the past few weeks, I've been engaged in a WWE cage match against
allergies. No, it's not COVID. I promise, it's not COVID. Really,
even when I blow my nose so loudly that it triggers nearby home
and car alarm systems, it's still not COVID.
It's pretty sad that I feel obliged to defend my old-fashioned sinus
"crud" against false assumptions, but it is what it is these days
as news networks are constantly broadcasting some newly-recommended
but recently-reversed, rescinded, revised, reconsidered and resurrected
COVID protocol to defend against the latest sub-variant that's filling
in while all the regular variants are on vacation in Cancún.
Seriously, though, I get this same sinus ailment every year in late
spring. It's sort of a tradition. Maybe I should start buying it
a gift and taking it out to dinner. My three teenage daughters would
argue that I should buy them gifts for putting up with me when I'm
in full-blown man-flu mode with Kleenex dangling from both nostrils
when I greet their boyfriends at the door.
Just the other day, my youngest daughter reminded me to cough into
the inside of my elbowrather than directly onto her iPhone
screen when I confiscate it after she's reached her daily 12-hour
limit of YouTube videos. Who came up with that hygiene strategy,
anyway? Certainly not the inside of my elbow. In fact, the inside
of my elbow has considered lodging a formal protest with the CDC,
suggesting that coughing and sneezing into the inside of the knee
would be far more sanitaryand promote Kegel stretching.
I suppose the responsible thing to do would be to drag out one of
my crusty, retired masks while I have this cold, but since I have
to blow my nose about once every ten seconds, it would be like wearing
pants part-time, which sort of defeats the purpose. Besides, I have
my sense of fashion to think about, and face masks are so last surge!
The cause of this yearly sinus malady, other than the fact that
my nose is roughly the size of a standard 100-watt light bulb, is
mostly geographical. Those of us who live in the heavily-forested
East Texas Piney Woods
can only stand by helplessly as our aroused foliage engages in a
shocking public display of unprotected relations every spring, the
result of which is a yellow pollen plague of biblical proportions.
This powdery menace coats every car, creeps into every crevice,
and occupies every orificeespecially mine.
My allergy attack always begins with my throat feeling like I tried
to swallow my wife's shower loofah thingy (that I may or may not
use to exfoliate my armpits). It then progresses to my head, which
transforms into a fully-inflated Violet Beauregarde after she chewed
Willy Wonka's magic gum. And throughout the entire ordeal, I cough
and hack like a toddler trying his first cigar.
Despite the symptoms, though, there are a couple of benefits to
having "the crud." First, my raspy voice takes on a sultry and ultra-masculine
tone, and I sound like the love child of Barry White and Tone Loc,
making my hymn singing in church especially soulful and funky. And
then there's the sympathy I get from my caring wife, who insists
that I avoid working too hard and get plenty of sleep, which happen
to be two of my main goals in life.
Because this year's allergies developed into a sinus infection,
my doctor prescribed a round of powerful antibiotics, which have
basically turned my bowels into active lava tubes, but at least
they've changed the subject.
Yes, I'm confident that good nasal health is just over the horizon
as sure as our pollen-plagued East
Texas spring turns into a blistering, humid summer-and we all
seriously consider wearing pants part-time.