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Who Hurt You, Ragweed?

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What's your deal, ragweed? That is to say, why do you have to be such a hooligan each and every September and October? Sure, the first frost of the fall usually does you in, but in most places, this hasn't happened yet. Which means for many of us this is a frustrating -- nay, miserable -- time of year.

Did you know you're the cause of nearly 50% of all North American cases of pollen-related allergic rhinitis? Of course you do -- you probably take pride in it, you smug little reprobate. Just as you're equally charmed by the fact that one of you -- a single plant -- can produce a billion grains of pollen per season.

It gets worse, of course. Your pollen (or 'anger spores,' as I call it) can remain airborne for days, travelling up to 400 miles away. Which means there's pretty much no hiding from you and your steely malevolence. If you were any more attention seeking I'd swear your last name was Kardashian.

As I type this, my immune system is producing an army of histamines with the sole purpose of kicking your posterior (assuming you have one) six ways to Saturday. For me, this is the good news. The bad news is that histamines aren't particularly discerning in their attacks. As such, I'm on the receiving end of what the military calls 'friendly fire.' You know, 'collateral damage.'

That's right: incessant sneezing. Runny nose. Itchy skin. Baby blues so puffy I'll need to postpone my laser eye surgery consultation. (Must I forever be held captive by this nearsightedness?) I'm not the only one afflicted by this. But today, I am the loudest. And as some great historical figure memorably said, "It takes but one person to make a difference." (Was it Tesla? I feel like maybe Tesla said that.)

Anyhow, I'm here to make that difference, ragweed. A world of a difference, in fact. Not by engaging in yet another fruitless war -- my cells have gone mano y mano with your pathogens too many times to consider this a viable option. Nor am I here to push an agenda of détente, seeking inspiration from Jimmy Carter's statesman-like negotiations at Camp David. I have scant patience for such deal brokering.

Instead, I'm here to forcibly and unilaterally demand you adhere to the following ultimatum:

I surrender. Please please please, go after somebody else. There's a list of names I can give you.

I trust these terms are to your satisfaction. Good day, sir.