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Sheer Volume

There’s been a coating of green dust over New Orleans for the last few weeks. It’s the annual falling of the oak pollen, and it’s quite impressive, kind of like green snow. Unfortunately, it also triggers allergies in many people, including Xy, and those allergies lead to sinus problems, and the sinus problems lead to headaches, which in turn lead to grumpiness, which makes me unhappy by extension.

My own allergies haven’t bothered me until yesterday morning. I had a sneezing fit in the supermarket parking lot, and since then I’ve been more or less miserable. I continue to be amazed by the sheer volume of snot that I keep blowing out my nose. Where does it all come from? Is my body converting brain tissue into snot? That would explain my general sense of disorientation. I have a hard time concentrating or thinking clearly when my brain is melting.

Am I allergic to the oak pollen, or to something else that just started casting off pollen yesterday?

The nasty post-nasal drip has led to a sore throat. The whole experience is basically like having a mild cold. I tell myself that I’m not really sick — “It’s just allergies” — but what’s the difference, really?

It’s actually an interesting biological phenomenon, especially if you think about it from an evolutionary perspective. There’s no obvious survival value to the allergic reaction; in fact, one would suppose that animals with no allergies whatsoever would have an advantage. One theory is that the body is mistaking the allergen for a virus and overcompensating. There may have been a particularly deadly bug in circulation in the distant past that selected for a hypersensitive immune response. Or something. In any case, it’s clear evolution does not select for creature comfort.

Post-nasal script: Maybe I’m allergic to Daylight Saving Time, which started yesterday morning. After growing up in that part of Indiana that never changes time, DST is still a novelty to me. It’s actually kind of fun going around the house and setting all the clocks forward an hour. It’s also strange to see an hour of time just disappear like that.

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One Comment

  1. […] ing. So I went back in. I don’t think I’ve had a serious allergy attack since the oak pollen bugged me back in early April. I have no idea what’s bugging me now. Ragweed […]

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