by John Gosselink
wife doesn't believe in allergies.
She accepts the fact of allergic reactions.
If someone is allergic to peanuts and his head swells up huge, like to the size
of New Hampshire, or extreme cases, as big as Ted Kennedy's gigantic noggin, if
he just sees a Planters' commercial, she acknowledges that this could be a problem.
It's my little sniffles allergies she doesn't buy.
She has a problem
with what she calls the Mass Hysteria Cedar Fever Syndrome. She thinks that overzealous
TV health reporters and unscrupulous allergists have bombarded this region with
so much exaggerated allergy news that we've all been brainwashed into thinking
every sniffle needs to be quashed with handfuls of pills and hours of air testing.
If we would just stop talking about it, our noses would stop running.
I used to think the same way, except that this fall I seem have these non-existent
allergies. I'm not getting a lot of sympathy on this one. Being a bit psychosomatic
in nature, she thinks I'm just falling for the hype.
This is even worse
than when I told her I thought haircuts hurt. I didn't know there were so many
synonyms for "wimp."
But I don't know how else to explain it. It just
hits me out of nowhere. Couple of weeks ago, I'm walking down the street going
to church, getting all in a church frame of mind, dressed in my Sunday-go-to-meeting
suit, not coveting my neighbors' goods, wives, or Schnauzers, and basically minding
my own Christian business. When, POW, I'm smited with mucous oozing out of every
orifice of my head.
There is no way to look cool when producing such
prodigious amounts of phlegm. Being that it's church, with its accompanying glad-handing
and close-up greeting, I had to do a lot of explaining. "No Ma'am, I didn't dip
my head in a bucket of sludge. I just seem to be having an imaginary allergy attack.
I hope to quit imagining it soon before I drown in my own fluids. But, I must
say, I like your hat, even through this cataract of phlegm."
into the wife's allergy theory, what could I do? I called brother Pete, come to
find out, the vindictive doctor, and asked him what was wrong with me? "What,
you have another painful haircut? There's nothing wrong with you, except that
you're a Wuss!! Ha-ha. (click)."
He saves his best bedside manner for
I've pretty much just resigned myself to the fact that every time
the wind changes direction, something new is going to be blown in that will make
my head explode, and no one is going to care. I can't tell if I'm eliciting sympathy
or just being pathetic.
my allergies are imaginary anyway, I've added some things to my list of allergens
to get results that I actually like. Like the saying goes, "When life gives you
lemons, be glad. Lemons are tasty."
So from now on, I'm allergic to really
fat guys sitting next to me at the movies. A recent study showed that 1 out of
every 100 Americans is at least 100 pounds overweight, and every one of them has
the same taste in movies I do. So the next time a fat guy wedges himself into
the seat next to me, hogging the entire armrest and making me use the left hand
cup holder, which is so awkward and unnatural, I'm going to start sneezing violently
in his direction.
In the same area, I'm also now allergic to national
video rental chains that use secret time-shifting machines so that no matter what
I do, I always have late fees. So when I'm paying 20 bucks in fees for some dumb
movie I didn't even want to watch in the first place, I'm going to break out in
a brightly colored rash that makes the other customers uncomfortable.
I'm also allergic to counter folks who call me "Sweetie" and "Honey." Look, I'm
just trying to get some gas and possibly a diet Dr. Pepper as quickly and painlessly
as possible, so when the lady at counter hits me up with the "Anything else, Sugar?",
it's hard for me not to snap and shout, "Look lady, this isn't Mel's diner, you're
not Flo, and I didn't just order the hash. See, I don't know you and I have a
hard and fast rule that unless you and I are connected by either blood or name,
we're not trading terms of endearment! So unless you're engaged to a cousin I
don't know about, how about just giving me my change and the carwash code." That
hyperbolic response sounds like an allergic reaction to me.
allergic to the 127 sit-coms starring pasty, pudgy middle-aged white guys (I fit
this description - how come I can't get a show?), the unsatisfactory resolutions
of Stephen King movies, people who misrepresent irony, pants that ride up for
no apparent reason, and cats with attitudes, which is pretty much everyone of
Finally, I'm definitely very allergic to stomach viruses. After
spending many hours disposed in the gentleman's room last weekend, I've decided
that my imaginary allergies have gotten totally and violently out of hand.
It was even more painful than a haircut.