2006-03-17 / On Second Thought

Thirty-something speaks

Nature's procreating and I'm not laughing

Mike Maddock
Mike Maddock

God really does have a sense of humor. How else could we explain the existence of slugs, ear hair, the duck-billed platypus, and Paris Hilton? Why else would broccoli be good for you and ice cream make you fat? What could possibly be the reason we don't want to sleep when we're young, our young won't let us sleep when we're older, and when we're old with no young, we can't sleep anymore? There are so many things that have convinced me God gets a good chuckle now and then.

Take springtime for example. The air gets warmer, the grass turns green, and trees start getting their leaves again. Birds sing and bees buzz. People anxiously break out the short sleeve shirts and put away the heavy coats. There's no more ice on the windshield, and everyone is overcome by the urge to get out of the house and into the sunshine. That's when the Almighty prankster steps in once again.

Just when we thought it was safe to step outside the house, nature starts procreating and the world turns yellow. Clouds of pollen blow in the wind, and fresh air becomes a nightmare for a segment of the population. I am an unfortunate part of that segment.

Spring fever has a different meaning for folks like me. I can't venture into the great outdoors or even poke my head outside the window without turning into one giant sneeze.

My eyes start burning, my nose starts running, and of course, I sneeze unmercifully. I'm a squinting, blurry-eyed, red-nosed freak- boy hiding behind a box of tissues and a pile of worthless antihistamines and inhalants. It's not pretty. Plus, my attitude significantly changes. It's hard to be in a good mood when your eyes feel like they've been open at the bottom of an over-chlorinated pool for several hours, and your nose feels like someone's tickling it with a feather all day, every day.

Needless to say, my wife doesn't have much use for me during this time. I can't blame her. I wouldn't want to hang out with me either. Her once slightly manly husband is reduced to a blubbering pile of tissues. She is sympathetic to my plight, but she's got three kids to raise. She doesn't need another.

I can appreciate God's sense of humor. I mean, I laugh when I see ducks walk, and I've accepted the fact I'll eventually have more hair in my ears than I'll have on my head, but do I really have to spend three months a year in an antihistamine induced haze? Do I single-handedly have to keep the tissue industries in the black? Do I have to spend the spring staring longingly out the window at the people who can breathe all this yellow stuff so we can have more pine trees?

I know I'm whining and feeling sorry for myself. That's another reason I probably won't see my wife much until June, but it's tough being the butt of a joke. Just ask Paris Hilton. I wonder if she has allergies.

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