It's allergy season -- but not for me. When I turned thirty a couple years ago I suddenly developed allergies. I would sneeze at the drop of a hat (which always struck me, if I may take a narrative liberty, as an odd phrase. When you think about it they must have been a clumsy group of people, those hat-wearers of yesteryear. At the drop of a hat means any old time, and often, and I guess that's when they dropped their hats. Gadzooks, Sir Bob, how goeth it? says one guy, and then, Oh, drat, my new chapeau hath fallen. He bends down and bumps heads with Sir Bob, who has just dropped his own hat. Up and down the street ladies and gents everywhere are bending and chasing after their errant headgear. And it must have been even worse in the Middle Ages, when they wore helms).
Sorry, got distracted. What I'm saying is that I sneezed a lot. So much so that I went to a doctor who informed me after a series of irritating tests, that I had -- get this -- unspecified allergies. I was allergic to an unspecified something or somethings out there in the environment. Sorry we can't be any clearer than that, said the doc.
But there are so many somethings out there, I said. How will I know which ones I am allergic to?
The doc kept her face straight. You'll know, she said, when you begin to sneeze.
For years I sneezed. There'd be pills I took, and nasal sprays, and they would sort of relieve symptoms. Mostly I sneezed. My kids took to counting them. Twenty-seven! Ed cried a couple of years ago. A new record!
Recently I ran out of my sneezing pills, and forgot to get a new supply. And time passed, and I didn't get to the drug store because I realized ... I wasn't sneezing. I wasn't sneezing. I don't know where the sneezes came from, back when I turned thirty. I don't know where they've gone, now that I am ahem a little older. And I don't miss them a bit. In fact, I am off this minute to inhale as many unspecified somethings as I can. (That makes a good ending to the post, doesn't it? In fact I am off to hand in my income tax -- very specific and not at all enjoyable. What a liar I am. Why, I tell lies at the drop of a hat.)