June 7, 2003

By Michael Strickland

When Grass Attacks

I spent the afternoon today hiking the Big Laguna Trail on Mount Laguna. The vistas were gorgeous. White and yellow wildflowers speckled rolling pastures of green grass. Scores of pinecones littered the ground underneath countless pine trees. Occasional puffy white clouds broke up the electric blue expanse of the sky.

Many others enjoyed the same sights. Mountain bikers regularly passed us by on the trail. We in turn passed several hikers who had stopped for a picnic on the rocks underneath the pine trees. A trio of horseback riders even rode by at one point.

As I strolled through this pretty scenery, however, my head felt ready to explode in a shower of pollen and mucous like a grisly dandelion. From the moment we arrived in the mountains, my eyes started itching and swelling up. Shortly thereafter, the nose and sinuses flooded and backed up. My throat became as raw as a cat’s scratching post.

Words like “rhinitis,” “conjunctivitis” and “pollinosis,” only recently learned, leapt to mind. I immediately popped a Claritin, but at over $1 per pill, it had as much effect as a cup of water tossed on a blazing building. Movement seemed to help, so the hike was a welcome diversion. But we ended up cutting our camping excursion short and returning to the June Gloom.

When I was a child, I was allergic to grass, among other things. My condition was serious enough to warrant monthly allergy shots, a less than pleasurable activity for a seven-year-old. I distinctly remember my mother trying to get me into the car to take me for my first shot. It was the only time I ever ran away from home. She chased me in the car for blocks and blocks before cornering me in a vacant lot, the back side of which ended in a cliff overlooking a canyon.

After several years of the shots, my allergies subsided, and have never reappeared—until a few years ago. It seems like grass has once again become my nemesis. I wasn’t quite sure what it was until this weekend. Setting up my tent in the middle of a grassy pasture had the net effect of striking a match in an ammo dump. The experience left little doubt about the cause of my regular allergy attacks of the past few springs.

So it looks like it’s time once again to get allergy treatments. Whether shots will be necessary, I don’t know, but if so, I’ll be running as fast as I can to the doctor’s office, not away from it.


©2003 Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year (almost), I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

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June Columns:

6/30: Halfway There
6/27: 28 Days Later
6/26: I Am a Racist
6/24: America the Obese
6/23: Reality TV Sells
6/20: June Gloom
6/18: Hatch's Hollywood Hacking
6/16: Qualcomm Stadium
6/15: Happy Father's Day
6/14: Flag Day
6/13: Friday the 13th
6/12: Extreme
6/9: Spammed
6/8: Lack of PLANning
6/7: When Grass Attacks
6/4: Culture Shock
6/1: The Baja 500
Previous months in The Archive

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