to decipher all the fine print about durations, side effects and whether your 4-year-old will be operating heavy machinery.
It gets worse. We suffer with pollen during the growing season. Then we must deal with food allergies when consuming the finished product. I’m surprised Mother Nature hasn’t bankrolled the introduction of “new Charmin with poison ivy.”
Allergies present us with the double whammy of constant reminders AND unpleasant surprises. It’s bad enough to experience never-ending nasal drip or itchy skin, but phlegm and other allergy manifestations show up at the most inopportune times. (“I’m sorry, caller number 12, but our station call letters are, in fact, NOT ‘Akkk! Gulp! Haarrkk! Ptooey!’ Guess those backstage passes to the Rolling Stones concert are still up for grabs.”)
Oops. Out of space. Go on back to your medicine cabinets or your fairy tales, as the case may be.
“Not by the hair of … Hey! This new cologne is messing with my chinny chin chin! It burns! It burns!”
Danny Tyree welcomes email responses at email@example.com and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.”