I am writing this through my tears. No, I’m not stricken with grief, peeling onions, or watching a Hallmark Hall Of Fame special.
I’ve got allergies. And I’m not having fun. The sneezing, the wheezing, the itchy watery eyes. “No mas!”
For those of you unaffected by this annual scourge, count yourself among the fortunate. To you, spring is a sublime season. A time to shake off old man winter. A time of rebirth. A time to dance in fields of sunflowers — in slow motion, no less.
Well, it ain’t that way for me. Green grass has me seeing red. Trees are not my friends. Flowers plot against me.
Blame it all on microscopic pollen — the plant-world equivalent of great white sharks.
Don’t let their size fool you. These are tough hombres.
Want proof? Years ago, I remember a late April snowstorm. I thought I was safe.
But then the little rapscallions drilled their way up through 4 inches of snow, scaled the walls of my house, and somehow got through my locked windows. From there they made a beeline for my nose. All under the cover of darkness.
There’s a name for that: Bioterrorism.
Being optimistic, I always hope for a mild response to tree and grass pollen. I think, maybe if it’s a cold winter, or a mild winter, or a dry winter, or a short or long winter. Maybe El Nino will save me. You know? I haven’t tried garlic around my neck. If it’s strong enough to ward off the undead, I figure it’s worth a shot.
Like most allergy sufferers, I’ve tried every possible medication. Over the counter, under the counter, next to the counter, two counters away. Still no relief.
So, here I am in another spring of discontent, wondering what the long-term solution is. Just once I’d like to experience a histamine-free spring, where I lie down in a grassy meadow, look up at the bright blue sky, feel the love all around me and sing “Kumbaya.” Who am I kidding?
I can think of only one surefire way to eradicate this menace, once and for all. It’s drastic, I’ll grant you. But what choice do we have? We’re at war. Sacrifices will need to be made.
I hereby propose that we defoliate the entire planet. You heard me. Pave it over. Every square inch of it. Africa, Europe, South America, Disney World, Buffalo — even the deserts. Given half a chance, these miscreants are just clever enough to pop up anywhere. They can’t be trusted.
And just think of the upsides. No more lawn mowing in the summer or leaf raking in the fall, freeing up more time to lie on the couch and watch football. In winter ice storms, falling tree limbs will no longer play havoc with the electrical grid, leaving you more time to lie on the couch and watch American Idol.
Now I know that some of you are going to have a hard time swallowing this. I can already hear the refrain. “How will we plant crops? And what about the oxygen supply?” My simple answer is: Hey, I can’t think of everything.
In the spirit of compromise, I’m willing to make one concession. We leave Antarctica alone. After all, a single grain of pollen couldn’t possibly drill its way up through two miles of solid ice.
On second thought …
Eddie Adelman lives in Belfast.