As I predicted, my post about mostly imaginary peanut allergies and other neurotic fantasy afflictions prompted lots of mail and as usual, the first wave of angry ones were soon overtaken and outnumbered by the “right on” bunch.
I also got two generous donations to my legal defence fund via PayPal, specifically because of that post, so remind me to take on Big Epi more often.
Two other readers want “Life’s tough. Wear a cup” t-shirts but that’s actually Dennis Miller’s line so I wouldn’t like to steal his thang. Email his radio show producer and suggest it.
From the inbox, a fellow recovering alcoholic reports:
So a few months ago my annoying relative with her peanut threatened hellspawn decided she was going to drum up support to make the nearby town “peanut free”. One of her acolytes wanted to know if my business would support the initiative. “Without reservation” said I. And then I thanked her for setting the precedent.
“Well, you see, I’m an alcoholic. I cannot drink it, I cannot be around it, and even having alcohol for sale where I live places me in jeopardy. My doctors will have no problem attesting to this as it’s essentially a life threatening allergy. So once you get peanuts banned, you’ve established a legal precedent for me to have all alcohol removed from [name of town]. I will get the bars closed, the liquor stores shut down, and the town declared an alcohol free zone.”
“You can’t DO that!!!” [She’s almost bug-eyed — this is the dumb @#$% who shows up at family events like baseball parties thrown for our kids with four cases of beer in the back of her SUV, because it’s good for kids to see their parents getting @#%-faced and then drive home with them after they’ve consumed 10 beers apiece.]
“Why not? What makes peanuts so special? You don’t think there aren’t children being put at risk by alcohol? How many children have to die so you can drink a Bud on a Friday night?”
“You’re not serious.”
“I surely am. Please let me know what I can do to help you with your initiative, so I can advance mine next.”
The “peanut free” initiative died a few days later as word gets around. Heh.
Another reader writes:
Your Blog is still my first stop every day, please keep up the good work. I read your posts about “protecting the children” and the memorial for the ACTUAL victims of an ACTUAL evil and the following occurred to me.
1. People who want to pose as Faux-Victims are using their victim status as a way to dodge being responsible adults, parents, etc.
2. This incessant navel gazing means that EVERYONE involved is such nonsense cannot in any meaningful way help the Moshe Holtzberg’s of the world.
It is 2008 and anyone and everyone in the western world is so fantastically rich, healthy, and pampered that people from even 50 years ago would have been struck dumb with awe. It is also 7 years after Sept 11th and thirty years after the islamic devolution in Iran.
If your reaction to the Mumbai attacks is to attach a “yes, but what about X?” to a vigourous, mean, lots of dead muslims response, you’re an idiot. The Mohammedans are at the gate, and they don’t give a shit about your precious Sally’s peanut allergy/dyslexia/inability to wear latex. Is Sally blonde and pretty? If so they want to make her a whore, and slit your unbelieving throat while she watches.
On a serious note, I was asked about my objections to MADD (which are actually Colby Cosh’s objections) by a fellow who was looking to the organization following a horrible personal loss: MADD “seems like an obvious way to make something out of our personal tragedy,” he mused.
After expressing my condolescenes, I ventured to say that maybe, just maybe, contrary to popular New Age belief, he was actually under no social or moral obligation to “make something” out of his “personal tragedy” — which was the overarching point of my post in the first place.
I’ve been reading the “peanut posts” with a big grin, but the sort that makes your cheek muscles ache.
You probably won’t be surprised to learn that the school where we’re sending XXX is one of these “nut-free zones,” and that we had to sign assurances as parents that we wouldn’t feed our children nuts for breakfast before sending them off to school, out of a vague fear that our little girl might deep tongue some fellow student and transfer an onslaught of peanut-laced saliva into their compromised immune system, or that a microscopic peanut particle might leap lice-like from the folds of their clothing and land on the mucous membrane of some afflicted little soul, causing a paroxysm of anaphelaxis (sp?) for which the school will be liable.
Needless to say, it’s the sort of school where the children all have creative names, and where the moms all do yoga and the dads are all generally rather, uh, ectomorphic.
I don’t need to tell you that [the other child’s religious] school can’t be bothered with this sort of tosh — no food allergy laws in effect; God doesn’t care.
The biggest problem is that – as with our overcoddled parenting style and all it entails – there’s no room to dissent from this absurd groupthink. Just as you can’t criticize someone else’s parenting style, you can’t suggest that the panoply of food allergies supposedly decimating ranks of our future doctors, lawyers, green boutique owners, arts bureaucrats and fair trade coffee importers might possible be projection on the part of anxious parents who’d rather err on the side of extreme caution and limit the range of potential threats.
And so you’re obliged to be neurotic to maintain the peace – it’s the new age version of those covenants that kept blacks from buying homes in certain suburbs, except the new minority are parents who don’t have kids with food allergies (a majority, in fact) and feel ill-disposed to enabling other people’s war on snacks. But will there be an NAACP for us, to free us from this tyranny of the insipid?
RightGirl reports on her own recent adventures with the afflicted:
The third comment on my post was from Nutzi scold Dad Ken, telling me about his terrible wind from that piece of cheese he ate in 1973…