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Allergy attacks

SLO County enlists in the War on Pollen


Fellow Americans, citizens of San Luis Obispo County, I call on you for help. Hostile forces are holding our nation hostage. We face an enemy unlike any we have known before. This adversary knows no borders, moves virtually undetected, and can strike its innocent victims at any time without warning. We have nothing less than a national emergency and no choice but to declare an all out war against pollen.

Ever since the shocking fall of the twin showers, when the rains came crashing down, our community has had to re-evaluate its role in the global village. The chorus to "It never rains in Southern California" will never sound the same again. No one in those wet weeks of winter could have foreseen the magnitude of sprinkles that came shooting out of the sky; and the subsequent repercussions have proven equally disturbing.

Wildflowers came marching down every hillside; rogue grasses began sprouting in every backyard; unruly winds crept in from the valley carrying mystery and malevolence. We have never seen this kind of evil before. How can we explain it? What are we supposed to tell our children?

There are no easy answers, but together we must do something. We can make a difference. The time has come for us, as Americans, to stand up and defend our way of life, to prove that this county will not succumb to a wave of seasonal allergies. As a nation at war, we are all going to have to make some sacrifices. The world has changed, and we can no longer take our simple freedoms for granted.

We will have to start carrying our own personal supplies of facial tissue, and some us may have to resort to antihistamines. But most importantly, we must remember to wash our hands immediately after each and every handshake or contact with a doorknob. Never forget!

When El bin Niño and La bin Niña struck in 1995, we tried to pretend it was a fluke. State and county officials passed it off as a global aberration, a footnote in the Farmers' Almanac. Intelligence sources can draw the connection now, between the rains and the flowers, but why was nothing done about it sooner?

Hundreds of paralyzing sneezes could have been arrested. Thousands of watery eyes were permitted to itch and burn unnecessarily. Mother Nature planned, conspired, and organized, right under our noses. The information was available, warnings were issued, and yet no preventive actions were taken.

The time has come for us, as Americans, to stand
up and defend our way of life, to prove that this
county will not succumb to a wave of seasonal allergies.

Some blame the Hearst Ranch for not doing enough to pave their thousands of untamed acres, which are known to be a breeding ground for exotic weeds and pollens. Others accuse the Department of Parks and Recreation for wasting so many of their valuable resources on the snowy plover when far greater threats were coming to fruition. We can spend the rest of our short lives pointing fingers at one another, but the most important thing is to recognize that it's clearly someone else's fault.

Sources close to Christine Mulholland vehemently deny that the councilwoman's position against growth and development has anything to do with the expanses of open space, which are believed to harbor all kinds of nefarious flora. Critics, however, propose (but cannot prove) a definitive link. They claim that these flowery fields and grassy knolls have become a veritable safe haven for the organization known as Allergy-Qaeda.

Aller-Qaeda has allegedly been training birds, bees, and pollen cells to carry out acts of natural and environmental aggression in order to stifle our human way of life. Immunity defense experts seem to agree that the wasted space only serves as a lawless refuge for the irritable denizens of species, which simply serve to aggravate our senses. Green Party members believe we can negotiate a peace with the Aller-Qaeda, but hardliners point to historical evidence suggesting no effective alternative to the use of heavy chemical herbicides.

Bulldozers and cement mixers are now being deployed in Orcutt Canyon and Los Osos Valley to quell the agents of evil. Developers expect to be welcomed with open arms, as they intend to provide local residents with far greater parking and more convenient access to fast food. In the unlikely event that they should encounter small pockets of resistance, we have no intention of backing down. We will not finish until the job is done.

The flowers are invasive, the pollen is treacherous, and the germs are determined to destroy us; but in this ecosystem, only the good will survive. For we know that God is not neutral in this fight.

We will witness death and destruction. We will endure broken nests and caterpillar damage. We will do whatever is necessary so that our children may breathe free.

Volunteers who wish to serve their community in the War against Pollen should contact Bill Bird or Ernie Dalidio for more information on local recruitment opportunities. ³

Staff Writer Jeff Hornaday has a bad case of bongchitis. Contact him at jhornaday@newtimesslo.com.



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