Ah Summer, the time of year when birds chirp, bees buzz and water once again flows freely from that statue in my backyard of two naked Siamese twins riding a giant stone pumpkin. The two children, forever attached at the hip, have their arms in the air as if their pumpkin is an exciting Halloween-themed rollercoaster, from the stem of which waters shoots out. It’s a scary garden tribute to my mother’s favorite Van Halen album, Balance.

For me, those stone kids are the quintessential image of summer, and seeing the water spurt out officially ushers in the season and signals that its time to plant the annuals, sit around and wait for the perennials, and take down the flag that has a woven picture of Santa Claus embracing a scantily clad Mrs. Claus with the caption, “Merry X-Mas 2000: The Perineum Millennium.”

That’s what seeing the statue signals, but I can’t do any of those things, because my family tree gave me splinters. Unlike the two stone children, their pumpkin, and all of the members of Van Halen, I suffer from allergies, and I hate myself for it. I am a self-hating human.

My parents, both human, have allergies too, and at some point during the birthing procedure, they transferred their allergies to me. Now, whenever I encounter near-invisible yellow dust, I get extremely hyper, my blood vessels constrict, my pupils dilate, I listen to a lot of Grateful Dead music, my temperature increases and I become euphoric.

What angers me most is that I had nothing to do with making my histamines overactive. I know played a role in touching the stove and licking the iron and hugging the BBQ, but to date, I didn’t do anything to provoke my sinuses into waging a biological civil war against the rest of my face.

All I want is a pill that will let me go outside for more than a day. Members of the pharmaceutical industry are sitting around, patting themselves on the back and drinking mojitos because they think the toast of our species is 24-Claritin. Won’t they be surprised when intelligent life comes down to Earth from space and explains that humanity’s claim to fame in the universe is the invention of the bobbing head doll. Allergy sufferers want a 36-hour pill, or a 48-hour pill, heck, we’d be happy with a 24-hour pill that really worked.
To get to the bottom of the conspiracy that’s keeping millions in-doors, I went to my old pediatric general practitioner and asked about “the dealio.”

“I hate allergies,” I said to Dr. Blightman.
“I hate babies,” he replied.
“Baby humans?”

At the mere mention of infants, Dr. Blightman shuddered, sat down on the primary colored bean-bag chair and sunk his chin into his chest.

“How can you hate baby humans? They’re the only group of humans that universally don’t smoke. Of course, they do poop on themselves, which figuratively, could be interpreted that they don’t keep their feelings bottle up inside them. Literally though, they poop…on themselves.” I stopped speaking as I was confused on the issue.

“I’m sure that I could be a movie star, if I could get out of this place. Here’s a prescription for 12-hour Claritin,” he said. “It works.”

Despite the fact that one can now get the medicine over-the-counter, I took the prescription from Dr. Blightman’s hand, patted him on the back and then kicked him off the bean-bag chair. Standing over him, I took my oxygen mask off and waited a few seconds until a slow moving wave of mucus reached the cusp of my right nostril.

“Now YOU cough for ME, bitch,” and with that I allowed the ooze to drip into his eye.

On my drive home I watched through my car windows as kids threw themselves across wet, yellow tarmacs laid out on their lawns. I watched younger brothers throwing water balloons at their older brothers, and older brothers throwing rocks at their younger brothers. I saw Mother’s sitting outside, tanning their skin bronze and Father’s wearing aprons throwing raw hamburger patties at their youngest sons.

As I turned into my driveway and prepared to hold my breath for the short sprint into my climate-controlled abode, I saw my family waiting at the window with open arms and a box of tissues. Dad smiled and I know Mom would have been smiling if not for her Botox injections, and seeing them there made me think; “Summer is about kicking back and having more time to spend with the family, not the weather.”

Then the neighbors’ Wiffle ball hit my windshield and realized I was choking on my own brand of bull-dung. Summer is really about being outside, enjoying the sun and eating fondue, and someone stole that right from me, and now that someone’s gonna pay. Whoever you are…wherever you are…know that while you can run…my nose can run faster.