Monday, March 1, 2010

The World's Stupidest Allergies

On some level I guess I have always thought that people with allergies were faking it. As a gut reaction I kind of resent them, but this is only because I used to work in catering. I remember we would be serving up an entree of satay chicken skewers and some awful human would inform the waitresses that she was deathly allergic to peanuts and needed a meal that had never been in the same room as anything that had ever touched a peanut. Hey, here's a thought: if you are that deathly allergic maybe, I don't know, tell someone when you are RSVP-ing to the function? I mean, it's not like we need any notice to prepare a special meal for you. We are wizards, after all.

But over the years I have witnessed some real allergies, and some real bizarre allergies. I have met people with allergies that I did not even know were possible.

My introduction to the world of bizarre allergies came when I was in primary school. Our school was participating in 'Jump Rope For Heart' at the time and as part of this some of the older kids were paired up with the younger kids to teach them how to use a skipping rope. The kid I was paired with was allergic to sunlight.

Sunlight. Light from the sun. And no, Twilight fans, his name was not Edward*. He didn't so much sparkle in the sunlight as break out into large, unattractive sores. Even in the middle of summer he was seen wearing long sleeves, long pants, gloves and a wide-brimmed hat. The parts of his body that weren't wrapped up in a protective cloth barrier were covered with sores. I found it hard to understand why a kid allergic to sunlight was being raised in one of the sunniest places in the world. I mean, I'm sure there were circumstances, but maybe England would have been a better idea? I don't think they even have a sun over there.

So, that was pretty bizarre. Sunlight is not a thing that you would think people would be allergic to. But then again, I also used to know a guy who was briefly allergic to his own sweat. Not just sweat, but specifically HIS OWN sweat. I don't even know how that could happen. This was a guy who was riddled with allergies of all descriptions but this one really took the cake, I thought. Apparently he had been moving furniture one day when he noticed that wherever he sweated, a rash formed. He went to the doctor and yep, sure enough, he was allergic to his own bodily fluids. This only lasted briefly (if I find out it lasted only for the duration of time that his furniture moving skills were needed, I will be suspicious) but still, what?

There is one more I'd like to mention, one of someone who I know reads this blog. I will call her Sally-Tsar as that is the name under which she has commented. I mean, I could have come up with a wacky codename of my own but there is something to be said for continuity. Now, Sally-Tsar is pretty great. She lets me stay with her when I visit Melbourne and we have super special party times together. At some point last year she visited Adelaide and we returned the favour. She crashed on our couch and because I am that much of a crazy party animal, I took her to the art gallery. We had a pretty good time too, until she started coming out in a startling rash.

"It's weird, this always happens when I go to art galleries," she commented.

"Is it just art galleries?" I asked, my limited logical capacities working overtime, "Or is it just old buildings?"

"No, it's specifically art galleries," she explained, "I guess it's the chemicals they use to restore the paintings, or something."

Yes, my friend Sally-Tsar is allergic to art galleries. Which is a shame, because she loves art. But I have seen it with my own eyes, she comes out in a rash when exposed to high culture.

I'm sure there is someone out there who is allergic to just about anything, but those are some of my favourites. If anyone has any more to contribute, I would love to hear them!

-Smackie Onassis

*For the record I attempted to read Twilight when someone left their copy in the cafe where I used to work. I figured that if I was going to bag it out, I should at least have a go at reading it. I got seven pages into it before I could not physically endure it any more. Hey Stephanie Meyer, who told you that you could use 'greenly' as an adverb? Because they were having you on.


  1. it is not so much a rash as my hands swell up and get itchy. It feels better if you put cold things on them and goes away within a couple of hours of leaving.

  2. You are still allergic to art galleries though! That is pretty weird, imo.