Allergy’s source includes (un)usual suspects

Allergy's source includes (un)usual suspects by Bob Karolevitz I think I'm allergic to something.

It can't be ragweed or goldenrod because I've been around them all my life with no ill effects. The hollyhocks are gone, and it's too late in the season for dandelions, so they can't be accused of it.

The pollen in our patio flowers can't be the culprits, either. I've never seen bees sneeze when they go after the stuff.

Somewhere I read that husbands sometimes develop allergic reactions to their wives. Wouldn't it be something to find out after 50 years that Phyllis is causing my nose to twitch?

"Have you been using a new kind of perfume?" I asked her. The reply was negative, so that isn't the answer.

"How about powder, deodorant, nail polish or hair spray?" I wanted to know. Again she said nothing has changed, so I can rule out all of them.

"And quit sniffing around me," she ordered. "It's not nice, and, besides that, I'm nothing to be sniffed at," she let me know in no uncertain terms.

Needless to say, I crossed her off my list as a possible suspect.

Next I checked out Matty and Foxy, Phyllis's miniature horses. Neither of them made me wheeze, although Matty sneaked up behind me and bit me in the sitting part � but that's another story.

Maggie, our golden retriever, sheds a lot, which makes me wonder if she isn't the cause of my coughing. She wagged at me, and although her shedding is suspicious, she won an easy reprieve.

I'm not so sure about cat hairs, though. Baxter and Bailey, Phyllis's indoor pets, leave fur trails all over the place. That never bothered me in the past, but now that my nose is running, I've had second thoughts. Maybe their new kitty litter has something to do with it, too.

Bailey, the female, is Miss Patience. She waits for me every morning when I get out of bed, swiveling underfoot as I dress for the day. All she wants is a brief petting, but now I'm concerned that she might be spreading allergens. You can't trust anybody these days!

I haven't been in the coop lately, so the chickens are absolved. Feathers would be a logical miscreant; however, in my case, they don't seem to be the reason for my snuffling. After all, Henny Penny wouldn't do that to me.

So where do I turn?

Household dust, the newspapers that come in the mail, car cushions, postage stamps, boxelder bugs and crickets which are beginning to show up because of the change in the weather and even my typewriter ribbons might be the guilty ones. None of them has been given complete clearance in my search for the source of my problem.

I'll also include Phyllis's kitchen soap, her new brand of lipstick, the vitamins we take and the breakfast food I eat. Each could be responsible for my affliction.

In my frustration I've blamed everything and everybody, including Osama bin Laden, the county weed board, Congress, Bill Gates, our tax refund check, the Dow Jones averages and those fuzzy caterpillars on our sidewalk.

See? I've lost all sense of reality!

There must be an answer, though. In the meantime, all I can say is:

Ah-choo!

© 2001 Robert F. Karolevitz

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