March 01, 2016

Source: Bigstock

“€œPassengers applaud as boy removed from plane for allergies”€

Hell, I clapped too and I wasn”€™t even on board. That headline made my day.

Enough is enough! I thought. I have HAD it with these motherf—-ing wimps on these motherf—-ing PLANES!

(Aside: As I write this, it’s Oscar night, and can I just say that Cobra Starship were robbed that year for Best Original Song?)

There are lots of things wrong with me, most of which, for whatever perverse reason, make up an alliterative traffic jam of A’s”€”arthritis, alcoholism, a sprinkling of Asperger’s”€”but just as perversely, I”€™ve always been smug about the absence of “€œallergies”€ on that list. My German-Scottish DNA compels me to consider allergies a symptom of mental and perhaps even moral weakness, a malingerer’s alibi, down there with “€œphobias”€ and other fancy synonyms for fragility.

I was further primed to applaud that headline because a few days before I spotted that news story, this petition plea had somehow made it into my inbox:

Dear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:

“€œI thought everyone knew by now that the whole “€˜fatal peanut-allergy epidemic”€™ was just another case of First World mass hysteria.”€

My name is Luke Sullivan and I am a 14-year-old boy with a severe peanut allergy….

I respectfully ask that we move forward in making people more aware that 1 in 13 people are affected by food allergies, some fatal, by changing the laws to remove peanuts and tree nuts on planes….

From the Fabales-free mouths of babes, eh? Shifting from “€œraising awareness”€ to “€œchanging the laws”€ without even taking a breath? This lad is clearly a “€œprogressive”€ prodigy.

If it weren”€™t for the still-shocking sight of the words “€œPrime Minister Justin Trudeau”€ at the top of that petition, I”€™d have dismissed it as just so much Internet detritus. When it comes to “€œraising awareness,”€ I thought everyone knew by now that the whole “€œfatal peanut-allergy epidemic“€ was just another case of First World mass hysteria.

At, no less, (exemplary headline: “€œAmerica, you”€™re stupid: Donald Trump’s political triumph makes it official”€”we”€™re a nation of idiots”€) this actual doctor ably punctured the anaphylactic moral panic, with all its shaky statistics and anecdotal, hypochondriacal hooey.

So with that Canadian kid’s online whining still fresh in my mind, I just assumed that that “€œboy kicked off the plane”€ story was about yet another pallid bourgeois brat screaming for the smelling salts.

Alas, I then made the fatal mistake of reading the rest of the article (and watching the matching, ever-so-earnest local news report that went with it).

Come to find out, the kid broke out in hives because there was a dog on the plane, not a plastic bag of Planters.

So now I”€™m faced with the unappealing dilemma of having to side with either Fake Problem No. 2 (“€œI need to fly with my “€˜therapy dog”€™ because I have imaginary “€˜stress”€™”€”€”see “€œphobias,”€ above) or Semi-Fake-Problem No. 1, a.k.a. “€œdog-allergy boy delaying everyone else’s takeoff.”€


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