It’s been a long, ugly winter.

I don’t think you’ll find a soul out there in North America that would argue with this statement. It’s been so bad that many of us have sat begrudgingly still, suffering from cabin fever to the ninth degree. All this while cold mercilessly whips our windows frosty. That, and the snow falling from the heavens seem to promise a perpetually frozen landscape. This leaves us all swearing in unison that we’ll never bitch about the summer heat, ever again. Include me among these ranks. Anyone that knows me is well aware of my seething hatred of heat waves.

In short, I’m a lover of moderate temperatures.

Imagine my unbridled glee today when I checked The Weather Network, and saw a magical ten dance before my weary eyes. Ten degrees of beautiful. Ten gloriously wonderful points above that zero centigrade scale I’ve become so accustomed to.

Time to chop “Rosebud” into firewood there, Citizen Kane, my lawn is peeking through its glacial murk. Watch my broad smile beaming through my frosted beard.

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With unrestrained joy, I thrust open my filthy windows, and basked in the beautiful breeze as it cascaded across my grateful body. Was there anything better on this planet? God surely favoured his little bear this day. Then…it hit. It wasn’t something expected. It certainly wasn’t something welcomed.

Mr. Murphy…shove that law up your…”snurfl, sncherk, wheeze”.

Spring, much to my chagrin, presents more than just blossoms and birdsong. It unfortunately also brings its wrath as an affront to my olfactory nerves.  Oft-times I become so enamoured with the receding snow banks that I conveniently forget just what comes along with the melt. For the second that the maple sap starts coursing through the trunks and branches of my sworn enemy, my nose starts its seizure as my eyes begin their burning drip-a-thon.

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OK, you’re probably wondering how something without foliage could cause a reaction in an allergy sufferer. Well, it’s really very simple. Maple leaf buds, the second they start to open, for some ungodly reason trigger a killer histamine response. I don’t make the rules, I simply suffer by them.

Leave it to dumbass to move to a city known for its dense population of maple. So much so, it’s called “The Forest City”.

As visions of axes and chain saws dance about my feverish little noggin, I’m quickly becoming painfully aware that my nose has started to chap. This, luckily for me, coincided with the last available tissue being applied to my reddening nose. As my snout has suddenly decided to imitate a leaky bathroom faucet; I’m faced with the prospect of sanding off what skin I have left on my rapidly swelling proboscis. I’m feeling ever so fortunate to have in my paper arsenal a large supply of exfoliant grade toilet paper. This compliments the few rolls of kitten-soft paper towels on hand. 

What to choose.

It doesn’t take long for my eyes to adopt a demonic shade of red. Perfect accoutrement to coördinate atop my inflamed nose.  In fact, now my shirt seems to be slowly turning crimson as my nasal passages give up the ghost and decide hemorrhaging vital plasma is a good thing.  Remind me again why opening my windows was a good idea?

So…I try in vain to stem the flow of snot-scented blood by pinching my nose and lowering my head between my knees. I sit there, waiting patiently for the River Vile to subside. After what seems like an eternity, whatever blood vessel I ruptured appears to have cried “uncle” and ceased its blood-letting. Good thing too, for I was contemplating the effectiveness of Tampax vs Always.

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Spring is a season of renewal. It warms the earth, brings with it cleansing rain, and offers so many wondrous things. So, why is it that I, the greatest fan of this season, must continually suffer.

I’m thinking to myself that I had to have pissed off some wood nymph in a former life. That, or maybe I participated in torturing a saint in some alternate universe, seven or eight lifetimes ago. Who knows. Whatever the reason, I’ve been forced to endure the agony right along with the ecstasy year after ceaseless year. Only a person that suffers from seasonal allergies can truly understand my frustration.

It’s seemingly endless misery. The mere sight of a flower, a leaf, a blade of grass, or…the granddaddy of them all, ragweed in late summer. These are all we need to send us rushing towards our hermetically sealed homes. We pray that somehow, this year is will be our year. 

It never is, sadly.

Welcome to the Merry Christmas blitz of sneezy, wheezy adverts from our friendly pharmaceutical companies. Everywhere you look, promises of a carefree walk or an unencumbered snooze bleat out of your television. A day’s supply of insta-breathe only costs a week’s salary. If you’re foolish enough to buy the wrong one, you’ll soon find yourself either sawing wood while driving, or playing solitaire at 3 am.

Spring 1 – booger heads zip!

God help you if you’re allergic to pets. For with the launch of spring, so goes a steady stream of dogs and cats just outside your window, for which there is no escape! They shake, they shed, they promise to stuff and swell every available pore in your noggin. As you gasp for air, the little that you manage to siphon through your airway is generally scented with the calling card some pet owner decided to leave for you just outside your door.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve tried everything short of boiling children with mint leaves to find relief. We, the great congested, have all been scraped and poked and prodded and pilled, in hopes of being able to draw one clear breath. Sadly, few of us do. What makes it even more maddening still; those that don’t endure often treat the lot of us as seasonal lepers, somehow thinking they might catch what we don’t have. Often, they’re filled with advice, or false sympathy.

All you wanna do is take a bouquet of flowers and ram it up their nostrils…just because.

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So, with this all said, why on earth do I favour a season that promises such a premeditated Hell. Well, for one thing, selective memory plays a big part in this. When you peek outside your curtain and see the Matterhorn avalanche staring back at you; unless you’re one of those winter sports fans, anything is preferable to donning twelve layers of wool and cotton. As well, venturing outside when the passing snow plow has literally obliterated all potential surfaces to walk on, well, you start to forget about those pesky little details. Details such as having eyeballs so bloodshot that they rival Pennywise the Clown. Details like those nasal passages that allow about as much airflow as a derelict aircraft parked in the desert. Flower power fades from memory at pretty much the time you’re at a bus stop in -99 Celsius weather with a wind chill factor of absolute zero.

Pluto suddenly seems like a great place to visit on vacation.

Yes, I loathe the perennial pain in the arse that comes with allergy season. However, the idea of waking up to the strains of a songbird, or that wonderful drone of a street cleaner is so wholly appealing to me that I’ll deal with having to chip my nose out of stone.

Bring on the birds and the bees. A case of Kleenex is a small price to pay.

Keep smiling folks, and have a great one.

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