Allergies Are Not a Trendy New Punchline

I was on a shoot at a college once in the kinesiology department, which is the study of body movement. And I get it, these kids aren’t exactly doctors, but they’re learning about the human body and I would think they’d know a bit more about health and wellness than the average bear.

Which is why it surprised me to hear these students having a conversation about “kid allergies” and how “every kid is allergic to something now, back in my day…” yadda yadda yadda.

And look, I get it. I have 2 toddlers, and I hate that I can’t send uncrustables in their lunches. They don’t like other kinds of sandwiches and it means I have to get creative and spend more time doing the domestic labor of lunch-packing. Like omg, I sent peanuts to school, what are they gonna do about it?

Well I could literally murder a child so I don’t complain about it, I just follow the rules.

You also hear a lot of complaining about the airplane sitch now, right? Like in super rare circumstances people have nuts confiscated because someone on the plane is allergic enough to nuts that even particles in the air could LITERALLY KILL THEM, and I guess this is a big inconvenience to people.

And gluten, amirite? Gluten is an EASY target because a lot of people aren’t allergic, they’re just on a diet trying to better themselves like a bunch of crunchy LOSERS. But, some people can actually get extremely sick if they eat gluten, that’s a real thing, and it really sucks to have to live that way because gluten is literally everywhere. But the majority of people don’t actually have a gluten intolerance so it’s ok to make fun of it. I mean the odds are like 1/100 that you’ll actually make fun of someone who lives their entire lives this way on penalty of hospitalization. LOL.

You know what, at another production company I worked at, I worked with a guy with a peanut allergy. He was really good friends with most of the people there. And one day, someone came back from vacation with some really fancy cookies from a famous bakery somewhere. And the office was delighted, as offices with cookies often are. But Mr. Peanut Allergy, let’s call him Mike, he didn’t take one. Because the box didn’t say if it was prepared in a nut-free facility. And we couldn’t find info online. So you know what all his buddies did?

Go “aw it’s probably fine! You should eat one and see!” ALL. DAY. Like it was suddenly very personal to everyone that Mike eat this maybe toxic to him cookie. And eventually Mike was like “I mean you’re right, I’m just being cautious, but I could probably eat one and be fine.”

Now, I didn’t actually like Mike. I actively disliked him. But not enough to WATCH HIM DIE. So I jumped in and was like “Mike, don’t eat the cookie. Like seriously. Don’t do it.” while giving some serious stink eye to his buddies. And they eventually SORT OF let it go (but not before a good “but we have benadryl! And Mike has an epi pen!”).

Like GUYS. WE ARE ACTUAL ADULTS. I was the youngest there at the time and I was 23 YEARS OLD. That’s old enough not to accidentally kill your friends with a dare.

So just for the record, you look like an asshole when you make light of allergies, because they are life or death, they are common, and if you say allergies are only for kids, then you look worse because at that point you’re making fun of CHILDREN with a life-threatening condition. NICE, GUYS.

Idk. I’m sick of it. Could we just not?

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