I’m traveling quite a bit this week, and I keep ending up on flights where people are not only allergic to peanuts, cashews, pistachios, or whatever…but no one else on the plane is allowed to have them either. Where is this coming from? Is the world getting more allergic or more paranoid or more “all about me” or some combo of the three? Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I’m not sympathetic to allergies and special needs and your right to smoke or shoot heroin or whatever…it’s just when your deal impacts everyone else around you. With all due respect, if your allergies are so extreme that the guy next to me sneaking some of his trail mix (sold to him on the plane!) might kill you, maybe you should consider a nice, airtight plastic bubble and a bus ticket?
Probably God will smite me for this annoyed observation, and I will find myself allergic to peanuts, cashews, pistachios, dust, dander, pollen, mosquitoes, Doritos, perfume, shoe leather, and human hair. I’ll be the bald one in the back row wearing the gas mask and clutching an anaphylactic shock kit.
Speaking of which, when I traveled to London in 1992 I was packing a very large bag of trail mix…and I was deathly afraid that they were going to seize it at customs. I had been living in California, and they’re pretty paranoid about what you bring into the state (bugs and all that), so I guess it put the idea in my head. As I’ve mentioned before, I was vegan at the time, and I had a fair amount of trepidation about how I was going to pull that off on an isle that considers blood sausage and head cheese national treasures. Nonetheless, I made it through customs, AND (to the best of my knowledge) I didn’t kill any wildly allergic fellow passengers. Rock on.
Day one of my announcement (via e-mail) and my boss has said NOTHING. That’s right. NOTHING.
I’m expecting a VERY long and boring day of meetings tomorrow (minus the part where I present, of course. Due in large part to the p.s. above, I am doubly motivated to shine). I hope to be able to do a little “looking like I’m taking lots of notes” writing and pick up where I left off with my arrival – and state of complete shellshock – in London.