Allergy season is upon us again. All those delicious corn and bean fields are fully grown and getting dusty with plant stuff that has the potential to render a human non-functioning by swelling the eyes shut and draining a body entirely of fluid, via a snotty nose. The plants are clearly in charge this time of year.
Anyone from Ohio will tell you it’s the absolute worst place in the world to be if you have allergies. My first two allergy seasons in Ohio were spent in a Sudafed-induced coma, and I still managed to leak enough from my nose to become dangerously dehydrated. There was a point in time where I shoved toilet paper plugs into my nostrils and walked around like that. I would like to claim it was because I was under the influence of Sudafed, but in truth I had simply given up and didn’t care anymore. Having people stare at me for toilet paper plugs in my nose was much more preferable to the stares I got because I was covered in snot. Had I not plugged the faucets, I’d have walked around looking like I just hatched from my Body Snatcher pod.
I’ve gotten used to the Ohio pollen, but now that we’re traveling, I’ve found so many other places to swell up like a blowfish. I’m convinced Southern California dusts their cowtowns with nerve gas — I have never had such an extreme adverse reaction to the very air I breathe as I did the first time we went through there. In a 20-mile stretch, I went from looking completely normal to Elephant Man status. It was alarming, for George and I both.
“Babe, does my face look swollen? I can’t see anything, my eyes are watering too bad.”
“Holy crap! What the hell happened to you?”
“I don’t know, as soon as we started smelling cow poop, my face started itching.”
“Holy moley! You better take something for that.”
“Is it that bad?”
“You better…I’m not saying….yeah, well, it’s not good. Does it hurt?”
“No, it itches a little, and my nose is runny.”
“Yeah, no kiddin’. There’s some toilet paper in the cabinet.”
“Oh my Lord, I’ve been disfigured by cow poop. Am I all snotty, too?”
“You’re not disfigured by poop, you’re probably allergic to the hay. Where there’s cowtowns, there’s hay and a ton of it. They grow it close, too.”
“I really do have hay fever. Ha ha!”
“Ha ha, yeah, don’t laugh anymore until you take something for the swelling. It’s scary.”
“I’m going to pretend like you didn’t say that to me while I search for something to wipe my nose on. Oh look, your pillow….”