Credit: George Danby

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Eddie Adelman is a writer who lives in Belfast. His collection of columns and short essays is called “Don’t Get Me Started.”

I am writing this through my tears. No, I’m not stricken with grief, peeling onions, or watching a Hallmark Channel TV movie.

I’ve got allergies, damn it! And I’m not having fun. The sneezing, the wheezing, the itchy watery eyes. “No mas!”

For those of you unaffected by this annual scourge, count yourself among the fortunate. To you, spring is a sublime season. A time to shake off old man winter. A time of rebirth. A time to dance in fields of sunflowers – in slow motion, no less!

Well, it ain’t that way for me. Green grass has me seeing red. Trees are not my friends. Flowers plot against me.

Blame it all on microscopic pollen – the plant world equivalent of great white sharks. Don’t let their size fool you. These are some tough hombres.

Want proof? Years ago, I remember a late April snowstorm. I thought I was safe.

But then, the little (expletive) pollen grains drilled their way up through four inches of snow, scaled the walls of my house, and somehow got through my locked windows. From there they made a beeline for my nose. All under the cover of darkness.

There’s a name for that: “Bioterrorism.”  

Being optimistic, I always hope for a mild response to tree and grass pollen. I think, maybe if it’s a cold winter, or a mild winter, or a dry winter, or a short or long winter. Maybe El Niño will save me. You know, I haven’t tried garlic around my neck. If it’s strong enough to ward off the undead, I figure it’s worth a shot.

Like most allergy sufferers, I’ve tried every possible medication. Over the counter, under the counter, next to the counter, two counters away. Still no relief.

So here I am in another spring of discontent, wondering what the long-term solution is. Just once I’d like to experience a histamine-free spring, where I lie down in a grassy meadow, look up at the bright blue sky, feel the love all around me and sing “Kumbaya.”

Who am I kidding?

I can think of only one surefire way to eradicate this menace once and for all. It’s drastic, I’ll grant you. But what choice do we have? We’re at war. Sacrifices will need to be made.

I hereby propose that we defoliate the entire planet.

That’s right. Pave it over. Every square inch of it. Africa, Europe, South America, Disney World, Buffalo, even the Sahara. Given half a chance, these little (expletive) grains are just clever enough to pop up anywhere. They can’t be trusted.

And just think of all the upsides. No more tedious lawn mowing in the summer or leaf raking in the fall, freeing up more time to lie on the couch, drink beer and watch football. And no more falling tree limbs during ice storms, knocking out power and interrupting American Idol. And then there’s all those savings on antihistamines, nasal sprays and eyes drops.

Now I know that some of you are gonna have a hard time swallowing this “outside the box” proposal. I can already hear the refrain. “How will we plant crops? And what about the oxygen supply?”

My simple answer is: I can’t think of everything.

In the spirit of compromise, I’m willing to make one concession. We leave Antarctica alone. After all, a single grain of pollen couldn’t possibly drill its way up through three miles of solid ice.

Or could it?